5/11/2007

Busy, busy, busy: ACI Inc. off and running.

The Anglican Communion Institute is pretty busy for an organization that has had to completely revamp and start over again from being The Anglican Communion Institute, with the Rev. Canon Donald Armstrong as Executive Director to being the Anglican Communion Institute, Inc. without him. Just to make sure their presence continues, members have written several essays in the past week, and today there is the following:

"FOLLOWING CHRIST THE LORD
IN COMMUNION, COVENANT & MISSION
Monday July 2nd – Thursday July 5th, 2007
Wycliffe Hall, Oxford

The Anglican Communion Institute, Inc., Windsor Bishops, Colleagues and Friends are hosting and participating in this important event together with Bishops from the Church of England and fellow workers throughout the Communion.

The point of our meeting?

To incarnate Communion life, across provincial borders, and so to strengthen our mission in the name of Christ Jesus. This is a time for fellowship, worship, planning and mutual support, especially for Windsor Bishops and their colleagues in the Church of England and in the Communion more broadly."


This meeting comes between the two meetings announced by the steering committee of the Windsor Bishops, the one June 18-19 the other August 9-10.

Well the five theologians in search of a system are trying to make a push for their relevance in the issues of the day. The point of the meeting seems rather diffused for that end. Perhaps its purpose is more pointed - to continue pushing for what it holds as the future for the Anglican Communion. One of its writers, The Rev. Dr. Christopher Seitz, states it this way in the fourth option in an article titled, "Possibilities for an Anglican Future"

(That) "The Anglican Communion follows the direction given by its preeminent councils, whose cooperative work represents most fully the mind of the Anglican church. This means now that the Communion must proceed forward on the understanding that the enhanced role given to the Primates’ Meeting by the other Instruments of Communion is warranted by these Instruments’ unconstrained choosing; that the Dar es Salaam communiqué offers the conciliarly agreed away forward; that the initial response of The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops is initial only (insofar as all that has been asked of it has yet concretely to be adjudicated) and cannot hold hostage in any event what Dar has requested, short of the Instruments of Communion so declaring. On this understanding the decision of Canterbury to visit the TEC’s House of Bishops near to the deadline of 30 September in no way compromises the work of the Primates’ Meeting and may indeed assist in helping them form a response to what TEC’s bishops declare as of the deadline given to them. There is no reason to believe that Canterbury is visiting for any other reason than as the President of the Primates’ Meeting who will return to that meeting on the basis of what was said when last it adjourned. This understanding of the future of Anglican Communion Christianity also supports the work of the Covenant Design group, precisely because such work is warranted by the Windsor Report, authorized by the Primates, sent on to the Provinces and gathered at the Lambeth Conference, to be then discussed at the ACC, and because this work is crucial for comprehending the very way forward that is represented by conciliarity, of which it is an integral part."

In other words, the meeting this summer is to bolster the idea that the Draft Covenant being proposed be the final clamp down on the Episcopal Church, that the Anglican Communion become an itty-bitty version of the Church of Rome, and that The Episcopal Church be booted for a better carrier of the Anglican name.

I wasn't invited to this august gathering, not being part of the ACI, the College, its friends or a Windsor Bishop, invited bishops in the Church of England, or their friends. It's OK.

10 comments:

  1. Mary Clara11/5/07 6:22 PM

    So, 'conciliarity' represents the way forward. I'll be interested to learn more about exactly what that means. I suspect it means just what you've said, Mark: a mechanism for clamping down on TEC once and for all, and moving toward replacing it with something else.

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  2. This statement just cracks me up, Mark.

    First, the group that was formerly "six guys and a website," which has now been denounced by their financier (Don Armstrong) and is now maybe three guys and a website ... that these guys would pretend to have any kind of credibility just cracks me up.

    But this is the best part as far as I'm concerned: they say the "enhanced role given to the Primates’ Meeting by the other Instruments of Communion is warranted by these Instruments’ unconstrained choosing." The Primates themselves chose to give themselves an enhanced role. Primates and bishops are the only ones who get to participate in three of the four supposed "Instruments of Communion." Right? These guys get more funny with every passing day.

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  3. "This means now that the Communion must proceed forward on the understanding that the enhanced role given to the Primates’ Meeting by the other Instruments of Communion ..."

    Enhanced role given to the Primates? Really? When did this happen? Or did they just assume this enhanced role amongst themselves?

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  4. "This means now that the Communion must proceed forward on the understanding that the enhanced role given to the Primates’ Meeting by the other Instruments of Communion…"

    I guess I wasn't paying attention but I missed this. When did it happen? Where is it written that this could happen.

    I am hesitant to say it, but this tactic has become so prevalent in our discussions that I feel obligated to reference George Orwells concept of "blackwhite," Orwell describes the term: "The key-word here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts."

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  5. What Dr. Seitz fails to take due notice of is that TEC with GC is as "conciliar" as one could like -- yet it reached a decision he doesn't like. (Hence his appeal to an as yet constituted "superior synod"). The C of E escaped from a church with a curial government, and was chastised by the Council of Trent. The structure isn't the problem. The issue really isn't polity, but a dislike for some of the conclusions reached through it.

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  6. I am fascinated by this sentence: "There is no reason to believe that Canterbury is visiting for any other reason than as the President of the Primates’ Meeting who will return to that meeting on the basis of what was said when last it adjourned." So, the Primates' Meeting has superceded the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury? He can only act by virtue of his presidency among the Primates, and not in his own office?

    I think Dr. Seitz is whistling through the graveyard.

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  7. I think Dr. Seitz is whistling through the graveyard.

    I think that he is simply adopting a pet rhetorical strategy of his paymasters and sugardaddies on the political right.

    Remember this bit from Ron Suskind's profile of the Bush crew?

    The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

    Over and over we have seen the so-called "orthodox" play this game of declaring what they think should be reality and then pretending that it is, regardless of what the inconvenient facts might be.

    Thus Lambeth resolutions and primates' statements became law, Cantuar became nothing more than the primates' errand boy, "orthodoxy" became the sort of crude literalism once identified with tent revivalists, etc.

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  8. christopher+14/5/07 10:22 AM

    Dr. Seitz's claims for the Primates is another fine example of what Dr. Marilyn Adams of Oxford recently called the "presumptive legitimacy" of claiming power and demanding submission - with no canonical basis for doing so.

    What cracks me up in all this - and I am pretty sure it cracks some people up in the Vatican, too - is the idea that any heir of the Anglican tradition would suddenly call for global curial governance, with no national dissent allowed. For heaven's sake, the whole adventure of institutional Anglicanism began when the Church of England made the formal - and radical - decision that national churches should govern themselves locally!

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  9. For all the desire to write the ACI off as some kind of fly-by-night, irrelevant operation, those of us in the reality-based community (NLNH) are left acknowldging that this gathering involves the "Windsor bishops." Since that grouping includes such raving Calvinist schismatics as Geralyn Wolf, it might be worth considering ACI doesn't think as far on the fringe as you'd like to believe.

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  10. Phil, I am not so sure that the so-called "Windsor Bishops" are all that eager to line up and kiss Akinola's ring.

    So long as the "realignment" forces make the whole thing about letting foreign prelates take over the American church, either directly, Akinola style, or indirectly via a curia or a stand-in appointed by that curia, they are bound to lose the moderates.

    FWIW, one of the bishops at the last Camp Allen conclave was my former bishop--and rector of a number of years before that--and though he is a conservative, he is furious at the poaching that has taken place in his diocese, having gone so far as to bring the matter up with +++RW himself, for all the good that will do. I would be very surprised if he suddenly took up with the Akinolistas.

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