According to Plan, but Whose?

The Living Church is reporting that the Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, Bishop Duncan, has been invited to meet with the Primates early on at the meeting in Dar es Salaam. The date is set for February 14th. There is another Episcopal Church bishop supposedly being invited but who that is is as yet unknown. (It's 11 PM here on the East Coast). One presumes from the Living Church article that other persons will be heard from as well.

Well, there it is. Valentine's Day. A day of broken hearts. In the Windy City it is remembered as a day of blood on the floor.

The Duncan memo stated it an objective of the ACN that the Moderator be invited to meetings whenever the Presiding Bishop is invited. The November meeting of the Global South Steering Committee asked for a single spokesperson for the realignment community an the Moderator was chosen. And now the Archbishop has invited the Moderator to the Primates Meeting. Of course the Archbishop wants to hear from the realignment community. Who else? But to have that person be the Moderator raises the question. So I'll ask it: Who is playing into whose agenda?

The Agenda is not yet out, but two things seem clear:

(i) The Moderator is present supposedly for the first part of the meeting only, in order to report to the Primates the concerns of the realignment community, but that could change. The Living Church noted, "In recent years, the primates have become less beholden to the agenda initially proposed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The agenda for the February 2005 meeting in Northern Ireland, for example, was changed significantly once the meeting began."

(ii) It seems that some of the Primates are in no mood to let the Agenda move on until the question of membership in the group is clarified, and that clarification will involve a challenge to the Presiding Bishop's presence.

The Moderator is now waiting in the wings.

What is the Archbishop thinking?

It doesn't matter who else he brings into the conversation. The fact is the Moderator is in the building. If the Primates were to decide to invite someone not the Primate of the Episcopal Church to sit with them as an American Anglican presence what would there be to prevent them? If they decide to disinvite the Presiding Bishop, what then?

Well, perhaps it won't come to that. Perhaps cooler heads will prevail. Perhaps the so called Global South Primates do not have a majority. Perhaps some of them are not all that interested in having a showdown right now. Perhaps there is still an acknowledgment of the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury and his agenda.

It is of course fine that the Archbishop invites persons to talk to the Primates. But when the talking is over it is vital that the visitors be shown the door.


  1. The train is about to leave the station and you don't have a ticket! After years of smart political manuevering, the left has been outmaneuvered by those unsphisticated and uninformed Africans.

  2. Sigh. Between this and the reports re the ACO, I really don't see the point in the PB bothering to go. Let's save the money for the property litigation. We've turned the other cheek to the ABC's insults enough.


  3. Fr. Mark,

    The best thing the Most Rev's from North America can do is skip the primate's meeting. Somehow we need to show the appeasers the cost.


  4. I'm sorry, but I laughed out loud at the "cooler heads" remark. After nearly four years of being warned about what would happen if VGR was confirmed and consecrated, after Windsor opened the door to reconciliation (and was slammed shut by the HoB/D), after a determined revisionist was installed as PB, after the initiation of what can only be described as a purge of the orthodox from TEC....now the Episcopal Left wants cooler heads to prevail in Tanzania??

    Pardon me while I fetch the bucket to catch the irony dripping from this post.

  5. If the Archbishop of Canterbury has decided that Donatits are more valuable to be in communion with than the rest of us, so be it, and we are better off without them.
    Quite frankly I’m sick of the two faced nastiness and emotional abuse inflicted by these purple shirted moral cowards in the CoE. It would be far better, and more honest, for them to just say what they are going to do, rather than let this damn fool process play out. Then again, I am talking about the man who destroyed Jeffery Johns to appease people. After doing in an honorable and holy man for being honest, what else can we expect than this duplicitous and needlessly painful process?

  6. I wonder when the ABC will tell us he's decided the End Times/ Rapture rubbish that passes for theology is new direction for the church. Then the donatists can purify the church of all of us who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and start saving the 'elect'.
    For all those who want to turn the AC into a mini RCC, why don't they just go join the 'real' catholic church and quit pretending to be anglicans.

