8/26/2009

Seven Bishops to meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury?

Tony Clavier, on the Covenant-Communion web pages has written the following:

"If, as I suspect, the Anglican Communion generally moves towards the adoption of a Covenant a way must be found for our “minority” to retain its full Anglican status and koinonia. Seven bishops will meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury shortly to discuss the plight of those of us who are hopelessly antediluvian. As I remember the last time seven bishops bucked the Establishment they were incarcerated in the Tower of London. Perhaps room is being prepared in a part of 815 for these new seven bishops! Pray for them."

It would appear that Fr. Clavier believes it is a done deal - that The Episcopal Church will as a body not approve the Covenant. That is not necessarily true. TEC may approve, it may not. It may not be an issue in three years.

We may presume the seven bishops at this meeting are members of the Communion Partners Bishops group. Of the 14 member bishops in the CP group, 8 are bishops of jurisdiction. I am not moved to laugh at Fr. Clavier's attempt at humor at the expense of 815. Oh well.

The hope for such a meeting was a large part of Bishop Tom Wright's essay Rowan’s Reflections: Unpacking the Archbishop’s Statement. Near the end he writes "Ideally, the CP bishops, and perhaps some of the Rectors, should meet with the Archbishop to discuss some kind of a revived DEPO. The ABC could then invite others, including both representatives of TEC leadership on the one hand and ACNA on the other, to further meetings to work out agreements that would avoid future confusions or accusations. There is a need, perhaps, for a call to mutual respect, and maturity of decision-making, in recognition of where things now stand. There is no point pretending things are otherwise than they are."

Perhaps then the agenda of the Seven Bishops meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury is to explore (i) diocesan "sign on" to the Covenant just in case The Episcopal Church as a whole does not do so, (ii) a revived DEPO, or Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight, and (iii) a reconciliation meeting between representatives of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America.

There are several problems with this sort of agenda, if such is the agenda of this meeting. There is no certainty that TEC will not sign on to the Covenant. I think that is very much up in the air. DEPO as proposed in the past by TEC was dead in the water as far as the realignment crowd was concerned, but then again they were in their wind-up for the invention of a new Church.

And as for reconciliation, there is always hope, but perhaps a good beginning place would be for ACNA leadership to stop calling us un-Christian, un-Anglican and heretical. At least we ought to be on a par: some of us believe ACNA is wrong, blind, and involved in a coup-de-eglise. But, hey, they are Christian, and the organization they belong to is peopled by Christians.

Fr. Clavier closes with the injunction, "Pray for them."

Amen. It would be helpful to know who they are and when they will meet, but for sure pray for them, and while we are at it, pray for the ABC and everyone else sucked into this maelstrom.



4 comments:

  1. Or what if nobody met with anybody and everybody put all their time and energy into [a] training acolytes [b] visiting shut-ins and [c] raising money for malaria nets to cure malaria in Africa?

    I mean really. Enough already.

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  2. I don't think Canterbury will recognise the ACNA bishops because of logistical problems. At ACNA's present rate of consecrations, by the next Lambeth Conference, we would have to hire Wembley Football Stadium just to get them all in the group photograph. We can't afford to do that.

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  3. This upcoming meeting is only a problem if we have to all keep the club together.... and compromise to do so......but since the ABC is determined to go ahead with the Covenant and now with two tracks proposed in the AC,and given his assessment of GC09, TEC can decide that it is not interested in track 2 but is interested in maintaining its integrity and in unity with all those everywhere who share a "progressive" stance.......all the AC stuff then becomes academic......there is only a problem if we all have to stick together despite zero prospect of agreeing on key issues

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  4. Fr. Jonathon has something here. One thing that no ABC is gonna do is admit a group of bishops who outnumber the UK's. At current rates, Rev. Susan may be the only one left in North America who is not a bishop -- and she should be.

    FWIW
    jimB

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