3/04/2005

Insult and bad manners by the Primates

George Conger's wrote a facinating two part article on the Primates Meeting for The Church of England Newspaper. It can be accessed HERE

I note the following remarks from that article:

Conservative American and British activists, and the press corps, quickly
found that Dromantine’s security guards were not a formidable obstacle to gaining
access to the Primates, and would kindly fetch ACC staffers or pass notes to
Primates if asked.

Car traffic into Dromantine, however was busy throughout the week as
conservative activists would take primates off-campus from the centre to dine and
strategise.

As problems unfolded over the leak, Bishop Griswold became perturbed after
witnessing the departure of a number of global south primates with their
American supporters to dine off-campus.

It is clear from the Conger report that the "Conservative American and British activists" worked with the clear intention of influencing the Primates' discussions. What is surprising is the brazen way in which there seems to have been not even a minimal effort to hide the fact that the efforts of the "global south" primates were managed or advised by a sizable body of "activists" not of their number. If Conger is right in his reporting there is little question that the management of the confrontation was in the hands of these so called activists.

From this report it would appear that the lack of any mutual interdependence and responsibility among the primates, a lack of community trust, and a break in communion, was confirmed in all respects: there was no common Eucharist, often there seem not to have been common meals, and certainly there was a breach of any sense of community restraint.

While it might be argued that the issues before the Primates were of such importance that all good manners were of no value, still several of the reported behaviors were insulting to the Archbishop of Canterbury as host and insulting to our Primate.

More than those insults, however, I am surprised and confounded by the unwillingness of certain Primates to share in the Eucharistic meal with our Primate. It is a declaration that they have already judged him to be the embodiment of the evils they perceive the Episcopal Church to have worked in the world. In that judgment, these Primates bring judgment on themselves. To turn the Eucharist into an occasion to publicized their purity and Bishop Griswold's impurity is outrageous. The managers and advisers did these good men no good service here.

We come to the Lord's table, not our own, and it is the Lord Jesus Christ who gathers us in and is the door, the door keeper, and the Judge of the matter. For this reason I believe it would have been important for the ABC to have celebrated the Eucharist daily, inviting all who would come to come. Then those who would not come would have to explain why it is that they refused not only the ABC's invitation, but the Lord's.

1 comment:

  1. A follow-up. The Living Church reports that at the House of Bishops meeting in Texas the Presiding Bishop named those who were involved in behind-the-scenes action by the realignment crowd. See http://www.livingchurch.org/publishertlc/viewarticle.asp?ID=883

    Named were Bishop Robert Duncan, Canon Bill Atwood, Canon Minns, Canon David ANderson, Canon Harmon and Ms. Diane Knippers.

    ReplyDelete

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