3/16/2006

Retirement doesn't suit the Archbishop


Retired Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, seems to need to keep his hand in. I don’t blame him. So do I.

On the other hand I am not the former Archbishop of Canterbury so mostly no one would take it seriously if I were to sent a note to all the bishops of the Episcopal Church asking them to fill out a questionnaire for a group not anywhere identified, other than in its own letter, having to do with the votes taken at the last General Convention and their current sense of whether they would vote the same. I didn't but the Archbishop did. See THINKING ANGLICANS for the document in question.

He did, and what he did is taken seriously enough for the Presiding Bishop to have issued a statement critical of Lord Carey’s action.

It would appear that the former Archbishop, who I suppose must maintain a relatively low profile vis a vis criticism of the current Archbishop of Canterbury or risk not being invited to the right dinners, has not been clued in to the possibility that he should stop mucking around in the affairs of the Episcopal Church, other Churches and the life of the Communion. Former Archbishops, particularly of Canterbury, carry a certain responsibility to speak in retirement when spoken to, and not too much otherwise.

On the other hand, being impolite and inappropriate is not a vice of great importance, seemingly, and heaven knows that we are all given to the occasional outbreak of exuberance and support of odd causes. The difference is, when you or I knock off the occasional letter it is mostly of no consequence. When he writes an introduction and invitation to bishops in the Episcopal Church on behalf of an organization it is of consequence, sometimes not so very good.

Friends should point out to the retired Archbishop that he now must bear in a timely fashion one of the last crosses of the mighty, namely to really retire, as in step back.

Quite independent of the Archbishop's inappropriate action, there is the wider question of the nature of this organization and whose purposes they serve. The one thing we can know for certain is that it will all come out in the wash.

4 comments:

  1. Ya got me good with that headline, Father Mark! "Retirement doesn't suit the Archbishop"? I thought you had finally discovered the true reason for ++Rowan's obscene silence over the whole Akinola/Nigeria situation -- i.e., that he has retired and didn't let us know. ;-)

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  2. "He must increase, and I must decrease": might be nice if the Rt.Hon. Lord Carey learned this Truth? ;-/

    [And, as Lisa points out, it might also be nice if +Rowan Cantuar "increased" into his proper role (as conscience of the Communion)?]

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  3. Archbishop of Canterbury, Concience of the Communion.

    Hmmm, sounds like a title and role guaranteed to make almost everyone hopping mad very quickly.

    Jon

    ReplyDelete
  4. ???

    Jon, I meant it as ideal for the ABC (whomever s/he be), not as a formal title (in the same way that the Bishop of Rome, ideally, ought to be "the servant of the servants of God")

    Why would the Communion need *any* "first among equals", if "first" doesn't mean "conscience of"?

    ReplyDelete

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