4/22/2007

Still nothing from the Moderator: 30 days and counting.

So, still nothing from the Moderator of the Network. As noted in earlier postings a week after the end of the House of Bishop's meeting, March 20th, and then again on April 11th.

In that blog I quoted Bishop Duncan's Easter message to his diocese:

"In a small way, the results of the Primates' Meeting at Dar es Salaam showed the Lord's power, once again, for those who refuse to bow down to the false gods of a declining Western culture. As we look toward Easter, we are reminded of the greatest of all acts of deliverance by our faithful God - a triumph in which we actually share - the triumph of life over death because Jesus would not bow down to the world, the flesh or the devil."

I then commented:

"It would appear that the Moderator has other concerns that keep him from speaking either to the results of the House of Bishop's meeting or to matters as seemingly secondary as the actions and words of the Archbishop of Nigeria, who in turn is no slouch in decrying the 'false gods of a declining Western culture'."

It has now been a full month since the House of Bishops spoke its mind, and no word is heard from the Bishop of Pittsburgh and Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network.

The Network website carried no Easter message from the Moderator and has carried on with this programmatic efforts, which include a variety of mission and relief efforts and an upcoming conference.

So, what's going on?

Perhaps the Moderator is rethinking his statement, particularly the bit in which he attributes our deliverance to that fact that "Jesus would not bow down to the world, the flesh or the devil." It would be perhaps a bit ungracious to walk further with the Moderator into the speculative land where the virtue of not bowing down to the world, the flesh or the devil (whatever that means) is identified in his mind with both God's deliverance and his own quest of these past few years.

Many of us, however, might well ask, why the continued silence?

There is not much chatter out there, not much saber rattling, not much in the way of new threats of mass exodus of dioceses into some alternative American church. Some of the Network dioceses appear to have less stomach for the hard line.

Only the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, with its growing covey of bishops and its recruiting method of "Forty Days of Discernment" is out and about.

In Nigeria things are, regrettably, a mess. The Archbishop has other matters to attend to, but he has not left the building. Indeed, by way of CANA he has kept his presence here, mucking about in fields not his own. Interestingly, the Archbishop also has made no comment on the House of Bishops statements.

Is there a breakdown in CANA / ACN relations?

There is only silence, and there has been for a month. But that will not last.

11 comments:

  1. I think the key to the moderator's approach can be gleaned from an interview he gave shortly after the House of Bishops resolutions. He is staking everything on Alternative Primatial Oversight, and he is not very interested in those Network bishops who have not asked for that. He wants the Primates and the Archbishop of Canterbury to go ahead with the Primatial Council despite the House of Bishops rejection. His problem is that the Archbishop of Canterbury will not - that is clear from his comments at the press conference in Canada. I doubt if the Primates as a whole will either. But I'm sure that's what he's working on behind the scenes.

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  2. The voices that are currently speaking are those of "moderates" like ACI, Radner and Dan Martins, of late. Each apparently trying to roust the Windsor Bishops to name a Primatial Vicar now.

    But for the same reasons that the Primates are not going to unilaterally act without the ABC, the Windsor Bishops (who all voted to meet with the ABC) are not going to act now to undermine the HoBs.

    Under these circumstances, what is Duncan to do? Can he do anything really? ACN represents a very small number of bishops. It may not be enough for the Primates to split the AC over. He has to demonstrate that a large group of bishops and churches are prepared to go the distance. He can't do that without the moderates. So all he can do is wait.

    Sticking his head up out of the sand, only shows what a minority position his is really.

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  3. Yes, maybe the hard-line rejection of the Anglican Communion by the HOB, and its probable implications for the faithful still in ECUSA, has cowed even Bishop Duncan into silence and submission. That's nothing to be proud of - on either side.

    Schandenfreude is not flattering on any wearer.

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  4. Why should he speak up and divert us from our current course of action when it serves his needs perfectly well? Speaking now will only tip everyone off to his great pleasure at the possibility that a majority of members of the HoB will consider the Windsor Process dead.

    If we offer no alternative to the Primatial Council and take no action on the other two agenda items from the Primate's Meeting, He'll have everything he wants. We'll hear plenty from him after September 30.

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  5. Friends: Three responses to this blog entry got inadvertently deleted (I was busy working on the next post and hit reject rather than publish..)

    I am very sorry that happened. If you were one of those three accept my apology and if you can remember what you wrote post again.

    I had read them and thought they were important additions to the conversation.

    Perhaps it's time to go for a walk.

    Again, forgive me.

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  6. Fr. Mark,

    I suspect I was one of them. I wrote more-or-less:

    The right is encountering some of the realities of its position.

    First, it is a lot easier to be against something than it is to be for something. While they can all bemoan the ordination of a bishop with the bad taste to be female, or gay or (Heaven help us!) both, being in favour of something is hard.

    Here in Illinois, we have to bishops who agree on that subject, but one allows women clerics, the other is much to holy for that! At the same time one is anglo-catholic, and the other knows God wants none of that stuff! They may agree about the bad, Northern, liberal diocese of Chicago, but that is about it.

    Second, the immoderator is discovering that ++Nigeria is not interested in having an American who leads. He wants followers, and precisely aligned followers at that. The immoderator wrote a publc note to ++Nigeria pointing out he and others allow (generally homophobic) women clerics and asking for some sense of their fate in a Nigeria led community. Other than +Minns, they have received no answer.

