Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Windsor misgivings

Perhaps the best known 'Anglicans down under' are Archbishop Peter Jensen (Sydney) and Dr Jenny Te Paa (Auckland). Here is Dr Te Paa's response to the Windsor Continuation Group's 'Preliminary - its NOT a report - Observations':

"Maori Anglican theologian Dr. Jenny Plane Te Paa, the "ahorangi" or principal of Te Rau Kahikatea (College of St. John the Evangelist) in Auckland, New Zealand, said she hoped that the continuation group "would have respect for the work and commitment that went into the production of the original report, and would realize the openness and willingness of all of us who were involved."

Te Paa said that the Windsor Continuation Group is "a curious title to give a group" that has no members of the original commission. She and the other 15 members of the Lambeth Commission on Communion, the formal name of the group that produced the Windsor Report, share an important and "unique historical memory" of the process, she said, adding that none of the WCG members have talked to her or the people with whom she was most closely aligned on the commission.

"Relationality was at the heart of the success of the Windsor Report and one would hope that there might be some recognition of that in the on-going work that needs to be done," she said.

"The spirit of Windsor was very much, I believe, an encouragement towards a respect for mutuality," Te Paa said."

As published in the Episcopal Life Online News Service.

Dr Te Paa, and the other NZer involved with the Windsor Report, Bishop John Paterson, Bishop of Auckland, have had a curious role in 'relation' to the Windsor Report. They signed to it, then back in NZ have increasingly distanced themselves from it. One wonders about 'mutuality' in a process which apparently overrides misgivings about where the process is heading. It is possible not to sign to a report, to seek a minority report to be published as well. Was there 'pressure' to conform which inhibited an 'open' process of contribution?

In the end I am confused about NZ's contribution to the Windsor Report given the comments since. I am now intrigued that the WCG did not talk to any Windsor Commission member (though they could hardly be unaware of the thoughts of (say) Dr Te Paa and Bishop Tom Wright who each in their own way has a considerable public 'voice' in the life of the Communion). One presumes that the soon to be installed Bishop of Christchurch, Victoria Matthews, a member of the WCG, and Dr Te Paa will have interesting conversations in the corridors of our General Synod etc meetings!

For the record: Anglican Down Under is very keen on the Windsor Report and very supportive of the Preliminary Observations of the WCG ... and looking forward to the arrival of Bishop Victoria Matthews. Surely, of her, the phrase, 'a breath of fresh air', could not be more apt!!

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