Well, the list of congratulatory notes to Bill Atwood and his impending ordination as bishop for the US from Kenya is larger by at least one note, and now, on June 16th by another.
Archbishop (oops Presiding Bishop - corrected by someone reminding me of the formal name) Venables of The Province of the Southern Cone chimed in yesterday. After congratulating Canon Atwood he said,
"In the painful circumstances of the Anglican Communion I deeply appreciate the bonds which link many primates together. I welcome the prospect of congregations under my care and protection working more closely with those of Kenya and other provinces. In the absence of even a tiny indication of willingness from the Episcopal Church to address the crisis, those who wish to remain orthodox within the US cannot be abandoned. Collaboration among Provinces working in the States and the Network is helping build a unified future for those who share the historic Biblical faith." (highlight mine)
Uganda's announcement was much the same.
I reported on this larger collaboration yesterday noting that while this may be an effort to put a good face on something that might not have been good news, the results are being touted as part of a plan. Venables talks here of a "unified future" - that would be a unified future involving AMiA- Rwanda, CANA-Nigeria, NAAC-Kenya, and Venables/Lyons - Southern Cone, and some from the Network gang. I suspect Uganda will come in some time soon, adding yet another bishop to the string of beads.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has already decided that the AMiA bishops and Bishop Minns are not invited to Lambeth. Using that measure I would think that Bill Atwood will not be invited. But these bad boys are the wayward offspring of their Primates. Slapping the hands of the grasping children is a poor substitute for soundly criticizing the marauding fathers. In any kind of consistent response, these Primates ought not be invited either.
But of course all of this is predicated on the notion that the Archbishop of Canterbury has to exercise care about who he invites, lest others invited are bent out of shape and the "fellowship" of this particular ring be broken.
He might have been better off to invite the whole lot of them - the less than acceptable, the grasping children, the marauding fathers, the mad and the strange, and let it all shake down. Then at least those who stay away are simply not accepting invitation, and those who come simply come. There is perhaps a scriptural basis for this: In response to the invitation, then at lest the yes would be yes and the no would be no. (No swear words needed.) But of course that requires a level of maturity that seems lacking.
As it stands the "unified future" envisioned by Presiding Bishop Venables has all the makings of yet another world wide church made up of people who are too pure to hang around with most of us and too tightly wound to hang around with Jesus, who on last sighting was handing out bread without asking for passports.