    This is history repeating. After the GC decided on a new prayerbook, and the idea that women could read from it, there was the "St. Louis Decleration." That was the grand moment of being against something. But as they tried to be for something, anything, they spawned not an alternative but a set of alternatives. The schisms have continued for the last 30 years.

    When a group lets its ideology define what it knows God would think if He had all the facts, it is easy to be holier than everyone else, and the fragments grow expotentially.

    I think that is where the right is headed. After I wrote the piece that was lost, I read a series of messages on Dr. Virtue's board discussing how "un-orthodox" the AMIA is! They are not holy enough for the mysoginist (sp) crowd. And so CANA, Network, AMIA et al are begining to see where the cleavages lie, where their ideologies do not match up.

    I think it sad, but there it is. And I suspect that the immoderator and his few fellows now realize that the remnant they can move wont serve to be the "anglican presence" in much other than Pittsburgh and perhaps Dallas.
    A new North American Anglican church it is not.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  7. +Pittsburgh has simply not had time to issue a statement, because he is busy being fitted for the tallest, pointiest mitre ever constructed. Engineered by Bechtel Corporation and financed by Howard Ahmanson and Richard Mellon Scaife, the towering headgear (along with its special crane) will make its debut at Duncan's enthronement as Archbishop, Metropolitan, Patriarch, and Supreme Seer, Prophet, and Revelator of the No Fags (Or Dykes!) Anglican Orthodox Apostolic Baptist Catholic Church of Lower Central Pittsburgh.

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  8. In other news, Praveen Bunyan, the rector of St. James, Newport Beach, California (Howard Ahmanson's old parish, until he recently returned to the Calvinists of the PCA), has been forced to resign after behaving in an unseemly manner with "an adult female parishioner."

    This parish, and its rector, are very highly esteemed among the schismatics not only for their success in transferring Episcopal Church property to the Church of Uganda but also for Bunyan's fierce condemnations of sexual immorality.

    Hmmm. First one of the famed "Florida Six" is deposed by the Rwandans for fooling around with a parishioner, then came L'Affaire Armstrong, and now Bunyan gets booted by the Ugandans for playing drugstore Romeo with his parishioners.

    Am I the only one who does not think all this is a coincidence?

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  9. One of IRD's billionaire supporters lives in Pittsburgh. +Duncan has local access to the most influential, most successful organization trying to convert the US to a theocracy. I suspect he is lying low to see what happens as time passes. Neither +Duncan nor his handlers want to do or say anything which might jeopardize their ability to destroy TEC and/or control of the valuable property.

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  10. This am the following appeared on Fr. Dan Martin's blog:
    "Something Wicked This Way Comes
    I enjoy movies and TV shows about espionage and high-level political brinksmanship. Recently this has ranged from TV fare such as The West Wing and 24 to films like The Good Shepherd and Breach. One of the standard quantum leaps that the writers for such efforts rely on is "intelligence chatter." They never explain what the source of such "chatter" (aka "traffic") is, and rarely what the specific content is, but it certainly moves the plot along. (I guess if they told us they'd have to kill us.)

    Over the past week or so there's been a spike in "intelligence chatter" in the Anglican-Episcopal universe. From the sources I have been able to tap, along with those that have just fallen in my lap, I am reasonably well assured that a sub-group of some five dioceses within the Anglican Communion Network have cooked up a plan to hold hands and jump off the slowly-sinking ship that is the Episcopal Church and swim to . . . well, here's where the intelligence gets sketchy--OK, non-existent.

    In order to protect the guilty (and my reputation, should I be wrong), I won't divulge the names of the five dioceses in question (except to say that my own is one of them). But if you are any sort of savant about contemporary ecclesiastical politics, you can probably guess them. In any case, I expect to know more--a great deal more--in less than a week's time. Whether I will be in a position to honorably pass on what I learn in a venue such as this remains to be seen.

    I don't expect I'll cause any tsunamis by predicting that I'm probably not going to like the details when I hear them. In the most charitable construction, a move of this sort represents a 'Plan B' in response to last month's resounding rejection of the Primates' Pastoral Council/Primatial Vicar plan by the House of Bishops. A more jaded exegesis sees it as the most radical fringe of the Network exploiting the HOB's ill-advised actions by making a run for something more like they would have wanted in the first place anyway."

    Now Fr. Martin is from San Joaquin. He is on its standing committee. I think he may well be correct and what +Duncan has been about is a. holding it together until he acchieves critical mass (with the "Windsor" bishops, or b. having realized he can't, going with what he has I would suspect San Joachin, Quincy, Springfield (unless it goes to CANA), Ft. Worth. He has Gomez, Venables, Akinola for sure. I suspect that Fr. Martin's understanding of "chatter" is correct. +Schofield's letter to his deanery pretty much verified that he was one of the "endorsers" of the "Westfield Response"

    In any event, it makes sense to me that we aew not hearing from +Duncan. He needs to be working on his coalition ...a very shaky one at best. EPfizH

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  11. EPfizH - I read the same blog and posted a reference to it on the thread under Duncan's picture above. Dn Martins is a moderate. He has been an avid supporter of the Primates PV Scheme, and has been trying to motivate the Windsor Bishop to step up and publicly accept it now. The question is why is he leaking this information before it happens? Is it in the hopes of having some Windsor Bishops speak out now for the PV Scheme before Duncan turns the summer listening process into a full scale circus. Is this a ploy by Duncan to motivate the WBs to act. Do something or else? Inquiring minds can only speculate.

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