The Anglican Covenant has become a political tool.

The Anglican Covenant has become a political tool and has ceased to be (if it ever was) an instrument for the unity of the Anglican Communion.

Thinking Anglicans carries reference to a series of articles reacting to the
GS primates on the Covenant that details just how divisive the Covenant has become out there in the land of the purified South.

The genesis of the Covenant idea may have been the desire to find a basis for unity in the Anglican Communion, but in the process of its formation it has become a political tool in the hands of Global South groups used alternately as a litmus test for inclusion and a basis for judgment against those who hold minority opinions in the Communion on matters related to the vocations of gay and lesbian persons in the life of the Church, and going back related to the vocations of women in the Church. As a result the Covenant is distrusted by progressives as well who see it as a trap. So both realignment and progressive groups are displeased with the Covenant.

More, the Anglican Covenant has been seen by some conservative or realignment critics of the current political / ecclesiastical structures of the Communion the outward and visible sign of the inward and spiritually defunct system that is the Anglican Communion. The Global South Primates (producers of the GAFCON conference and the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans) and the Global South Encounter #4 have both criticized the current form of governance in the Anglican Communion and the emerging form envisioned by the Anglican Covenant.

In particular they have soundly denounced the emergence in the Anglican Covenant of a primary role for the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council, now called the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion. They see the SCAC as a scheme to keep the Primates from exercising greater power. The GSE#4 and Global South Primates seem to view the ACC as a secondary synod, with the primary synod being the Primates themsel
ves. In this view, the Primates meetings constitute the primary context for determining theological and ecclesial direction for the Anglican Communion. They become, as it were, an Anglican College of Cardinals. The end hope, of course, is that in the future the Primates will elect from among themselves the leader of the Communion and will as a group also determine the new roles for the ACC. The ACC would cease to be determinant of its own membership. It would no longer provide one of the two "lists" of churches in the Anglican Communion (the second being the list at the end of the Church of England's Canons, determined by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York). The Communion would consist of those Churches in communion with a Primates Council.

The Anglican Covenant as it stands places considerable power in the Communion in a body (the Standing Committee) that represents in one way or another the Primates, the wider bishops, and the Anglican Consultative Council lay and ordained members. It may be flawed, but at least it is synodical in a mul
ti-leveled way. But the AC is seen by the GS Primates as a front for western, first world, establishment efforts to disperse power among "privileged" first world leaders and take it away from the Primates. So for some in the realignment camp the Anglican Covenant has become a symbol of all that is wrong with the current order.

The problem is that the objections to the Covenant by progressives play in to the hands of those set on realignment. As it stands the Primates as a collective have no authority to make themselves the focus of unity for the Anglican Communion as it is or as it might be in a realigned state. At the moment they could not muster a 'super majority' to claim for themselves that role. On a really good day the Global South Primates - as determined by the Global South Encounter #4 - might include 18 or 20 of the 38 Primates. On a really bad day, using the numbers from the Global South Primates of FOCA / GAFCON they number 10 or so. On really difficult tasks, such
as limiting Primates to those of so-called "orthodox" beliefs, the Global South Primates would not muster enough votes to further clean house, so working for the exclusion of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada is vital as part of the lead up to the change in the role of the Primates. Getting them out of the room and then voting gives the Global South a bit more muscle. Not much but some.

And here is the rub: If progressive Provinces (TEC and ACoC as starters) dump the Anglican Covenant it will be used as "proof" that these Provinces have put themselves outside the Anglican Communion (the litmus test). If they do sign the Anglican Covenant, it will be argued that their current actions of blessing vocations of gay and lesbian persons shows that their signing on or not is irrelevant, since they clearly do not intend to conform to "the mind of the Communion."

In either case, the end result would be to argue to expel TEC and ACoC, and no doubt other decadent provinces of the West or under the influence of the North and West. All of which tips the balance in the Primates meeting to the p
oint where the remaining Primates by a super majority could indeed vote to take on synodical powers and determine who is and who is not in the Anglican Communion, who is the titular head of communion and what sort of thing a new ACC would be and look like.

