"take the Ridley draft of the Covenant, modify it appropriately [deleting the JSC as an arbiter, for starters, and adding in real consequences, such that the Ridley draft isn't a fraud], and affirm it as a unified group."She describes the Orthodox Primates specifically as "the 22 who have declared themselves out of communion with TEC—so that would exclude Williams as a part of that group, since he has done no such thing." Not yet, anyway.
In addition, there is this recommendation:
Let Rowan Williams know that they'll be creating their own Primates Meeting, Lambeth Conference, and ACC meetings, and that they'd love for him to be a part of them - -but they won't be attending the shams and disgraces that have been going on for the past five years of these same meetings.There are those who say that Rowan Williams is no leader, but I am inclined to disagree. I saw his mastery at the Lambeth Conference. I don't agree that he is no leader - but his methods confound Americans who consistently try to trick him. I still believe there is no love lost between Schori's gang and the Lambeth gang. In fact, they are looking more and more like gangs every day and the confusion we saw on Friday could very well be gang warfare between TEC and Lambeth.
Ian Douglas took a presumptive move, it now seems, one that Rowan Williams objected to. Then - amidst much confusion - the agenda of the day, to divorce Section IV from the Covenant, was achieved, but not by TEC's original intention, that is to strike it from the record. Instead, it's now (safely?) back in the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The wrinkle is that blasted Joint Standing Committee.
That being said, Rowan's gone around them before (and Orombi still isn't showing up for meetings, but he's meeting personally with Rowan Williams), by creating the Windsor Continuation Group. If he was serious about the Joint Standing Committee, he'd have orchestrated that the Joint Standing Committee create the Windsor's Continuation Group and then have it report directly to the JSC for adoption and recommendation, not to the ACC as a whole. He did the same thing with the Covenant - he went around the Joint Standing Committee and took it to the ACC as a whole.
Now goes to the Joint Standing Committee, only Rowan Williams gets to create the committee that will actually study Section IV, so he's gone around them again. We can see this as manuevering to stall the process into infinity and beyond, but we can also see it as a way of keeping it away from The Episcopal Church's attempts to obliterate it.
We know that the Anglican Covenant was going no where in The Episcopal Church - Schori and Bonnie Anderson have ruled out that it would not see the light of day as long as they are in office. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali also found that Section IV did not have the mechinism to enforce anything, the document had improved on theology and weakened on implentation. The Anglican Covenant is now back in the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury
The question now is - what is he going to do with it? Sarah Hey thinks he'll do just as he's done for the past six years.
Rowan Williams has accomplished what he desired -- he has led, and led well. He needed a delay in action with the Covenant, and a yet further watering down of Section Four to please his TECusa allies. And he got it, all the while giving his "impassioned" speech "supporting" the Covenant.But it's not clear to me that The Episcopal Church accomplished what they want - the defeat of the Anglican Covenant. That's where the orthodox need to be careful. I think Sarah is correct when she writes, as I posted earlier but will post again:
let Rowan Williams know that they'll be creating their own Primates Meeting, Lambeth Conference, and ACC meetings, and that they'd love for him to be a part of them - -but they won't be attending the shams and disgraces that have been going on for the past five years of these same meetings.Orombi turns out to be the hero behind the scenes of the last week. Sarah is correct when she lauds Archbishop Henry Orombi, who found other things to do then pay attention to the ACC this past week:
Orombi was absolutely right -- he needed to focus on something worthy, and real, and honorable, and that was not the ACC meeting. In fact -- contrary to those attempting to blame the outcome of the latest ACC meeting on one single man -- Orombi has been proven correct.
Sarah then writes:
It really is pointless to attend these meetings, since the ABC will do as he wishes when he wishes.The question, though, is why? Why is he allowing this to go on - especially after we did see his mastery at pulling together allies at Lambeth. Certainly the events plaid out live on television on Friday show that the schism is widening beyond control.
This week we learn from a conference in England that Michael Nazir-Ali is reported by the London Times as saying that all Anglicans should look to the Pope for unity. What Bishop Nazir-Ali actually said, though, was this, "What we need is first of all to recognise that there is a proper universal ministry for unity, that it is the Bishop of Rome that exercises that historic ministry for today, and to find a way for all Christians to accept that ministry." He called Benedict the Bishop of Rome, not the Pope which is an important detail coming from an Anglo-Catholic point of view. It's not in his capacity as Pope that there is unity, but as the Bishop of Rome.
Bishop Nazir-Ali is reminding the audience, both local and abroad, that there is a an historic ministry among bishops, and particular bishops - including, oh yes, dear ones, the Bishop of Rome. That can fall on deaf ears to those of us who are low church-evangelicals, perhaps, but for other Anglo-Catholics like even the more liberal-minded but still theological orthodox Rowan Williams there is a distinct warning there, a reminder, yes a warning that he is not after all the historic focus of unity in the Apostolic Succession. Not historically. Rome is, as is Constantinople. If the Anglicans are going to remain at the table, something is going to have to come down.
The Episcopal Church is so far from that kind of unity, it is just a memory. Does Rowan cast his lot with 815 and it's prophetic stances that could only increase in severity this summer at General Convention, or does he cast his eyes to those who desperately want to remain Anglican, who are eager to sign up, who will put it all on the line - there lives, their riches, their honor, who will endure litigation to remain aligned as Anglicans with the hope of unity?
I would agree that any more meetings that include The Episcopal Church's national leadership led by Bishop Schori are a sham. My personal attention now turns to the Communion Partners as the real voice of what remains of The Episcopal Church, for they do share the vision that was clarified at Lambeth.
Remember, Schori stood with her arms folded in defiance when the Archbishop of Canterbury received a standing ovation at the end of his final Presidential Address at the Lambeth Conference last summer, and she did nothing to stop her fellow progressive Episcopal bishops from walking out.
So now the question remains - do the Communion Partners sit down with Schori - or with Duncan? This is a question that is very much on my heart.
Where a door closes, another door opens. We serve a God of grace. If we envision even an informal alliance between the Communion Partners of the ACNA and the Common Cause Partners of TEC - how many North American Anglicans does that now represent? Is it now time for old friends to sit down and find that we are all in the same boat now?
The next generation is watching.