September and Stacked Decks. (updated)

Here are the events of the month connected in one way or another to the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion:

September 19-21: Meeting of bishops who can sign on to certain criteria as “Windsor Bishops” in Texas at the invitation of Bishop Wimberly. The Living Church carried an article indicating that “two dozen bishops” had signed on to attend, with more promised. Coming too are Bishops N.T. Wright of Durham and Michael Scott-Joynt of Winchester. Bishop Wright is a wonderful writer and a highly opinionated supporter of the Windsor Report’s recommendations as command.

September “mid-September” (Reported as September 11-13 by a respondent to a Stand Firm notice and confirmed by Ruth Glidhill: Meeting of a small group of bishops including Presiding Bishop and Presiding Bishop elect, several member bishops of the Network, convened by Bishops Lee and Lipscomb at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury, with the Secretary General of the ACC as facilitator.

There is an intriguing comment by Ruth Gledhill concerning work being done at Lambeth Palace in preparation for this meeting. She noted that while the Archbishop was meeting with the Chief Rabbi : “An important meeting of the US Episcopal Church is coming up in New York next Monday, to be followed soon after by a meeting of the Global South. … One of the papers they will be considering has been drawn up by four members of the Primates' standing committee, including Archbishop Bernard Malango. And the meeting at which this paper was being written was taking place at Lambeth Palace at exactly the same time as the two Chief Rabbis of Israel were signing their historic declaration with Dr Williams.”

Now Archbishop Malango is part of the small working party that the Archbishop has in hand made up of members of the Primates Standing Committee. One might suppose that this group was indeed that small working party. So the big guns are preparing a paper to be delivered to the meeting. It would appear that the meeting of the small group in New York next week is NOT simply so that they can talk together, but so that they can receive wisdom from on high. So much for encouraging the bishops to work it out themselves!

(Update: 9.6.2006 10 PM.) The Living Church just published an article on the possible role of the Archbishop of York as representative of the Cof E in future meetings of the Primates. In that article George Conger remarked, "The Primates' Standing Committee last met Sept. 5 at Lambeth Palace. While details of the meeting have not been released, it is believed archbishops Malango and Morgan met with Archbishop Williams and his advisors to finalize proposals to be considered by bishops attending a meeting in New York later this month to be moderated by the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, ACC secretary general." This offers additional confirmation of my sense that the meeting in New York is assumed by Canterbury to be about proposals that his working party or Primates Standing Committee put in place. This is a far cry from the sense of the Anglican News Service announcement or the Presiding Bishops comments on the meeting.

September 18-22, The Global South Primates meeting in Kilgali, Rwanda. I have posted a note “Anglican Rwanda flexes its Muscles” suggesting that things are stirring there.

  • The meeting in Texas is of what we might call “Windsor compliant” bishops.
  • The meeting in New York is meant to be a roughly equal number of mainline US bishops part of the Episcopal Church and its governance, including the PB and PB Elect, and members of disassociating bishops from the Network and friends.
  • The meeting of the Global South Primates will in all likelihood continue the practice of the last Global South meeting and exclude the Primates who are not considered “orthodox” enough.
  • There will be, at least at the first two meetings, input from sources assumed to be close to Lambeth Palace. (Bishops Wright and Scott-Joynt) and the Secretary General conveying papers from a Primates working group. The third meeting will be filled with purple shirts most of whom have condemned the Episcopal Church.

Sounds like a month of stacked decks.


  1. I have a feeling a "Lambeth Invite: Required Loyalty Oath (i.e., Windsor Compliance)" is a-comin'.

    Ignore the distractions, TEC, and press on towards the Kingdom! :-D

    (And, as I always say: make those Lambeth travel plans, regardless!)

  2. What's with the Silence of teh Episcopal Left? It amazes me that TEC's left wing is represented exactly nowhere in any of these meetings. They have been successfully--and impressively--marginalized.

    PB Griswold and our PB-elect do not speak for TEC's left wing; they belong more in the middle or center-left.

    This makes me wonder: what are the ABC and the Anglican right afraid of? Would giving TEC's left wing representation be dangerous? I think the ABC et al believe so.

    For so many in the Global North--and many in the GS--would agree with what TEC's left wing has to say. If it found a voice, the rest of the Anglican Communion might well be humiliated by appearing to be outdone in the pursuit of justice by those outside the church.

  3. Giving the left a voice would yield an OZ moment--the curtain would be pulled back on the ecclesial pretensions of Canterbury et al, and we would see the mundane, profane reality of a reactionary cabal driven by fear and hate.

  4. The PB-elect does not speak for the left wing? Wow, that really says something about how far left the left must be, if the PB-elect is viewed by you as being in the middle.

    To many of us that truly are in the middle, she isn't in our midst. It must be hard for you to get your mind around that concept.

  5. The PB-Elect must not be too far to the left, considering how unanimously the extreme fundamentalist rightists supported her.

    Or maybe that had some other reason for that.

  6. "The PB-elect does not speak for the left wing? Wow, that really says something about how far left the left must be, if the PB-elect is viewed by you as being in the middle."

    If, and that is unlikely, the PB elect ever had a chance of being the spokesperson for the left of TEC, she forfitted it when she shoved D033 up our throats. I fear the problem now is very simple, we do not trust her. She, like the PB is quite willing to sacrifice us to get the ticket to the elete party in '08. I hope she enjoys it.

    She will find that once burned being twice learned, her support among the left is now very conditional. Given she has gained nothing on the right (she is still a woman) all that I can see is loss.


  7. To many of us that truly are in the middle, she isn't in our midst. It must be hard for you to get your mind around that concept.

    Nice rhetorical flourish, Anon (Rather like, "People who think they know everything are Extremely Annoying to those of us who actually do!" ;-p)

    Re Mark's latter thread: while taking that "moratorium from blogging", should we progressives perhaps encircle the Church Pension Fund Office (in embodied prayer)? How could +Lipscomb object to that?


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