It becomes important then to support the development of the notion of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion (SCAC) precisely because it keeps the mix of primates, bishops, priests/ deacons, and lay persons at the center of decision making, rather than a new and improved Primates Council. But what of the SCAC role in the highly questionable and objectionable 3.2 and 4 sections of the Anglican Covenant? Could the SCAC recommend that TEC and or the ACoC be removed from active participation in the "instruments of communion" and the committees of the ACC? Sure. Could TEC or the ACoC be removed from membership in the Anglican Communion and their place taken by ACNA? Yes, but not likely. B
ut all of that is the supposition about political possibilities in the future.

I am more and more persuaded that we ought not be afraid. We don't have to develop strategies to make sure that the Anglican Covenant is either approved or not. It is enough that we understand that no matter its approval by our Church wide synod (General Convention), those who are set on a power grab by the Primates don't really care a fig how our vote goes. They have already dismissed TEC. What they are interested in is a coup by so called "orthodox" Primates, usurping the powers of the various instruments of Communion unto themselves.

So it is all the more important that we insist that our Primate be at Primates Meetings and our representatives to the ACC be at ACC meetings. There must not be again a request honored that we refrain from participation in an ACC meeting. It is time to do away with the polite phrases of immoderate princes o
f the Church. Just as a request for "gracious restraint" is a polite form of command, so a request that we refrain from participation in ACC or the Primates Meeting ought to be viewed as no request at all, but rather a subtle effort to enact exclusion without taking a vote and by having those being punished take the responsibility for their own punishment. Such polite phrases are sick.

Where does this all leave TEC or the ACoC, or other "progressive" Churches in the Anglican Communion? As regards the GS Primates and the GSE#4 proposal that there be a Primates Meeting called without inclusion of the Primates of TEC or the ACoC, we need to be consistent and clear: Such a meeting would be regarded as a de facto usurpation of the processes outlined in the Anglican Covenant and sufficient grounds for suspending all consideration of the Anglican Covenant and the basis for suspension of all support for the Primates Meetings.

As regards the suggestion that a vote against the Anglican Covenant is a vote to "walk apart" from the rest of the churches of the Communion, it will need to be made clear that no such intention is there. All the Churches of the Anglican Communion have been asked to respond to the Anglican Covenant and indicate assent or dissent. But nothing is thereby implied about our desire to remain part of the Anglican Communion or about our fitness to be part of the Communion.

As regards the notion that TEC and ACoC is incapable of honestly assenting to the Covenant, given the actions of the past several years, actions that have been repeated, it would be well to remind the Communion that the Anglican Covenant does not require submission to any prior judgments by the Churches of the Communion. I do believe that if we know we will continue to act in ways that displease one or another of the instrument
s of communion, assenting to the Covenant is to invite our Church to continue a rigorous defense of our decisions, often in difficult venues some resembling a star chamber. Those who believe TEC to be dishonest will have reason to be suspicious of our decision, no matter what it is. So let us simply do our job - let our yes be yes and our no be no.

As regards the Anglican Covenant itself: I believe we in TEC ought to let the matter go forward marshaling our best arguments pro and con and putting the matter to General Convention with out fear about the outcome. I am personally persuaded that the Anglican Covenant is unnecessary, badly written, and a descent into old, rather than new, covenant mentality. I believe we do not need greater rules governing our fellowship of Churches and molding it into a false unity and an uber-church. We need more passionate and compassionate love for one another in the Communion. I am concerned that the Covenant involves limitations on TEC not envisioned
in the current Constitution and Canons of TEC. But that is me.

At least in theory I can be persuaded otherwise. That is the value of all the discussion and debate leading up to General Convention and all the hearings and debate that will no doubt take place there. So let us take the Covenant to Convention and deal with it there. And be not afraid. Those who would use the Covenant to "punish" TEC or the ACoC will not care one way or another how we vote. They neither trust us or want us present with them. And however TEC or the ACoC votes on the matter of the Covenant, the fact remains, we need to be ready to witness to the faithfulness of what we do anyway.

