Saturday, October 09, 2010

Rowan Williams and Daniel Deng not optomistic about the Sudan; holds press conference at Lambeth Palace

UPDATE: Here is a video of the press conference, with gratitude to Ruth Gledhill.



BB NOTE: Besides the urgent topic of the press conference itself, which the BBC does a good job covering, I am interested to see Archbishop Daniel Deng and Archbishop Rowan Williams hanging together.  It's interesting to note that they would do this press conference at Lambeth Palace together right after the Primates Meeting is called and questions are being raised of a possible boycott.  Archbishop Deng was the bishop who spoke out so strongly at the Lambeth Conference regarding the unilateral actions of The Episcopal Church and basically shut down the Episcopal Church protest.  Here is Archbishop Daniel Deng's statement at the Lambeth Conference in 2008:



Interesting timing to see the two archbishops together on the same platform at Lambeth Palace - and for certainly what is grave situation in the Sudan. Very interesting - this is an important issue not just for the nations of the world, but for the church.  Maybe it's time to refocus on the call of the Church - and to listen to our brothers and sisters in the Global South.

From here:
The Archbishop of Canterbury has added his voice to those warning that Sudan is sliding back towards civil war.

World leaders, from President Obama to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, have raised concerns in recent weeks.

Now Dr Rowan Williams has said he is "not optimistic" that war can be averted in Africa's largest country.

"I am very concerned indeed, the forces pulling the country apart are getting stronger," he said, ahead of a news conference making public his concerns.

"The chances are, as somebody said, that this could put Darfur in the shade if it really explodes."
Twenty years of fighting between the mainly Muslim north and largely Christian and Animist south, which ended in 2005, left 1.5 million dead.

Friction has grown as a referendum on independence for the oil rich south, which was agreed under the peace agreement which ended the civil war, gets nearer.

It, and another referendum in the oil region of Abyei, is due to be held on 9 January 2011.

However, delays in arranging the registration of voters, agreeing border demarcations and the distribution of oil resources, mean the vote could be delayed.

Many in the south claim the delays are largely the result of foot dragging by the north. They point out that Khartoum will lose control of many lucrative southern oil wells if the south, as widely expected, votes for independence.

It is thought that a lengthy delay could lead the south to declare independence without waiting for referendum, a move which would breach the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the last civil war.

Some, like Daniel Deng, Episcopal Archbishop of Sudan, who will be at today's press conference at Lambeth Palace, believes this would then give the north the excuse it is looking for to invade the south.

"It was not in their thinking that one day the south would break away. But now it has become a reality the only way is to delay everything," he said.

"Then they have to find a way of bringing the country back to war in a technical way so that they are not blamed by the public in the north tomorrow."

It is a claim the north firmly denies.

Dr Williams, who is holding a press conference at Lambeth Palace to voice his concerns, believes that any return to conflict in Sudan could bring terrible suffering to civilians there.

He points to a recent warning from the Khartoum government that southerner refugees from the last conflict who are still living in the north, would be expelled if the south split away.

It is estimated that this could mean the mass expulsion of as many as four million people.

Dr Williams insists that Britain, which is a former colonial power in Sudan, should do all it can to prevent conflict when it takes control of the presidency of the UN Security Council next month.

They should do this, he says, not just for Sudan's sake but for that of surrounding Commonwealth countries too.

"We (Britain) have obvious regional interests," he said. "Commonwealth countries that border Sudan are going to be even more vulnerable if things go badly wrong in Sudan.

"If Sudan dissolves into chaos, which it may well do, then that is not going to be confined to the Sudanese borders it will spill over into Uganda, into Kenya.

"I think we have moral and practical reasons for being deeply concerned about this."
I asked the Archbishop how optimistic he is that a return to civil war can be avoided in Sudan. I had expected an upbeat response. That was not what I got.

"I couldn't honestly say that I'm optimistic at the moment because I don't yet see the forces lined up that will actually step in to try and prevent it.

