2/12/2007

This isn’t the alternative headquarters. It is THE headquarters.


Jonathan Petrie, writing for the Observer
, made this comment today in an article titled, "Ring of steel around the archbishops."

"The burgeoning bunker mentality (of the Primates Meeting) can, perhaps, be explained by the palpable anxiety of the organizers that the meeting could be derailed before it has even started by the powerful conservative group of Global South primates, who are determined to seize control of events.

They have set up their own headquarters a hundred yards up the road in the Beachcomber hotel, where they are holding strategy meetings before moving en masse to the White Sands for the official five-day meeting beginning on Thursday, where a bloody showdown is looming.

When I mentioned to one of the conservative primates that there was consternation among Anglican Communion staff about what is effectively an alternative headquarters, he replied: "This isn't the alternative headquarters. It is THE headquarters." With that sort of attitude to contend with, Dr Williams will have his work cut out."

(Here is THE Headquarters... nice digs, eh?)


The Archbishop of Canterbury is coming in on Tuesday afternoon. Folks in THE headquarters are meeting already. What a mess.

Ruth Gledhill, writing about this in her Timesonline article, "The Anglican Communion's 'Via Dolorosa' had this to say:

" I have a little son of five called Arthur. He's just started school. …Sometimes he comes home upset because one particular boy or girl won't sit at the same table as him. Or won't let him play football. I dry his tears and tell him that this is how little children behave and it will all be better when he's grown-up.

But will it?...

Sometimes I just wish the Anglican hierarchy could step back and consider for a minute how all this looks to the outside world.

…it looks no better than the politics of the playground. … Yet these are not children but Anglican bishops and archbishops we are talking about."

In a piece written today (Monday February 12) she writes, "As the local paper in Dar es Salaam reports, the media is not being given any official access to the main meeting. But you can bet there will be access to the conservatives next door. At Lambeth 1998, there was access but it was tightly controlled. There also, the conservatives set up their own operation, in the Franciscan Centre just off the Kent University campus. So guess where we got all our stories from, and guess who won the media battle, and partly as a result of this, the war over sexuality? You'ld have thought they would have learned, but no. It is happening all over again. And you can be pretty certain, that once again, the conservatives will win both the media battle and the bigger war, and it will be partly because of this. I once believed the Anglican Communion would survive this crisis, but now am not so sure."

So on Monday things look a bit bleak. THE Headquarters seems next door and they are getting all the press. The politics of the playground is unseemly and infantile.

Now Stephen Bates, whose writings I respect very much, has chimed in with this, on Blathering Bishops.

"They (the bishops of Winchester, Rochester and Durham, et.al.) should know by now that there is nothing that gets Americans' backs up more than being told what to do in lofty tones by a Brit: it brings out all the spikiest memories of the Boston Tea Party, King George III and British dentistry and is therefore entirely counter-productive. Even in Christian circles…

The notion that the US Church - one of the longest established in America, an offshoot of the Church of England and the church of most presidents since George Washington - is not Christian is so bizarrely overblown as to be risible. They may not share the Bishop of Winchester's cramped, disapproving and drably censorious, dessicated Anglicanism, but they certainly have a clearly motivated Christian belief system, based on faith, hope and charity, the old nostrums that Scott-Joynt may once, dimly, have read about in college. He may not like their Christianity, but he can't say they don't believe in Christ."

The whole thing is indeed like getting teeth pulled…

Why we should subject ourselves to this sort of thing is beyond me. We have a wonderful Presiding Bishop and work to do. The stew being brewed up in Tanzania is unworthy of her and a distraction from the doing.





17 comments:

  1. Will you still feel this way if ECUSA comes home - somehow - with a win? Or, will we read quick backtracking and effusive praise for the glorious Anglican Communion?

    What's more, why was it not playground behavior when ECUSA was asked to, in effect, stop kicking sand in the other kids' faces and throwing their coloring books in the air - and refused?

    It all depends on your perspective, Rev. Harris.

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  2. That's right Mark ... it's unworthy of us. Let's just take our marbles and go home because some third-world man of volor is telling us something that we oh-so-enlightened middle-class Americans don't want to hear!