  7. Well, Mark, after the complete rejection of Windsor at GC06 -- when the only reason ECUSA wasn't ejected from the ACC back in '05 at Nottingham was the plea that GC needed to vote on Windsor compliance -- it's not really surprising that the ABC is starting to come around to the view of the majority of Primates that ECUSA's "prophetic vision" is more important to 815 and GC than remaining in the Communion, and I'm sure Canon Kearon's leaked note to Dr. Crew hasn't helped +++Rowan's attitude any.

    So clearly the Primates are simply prepared to honor ECUSA's choice. I'm not sure what all the complaining is about.

  8. +Bruce MacPherson is the other bishop who will attend.

  9. on the one hand we are about to be stabbed in the back by Rowan and the cowards who define themselves as so-called traditionalists in America.

    On the other hand we will now be free to build a church where we are free to welcome all people to the gospel. It is seriously past time to pull out the plans for an Episcopal communion and talk to the Canadians, the Scots, New Zealand, South Africa, most of Australia and others who are also willing to seek and serve Christ in all persons.

    We also need to quickly prepare to gather up the remnant in England who will soon be chased from parishes as that church veers to the right. The recent silly letter from Rowan and Semantu to the Prime Minister shows that they are now willing to take the CofE out of preaching the gospel and to the task of preaching the doctines of the political right. Those who do not desire to follow will need to be gathered into safe dioceses in England. Within a couple of weeks of Rowan pulling what he is going to do we need a new church structure set up in England and new progressives ordained as bishops for the English.

  10. Does anyone really believe that the Anglican/Episcopal Churches of Canada, Scotland, South Africa, New Zealand and other moderate provinces are going to sign onto an anti-gay covenant? Are they likely to stand by idly and quietly if the Episcopal Church is aggresively marginalized within the institutions of the Anglican Communion? Or might this all quiet down a bit as things are pondered and processed at length in the provincial synods - where the real decisions get made?

  11. (Dave)
    Dennis writes:
    "On the one hand we are about to be stabbed in the back by ... the cowards who define themselves as so-called traditionalists in America."
    Hardly Dennis. You have known for many years exactly what traditionalists have said and been doing. If you did not see this coming, it is because you have been wearing blinders. To paraphrase Bob Dylan, you didn't have to be we a weather vane to see which way this wind was blowing.

  12. Bishop Schori should and will attend. The Tanzania gathering will provide a wonderful opportunty for dialogue. It is not so easy to demonize people face to face. She's strong and the Primates understand that she is not to blame for ECUSA's mistakes.

  13. Could the HofB forbid +Duncan from going? (Don't know anything about the other guy)

    That is, could the HofB collectively say "The PB speaks for us, and if you should *pretend* to speak for us, don't BOTHER returning to the cathedra in Pittsburgh---cuz that ain't your seat anymore"??

    Agree that that this is very disturbing on the ABC's part. :-(

  14. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I must reiterate that the Global South primates who want to expell TEC from the WWAC do not now & never have accepted the WR -- it asks for moratoria & dialogue -- the Akinolists have no interest in dialogue since they understand that the Biblical teaching is clear (this quite aside from the fact that they have never abided by the WR prohibition of boundary violations).

    So PLEASE don't say that TEC is going to be expelled by the WWAC because it has failed to "comply with Windsor" because that is simply not true.

  15. JCF --

    I hardly think it would be right for the HoB to forbid the self designated "Bob Pittsburgh" to go wherever he likes (besides the obvious fact that he would ignore any such prohibition & cite it as another act of "persecution").

    OTOH, it is extremely troubling that the ABC feels quite free to ignore the fact that the body that truly speaks for TEC is not actually our primate & certainly not two conservative bishops chosen by the ABC (BTW, how about we boycott the meeting unless the pro-TEC Tanzanian Bishop Mhogolo is allowed to attend & share HIS concerns?) but the bosy the speaks for TEC is the General Convention whose HoB elected the Presiding Bishop & whose HoD confirmed her election!

  16. ECUSA/TEC has failed to comply with Windsor recommendations. There is no doubt about that. However, I can understand your point about boundary crossing, an unfortunate development.

    As for the Archbishop of Canterbury, I wouldn't give up on him so quickly. He does represent a more liberal view than either +Duncan or +MacPherson, but he also has to consider the entire Communion. He needs our prayers, as does +Schori. These are complicated times.


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.