Many hoped that the Anglican Covenant would be in itself a "tool" for unity. It has become, however, an instrument of division. It is a political mess. Into this mess come those seeking a new and improved Communion in which the power shifts to the Primates and they in turn are final arbiters of inclusion and exclusion. Into this mess comes the Anglican Church in North America, seeking inclusion a
nd offering the "orthodox" Primates one more vote in the effort to take over.

Still, in the midst of all the mess that arises out of the Covenant "process," regular life goes on in every part of the Anglican world... of the 60-80 million Anglicans worldwide most never meet an Anglican beyond their own neighborhood, village, town or city. For them, and perhaps for all of us, it is a reminder that while some of us may indulge in head thinking on a global level, most of us engage in matters of the heart on a local level. No one at the level of the heart will much care one way or another about the Covenant. Except of course if you are a woman, or a person different from your neighbors, or gay or lesbian or a child. Then it would matter greatly if t
he Covenant made it more difficult to live in place into the full vocation that we are called to in baptism.

So the final Anglican Covenant problem is this: whatever it was first envisioned to be, it has become an instrument of delay, of caution, of fear, and thus of exclusion, in place. That may be the final reason to set it down and let it rest from a task it is not up to taking on. This does not sound like a covenant having to do with loving one another, as Jesus the anointed one loved us.

But then, what do I know? For some reason it reminded me of Firesign Theatre's "The Further Adventures of Nick Danger," and this famous dialogue:

"NICK I don't know why you're doing this, Nancy, but it doesn't change my feelings about you...

NANCY (sobbing) Oh, Nick, you're such a tool!"

Indeed, I may not know what we're being done the Anglican Covenant, but it doesn't change my feelings about the Anglican Communion....I'm such a tool. Not a political tool like the Anglican Covenant, but a tool of the heart. I believe we can live in the land of differences with a good heart and that the fellowship of Churches in the Anglican Churches is more about the new commandment then the old ones.


  1. Nom de Plume9/5/10 10:35 AM

    You have set forth a cogent argument against accepting or ratifying the Covenant. The difficulty with formally rejecting the Covenant, is of course to appear to be "walking apart" as you point out, which is not what either the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada would wish to imply.

    But there is a way to cut this Gordian knot. We are still unclear as to whether the Church of England is legally capable of signing the Covenant, and they seem to be ignoring that question. Nor do we know for certain if they would ratify it, given the power to do so. I suggest both the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada (and other progressive Provinces) vote to defer the debate on the Covenant until such time as the Church of England formally ratifies it. That should buy a century or two, at which time the Covenant will be long forgotten.

  2. Posted at Thinking Anglicans regarding the General Synod of the AC in ANZ&P and consideration of the Anglican Covenant;
    I can safely predict that the Anglican Church in ANZP will never break communion with Canterbury, Nigeria, TEC or Sydney. If any other church wants to break communion with us, that is their responsibility, and we would greet their decision will deep grief.
    The Rev'd Edward Prebble
    St John's College

    I think that is the unspoken stand of many provinces;
    Canada, TEC, Scotland, Wales, England, Mexico, Central America, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Australia, as well as the extra-provincial churches, Cuba, Spain, and Portugal. There may be others. YMMV.

  3. Sir, is it not reasonable for the Primates to see themselves as having greater legitimacy in the AC than a self-appointed "standing committee"?

    That committee can say what it likes.....if the churches of the Primates do not agree, it really does not change a thing - I think the Primates Meeting deserves respect for being more representative of global Anglicanism than the standing committe or even the ABC

  4. I think that Nom de Plume has hit the nail right on the head. Our position on the Covenent should be that we will not make a decision about accepting or rejecting it until the Church of England ratifies it.

