Monday, October 11, 2010

What to do?

Back from a three day Cursillo weekend (may blog on that soon) and catching up on things Anglican and global. Two things catch my eye.

(1) Boycott brewing: one Primate has announced he is not going to the January 2011 Primates' Meeting, and others, apparently, are contemplating joining him in absentia. Like many a political situation, the possibility of boycott is worth contemplating. In this case what are the pros and cons? The pros (I suggest) include that a large enough boycott would expose the folly of ++Rowan's continuing aversion to not inviting TEC bishops to any meeting of which he is in charge of the invitation list. Say the meeting consists only of the primates of TEC, Canada, Australia, Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia, Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland, Brazil, and Southern Africa: they would have to concede that the Communion was a Communion in name only and something needs to be done, not just talked about, to rectify the situation. (Rectification, incidentally, could include determining to stop calling ourselves a 'Communion' and coming up with a more accurate descriptor!). The cons include the boycott not being large enough to cause the primates who do meet together to face the facts of global Anglican life squarely, as well as the lost opportunity for the primates disagreeing with TEC losing the opportunity to address ++Jefferts Schori face-to-face.

(2) Conciliarity contemplated: George Conger reports a voice in favour of Anglican conciliarity which I had not previously noticed. He refers to a an August 2008 paper written by Dr. Kevin Donlon, an American priest of the AMiA, and a member of the Global South Anglican Theological Formation and Education Task Force, entitled "The Challenges of Covenant and Canons for the Future of a Ius Commune Anglicanae" which argues that "the Covenant was yesterday's solution to today's problem." Given my own interest in Anglican conciliarity I am intrigued by this point in the paper:

"Anglicanism abandoned a conciliar and canonical understanding of the church when Henry Tudor ascribed all legislative responsibility to the Parliament at the Reformation. A draft of a Covenant without a canonical and conciliar structure illustrates once again that Anglican leaders seem unable to grasp the conciliar nature of the Church."

Conciliarity is not compatible with boycotting ...


Brother David said...

I think that if you look again that there are more primates not likely to play this stupid game; Mexico, Central America, Japan, Korea, Melanesia, N & S India, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.

Possibly the West Indies, Central Africa and the Sudan do not suffer from cranial rectal inversions as well.

I agree with you on the idea of conciliarity. but I would be more in favor of a Quaker-style consensus than majority rule.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,
Without implying that I agree with all your phraseology, I accept that more primates than I gave in my "for instance" are likely to turn up.

Andrew Reid said...

Hi Peter,
I thought Rev. David Anderson's suggestion for the Primates to attend the Primates' Meeting and vote KJS off the island had some merit.

If orthodox Primates decline to attend, they cast themselves in the role of breakway dissidents, while it is actually TEC that has broken away from the faith. Let's be who we are - the Anglican Communion, upholding the apostolic faith. This is not like Lambeth, where she brought 100 bishops with her. She is 1 out of about 37 at the Primates' Meeting. As Dar El Salaam showed, you can get useful action out of the Primates' Meeting if they organize themselves.

Andrew Reid

Howard Pilgrim said...

Andrew Reid, you sound like a bully. Get the girl on her own and rough her up, is it?

Those 100 bishops who came to Lambeth with TEC's presiding bishop are those who share her responsibility for TEC's present path, along with the clerical and lay members of the General Convention. TEC is democratically governed:- "Episcopally led and synodically governed" like our own province here Down Under.

Your letter displays all the hubris of conservatives "organising themselves" that is precisely why we should avoid giving any real power to the meetings of primates. The attitudes required to foster conciliarity are completely contrary to the sort of ganging-up you long for.