"We've got a few months, so, I'd rather say I'm feeling urgent about it rather than optimistic." 

Read it all here.  Also the BBC has an audio recording of an interview between the BBC and Rowan Williams.

28 comments:

Ruth Gledhill said...

Well done on this excellent post and thank you for posting the Lambeth video. fyi you might like to see my latest video, of this actual press conference, which I have blogged online at The Times with a link to BabyBlue
http://bit.ly/cmSEoH (£)
But you can get the embed code for this as well and add to the blog if you like at YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLhHiZaK2-0

BabyBlue said...

Thank you so much, Ruth. I've added the press conference to the post - thank you so much!

bb

Anonymous said...

Why do these press conferences at Lambeth Palace always look like they are being held in somebody's garage? How about at least a cross on the wall, compass rose banner, or a symbol of the ABC's office? The table looks like an old school desk. Seriously. Presentation is part of the message. We aren't the Austerity Movement. This doesn't do honor to the ABC's guest, or to the significance of the Anglican Communion, which, after all, is what they are trying to invoke. I mean no disrespect to this particular event – quite the opposite.

Daniel Weir said...

Bp Deng preached at Trinity Church in New York City on Sunday and thanked the parish for its support of the Church in Sudan. It seems clear that the Church in Sudan needs the support of all of us as Sudan approaches the referendum in January.

BabyBlue said...

Yes, I think on that we can all agree.

bb

jschwarz42 said...

Indeed it is positive thing to see ABC Williams and a Global South Primate taking time off from the frivolity of bashing the US and Canadian churches, and getting together to actually address a desperately awful situation in the world, and to try to influence governments to pursue policies which would seriously fight injustice and oppression in the world. I (and most people in TEC, especially we on the progressive side) would enthusiastically agree it is indeed (as you BB say) way past "time to refocus on the call of the Church". But you lost me with it being time to "...listen to our brothers and sisters in the Global South" - if by that you mean the upper church leadership. Most of us desperately want to return to a focus on mission and cooperation in helping the poor and oppressed in the world - as one could see from any of the frequent statements on pressing worldwide social issues from TEC leadership. (The joint statement would have been even more powerful had they asked Bp. KJS to join them, thereby showing the world that the AC leadership can indeed set aside their theological squabbles to focus on something important). But the primary obstacle to us being able (as an international "Communion") to "focus" on our common call from our God of Love, Justice and the Poor is not TEC but the apparent obsession of the Global South Primates (including Abp. Deng) with issues of SEX, and with playing political games in denouncing the local pastoral responses of Western churches to their own members (including our ability to choose our own bishops in a process based on merit and free of prejudice and discrimination) - all of this, meanwhile, being a major distraction from responding pastorally to the very real needs of their own people who are starving and dying and suffering from every imaginable form of oppression. Those who have actually served in the Global South have testified that the ordinary people (unlike their leaders apparently) care much more about the injustice and oppression and poverty in their lives than (what they regard as) the foolishness of us Westerners in matters of sexuality (a point that Lauren Stanley made awhile ago at the Dio. of Va. Council, in a comment that got her kicked out of Sudan by this very same Abp. Deng, as I recall, in a blatantly political move that thereby abruptly ended the immense good that this one person was doing in his country for his people in furthering our common mission as a church).

BabyBlue said...

I recall that Lauren Stanley was recalled from the Sudan for the same reason she was later recalled from Haiti. Political activism disguised as humanitarian outreach has got to stop, would you not agree?

bb

jschwarz42 said...

Actually, respectfully, I would not agree. (1) Specifically, re Lauren Stanley, everything I have ever heard or read from people familiar with her mission has been (a) full of praise for her extraordinary dedication, missionary zeal and achievements, and (b) in agreement that her work was consistently focused on activities with the poor and homeless and deprived - activities that help people who are in need in concrete ways. I know of no fact-based indications that she was ever recalled for anything one could reasonably call "political activism"!