    Kurt Hill

  5. Seen from the standpoint of TECism, when the vast majority of the Communion stands by the status quo ante, it is a 'power grab.' Unless and until this tiny church repents of its americanism and redraws the map of the world wide communion--a 'mercator projection' global map with 815 in elongated central position and the biggest regions reduced to tiny blips--it will continue to suffer severe blindness and say it alone sees clearly. It will insist that it is playing fair and that the vast majority of anglicans are power-grabbing by refusing to depart from the historic faith and agreed behaviours so as to conform to TECism. American hauteur in drag.
    And now, if I hear this rightly, instead of doing what they believe conscience demands, we have a new idea: refuse to walk in the path that one is committed to, and undercut the covenant signers in their majority life in the anglican way, by insisting on participation on their own terms.
    American money and power insisting on its own way. Heard that before.
    Tired of Hypocrisy

  6. Sir, is it not reasonable for the Primates to see themselves as having greater legitimacy in the AC than a self-appointed "standing committee"?

    Observer, the committee of your interjection does not exist in the AC. It is a figment of your cluelessness to current polity.

    The Standing Committee of the AC, formerly the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council, is an elected body. The Primates Meeting elects the primatial members and the ACC elects the members representing the ACC. There is nothing self-appointed about it.

  7. “...when the vast majority of the Communion...” blah, blah, blah. If we Episcopalians are so tiny and insignificant, why do you con evos pay so much attention to us?! Why don’t you MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS?!

    Tired of Evo Hypocrites
    (a/k/a Kurt Hill
    Brooklyn, NY)

  8. Yes, you are tiny and insignificant, and yet you seek to manipulate the vast majority of anglicans due to american self-referentiality and the assumption that what you are, everyone will need to be as well. And when that does not work, and the covenant exposes that your definition of Communion life in Christ is not shared except with 10% of the Communion, we now learn that you will not walk in the 'integrity' of your own views and so leave the Communion to carry on. Yes, it would be a pleasure to not have to continue to endure your manipulations. That was indeed my question: why not move forward on your own and leave the Communion to its own desired path, as shared by the Communion's own self-description in covenant.
    Tired of Hypocrisy and Ugly Americanism

  9. I get very tired of the phrase "the majority" of the AC when that majority means nothing other than the opinion of bishops who are appointed and represent nobody.

  10. Tired, the status quo ante was amazingly unjust. Christianity is a cry of "justice" to power not a nice safe place for the terminally smug.

    By the way, at this moment the precise count of provinces that have signed the deader than a doornail document is precisely zero. At the (non) Global South conference the planners seem to have expected a mass signing and they did not in fact have the votes. Several primates did not even bother to show up, they sent deputies.

    The South has failed and the document is dead. Move along.


  11. You can't "commune" with unrepentant people like Jensen, Akinola, Nazir-Ali.

    They are violent and bloody men, even if they've never lifted a weapon, backwards, covered in the blood of their victims. What does it profit us if we gain the World ("Communion") and lose our souls?

  12. Smug? What is astonishing is the blinkered americanism and how it assumes that what it wants is righteous (anti-Jim Crow = pro Glasspool) and must be had by all. When Acts 15 concluded that it had a consensus on gentile inclusion (in accordance with the constraints of Lev 18-19 and in agreement with the scriptural witness of the prophets) I guess it was being specious in its concern for 'a majority' -- of apostles, prophets and OT testimony.
    What boggles the mind is the self referentiality of americanism and its confidence that its way is the way.
    BTW, it does not take a covenant to establish the simply fact that a vast majority of anglicans hold to a view of Christian marriage TECism is altering with enthusiasm.
    And, Brunson is a more honest american in his commitment to LBGT and loathing of communion with bigots etc (the bulk of the Communion, in his view).
    Tired of Hypocrisy

  13. “Yes, you are tiny and insignificant, and yet you seek to manipulate the vast majority of anglicans [sic] due to american [sic] self-referentiality and the assumption that what you are, everyone will need to be as well.”

    What can one say about the priorities of the con evo “Anglican” Primate of Nigeria, (as just one example), who spends so much time on issues related to the “tiny and insignificant” American Church, while in his own nation: the GNI per capita is only $1,160 a year (in one of the richest countries on the planet); when the life expectancy of his congregants is only 48 years; when nearly 50 percent of his people are illiterate, and where 27 percent of the children under 5 years old suffer from underweight”/malnutrition? One would think that the man--and the Nigerian Primate is a man--would have better things to do than worry about what is happening among American Episcopalians.

