At Some Point the Archbishop has to Resopnd: Now would be a good time.

Here are some brief thoughts on the silence of the Archbishop of Canterbury:

(i) Unless Jonathan Petre is flat out wrong, in which case the Telegraph might look for another writer, the Archbishop of Canterbury is thinking of dis-inviting various bishops who are not compliant enough with the Windsor Report. If Petre is wrong, where is the Archbishop's denial? If he is right, where is the statement from Lambeth Palace about it? I take the non-reply to mean that it is a non-story by a non-person. If so it is an insult to Petre and no help to those who believe that the Archbishop ought to invite all to come, and if they don't to fill up the table with widows from the neighborhood.

(ii) The Diocese of Fort Worth seems to think that they have gotten some sort of go-ahead from the ABC - at least that is what the Living Church reports on the basis of remarks made by Bishop Frank Lyons of Bolivia who has lots of time on his hands. According to TLC, "
Bishop Frank Lyons of Bolivia, a guest at the Diocese of Fort Worth’s annual convention, told delegates and visitors that Archbishop Gregory Venables had “received a positive response” from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams last September when he informed Archbishop Williams that his province would likely extend a formal invitation to Fort Worth and other U.S. dioceses. " Well, if the ABC made a positive response to Bishop Venables regarding taking in dioceses of the Episcopal Church, etc, perhaps it is time for the Episcopal Church to immediately cease engagement with the ABC and in particular with support of his international activities. But we have no word from the ABC on any of this. What sort of promises, encouragements, etc has the ABC given these rascals?

Some time ago it became more and more difficult to get a clear answer from the ABC's office about the extent to which he encouraged or suggested the Network. The reply from his office was a bit opaque. The Network, however, is not opaque. It is working hard a quite obvious plan to occupy the American or North American place in the Anglican Communion with dioceses of the correct theological persuasion. His office's response was hardly helpful and as a result the Network has gleefully claimed a level of legitimacy it may or may not have.

So the Archbishop needs to make it public: Did he encourage Bishop Venables and the Province of the Southern Cone? And if so, what could have possessed him to do so?

(iii) Will the Archbishop comment on Bishop Harvey and his mucking around in the Anglican Church of Canada - and in particular ordaining clergy this week?

(iv) The Archbishop of Canterbury has received responses from the various Primates concerning the Joint Standing Committee's report on the responses of the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church. So...what has he to say on the matter? The summary of the reports simply says that some think the HoB did OK, some said "Hell no," some thought more was needed but thanks anyway, and some didn't respond. The ABC needs to put his cards on the table. What think ye good Archbishop?

(v) For months now it has been apparent that the chair of the Covenant Design Group, Archbishop Gomez, has been encouraging incursions into the Episcopal Church. How can the Archbishop of Canterbury justify Archbishop Gomez' continued chairing of this highly sensitive working group?

There they are: Five Questions -
  • What is this business about withdrawing more invitations to Lambeth?
  • What did you say to Primate Venables about taking in Fort Worth and others?
  • What are you going to say, if anything, about Bishop Harvey's mucking about in Canada?
  • What do you think of the JSC report on the HoB?
  • When will you replace Archbishop Gomez as chair of the Covenant Design Group?

I don't expect any answers. The Archbishop is a busy man and doesn't read this blog.

Maybe someone who does can let him know that the questions are out there in blog land, and perhaps in the decision making gatherings in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, and maybe elsewhere as well.


  1. Mark,

    I agree. The silence right now is deafening.

    I think I can clear up one item:

    Based on the JSC report as I read it, the ABC plans to offer his response in an Advent letter.

  2. "So the Archbishop needs to make it public: Did he encourage Bishop Venables and the Province of the Southern Cone? And if so, what could have possessed him to do so?"

    Here's one answer Mark: maybe the ABC has a genuine pastoral concern for the welfare of the evangelicals and anglo-catholics within ECUSA - unlike PB Schori, who carefully hides her pastoral skills under letters threatening legal action - which was something of great concern in the Windsor Report and the Dar Es Salaam meeting of the Primates. Makes a difference when you've actually been involved in pastoral ministry as a parish priest and bishop for more than a few years doesn't it?

  3. Well to speculate - The Advent Message will be silent as to Gomez and Venables, repeat that incursions across boundaries are not "helpful" and leave it at that. I don't think anyone was going to be "disinvited." OCICBW - and the ABC could actually defend the AC as we have known it by rebuking Venables and Harvey. But that doesn't seem to be his way of dealing with conflict. Instead, he will allow the AC to quietly unravel and reconstitute itself along whatever lines a consensus of the fellowship wishes to follow.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.