(2) More generally, on your broader question (and I am now NOT talking about Lauren): if we take seriously that our call from God is to help the poor, hungry, oppressed and downtrodden, I would think it should be clear that some kind of "advocacy" or "political activism" toward building a just society and subverting the systemic oppressive structures in so many (particularly third-world) countries that KEEP people hungry, oppressed and in despair SHOULD indeed be "in the mix" as an important part of our mission. Jesus' work in seeking to build up the "Realm of God" in the Jewish society of his day was, in part at least, a form of "political activism". Read Jesus' pronouncements about the rich and his mission, as well as the denunciations and calls for social justice by the Prophets. Liberation theology has helped us to understand Scripture as showing us that God's Justice involves a "preferential option for the poor"; and part of our "humanitarian outreach" in living the Gospel's call to help the poor needs to go beyond "mere charity" to involve tackling and confronting politically those structures in society that keep them poor. (Cf. e.g. the prophetic witness and martyrdom of Christians like Abp. Romero; Sister Dorothy Stang; etc)

John

Anonymous said...

John -

Amen! Wonderfully well stated.

BabyBlue said...

We should not be naive - and our brothers and sisters in the Global South are not.

bb

jschwarz42 said...

"Naive" in this context is obviously code for something - but I do not have the code-book, so will not speculate as to meaning...

My broader point in my original comment (for which the reference to what I do still regard as the very shabby treatment of Rev. Stanley by Abp. Deng was offered simply as an example) was this. The fact that "we" Anglicans (whether as individuals, congregations, dioceses or provinces) clearly differ amongst ourselves theologically (and even "doctrinally") on matters such as sexuality or how we interpret the Bible etc. SHOULD in no way stand in the way of us choosing to "walk together" in mutual loving and respectful cooperation in carrying out the mission of the church to which we are called - or in coming together to share eucharist and worship together (since we all worship and love the same God). We may disagree about who should go to bed together or who should be a bishop, but we all basically agree on what we should be DOING as a church: helping the poor and needy etc; speaking out for peace and justice and against oppression and calling for action (as Abps. Williams and Deng did in your story), and preaching the Gospel. Amos 3:3 does NOT say that people must "be agreed" (doctrinally) in order to walk together; it says that they simply need to agree to walk together in order to do so. The Anglican tradition (in the Elizabethan Church of England) was born out precisely this (then) radical notion that people of violently opposing theological positions (Protestants and Catholics) could still "be church together" and act and worship (ie, "walk") together as one. The only people who would not go along were (as today) the extremists on both sides who insisted on "doctrinal purity" as trumping everything else: i.e., the puritans and the Catholics loyal to the Pope. So why is it that we cannot today all "walk together" within (nationally) TEC or (internationally) the AC?

Regretfully, what I think any objective observer would see in recent history is churches and communities in the US, Canada and other Western cultures quite willing, and desperate, to "walk together" in mission with the Global South (and, locally, with traditionalist congregations); but an absolute refusal by the Global South churches (or at least their leaders) to cooperate with anyone or any church that has a different theological position from their own. Their Primates have refused to share eucharist with Americans; have unilaterally cut off longstanding mission relationships with TEC churches; have made it impossible to cooperate in mission; and have boycotted (or threatened to boycott) Lambeth and other conferences simply on the ground that bishops would be there with whom they disagree or who fail to satisfy their standards of doctrinal purity. Their (including Abp. Deng's, as reflected in the Lambeth video you included) attitude and tactics to date have been, frankly, childish, pig-headed, un-Christian, unworthy of members of Christ's Body, and more concerned with cheap power-plays and scoring political hits against the West (which admittedly has given them much cause for resentment in recent colonial and post-colonial history). But what has suffered has been the church's ability to do mission together - and it is fairly clear where the blame for this lies.