    Still Tired of Evo Hypocrites
    (a/k/a Kurt Hill)

  14. It looks like the much vaunted Global South New Communion of the Doctrinally Correct Crusading Ueber Bishops ended in a fizzle of bland diplomacy.

    It's hard to build a new church, or anything new, on a series of negatives: hostility to gays, hostility to North Americans,etc.
    It is precisely those hostilities that have held this loose coalition together. As soon as those threats are no longer threats, then the infighting starts.

    I expect that the Episcopal and Canadian Churches will remain in the Communion for the foreseeable future. They are not going to leave, and the momentum to toss them out seems to have passed.

  15. And Akinola is a more honest orthodite "christian" in his hatred and violence.

    We know what you and your bloodthirsty heroes are "Anonymous" creature. Get thee behind me.

  16. David,
    a possible weakness in your argument is the issue of who votes for the ACC reps. As far as I can tell they tend to be appointed by executive committees and similar bodies. (If you regard this an "elections" then the CofE is democratic too with its committees voting for bishops). The standing committee structure gives a permanent gerrymander to the "global north", much like the UN security council favours historically powerful nations.

  17. Do you all ever listen to each other? Brunson declares anyone opposed to America's GLBT etc novelty, wait for it, Satanic. The world wide Anglican Communion, in what it believes, by a percentage probably of at least 75%, is Satanic.
    With any kind of providential kindness, +RDW will give TEC what it wants and press on with the vast majority of the Communion, which of course does not have the vast resources to manipulate the Communion as does TEC. Will he do this? Well, Glasspool's consecration is about on us. TEC will again get what it wants. We shall have to see whether this decision sets TEC on its own trajectory, and all wish it well as it goes forward; and whether liberals will cut away and leave the Communion to pursue its mission, or will decide to harrass the Covenanting churches and seek to subvert their wider resolve --as urged above.

  18. AFAICT does not cut it John Sandeman. I suggest that you research your claims before making them, especially where you claim the Committee is biased to the North.

    Observer claimed the Committee was self-appointed. My claim is that it is not. Regardless of whether there is an election system or an appointment system, or a combination of both, the members of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion who come from the Anglican Consultative Council rise up from the ACC and are approved by the ACC.

    And the ACC is biased towards the largest provinces, if it biased, because they are the ones with three representatives, including your own province, as well as, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Whereas small churches, like mine, have one representative.

    Furthermore, I also doubt that the aggressively vocal primates of the Global South would sit idly by and let the ABC stack the deck for the North with regard to the members of the Standing committee of the AC from the Primates Meeting.

    Proof John, were is your proof?

  19. Come, John, David: pace.

    Certainly, John, the Joint Standing Committee cum Anglican Standing Committee is not "self-appointed." Each Instrument (ACC and Primates) has a process for membership on the committee, and each national church has a process for selecting representative and primates, even if processes differ. And, yes, while I don't feel the CofE process for selecting a bishop is as clear or transparent as I'm used to in the TEC, I have some sense that the local diocese does have some participation. Don't get me wrong: I think there's good theological and sociological justification for our system. However, I won't claim it's the only possible appropriate system.

    David, there is something of a bias in participation in ACC, but it's seen less among those allowed three representatives (which includes the great numbers of Nigeria and also the much smaller numbers of the Episcopal Church) than among those allowed only one representative. Certainly, there is not stated connection of representation to number of members, contribution of the national church to the ACC budget, etc, so there's no clear challenge to a sense of bias. Moreover, while for those churches allowed one representatives are encouraged to choosed a lay person as the representative, there's no requirement; so even without a change that would make all primates ex officio members (as favored by some primates) many of those churches might send the primate as representative anyway, and ACC would have no recourse.

    I'm sure the had a reason at the time for the representation as they set it up. I just wish they'd made that reason explicit. Without knowing the reason, it's hard to say there's no bias.

