Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Discounting a provisional ABC

Thinking Anglicans leads us to two interesting articles. George Pitcher offers an erudite picture of the challenges facing the next ABC, which concomitantly appreciates the excellent if misunderstood role ++Rowan has played as hotseat occupant amidst the strafing politics of state and church in the UK. The implicit pitch from George is for a successor with considerable deftness in thinking before speaking, which implies someone with a bit of experience of the upper stratosphere of English life. Although Pitcher doesn't discuss names, on this basis, York, London or Durham could do the job. But the question might be asked whether they would be stretching their respective competencies. Pitcher leaves room for the possibility there be someone somewhere we haven't quite spotted as having the intellectual heft required?

John Martin takes a different tack and names names and offers a variation on the Dark Horse, Welby will be winner, possibility canvassed here: Chartres of London will be appointed to do the job for a few years (he is the oldest of all being canvassed) so Welby can get more experience as a bishop.

From a long way a way I simply say in response to that direction, Nuts! Provisional episcopal solutions are often canvassed down under, but rarely followed through. The process of selecting a bishop, whether via election as here or running the gauntlet of press speculation a la England is so wearying that sensible appointees dismiss the short term solution and press to find the person who likely can do the job for a minimum of ten years. A point Martin misses is that if Chartres were appointed for a five year stint, Welby would be 61 by then. The obvious cry in 2017 would be, Is he too old? (As some are saying about ++Sentamu today). Then there is the small but important point of appointing someone to take the Communion through the next Lambeth Conference in 2018.

Let's discount appointment of a provisional ABC as nutty and press on for a "decader" in the office.


Janice said...

It all sounds so depressingly political and worldly.

Fr. Jonathan said...

Gosh, that would be so nice if +London were the choice though. I know it probably won't happen, but still.

Father Ron Smith said...

It really is perhaps as well that no-one in ACANZP has any say in who will be appointed to succeed ++Rowan as the next ABC.

There have been surprises before. Let's hope there'll be another one this time around - especially when the likes of York and London are still in the offing. Neither would provide the sort of imaginative thinking (and praying) that would be required for Primus-inter-pares of the whole Anglican Communion.

What would not be required is a person who would take the Church of England even further back into the Victorian Era of the Colonial Church. Veni Sancte Spiritus!

Tim Chesterton said...

What would not be required is a person who would take the Church of England even further back into the Victorian Era of the Colonial Church. Veni Sancte Spiritus!

Would that be the era in which everyone understood Latin, Ron?!

Anonymous said...

What we need is an ABC who believes in the inerrant truth and supreme authority of Scripture, and who does care for the fashionable idolatries of the modern/post-modern world.

The Victorian era had it's faults, but it was head and shoulders above our own decaying, degraded and decadent times.