Read it all. I get the sense that this interview became more of a conversation, and a good one at that.
Archive for July, 2008
As she writes here:
Bishop Bruce McPherson of Western Louisiana, who now chairs the Communion Partners group of bishops in the US, said he was pleased to see these specific moratoria. “We need to come up with accountability if it goes forward and to provide for a way for it to be lived into.”
This is, of course, not news from a standpoint of the amount of work +Bruce has put into Communion Partners, the fact that he went with Bishop Duncan to Tanzania, and so on. However, I guess it is newsworthy from a standpoint of beginning to realize where this is all going. The real question for this fall’s Diocesan Convention in Western Louisiana is will the Diocese salute when the Communion Partners flag is raised. This, of course, is critical if the Communion Partners movement is to succeed in being an orthodox Anglican witness in North America.
Obviously, I have mixed feelings about all this. I’d rather be free of TEC and be in an orthodox Anglican province in the United States. It would just be easier – spiritually, mentally, and timewise. There are times when I think that being free of such aggravation would be worth it to even trade the unity of the Diocese. But, I don’t think that is necessarily the right thing to do.
It is, frankly, difficult to discern. Mostly, because I desperately want to leave this up to God to judge. It is also difficult because of a short conversation I had with Andrew Carey after GC2006 at an AAC dinner. He asked me “if you leave, what about all the faithful still in the Episcopal Church?” He is right; there is a lot of people in the Episcopal Church for whom Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. That is not to say I am irreplaceable in the Episcopal Church. Frankly, no one is, no matter how important they may seem. But, being faithful to God’s call on my life has left me intertwined with the Episcopal Church against my own wishes.
More later. It should be an interesting day at Lambeth, since today is sex day.
Looking at the recommendations of the meeting this afternoon, and at which there was standing room only, the recommendations appear about the same as that which came out of Dar es Salaam. The only exception to this as I recall, is the Dar es Salaam document carried stronger language with regard to non-compliance. For true purposes of accountability, I feel we truly must have a specified consequence spelled out.
Unlike the previous hearing, there were a number more bishops willing to speak publicly today about the damage that is taking place and the need for a Covenant that will provide clear direction to the Communion.
Sarah’s second article will have some of +Bruce’s thoughts on the Communion Partners movement.
On Thursday, knowing that the conference attendees would leave early in the morning for London — for the MDG walk, lunch at Lambeth Palace, and tea with the Queen…
Then, we were off to London. Many months ago, I had been contacted by the Cara Trust, a philanthropic organization who has been providing support and services to those living with HIV/AIDS since the early days of the pandemic. They invited me to have tea with them and many of their clients — now not just limited to gay men, but including heterosexuals, women and especially women of color. What an honor to be asked, and what an honor to accept.
In one of those divinely humorous coincidences, our travel route from Canterbury and through the jam-packed traffic of London took us around Buckingham Palace, just at the precise moment that bishops and spouses were streaming off their coaches and into the Palace, for tea with the Queen.
But maps don’t lie:
They need to give the boot to the border crossers (even though I am on their side) and those involved in the same sex blessing and gay ordination debacles and tell them to come back to the sandbox when they have decided they can place nice and play by the rules. It really is that simple. Lambeth simply needs to say “You are no longer in communion with us” and ask that they leave the conference. Yes, that will include a Primate or too. Including my own, but also the one giving the most ecclesiastical cover in North America at present.
Short of that, as Greg Griffith has noted, it is pretty much all over for the Anglican Communion.
What to do with those under the ecclesiastical cover of other Provinces is simple – put them in trust with the American bishops who haven’t been given the boot. Probably those Communion Partner guys. That will also put an end to the litigation. They are in the Episcopal Church – just not with the guys who have been kicked out of the Anglican Communion.
If nothing changes, certain Primates aren’t invited to the Primates Meeting. The Anglican Consultative Council is no big deal, because it is just a charitable trust to support Anglicanism, and has no real authority in the Communion when you read its organizational documents. Yes, it has done things like declared Sees vacant without authority, but it doesn’t mean they actually have that power. The remaining Primates set to work reorganizing Anglicanism, starting with recognition of faithful bishops who play by the rules and asking them to elect a new Primate.
Not that I think the current ABC will do this. But, it is what he ought to do. I think he might be surprised how quickly folks begin to cooperate. He simply has to force it on them, with the help of the bishops at Lambeth who would be willing to go along with this. He could start revoking invitations and credentials today. It is also not for lack of warning, since he told the Bishops they were expected to work with the Windsor and Covenant processes. Plenty of folks are not working with them. Now, I blame all of this on the intransigence of TEC’s liberal leadership, but blame is not the issue.
What has to be done is similar to the Organian treaty imposed upon the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire in Star Trek. The Organians didn’t give the Federation or the Klingons any choice. They just said this is how things are going to be, period. Come to think of it, +Rowan Williams is sort of like an Organian…”we have no one in authority, but I am chairman of the council of elders” and what not.
That’s about all that can be done, at this point, to save the Anglican Communion.
This is all sort of like a British bobby with no gun. “Stop! Or I’ll say ‘stop’ again!”