The Global South Primates have issued a Communiqué.
The Carrion Eaters are circling what they believe is a wounded dying church. I am sure they do not see themselves as this. I believe they see themselves as stepping in to save true Christians from a damned environment. This is what they had to say about those needing saving:
“We grieve that, because of the doctrinal conflict in parts of our Communion, there is now a growing number of congregations and dioceses in the USA and Canada who believe that their Anglican identity is at risk and are appealing to us so that they might remain faithful members of the Communion. As leaders of that Communion we will work together to recognize the Anglican identity of all who receive, hold and maintain the Scriptures as the Word of God written and who seek to live in godly fellowship within our historic ordering.”
That is a gross misread of the life of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. Still, they believe they are here to help. Only time will tell. Meanwhile, of course, the constant intervention in the US and Canada has caused such strains in the so-called bonds of affection that it is clear there are none.
This is the what the Communiqué said as the birds circle the body:
“We are convinced that the time has now come to take initial steps towards the formation of what will be recognized as a separate ecclesiastical structure of the Anglican Communion in the USA. We have asked the Global South Steering Committee to develop such a proposal in consultation with the appropriate instruments of unity of the Communion. We understand the serious implications of this determination. We believe that we would be failing in our apostolic witness if we do not make this provision for those who hold firmly to a commitment to historic Anglican faith.”
That’s it: the “formation of what will be recognized as a separate ecclesiastical structure of the Anglican Communion in the USA." So now those fighting over the bones include: The Network, Common Cause Partners, the Church of Nigeria through CANA, the hodgepodge of dioceses that are exercising oversight from outside the Episcopal Church, AMiA, and now The Global South. How long will it take for them to turn from picking at us to picking at one another? It will happen before Lambeth.
Then the Communiqué, totally lacking in Christian charity, says this about the Presiding Bishop elect of the Episcopal Church:
“We are further dismayed to note that their newly elected Presiding Bishop also holds to a position on human sexuality – not to mention other controversial views – in direct contradiction of Lambeth 1.10 and the historic teaching of the Church.”
And then says:
“At the next meeting of the Primates in February 2007 some of us will not be able to recognize Katharine Jefferts Schori as a Primate at the table with us. Others will be in impaired communion with her as a representative of The Episcopal Church. Since she cannot represent those dioceses and congregations who are abiding by the teaching of the Communion we propose that another bishop, chosen by these dioceses, be present at the meeting so that we might listen to their voices during our deliberations.”
Let us remember that the Primates Meeting is touted as one of the “instruments of communion.” It is called by the Archbishop of Canterbury and its members are the chief bishops of the Provinces of the Communion. If our Presiding Bishop is not recognized as Primate, this meeting is no “instrument of communion.” If a bishop from “those dioceses and congregations who are abiding by the teaching of the Communion” comes, it’s not a Primate’s Meeting. And, by the way, notice the singular “the teaching”? That’s Lambeth 1998, 1.10.
No one but the Archbishop of Canterbury can do something, and he has got to do it soon: He has to tell this crowd to step back. If not, the Primates Meeting will be a disaster, and not an instrument of communion, the Anglican Covenant development will be taken over by the Global South Steering Committee chaired by Archbishop Gomez and will not be a covenant but a directive, and the Anglican Consultative Council, swamped by double purple shirts, will not represent any of us.
I hope and trust the level of insult to the Episcopal Church, its leadership and people will be felt by the House of Bishops. If there is a broad middle group of those bishops, a fair number of whom voted for the new Presiding Bishop and all of whom are bound to uphold the Constitution and Canons of this church, they are being given their wake up call.
Let’s cut to the chase: if these birds circle and feed on what they think is a dead body, let’s rise up and show them what a phoenix can do.
Twenty Provinces were represented: eighteen by Primates. Depending on how you count Jerusalem and the Middle East, there were eleven or twelve from Africa. The Living Church has reported that in addition to the Primates present, and the two representatives of Provinces not represented by the Primate, "the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, rector of Truro Parish, Fairfax, Va., and Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America under the Church of Nigeria" was present.
I posted this addition on 9.22.
(The whole thing gets stranger and stranger: Martyn Minns is no Global South Bishop, and he for sure is no Primate. Where is Alice when we need her?)
On 9.23 I got this note from KarenB. "Just FYI, Martyn Minns was present because he is an elected member of the Global South Secretariat. (I'm not trying to claim it's advisable to have an ECUSA priest on the Secretariat, but the Global South clearly value his ability to present the conservative perspective on life in ECUSA. This is his second term on the Secretariat.)" Thanks to KarenB for this correction.
Here were the Provinces attending:
Church of South India,
Jerusalem and Middle East,
South East Asia,
(** Not present but represented)
Once again we may not that no representatives from La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil, Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America, all of whom are tainted by historical ties to the Episcopal Church and may not have been invited. (We know Brazil was not invited to the Third South to South Encounter.)
There are other “Global South” Provinces not represented here. Why not?