Further Remarks on the Gathering Swarm

Yesterday I posted on my blog an article titled, “The Gathering Swarm: The effort to capture the queen, or move the hive to warmer climes.” Last night I read an informative article on the Living Church online, http://www.livingchurch.org/publishertlc/viewarticle.asp?ID=1139 titled, “Nassau Meeting Concludes,” that essentially confirmed my sense that the effort is now underway to draw together a group from the Americas and from Africa in order to develop an alternative Communion.

Additionally, several persons on this list have drawn our attention to an upcoming conference in Pittsburgh, called “Hope and a Future” http://www.anglicanhope.org/index.php?section=1 This conference is sponsored by many of the organizations who were present at the Nassau conference. The conference web page carries this byline from the Moderator of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, “"Mobilizing and empowering everyone - especially the laity - is essential to the rebirth of a Biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America. This is the vocation of the Anglican Communion Network and this is what the "Hope and a Future Conference is all about. As we move toward the challenges of 2006, I believe this conference will also be a key witness to the strength of our movement." This conference looks very much like an effort to solidify the North American effort so that with the "Global South" representation of the Province of the West Indies and the Southern Cone a legitimate anchor for the sort of plan alluded to in the Living Church article and the papers earlier "discovered" might be built. It is significant that the Moderator is a prime mover in this.

The Living Church for July 24, 2005, also carries an article “Kenyans Request Removal of Episcopalians from Lambeth 2008, which confirms my belief that part of the plan by those advocating realignment for the overall “resolution” of the disagreements in the Anglican Communion includes pushing the Archbishop of Canterbury to invite only ECUSA bishops who will conform to Lambeth Resolution 1.10 which is increasingly being called, “the Church’s normative teaching on Human Sexuality.” This article refers to Lambeth 1.10 as the normative teaching, and notes that it is the fourth of the four instruments of unity to do so. (My belief is that Lambeth 1.10 is no such thing. See http://anglicanfuture.blogspot.com/2005/07/lambeth-resolution-110-1998-is-no.html )

The hope has been expressed by the planners of the 2008 Lambeth Conference that no one issue will monopolize the Conference. I don’t see how that will be possible at this juncture, since it appears increasingly the case that either a sizable number of ECUSA bishops will not be invited or a sizable number of bishops from other Provinces will withdraw. The issue that will monopolize the Conference will be that of its charter – will it remain an invitational gathering with no authority to make normative decisions (its current status) or will it become a chartered gathering with some legislative authority (under a covenant)? The only way not to have the next Lambeth Conference by overwhelmed by the realignment agenda would be for the Archbishop of Canterbury to exercise absolute authority as the host to invite who he wills and to set the agenda in such a way that it is clearly and decisively a conference of equals gathered for mutual sharing of concerns and NOT an occasion for power plays. Those who don't like the guest list could simply stay away. Those not invited could get over it and be thankful they did not have the expense of travel to England.

He might also simply determine that the Lambeth Conference will not now serve as an instrument of unity, and decide not to have the conference at all. After all, if the guests are in a sint, why host a dinner after all?

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