Episcopal Cafe alerts us to an article in the Washington Times in which the writer Julia Duin does some homework. "A phone survey of 10 Episcopal dioceses that belong to the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) -- a confederation that opposes the Robinson consecration -- revealed that only its moderator, Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, plans to attend. Bishop Don Harvey, moderator of the Anglican Network of Canada, has also accepted."
Recalling that the Moderator, Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh, represents and speaks for the Anglican Communion Network and that the Global South Steering Committee wanted someone specifically who could speak for the realignment community in the US, it is not surprising that he will be there.
It is of some interest to note in the article that some in the ACN have reservations about CANA and the Archbishop's motives.
"I'd go to offer personal support for Martyn," he said. But as a diocesan representative, "it'd be associated with schismatic behavior. It's that kind of climate."
As more conservatives bolt the Episcopal Church, their leaders are disagreeing privately over strategy . Some prefer the ACN's method staying in the Episcopal Church, but others say it's time to leave.
Others say the issue is not Bishop Minns but his sponsor, the outspoken Archbishop Peter Akinola, who founded CANA as a mission of the Church of Nigeria, which he heads."
" "There's a sense that Akinola is a very strong leader. Does he want to take over?" said Bishop John Rodgers, the retired co-founder of the Anglican Mission in America, which was founded in 2000 as a U.S. breakaway group by foreign bishops."
"Not all conservatives are convinced CANA wants to be a team player. 'No one can be sure if they're competing against us or cooperating with us,' an ACN source said."
Remember, Archbishop Akinola comes as Archbishop of Nigeria to install one of his bishops. He also comes as Chair of the Global South Steering Committee and it was in that context that he received committments of the bishops in Virginia to act as one. We will read with interest the Archbishop's words at the installation regarding his vision for this strange beast, CANA.
So what is going on here? Is this the continued fracturing of the realignment crowd? Is it a distancing because of the suspicion that CANA is sheep stealing from ANC folk, or stealing their thunder? Is it a distancing because what CANA is doing does indeed appear to be schismatic. Or is it primarily a meeting of two streams flowing to the same end?
At any event it would appear that unless there is another meeting tacked on at the beginning or end of this one the possibility of a meeting of "five bishops bolting" is not immediately on the horizon, unless of course The Moderator is coming on their behalf precisely to offer the Archbishop a scheme by which the hard line ACN bishops can collectively make use of CANA as an instrument for a province in waiting. In which case the Moderator gets to negotiate some part of a collective pie, and "five bishops bolting" becomes "five bishops piping."
If so, who will dance?