  20. Much in Fr Harris's most recent entry is, quite frankly, obscure...as if we are entering into a discussion amongst Exec Council members but in a sort of code. What, for example, does this mean:
    "There must not be again a request honored that we refrain from participation in an ACC meeting. It is time to do away with the polite phrases of immoderate princes of the Church. Just as a request for "gracious restraint" is a polite form of command, so a request that we refrain from participation in ACC or the Primates Meeting ought to be viewed as no request at all, but rather a subtle effort to enact exclusion without taking a vote and by having those being punished take the responsibility for their own punishment."
    1. "request honored that we" -- to what does this refer and to what does it now refer? Has someone suggested that TEC honor a request? as previously?
    2. "a subtle effort to enact exclusion" coupled with the language of "gracious constraint" sounds like RDW's anticipated request of TEC in the light of this weekend's enthusiastic consecration of Glasspool. Is this so?
    I wonder if Fr Harris or others 'in the know' can help translate this long, somewhat predictable, somewhat rambling entry by the blog owner?
    Wondering Pre Glasspool

  21. David, let me give the example of my own province, Australia, which has three representives for a church with an Average Sunday Attendence of 160,000. (There are no official membership figures for the church, and the Australian church figures based on a census every five years are very reliable).
    This gives my province the same representation as Nigeria, Uganda, and the Indian churches which each have millions of members.
    The churches with a disproportionate number of representatives happen to be overwhelmingly white and "northern".
    The Standing Committee in addition allocates representation by continent. Once again my region is greatly over-represented.
    David, please feel free to disagree with me, but I do research my comments.

  22. Unfortunately Marshall, like John, you make specious claims of potential conspiratorial bias in the ACC. First John, based on, I suppose, gut feeling, but no evidence, asserts that the whole shebang shows bias toward the Global North/West. Now you opine that, no if it has bias, it is that small churches could send their primate as the representative, tilting the whole shebang to an inordinate primatial representation.

    Yet the official list of representatives of the provinces of the ACC, obtained from the AC's official website, meeting in Jamaica last year does not bear out your claim. Although some sent a bishop rather than a lay person, aside from the Standing Committee of the Primates Meeting, and the ABC himself, the only two churches who sent a primate as a representative were big churches with three representatives!

    Participants at ACC-14

    Again I say proof, Marshall, where is your proof?

  23. SeƱor Anonymous.

    Refrain from participation refers to the ACC Meeting of 2005 in Nottingham, England, UK where the representatives from TEC and the ACoCanada were instructed by their constituent church bodies to voluntarily refrain from attending with voice and vote as was requested by the Primates Meeting of earlier in 2005, and as suggested in the Windsor Report.

    Father Mark is saying, and I heartily concur, never again!

    As far as gracious restraint, it is posed as a well mannered request, with a luscious please attached, but when folks politely decline, it is obvious from the primatial tirades that follow that it was never a request at all, but an order with which one must comply, or heaven help you with the consequences.

    Bovine fecal matter!

  24. Thanks for your enthusiasm David, but you did not answer the questions. That's OK as I suspect you can't. But Fr Harris can, as he wrote the entry and used the language. It sounds like the Exec Council is aware of a request in the air. I wrote to ask if this is so.
    "Has someone suggested that TEC honor a request? as previously?
    2. "a subtle effort to enact exclusion" coupled with the language of "gracious constraint" sounds like RDW's anticipated request of TEC in the light of this weekend's enthusiastic consecration of Glasspool. Is this so?
    Still wondering post Glasspool.

  25. Goodness, David! "Conspiratorial?" I wouldn't use that term, because I do imagine those who made the decision did so publically and knowing why. It may be something as simple as a statistical distribution, but that to get the distribution they wanted they set the dividing line at a membership of 200,000 or ASA at 100,000 - or something of the sort. There's not anything devious in that.

    However, the principle isn't described in the Constitution of the ACC (which is where I got my information, whether you find it convincing or not). So, hypothetically, there's no stated way the status could change. Of the Scottish Episcopal Church had sudden, massive growth in membership and ASA, could they qualify to change representation? If the Anglican Church of Canada had a sudden, catastrophic loss of membership, could they be required to reduce representation? If so, the parameters aren't in the Constitution of the ACC.

