Apology and Time to Rise

Earlier I sent a somewhat strongly worded comment to this list concerning the persons named by the Presiding Bishop as having been been involved in "behind the scenes" roles at the Primates meeting. I have copied that comment on my blog. Since then comments by two of those listed have led me to consider more carefully my initial comments.

Canon Kendall Harmon indicated to me that the list as presented in the Living Church might not have quoted the PB correctly, or if correct then the PB was in error. Either way, my use of that list was furthering of "unfounded accusations.". He said on my blog, PRELUDIUM, that there was some confusion as to whether his name was actually referenced at the HoB meeting in Texas, and further, "I arrived in Ireland Thursday in the early evening, and had no involvement at all in the Primates meeting. It is sad to me that there is so much false information going around, but there we are. I hope we could at least check things first without make unfounded accusations."

I had no way to check the facts of the Living Church article and assumed its accuracy in what I wrote. Canon Harmon says he had no involvement in the Primates meeting. I take him at his word and on the basis of that I apologize to him and to all of you.

I assume also by his comments that Canon Harmon did not have any involvement in any "off campus" gathering of primates and others on Thursday evening.

There are several reports that Bishop Duncan, Canon Atwood, Canon Minns, and Canon Anderson were there indeed there earlier in the week and were conferring with various Primates.

Ms. Diane Knippers says that she too arrived on Thursday. The IRD website states "IRD President Diane Knippers writes from Northern Ireland where she attended the closing press conference for the meeting of Anglican primates and also consulted with orthodox primates, as well as reform leaders from the U.S. and England."

In an article helpfully listed on Titusonenine she states the matter slightly differently,

"I'm more than happy to explain why I was in Northern Ireland. My husband and I had been in London earlier that week to attend a major art exhibit. Recognizing the historic Primates' meeting nearby, we decided to head to Northern Ireland for a day or two. We arrived on Thursday. My primary purpose was to consult with other orthodox leaders from the U.S. and the United Kingdom, to try to understand what the Primates were doing, to discuss how to explain their actions to our friends back home, and to strategize on our own next steps. As always, the most difficult task was to figure out how to offer hope to Episcopalians who believe that the Primates are acting too slowly. I attended the Friday afternoon closing press conference, enjoyed sharing information and observations with reporter friends, and wrote up a brief summary of my reflections for my IRD website, before returning to London on Saturday.

The highlight of our time was Friday night. Following the formal meetings, a number of the Primates came to our hotel to meet with the six of us whom Griswold identified, other workers, spouses, and a prayer team."

In her article she also wrote movingly of prayers for healing for her. May her faith keep her whole, and may we all pray for her and all those who are ill.

Assuming her arrival on Thursday was not in time for the off campus, behind-the-scenes, meeting, my apology would go out to her as well.

She does confirm that "the six" were indeed together with a number of the Primates on Friday night. Assuming that Ms. Knippers had more than a passing interest in matters at the Primates meeting and that Canon Harmon did not just drop in, it would seem it was the post Primate's meeting strategy session that was perhaps the point of these two joining the other four.

All of this is of course of only minimal interest, except for the strong sense that four of the six were there early on, and all gathered at the end, and the play is on.

The plot of the play is once again affirmed in the IRD article, where Ms. Knippers spells out her sense of the matter and relays something of the now well known agenda of realignment folk:

"Others have a vision for a new unified orthodox Anglican witness in North America, one that could re-unite mainstream Anglicans outside ECUSA with the remaining orthodox within. Building visible unity among these orthodox elements is a necessary pre-condition for eventual recognition by the Anglican Communion, when ECUSA will no longer claim the exclusive Anglican franchise for the United States.

Building this new church -- strong, healthy, unified, mission-minded, and growing -- and building it, for now, both within and without the dying structures of the Episcopal Church is our most urgent task."

Unlike some others who whisper the polite words for a more polite world, Ms. Knippers puts it on the line:

"The leaders of the Global South are learning to work together and, as a block, are effectively proving their new political muscle. Their ability to capture the agenda of this meeting is a primary example of a new day. The refusal of many to share communion with the primates of the United States and Canada illustrates the depth of the division and their resolve."

Well, so much for the Primate's meeting. Before, during and after, the realignment folk in the Episcopal Church, were hard at work to replace the Episcopal Church as the "exclusive Anglican franchise for the United States." Some players came early, all stayed late. Muscles were flexed, agendas were captured, new days are proclaimed.

Several commentators have suggested that "of course" that is the agenda of the realignment crowd. Well why in the world should the rest of us put up with this? If political muscle is the basis on which the ordering of affairs is to be done, then let us also get to exercising those muscles (with all due restraint and charity).

Time to Rise.


  1. The art exhibit to which Knippers refers was no doubt this one:
    Anti-gay millionaire bankrolls Caravaggio spectacular


    Ahmanson sponsored an enormous Caravaggio exhibit in London. He also sponsors the IRD and the AAC.

    Maybe we need to know if he went to the planning meeting in Newry also?

  2. Thanks for this Mark.

    You might be interested in some of the background of Mrs. Knippers;

    Who Should Resign?

    It is indeed time to rise.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.