8/03/2008

We have a little list of Primates who will wreck Lambeth Hopes.

The Lambeth Conference made the decision not to share the list of those bishops in attendance. Here, however, are the list of the Primates who were at Lambeth and who have signed off (so far) on a Statement from the "Global South." So we know these bishops were there:

The Most Revd Gerald James (Ian) Ernest (Indian Ocean)
The Most Revd Bernard Ntahoturi (Burundi)
The Most Revd Dr. Dirokpa Balufuga Fidèle (Congo)
The Most Revd Archbishop John Chew (Southeast Asia)
The Most Revd Stephen Than Myint Oo (Myanmar)
The Most Revd Valentino Mokiwa (Tanzania)
The Most Revd Daniel Deng Bul Yak (Sudan)
The Most Revd Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis (Jerusalem & The Middle East)
The Most Revd Justice Ofei Akrofi (West Africa)
The Most Revd John Wilson Gladstone (South India)
The Rt Revd Donald Mtetemela (Tanzania)

These 11 Primates, plus their GAFCON friends not present - the Primates of Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda- and the Primate of the Southern Cone who was, constitute the Global South Primates (16 of them). There may be a few more signatures, but this is most of the group.

Here are some of the things they had to say:

"...we also stand in solidarity with all the faithful Bishops, Clergy and Laity in the United States and Canada and elsewhere who are suffering recrimination and hostility perpetrated upon them by their dioceses and/or national churches which have not unequivocally complied with the specific Windsor proposals required of them in full."

This is rot.

"We gather at a critical time when the Anglican Communion as a communion of ordered churches is at the probable brink of collapse. We urge the official endorsement of the proposed Anglican Covenant by ACC 14 in May 2009."

Where do they think such a covenant is going to come from that might be in a form that can be endorsed by ACC in May 2009? What does such endorsement mean given that it is the several Churches in the Anglican Communion that must make the final decisions to endorse.

"We further urge this Lambeth Conference to give clear endorsement and immediate implementation of the interim proposals of the Windsor Continuation Group on the swift formation of the Pastoral Forum with the terms of reference as set out: in particular, “the Pastoral Forum should be empowered to act in the Anglican Communion in a rapid manner to emerging threats to its life, especially through the ministry of its Chair, who should work alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury in the exercise of his ministry. The Forum would be responsible for addressing those anomalies of pastoral care arising in the Communion against the recommendations of the Windsor Report. It could also offer guidance on what response and any diminished standing within the Communion might be appropriate where any of the three moratoria are broken.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury is calling a meeting of the Primates prior to ACC in 2009 and we might suppose that he will try to get endorsement there for the Pastoral Forum. The notion that the Chair of that Forum would "work alongside" the ABC is wonderfully dangerous. Since the Lambeth Conference is not able to provide "clear endorsement and implementation," the task falls to the ABC and his advisers, and, one supposes the Windsor Continuation Group and maybe the Primates. The Chair then will be chosen by people clearly committed to Windsor.

The Global South Primates also called for the Windsor moratoria, "...on the complete cessation of (a) the celebration of blessings for same-sex unions, (b) consecrations of those living in openly gay relationships, and (c) all cross border interventions and inter-provincial claims of jurisdiction."

The GAFCON bishops, particularly those who have bishops now at work in the fields of the Lord in North America, are not likely to buy that. So maybe the Global South Primates signing this document are the post-GAFCON middle. But be that as it may, how will such be enforced? This is whistling in the dark.

"We look forward to the 4th South-to-South Encounter on a broadened representation sometime in 2009. We are encouraged that the emphases will be on the pastoral and missional needs for focused leadership and development, the deepening of collegial foundation and framework for the transformation and renewal of the Anglican Communion."

So now in 2009 we will have the following: A meeting of the Primates, a meeting of the ACC, a meeting of General Convention of the Episcopal Church and a South-to-South Encounter. It will be a busy season. The matter of "broadened representation" for a moment called up the image of perhaps a "wider" representation, including perhaps elements of the South that are more "liberal." But no, I think they were right. The word is "broadened." This is a signal of a new South to South Encounter that begins to flesh out GAFCON's push for a new and different Anglican Communion. "Broadened" means more representatives from screened participating Provinces.

"We are committed to work together with one another in the Global South and with all orthodox groups in the United States of America and Canada: to listen together to what Lord Jesus says to his church today, to draw strength and insights from one another, and to take fresh initiatives in upholding and passing on the faith once delivered to the saints."