    Regarding the Primates, I think that comment was mine and not John's, just to take my own hits; and that is also in the ACC Constitution.

  26. “It sounds like the Exec Council is aware of a request in the air. I wrote to ask if this is so.”

    In which case, I would imagine that request will be politely ignored, as it should be. Personally, I think it’s past time that we American Episcopalians took a much harder line with the con evo extremists who pretend to lead “the vast majority” of Anglicans.

    STOEH (a/k/a Kurt Hill)

  27. Kurt et al: So we should conclude that a request has been made, already, and this is to what Exec Council member Harris refers. Naughton at The Lead also suggests this, in turn leading to a squabble amongst the pro LGBT crowd over whether to attend anyway or proudly march off.
    What one misses in this is an alternative to the view that TEC's place in the Communion is non-negotiable and is what it is on TEC's terms.
    If, e.g., Schori is not invited to the Primates Meeting, then she cannot attend. The gathering authority belongs to someone outside TEC: The ABC. Equally, representation on the Standing Committee is not an 'inalienable right'. Mr Ashey was denied a place at the ACC because of border-crossings, and so too TEC could be denied a place becase SSBs are against the same principles used to keep Mr Ashey away.
    To listen to these comments is to come away with the idea that TEC's place in the Communion is a matter of self-assertion, when in fact it is not. Ugly Americanism in vestments?

  28. “If, e.g., Schori is not invited to the Primates Meeting, then she cannot attend.”

    Au contraire mon frere. As I said, I think that it’s past time we Episcopalians stopped playing nice and started playing hardball. What do you think would happen if Presiding Bishop Shori were to show up? Would the Africans physically throw her out? Who would bar her way---you? There are plenty of Anglicans in the world---maybe not many con evos--who would welcome such a confrontation.


  29. Kurt--let me be sure I hear you correctly. The Archbishop of Canterbury, who issues invitations to the Primates Meetings, and who has the authority not to invite (he spoke of this clearly the last time is agreed that KJS should attend and be answerable) -- are you saying that the Presiding Bishop of TEC, should she not be invited, ought to go anyway and insert herself into the meeting? Remember, this isn't a nineth grade gathering to decide who beats out the erasers and restocks the chalk. This isn't even Rosa Parks. This is a gathering of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, a gathering which happens solely at the decision of the See of Canterbury. I have a hard time believing that even the PB of TEC would be so brash as to 'crash' a meeting to which she is not invited. I am also unsure whether this will happen. But the thing that boggles my mind is the idea, repeated on this blog thread, that the PB has a kind of right to attend, or, to intrude herself. This isn't TEC's Communion and TEC has no inalienable right to it. It can of course create its own 'US-Based Episcopal Church' (so the language in the original post above) and decide who it wants to gather into that. But what you are suggesting takes tea partyism americanism a bit far.

  30. “...are you saying that the Presiding Bishop of TEC, should she not be invited, ought to go anyway and insert herself into the meeting?”

    That’s EXACTLY what I’m saying. I’ve told you time and time again (don't you read what I write?) that I believe it’s past time for TEC to take off the gloves. Believe it!


  31. I don't believe it because it sounds so juvenile. I also don't believe it because I seriously doubt that if the PB were not invited, she would show up and insert herself into the proceedings, with force, as it were. At least here I'd credit her with more maturity than you. I also think her supporters (the celtic fringe, eg) would turn away in embarrasment. I sometimes don't think that americans realise how rude and self-centered most see them.

  32. I sincerely doubt that +Katharine's personality is that of a party crasher. If not invited, I cannot see her going. I cannot even see her going and sitting at the gate as +Gene did.

    But given a PB with a personality of a different bent, what would the ABC do, the unchristian act of barring the participation of a brother/sister primate? So much for primus inter pares. This one has already screwed his own legacy so badly that what he shall likely be remembered for is how horribly bad he has been.


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.