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  3. phil asked, "will you still feel this way..." Who knows? My guess is no effusive praise, because any "win" will come at great cost. Regarding the matter of perspective, you are at least half right...it does depend on perspective. But at the same time the particular behavior I am talking about here involves an effort to take over the playground, and declare some of us no longer part of the Christian community.

    Anonymous...I don't know if you are the last anonymous, but unless you give some identity I'm going to have to cut your remarks short. BTW, I have been on the receiving end of being told things I did not want to hear quite often. I don't like it, but I listen - and occasionally learn something.

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  4. "Us," anonymous? I'd bet it's something you very much want to hear, so you're disqualified from making such a statement.

    I also find the implication of your statement hilarious. By making a point of talking about "some third-world man of [c]olor," you're obviously attempting to make a comparison between "overdog" and "underdog."

    So how come it never occurs to you to make the same comparison between "overdog" Peter Akinola and the "underdog" gay and lesbian people he persecutes?

    Oh, that's right. You're not really making this argument at all, and of course there's no "trial" or "hardship" in it for you, since you agree with Peter Akinola et al.

    The layers of hypocrisy are simply astonishing these days....

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  5. "Anonymous...I don't know if you are the last anonymous, but unless you give some identity I'm going to have to cut your remarks short."

    If you're responding to my comment (copied below), I've never posted to your blog before and am not the other Anonymous. My comment wasn't sarcastic or inflammatory and I don't see why it was censored:

    -----

    "The notion that the US Church ... the church of most presidents since George Washington - is not Christian is so bizarrely overblown as to be risible."

    What does TEC's historically privileged position among the nation's power elite have to do with Christianity?

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  6. OK,OK...I hate this business of moderating... the deal is I need people to sign on with at least something that makes it possible to tell the difference between those who post comments. So...at some point I just deleted your comment in passing. You are back on, but please use a name, any name.

    As to your comment. Bates' comment was sardonic if not sarcastic. Of course TEC's supposed privileged position has nothing to to with Christianity.

    Still, to suggest that TEC is not Christian is so "bizarrely overblown as to be risible." I think Bates is right.

    Again, sorry not to have posted your comment on first try. It still holds, no name and after a while no posting.

    I wish Blogger allowed for the automatic exclusion of anonymous postings, that way I could at least be consistant. O well.

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  7. Bob In Wash PA12/2/07 10:20 PM

    I smell the IRD hand in much of this ugliness. Someone is footing a bill. The diocese of Pittsburgh has just announced it will be moving funds around to pay for high powered lawyers from Philly to fight the Calvary lawsuit. Seems someone beside the good flock of Pittsburgh is going to pay for that (we only have to pay a portion. My pledge is going to defend a man who is trying to steal my church, go figure). Deep pockets seem to be quite generous. I wonder who's they could be????

    As for the wonderful Archbishop Malango, I seem to remember his supporting a slightly deranged and criminal bishop from Zimbabwe.

    Here I found little about the upstanding crowd from the Global south.

    "Archbishop Bernard Malango is one of the louder voices in the chorus calling for the Epsicopal Church to be expelled from the Anglican Communion. The Church Times in England has a good story today about Malango's continued attempts to shield Bishop Nolbert Kuonga, ally of Robert Mugabee, and supporter of his brutality, from facing a church trial. An earlier story gives background for people who are new to the issue.

    But the gist, as put forward by Stephen Bates in a recent column for the Church of England Newspaper, that is linked to earlier on the blog is as follows:

    "The list of 38 charges against the good bishop, who is a crony of Robert Mugabe, brought against him by his own black parishioners, include little matters such as incitement to murder, intimidation, ignoring church law, mishandling funds and proselytising for Zanu PF from the pulpit. He has also occupied a farm and evicted 40 families from a local village. A couple of months ago he even licensed the acting vice-president of Zimbabwe Joseph Msika, a man on record as saying that whites are not human beings, to act as a deacon of the church."

    Ps. I'm Bob in Wash Pa.

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  8. Mark, I'm pretty sure you can block out any anonymous comments (check under the moderate comments part of your dashboard). I leave mine open for my unregistered friends, but I can see it'd help if yours was closed. Grace and peace.