John

BabyBlue said...

"I think any objective observer would see in recent history is churches and communities in the US, Canada and other Western cultures quite willing, and desperate, to "walk together" in mission with the Global South ..." This is an example of a naive statement - at best, we'll call it naive. The Commonwealth of Virginia Supreme Court would not recognize that there was a division in The Episcopal Church if this was the case. The fact is - as we have heard the Primates of the Anglican Communion state over and over again - this is NOT the case, the Episcopal Church does not want to walk together. Sending "missionaries" who clearly have a political agenda and thinking that because people reside in the Global South they are naive (and then we here in the West either pretend we are in a passive/aggressive sort of way - or, to be more charitable, actually are naive) is egregious. IT should be enough if the Global South leadership says that the west is walking apart, the west should say you are correct. But our arrogance restricts us from such humility and it may take the next generation to extend a hand of fellowship. Whatever the case, we should neither either be or pretend to be naive.

bb

BabyBlue said...

Just in case, you can hear the Presiding Bishop's original statement regarding how the Episcopal Church would wear down the Global South leadership here:

http://babybluecafe.blogspot.com/2009/05/leading-anglican-communion-into.html

Scroll down and you will find the PB's original comments in 2007.

bb

jschwarz42 said...

I was grateful for the chance to again hear KJS's wonderfully intelligent, insightful - and eirenic - talk, which was clearly intended in large part to calm down those many of us in TEC who regarded that Primates' Communique as arrogant and morally offensive. I'm sorry, but there is nothing there that could reasonably be seen as evidencing some sort of sinister TEC master-strategy to "wear down" the Global South ["GS"]. What she said essentially was: We (TEC) perhaps do need to slow down for awhile to remain a part of the conversation within the AC; that, as the conversation continues, there are signs of movement worldwide towards the place that we have come to as a church, or at least tolerance for our position; so let us slow down a little (painful as that will be for many) in order to let things settle and allow listening and dialogue to move us forward. Is that really somehow gaming the GS and working for delay? How?

I see NO attempt ever by TEC to impose its theology or practices on the GS (or BTW on conservative Episcopalians at home - despite a great deal of apparent factually unfounded paranoid fear of this expressed in conservative statements!), beyond a mere expressed hope that GS leaders may come in time to moderate their positions. What I do see (by contrast) is the GS insisting on imposing its own theology (which, granted, may indeed currently still be the majority-held theology within AC as a whole) on TEC, and demanding that TEC compromise, within our own church, what are for many of us deeply held (and God-given) moral principles. And demanding this immediately, as an ultimatum, on pain of somehow being "punished". "Do what we say or we will have nothing to do with you." Who here is deciding to "walk apart"? There needs to be "humility" and "listening" on both sides. And having been on the wrong end of colonialist oppression in the past does not give the GS a "pass" on that fundamental prerequisite for true Christian communion. Both sides use "tactics" to help advance the vision they have. Perhaps they should not. But what you are saying is that conservatives (who you agree with) should be able to use any tactics without ever being called out. But anytime TEC moderates and progressives do anything, that is always somehow unfair or sinister.

Suppose I go to you my neighbor and say: "Let's go down the street and help Mrs. C clean out her garage - she needs help." And you say to me: "You are wearing a cross. I don't approve of wearing crosses and we do not wear crosses in this neighborhood." And I say: "What is it to you if I wear a cross? It is important to me to wear a cross. What's that got to do with us helping Mrs. C who needs our help?" And you say: "Well, you are arrogantly breaking the bonds of affection between us and I am not going anywhere with you until you take it off; and moreover you need to sign a covenant to abide by the accepted standards of this neighborhood otherwise we can never speak again". Who here is choosing to "walk apart". Contrary to what you say, the GS does not get to say unilaterally whether TEC really "is walking apart". That is a judgment that needs to be made rationally on the facts and evidence of the respective actions and words of the parties. And "walking together", in an authentically Anglican way, is defined in terms of fellowship and cooperation, not doctrinal uniformity.

