Friday, October 08, 2010

Uh Oh - Primates Meeting in Peril?

BB NOTE: I agree with Matt Kennedy.  Archbishop Ian Ernest should be considered a moderate amongst the Global South bishops in that he was willing to work closely with Canterbury and the Anglican Communion office and was tapped with a leadership position during the Lambeth Conference in 2008.  If he is making his position known to the Archbishop of Canterbury now, in all likelihood, he is not alone.

From here:

The Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, the Most Revd Ian Ernest, has confirmed that he will not attend the meeting, due to take place in Dublin, 25-31 January.

Archbishop Ernest said last week that he had written to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the summer to convey his distress at the election in the United States of the Rt Revd Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, as Bishop of Los Angeles. He had urged Dr Williams to exclude Dr Jefferts Schori from future Primates’ Meet­ings.

“There were conditions attached in that letter,” he said last week, “and I can confirm I will not attend if those conditions are not fulfilled.”

Dr Jefferts Schori has already con­firmed that she will attend the meeting.

Primates of the Global South are expected to meet this month to discuss whether they will refuse en masse to attend.

They are being encouraged to attend by, among others, the presid­ent of the American Anglican Coun­cil, the Rt Revd David Anderson, a suffragan bishop within the Con­vocation of Anglicans in North America, who has posted a letter on a website urging traditionalist bishops to go to the meeting.

In a bizarre suggestion, he advises that Dr Jefferts Schori be shut out of the room, or removed “by force of numbers” if she attends. If Dr Williams objects to this, the meeting could go ahead in a separate room without him.

He writes: “Dr Williams is being advised that numerous provinces won’t attend the Primates’ Meeting if Jefferts Schori attends. Having booked the venue, he might as well have the meeting since he is com­mitted to paying for it, but without the orthodox Primates in attendance it could be a dangerous meeting, giv­ing opinion and credence to teachings and beliefs that are not representative of orthodox Anglicanism.

“If asked my opinion, I would strongly advise the orthodox Prim­ates to: 1) organise before the Prim­ates’ Meeting; and 2) attend and remove by force of numbers the Pre­sid­ing Bishop of the American Epis­copal Church (not physically, but by either voting her off the ‘island’, or reces­sing to another room and not letting her in).

“The meeting is a place to gather and potentially to settle some of the issues that are pulling the Anglican Communion apart, and to begin to restore health to a most wonderful communion.

“In the above case, if Dr Williams did not go along with Jefferts Schori’s exclusion, then I would suggest having the next-door meeting with­out him. I just don’t believe staying home from the field of battle helps win a war over the truth and nature of Christianity within Anglicanism.”

Lambeth Palace declined to com­ment. 
Read it all here. Photo is from the Lambeth Conference Launch press event and includes both the Archbishop of Canterbury as well as the Archbishop of the Indian Ocean.


Anonymous said...

I guess they have to go - as we all know they are controlled by the US churches. Can't possibly be making their own decisions

Daniel Weir said...

I don't think that Primates are controlled by any group in the US - liberal or conservative. I am sad that Arbp Ernest won't be attending and I hope that no one else will decides not to attend and that no one follows Bp Anderson's suggestion that Bo Jefferts Schori be excluded.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting but certainly not news. Ernest wrote last April that he would not attend if the primates of the Anglican Church of Canada and TEC attended. Given that +Jefferts Schori has stated she will be attending, this follow-up may simply be a reminder or an effort to put pressure on +Jefferts Schori and +Hiltz to not attend. Ernest, even if a moderate,(?) is clearly privy to the mind of the core of the GS group. He may be under pressure from hard-liners to choose which way he will turn, to a communion based in the GS or to a western one perceived by them to be apostate and heretical. But, again, it's not news. EmilyH

BabyBlue said...

If Ernest - who was intentionally picked and given responsibilities at the Lambeth Conference - he was one of the press briefers for example - will not come to the Primates Meeting, as we have the resignations of the Global South primates from the controversial "Standing Committee" - yes of course it's news. This is not the time to put one's head in the sand. It is easy for us on this side of the world to pooh pooh and with a flick of our hand dismiss the concerns of our Anglican brothers and sisters (do we worry about whether we will make it to dinner time?), but not so for them. Our arrogance, not our apostasy or compliance, will be our undoing.


Anonymous said...

Again, here is the statement from the most recent CAPA meeting in Entebbe: "A. In order to keep the ethos and tradition of the Anglican Communion in a credible way, it is obligatory of all Provinces to observe the agreed decisions and recommendations of the Windsor Report and the various communiqués of the past three Primates Meetings, especially Dar es Salaam in 2007. We as Primates of CAPA and the Global South are committed to honor such recommendations." Ian Earnest is Chm of CAPA. Although the signatories to this document were questioned, (i.e Central and South Africa not signing), there appears to be no dispute that Ian Earnest signed. In that case, Windsor (and most probably Windsor with the word "regret" changed to "repent" has become the standard of compliance as well as the communiques of the last three primates meeetings. Therefore, given the +Glasspool election, from CAPA's perspective, TEC has forfeited her membership in the communion.