Missing of course is any listening to what might be said elsewhere in "His" church today. Gone is the last vestiges of working together with the seemingly outcast or irrelevant Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church, etc.

The eleven Primates signing on to this document have offered no new insight into how to live into a future communion in which there might be disagreement. There is nothing here but the wreckage of collision. It may be time to put up the barriers and post persons who say to any who slow down to see what is going on, "move along, move along, nothing to see here."

9 comments:

  1. It seems to me that these Primates are driven by a need to punish; they want to punish TEC and ACC and anyone else with whom they disagree. And if the ABC doesn't give them the power to do so, they will punish him, too.
    However, any punishment of those with whom they agree is "recrimination and hostility."
    May I recommend a "time-out"?

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  2. Is the last name in the list really a Primate?

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  3. OK, so if we're expelled from the Anglican Communion, we'll be completely out of fellowship with these bishops and those they lead. Is there a down side?

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  4. Mark, you left Marc Andrus off your list (according to Episcopal Life he said that a moratorium "is a non-starter for me.", John Bruno (who told Integrity “I can only say that inclusion is a reality in our diocese and will continue to be. For people who think that this is going to lead us to disenfranchise any gay or lesbian person, they are sadly mistaken.”), Michael Ingham and, of course, the bishop of MA who allowed the ssb covered by the NY Times. Charity abounds on both sides. The world will know we are Christians by our . . . feet stomping, vociferous claims that we really are.

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  5. "HURRY, HURRY, HURRY!" We've heard this message before. Fat chance.

    This statement is more of the same old verbiage, and shows a total disrespect for the process that Lambeth began of building bridges through establishing relationships. How sad.

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  6. Gee Mark, I thought the number had dwindled down to 6. Now you're up to 16 by your count, in opposition. That has to be disappointing for you.

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  7. yawner...the six are the gafcon south primates who joined together to produce GAFCON. The wider group includes people who have not been part of that, but have been part of the wider Global South group, many of whom have thought themselves part of both GAFCON and AC ideas.

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  8. Surely, the cross-border incursions HAVE occurred, and presumably still WILL occur, far beyond the list of TEC bishops who have formally authorized "the celebration of blessings for same-sex unions"?

    [Such incursions nullifying any good-faith claims of the Global South primates making the ultimatum!]

    ***

    O Bold Anonymous: granting blessings to the MARRIAGE of faithful couples which seek them IS abounding in charity. Go peddle your false moral equivalences elsewhere!

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  9. To put to rest any notion of the GSouth not intervening (legal or not, Windsor or no Windsor) in other provinces, +Venables said he would not stop. He said it, I believe it... Well, you know.

    There are so many provincial problems with passing authority etc. of any kind, I just cannot imagine it.

    As our PB said today, another kind of covenant might be better understood and welcomed, and that is one that does not focus on difference, but similarity, something you observed in your thinking, Mark, and which seems to me to make good sense for many reasons.

    There are some that think in more penal ways (pun unintended) and others who think in more forgiving ways. There is, I think, some cultural basis for this, but that does NOT mean it is right thinking or right for all cultures or churches. It leads us into shoving everyone into the same box, which is untenable and unrealistic.

    Padre Mickey, imho, is exactly right... the attacks on ++Rowan (as odd as they are... I mean really, since WHEN does the Anglican Comm VOTE the ABC in?) started some time ago and are accelerating. They want Rowan to have a voted-in buddy and gosh, would that hopeful be someone from the GS/GAFCON ilk?

    This whole exercise reminds me a lot of people during the US nuclear freeze era that operated on consensus; often these meetings, literally, went on for DAYS at a time, non-stop. There was always someone that wanted weaker, stronger or different standards and held up the whole process. Eventually, though, in good moral conscience and respect for the process (or because they couldn't hold their wee position in the face of no sleep for days on end), these folks were the attention of all the focus. When it became obvious they were a force of one against a world of nuclear bombs, most sensibly acquiesced.

    The GAFCON folks have already set their GOLD standard: 1662 BCP, full agreement with The Thirty Nine Articles, and a pretty literalistic (and surely a hierarchical) acceptance of "A" scriptural interpretation.

    Is there ANY doubt we cannot meet them and that they know that as well? Any verbal nonsense about their remaining in the AComm is just that--nonsense.

    It is written on the FACE of their own documents.

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