John

BabyBlue said...

No, actually that is not what we are saying here. We are saying there that political street politics - and the "listening process" is one of those tactics - are a hindrance to reconciliation, as was discovered by the R-7 committee during the seven-year "listening process" in the Diocese of Virginia.

I do commend listening to KJS's talk to the 815 staff (link above) and take to heart the findings of the Windsor Report and the Primates Communique's from their meetings since 2003. The efforts of the last General Convention of the Episcopal Church spelled out quite clear the intention of TEC to walk apart and the findings of a non-religious organization such as the Commonwealth of Virginia's Supreme Court that there has indeed been a division in The Episcopal Church are sober reminders of the crisis at hand.

Some have found common ground in working together in ministry - as we find in Five Talents, for example. I commend that organization as a different way forward.

bb

jschwarz42 said...

"Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 76th General Convention reaffirm the continued participation of The Episcopal Church as a constituent member of the Anglican Communion; give thanks for the work of the bishops at the Lambeth Conference of 2008; reaffirm the abiding commitment of The Episcopal Church to the fellowship of churches that constitute the Anglican Communion and seek to live into the highest degree of communion possible; and be it further Resolved, That the 76th General Convention encourage dioceses, congregations, and members of The Episcopal Church to participate to the fullest extent possible in the many instruments, networks and relationships of the Anglican Communion; and be it further Resolved, That the 76th General Convention reaffirm its financial commitment to the Anglican Communion and pledge to participate fully in the Inter-Anglican Budget...."

So is this really how a Convention "spells out quite clearly" its "intention ... to walk apart"? TEC clearly wants to stay in the AC and act collaboratively (to the extent we are permitted ["highest degree of communion possible"]), but not at the expense of being forced to abandon important moral principles and imperatives. And can you really say that the (contemporarily well-reported) back-room machinations which led to the 2007 Primates' Communique were any nobler than "political street politics"? And how is a process of "listening" to differing points of view somehow a sinister "political tactic". I am not sure which of the many "listening processes" in the Diocese of Va. you're talking about, but most of the various "commissions" dedicated to "reconciliation" foundered mainly on an unwillingness of the sides to really listen to one another or to seriously look for ground for commonality and mutual respect - and, particularly, the refusal of conservatives to accept even the slightest concept of toleration for any position other than their own. I am aware of nothing that says any "listening process" has been a "hindrance" to reconciliation - except that this one obviously failed in Va.

"Reconciliation" means trying to find a way that we can understand and respect one another, while continuing to disagree. What conservatives here and the GS in the AC have consistently sought (actually, demanded) has not been "reconciliation", but for those who disagree with them to "humbly" admit that we are sinful "revisionists" and to "repent" of our errors! Now they want a "Covenant" which (a) greatly resembles in overall fairness and rationality Sheldon's "Roommates Agreement" in "Big Bang Theory" and (b) can serve no conceivable purpose for true "unity" other than to give the GS another stick with which to bash us poor decadent Westerners any time we do not "toe the line" - and to jeopardize the great Anglican tradition of being a non-confessional church capable of embracing doctrinal diversity.

And, to the extent the Va.S.Ct. recognized a de facto "division" in the Episcopal Church, that does not address which side was responsible for creating that division and for refusing to "walk together" as one. But it seems pretty clear: the ones who walked away. But obviously we disagree...

John

BabyBlue said...

Yes, I think we do - perhaps the point now is to say that division has occurred, it is not doing either TEC or the Anglican/Episcopal parishes (those inside and outside the Diocese of Virginia) any good and to return to the table and find a better way forward than the litigation strategy imposed by 815.

bb

Observer said...

reality is, very few Americans go to hear TEC's 'new thing'..... it can claim to be authentic Anglicanmism but it is very different to most Anglicanism in the world (and, of course, to historical Anglicanism, including in the US)..... ubuntu and all that, but few Americans care......