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  9. Thank you Fr. Harris...

    Anyone/anywhere that has read the unstable words of Bishop Akinola regarding the character of "Hooligan Children of LGBT Human beings" knows we ARE, in fact, talking about childish stupidity and name calling.

    Shouldn't Akinola and Orombi be dealing with their grown-up problems in their "home countries" and the deadly exploitation, corruption, tribal discrimination that exists instead of attempting to export thieving and deceiving Nigerian/Ugandan style?

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  10. I am just amazed at the hypocrisy of those who complain about the Global South Primates meeting beforehand to plan their agenda, when the Sec Gen of the ACC, along with his cohorts and supporters in the rich western liberal provinces, has been trying to control the agenda all along, to the detriment of Biblical truth. The Primates are only doing what is necessary to preserve Biblical truth and practice in the Anglican Communion, and to try to bring us back on track - surely that is the role of our Christian leaders, which the "enlightened" leaders of ECUSA have failed to do over the last few decades. So it's a case of: now look who's complaining! - it is so ironic really.

    ps - and why the snide remark connected with the photo of the "real headquarters" - "nice digs eh?" I mean - where would you have them meet? in some tribal straw hut or something?. Do we not get to see a photo of the conference centre where all the Primates are gathering?
    Brian F

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  11. Catholic Brethren13/2/07 6:38 AM

    Mark - I am on the other side from you on the issues at hand, but you need not apologize for blocking anonymous comments. You made that clear and it's a darn good rule. One need only read the blogs where there are multiple anonymous comments to see the chaos it creates. Stick to your ground dude.

    Dear Anonymous (all of you): It's simple- follow the rules.

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  12. Catholic Brethren13/2/07 6:41 AM

    For those who don't seem to be able to figure out how to post without:
    1) Being Anonymous

    or

    2) Signing up for a Blogger Account

    I give the following quick course:

    Check the box called "Other". Type in any sort of moniker other than Anonymous. Note mine as an example.

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  13. In all humility, this is a time for discernment of spirits, a time for trusting in God--the actions of these people thwarts any possible outcome but the one they desire, schism and chaos.

    My prayers continue . . .

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  14. The recent comments by the Presiding Bishop only increases the problems and indeed does suggets the American Church and its leader are no longer following the Christ revealed to us in Scripture. She says:

    “Christianity in its breadth says that God became human in Jesus, that God revealed God’s full self in Jesus,” Jefferts Schori said in an interview with the News Sentinel. “It does not overtly say that God has never been present anywhere else, and I think that’s what irritates people.

    “There is a desire to say ‘Well, I have the fullness of the truth, and there can’t possibly be any truth anywhere else.’ And if that’s our understanding of God, it’s too small.”

    However she MEANT it to sound, it READS like she really does not understand Christian Theology that well - which is a little worrying for a Presiding Bishop.

    Andy John

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  15. bob in wash, pa: You know as well as I do who our "local" funder of schism is.

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  16. I am praying that all involved act like Christians. True Christians, who have the concerns of Christ foremost in their minds.

    There is a likely a power coup going on. So be it.

    When God "allowed" Joseph to be cast off by his brothers, and allowed him to become a slave to Egypt, something favorable happened. Ultimately, the Hebrews were able to survive the famine, and to eventually escape from Egypt. If Joseph had not gained favorable status with the Egyptians, who knows what would have happened to his family, and his tribe.

    I don't pretend to understand how God works, but, I try to remind myself to have faith in how he works. If there is to be a separation, and it is in God's plan, perhaps something good will come of it.

    Only time will tell.

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  17. christopher+13/2/07 6:38 PM

    Andy John said,

    "However she MEANT it to sound, it READS like she really does not understand Christian Theology that well - which is a little worrying for a Presiding Bishop."


    Andy John,

    You need not worry in the least about the Presiding Bishop's grasp of Christian theology. By intimating a pneumatology that allows for the work of the Holy Spirit in places we mere mortals cannot necessarily discern, Bishop Katharine is speaking entirely within an orthodox biblical and theological framework.

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OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
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