It appears that CAPA has decided that the primates meeting is the single governing body of the communion. For those comfortable with a magisterium form of polity, in effect an oligarchical form of governance, this clearly works. The CAPA core has spoken. I suspect poor ++Rowan is being presented with a take it or leave it situation. You are fer us or agin us. EmilyH

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, my apologies to +Ernest for misspellings EmilyH

BabyBlue said...

No, I don't believe that is what CAPA believes - by a long shot. It does however believe that the Primates are one of the Instruments of Communion (an instrument that is being bypassed by the political activism of the West) and yet it does have authority, but an authority the West chooses to ignore.

Again, arrogance will be our undoing.


Observer said...

Will Williams play the same game as with Lambeth invitations and not withdraw those given to people who have torn the fabric of the Communion? Probably - remember his Hegelian ideas about thesis, antithesis and synthesis....he has always been trying to keep false teachers at the table, regardless of the views of the majority of Primates...... remeber he agrees with the false teachers on the issues which have been dividing the AC....

BabyBlue said...

Here is what Ephraim Radner wrote last week on the Primates Meeting:

Primates Meeting: It is still possible, I suppose, that this group could take a fruitful lead in healing the Communion; but it is unlikely. Unless TEC’s Presiding Bishop (and perhaps Canada’s as well) voluntarily decides to forego the next gathering – or even less likely, Canterbury decides to tell her not to come – the meeting itself will be another version of Lambeth 2008, and the ACC-Primates Joint Standing Committee and so on: no-shows, broken, irrelevant. Perhaps leaders of the Global South can engage Presiding Bishop Jefferts-Schori directly and individually on this matter, privately and personally. If the Primates’ Meeting does take place with almost all present, something might come of it: they would be the only Instrument still standing at that point. But past experience is not encouraging on this front.

Instead of the Primates’ Meeting, the leaders of the Global South – whether they are Primates or not — along with their mutually supportive colleagues, need to order their lives according to some other provisional gathering point: the Covenant sits there waiting. Its adoption in some form under the auspices of a definable group would allow other non-Global South Anglicans in the world in less coherent or even friendly settings to join in and have some visible linkages and mutual relations that formally sustain their continued witness and mission. Should the current text be revised? In an obvious sense, yes: Section 4 is no longer rational, given the role it gives to the ACC and through it a now clouded “Standing Committee”. But a gathering on the basis of Sections 1-3 is possible (altering little), with a view to revising Section 4 in a simple manner by replacing the Standing Committee with some provisional group representative of the Covenanting churches’ leadership, however that is determined. Those who have already adopted or confirmed the current Covenant text have shown their ability to deal expeditiously with any such simple revisions.

Using the current Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Faith and Order, or some subcommittee of it, as a group to aid in figuring this out – not deciding but proposing – might maintain some links to the wider Communion that could be useful for the future. (Some Global South leaders have spoken about this.) And, of course, the reason for keeping the Covenant’s basic text (as opposed to rewriting it completely, or using something like the Jerusalem Declaration as a substitute) is precisely to maintain bridges between present and future (and past!), and to the fruit of a time when common discussion did indeed take place before the Instruments’ collapse. It is also important that any new groupings bound to this kind of reordering be seen themselves as decidedly provisional, such openness to change and looseness to permanency being itself a bridge to healing. Such a bridge would bespeak hope and respect, as well as a necessary humility.

You read it all here:


Anonymous said...

As I have stated elsewhere, the GS core simply does not have the votes to prevent +Hiltz and +Schori's attendence or, following on Anderso n's suggestion, adjourn to another room and conduct business from there. Radner's+ suggestion is an interesting one. Failing the attempt to do the above, he advocates using the Inter Anglican committee as " proposers" of policy. The inter-Anglican Standing Committee, of course being the only committee from which TEC is banned. I suggest that, if this proposal is adopted, the committee will morph from proposers to directors. No one will recall how that happened as few recall that the Windsor report somehow became a mandate and that its call for a statement of "regret" became a demand for one of "repentance" from the GS. The agenda from the GS core is very clear. First Windsor redefined, then the 39 articles added back in for all and now the confessional church of the Jerusalem Declaration. I respect this clarity. Both the far right and TEC's far left have been so polarizing that there is little room left for a broad church which aspires to unity in diversity. Unity has ceased being its own value. EmilyH

Observer said...

not enough votes, maybe Emily.... But they can choose not to waste any more years and decades in endless talks, with no resolution of course, with tiny groups of revisionists who are being allowed to divide and destroy the AC....they have that choice...and they know it.