Now, the GS has millions of Anglicans in church on a Sunday, why should they deviate onto TEC's path when TEC has proved that even in the west, few people are persuaded? Probably best to stick to the 2000 year old teaching which fits with the church catholic today?

Now, someone can preach at Trinity Wall St.... but that does not mean they can be bought. The archbishop of Sudan was great at Lambeth 08....he went, he told it like it is...... he cannot be bought....people might need aid, but not aid with truth. Can I hear TEC's leadership ask, "What is truth?" That would be a thoroughly postmodern question, wouldn't it? Nothing new under the sun.....

Observer said...

mean to say..."not aid WITHOUT truth" !! sorry about the typo....and the idea, but I am afraid we are talking about in the AC what is true and false .....and not everyone is looking for a hegelian synthesis.....

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BabyBlue said...

Sorry, Anon, but Hagrid has tossed you out the door. One would hope a person might refrain from making such a comment sitting at the same table with those with whom one disagrees. We may not know your name, but Someone does.

bb

Anonymous said...

Given the topic of the post, I find it disconcerting that the comment thread would take off in the direction of TEC/GS dichotomies. Is there any reason at all that the leadership or membership of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Church of England, or any other Anglican group would see the situation in Sudan differently? I remain convinced that the core areas of belief and doctrine are largely congruent among all the Anglican factions, no matter how disputatious and quick to kvetch and carp we humans all can be. The Sudanese situation is quite dire, particularly for Christians in the south of that country. Where is there room for divide between us on that concern?

As an aside, my understanding of the decision to recall the Reverend Lauren Stanley from the Sudan was that it was related to comments she made at the diocesan general convention in Virginia, not because of any assessment that her ministry in Sudan had been anything other than selfless, courageous, effective, and compassionate.

Scout

Observer said...

Scout - maybe her comments at the convention showed that her service was not quite so selfless...i.e. the comments revealed something that had not been disclosed to the people in Sudan...... happens a lot, part of "inch at a time" strategies....but the Sudanese were not easily silenced.

jschwarz42 said...

I do find Observer's reasoning troubling. How exactly does expressing an opinion at Council in Va. (NOT in Sudan), albeit one that doubtless many Sudanese might disagree with, somehow make questionable the "selflessness" of a person's ministry in the Sudan? No one in this conversation, so far as I know, has any actual first hand knowledge of the day-to-day "content" of that ministry. Do you actually have any factual evidence that Lauren was (as implied) using her position IN SUDAN, to push ON THE SUDANESE radical Western theological ideas on sexuality (which was the only issue being discussed before Council in Va.)? Are you saying that ANYONE's mission and ministry is simply to be judged worthless, for no other reason than that they MAY hold (and/or express in a forum and context completely unrelated to their mission) theological views that have nothing to do with their mission? Surely it is the good that we DO that counts - and that God cares about. We know a tree by its fruit (ie., by the good things that a person does and that result from their words and actions).

This ties in with the broader point I was trying to make (both worldwide and in this country). Why do we care so much about doctrinal differences (particularly those related to the core of our common beliefs) that we allow them to split us apart and destroy relationships within the Body of Christ? We agree upon almost everything important about how we are called by God live our lives and what we need to do in mission. We have broad agreement on what is right and what is terribly wrong - and not just on dreadful "crisis" situations like Sudan, but on most things. So why do we claim we cannot be together in one church and one communion? Worshiping together and respecting one another and "being church together" in one "Body", accepting our differences as well as our agreements on the "small stuff"? Why does one of us have to change - or "be wrong" for us to continue in one church communion? Surely God's Love and Truth are big enough to embrace all of us in our limited differing human perspectives on God.

John

Anonymous said...

Observer: I think not. Her words at the Convention created some issues that had to be addressed. But they in no way indicated that her service in the Sudan was anything other than as I described it in my post script.

