Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Barking's Bite

My sense of where Lambeth has ended up is in a more traditional, conservative place than many predicted before the Conference began, especially with many conservative bishops known to be absent. This is a huge achievement, but more quiet than some have wished for. I see that the Bishop of Barking, David Hawkins is of similar views (hat-tip to Titus One Nine):

"What emerged through the listening and reflective process could not have been predicted at the outset of the Conference. In spite of the absence of approximately 200 Gafcon Bishops the centre of gravity of the conference settled in a ‘traditionalist’ position with regard to interpretation of Scripture and a desire to find a covenantal expression of Anglicanism. This was also the quiet and consistent lead given by the Archbishop.

What this means is:

1. The communion retains Lambeth 1:10 in its entirety with a call to do more effective listening to the different positions with regard to human sexuality.
2. We shall press ahead with improving the St Andrew’s Draft of the Anglican Covenant.
3. ‘There is widespread support’ for the three moratoria of the Windsor Process.
4. ‘There is a clear majority support for a pastoral forum along the lines advocated by the Windsor continuation group and a desire to see it in place speedily’"

As already implied in previous posts, I predict that this manner of ending, rather than some kind of Conference ejection, relegation, or discipline of TEC and ACCan, will be more productive in the long-term. If TEC and allies reject the calls for moratoria then they lose moral ground. If they accelerate directions they are heading in then the distance between them and the majority of the Communion will be revealed by their own actions. That could mean TEC etc take responsibility for their actions and the consequences of those actions. If we found ourselves evolved rather convovulated towards a new configuration of our Communion, might we not praise the ABC for his brilliant leadership, and look back on Lambeth 2008 as the conference with bite as well as bark?

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