Friday, December 7, 2012

Too fast moving for me

In one sense not much happens in our NZ church. So the last 36 hours have been a belter for interesting developments. Our pakeha Archbishop David Moxon is moving to Rome, but as an Anglican not to become a Roman. This morning I awake to news that the Bishop of Waiapu, +David Rice (an American by birth and upbringing) is a candidate for an episcopal election in TEC (H/T Ron Smith). For Waiapu that will be interesting news to digest as the "NZ way" is generally for no one to know anything about a change of position until the change is announced.

One or two have asked if I am going to speculate here about who our new archbishop will be as I did with the ABC position. The answer is No. NZ is just too small, and there are too few candidates for the role (i.e. it will be one of eight bishops ... actually, one of seven bishops) for public discussion to be undertaken about respective merits etc. [NB I will not publish speculative comments here, just delete them; start your own blog etc if you wish to speculate].

But I do wonder if +David Rice has pretty much ruled himself out of consideration when he makes this statement in his election papers, "Tracy and I are convinced it is the right time for us to return
home after living in N.Z. for eighteen years."

Hence it seems likely that our effective candidates are the respective bishops of Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson, Wellington, Waikato and Taranaki (which has one bishop in place after ++David leaves), and Auckland (x2).

I do hope that +David can work out his episcopacy well in Waiapu if he is unsuccessful after having publicly entered the very different-to-our-own process towards the possibility of becoming a bishop in TEC - in our process everything is secret re public news and public re circulating whispers!


Anonymous said...

secrecy in elction processes necessarily cause rumours and a cloak for alndering and half truths. perhaps we can learn from the american way with gospel benefits

Zane Elliott said...

I wonder if it is worth us reflecting on how the process of electing a bishop in TEC is different to ACANZP.

I like the transparency that the TEC model offers. In ACANZP it seems we keep everything (poorly) under wraps to protect the reputation of unsuccessful candidates, but our Province is such a small place the rumour mill cranks up and many of us hear about the 'confidential' goings on anyway, and probably with a fair amount in inaccuracy thrown in!

Are there other reasons for the secrecy in ACANZP?

What are the benefits of the openly publicised candidates like TEC, that could help us in ACANZP?

Peter Carrell said...

There are benefits both ways.
In our system a candidate can carry on with her or his present job, only a few people knowing that the candidacy was not a success. Secrecy also enables people to concentrate on praying for the election rather than discussing the merits of the candidates in other forums (including blogs!).

But, personally, I lean towards transparency.

Paul Powers said...

Any possibility that someone outside the province could be selected? After all, the C of E was willing to look outside England when they selected Rowan Williams. Speaking of which, he's not that old, he has lots of experience, and from what you and Fr. Ron have said, he was very well received when he was in NZ last month. You all could do worse.

Failing that, how about Geraldine Granger?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Paul,
Avoiding discussion of the speculative aspect of your comment, I can nevertheless clarify a fact of the case: our archbishops are the "senior bishops" of their respective tikanga where "senior" is by election and not by year of ordination. The archbishops continue in their respective episcopal units as diocesans or assistants. Thus the question of an outsider being brought in does not arise in ACANZP.

Paul Powers said...

Your penultimate sentence raises an interesting question. Without wishing to speculate about whether it may or may not happen this time around, has there been an instance of an assistant bishop being selected as primate and remaining assistant bishop in his diocese (I use the male pronoun because ACANZP hasn't had a female primate yet)?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Paul,
Not quite but almost.
Under a previous structuring of our primacy we had a Presiding Bishop (happened to be Pakeha) and two Co-Presiding bishops (one for each of the remaing tikanga). That left a need for the pakeha dioceses to have a 'Convening Bishop' who was +George Connor, the Regional Bishop in Bay of Plenty, Assistant Bishop of Waiapu. As that Convening Bishop +George was our "Senior Bishop" for the pakeha dioceses.

A change or two further on and we have three not four senior bishop roles, they are called archbishops (all together being the primacy). Potentially and with a semi-precedent, an assistant could be chosen to be the next archbishop.