Scout

Observer said...

Well...if you are going to work in Sudan, is it much to ask that you are open with the people there about what you believe, especially if you know they disagree?

Not being open with them on known issues of disagreement is "troubling"..... it was to them and I can see why - perfectly reasonable for them to expect people coming to them to be open....and to expect people to report back about them in a way which they accept / would recognise.

Anonymous said...

Observer" I don't sense that you disagree with me that her service there was compassionate, courageous, and selfless and effective. Her comment at the GC reflected her own view, formed from first-hand experience, that, of the problems the Christians in Sudan face (e.g.,murder, starvation, being burned out of villages, religious persecution and discrimination), the question of whether a same sex relationship could be blessed was fairly far down the list. It was a problematic statement that put her Bishops in a difficult position. I grant that. But I suspect that her flock, given the dire conditions under which they live, might not have disagreed with her. In any event, I have heard nothing but praise for her work on the ground in that troubled, dangerous, wretched place.

Scout

jschwarz42 said...

"...perfectly reasonable for them to expect people coming to them to be open..." Observer, I do not know what you mean by "open". The issue (at Council) was the blessedness of same-gender unions - NOT a big issue in the Sudan, I would think (and certainly not one reasonably related to the church's "mission" there). (Which I think was actually Lauren's point at Council!). Now I have only ever conversed with Lauren a couple of times briefly, and know nothing specific about her views (though I strongly suspect, based on public statements, that she would shares my own on these issues). But, assuming arguendo we do know her views, why, I ask myself, would anyone in the Sudan reasonably care - or even have any business worrying about her views on such a matter - in connection with (what should, I would have thought, have been) gratefully accepting her missionary service in a difficult and tragic situation such as exists on the ground in Sudan? Did anyone ask her for her opinion and she lied? Why would one need to be gratuitously "open" (i.e., volunteering one's views unasked on an irrelevant matter) on such an issue? ("I'm here to help you find food and shelter; but first I want you know exactly what I think about sexual ethics in the US")!! And why would it matter if she "knew they disagree" on those irrelevant issues. For all I know, she may have views on the humane treatment of animals, or on Pres. Obama, that she might hypothetically find they "disagree" on. Does she have to "share" every single opinion she holds to be "worthy" of serving?

I am sorry to harp on this; but it does go to a broader critical issue in the divide we find ourselves in: this insistence on theological uniformity as a necessary condition for communion (and even cooperation). Why do so many of us (actually, mostly, some conservatives) seem to believe that a lack of ideological purity, even on issues totally unrelated to ministry, somehow either (i) discredit the value of that ministry or (ii) (as you seem to say) need to be "fully disclosed' (like an SEC filing) as a prerequisite for entering ministry in a country?

And this is only one of many similar questions I find "blowing in the wind" in our present "situation". Why did the now "departed congregations" in Va. so repeatedly insult Bp. Lee, and find it impossible to remain in this Diocese, when it appears the only thing he ever did that they objected to was cast one vote at GC to agree to a gay bishop who had been duly elected 400 miles away in NH? And why so, when it appears that (except for the endgame) Bp. Lee pretty consistently gave them whatever concessions they wanted, and that there was no other action they disapproved of and no concrete policy that the Diocese pursued that in any way interfered with or compromised their ability, theologically or ecclesiastically, to worship and serve God, in this Diocese, according to their own convictions and understanding of the truth within their own faith communities? Why do primates in the Global South consider it a "crisis" in communion if a sister national church half-way round the world, in a completely different social context, pursues pastoral responses that they "disagree" with, or elect a bishop they disapprove of - when there is never the slightest suggestion of any intent by that church to impose (or even promote) its own insights and beliefs in the Global South (except maybe to occasionally respectfully suggest that is not appropriate for African states to kill people merely for their sexual activity - even if they are gay!)?

John