Scanning Anglicanland we find today that the big news is the meeting of Primates (known as the Primates Meeting) and Thinking Anglicans has all the details, including a link to biographies of every primate attending.
I was asking myself why only two of our three primates are going to the meeting then I realised that the the name of the third one - the new Maori Archbishop - has not yet been announced, even though, as far as I can tell, that name has been pretty widely circulating in our church, a sort of open secret ...
Anyhoo, the Primates Meeting will be dominated by You Know What with special reference to a putative disciplinary call against the Scottish Episcopal Church. Any which way, it will be an interesting meeting, because not all primates, apparently, are going to show up. Once again we Anglicans must ask the question whether we are a Communion when not all of us are in communion. For not the first or, I suppose, the last time, on this blog, I make the point that our honest (=accurate) name would be Anglican Federation.
Meanwhile invitations to the GAFCON Conference in Jerusalem next year are being issued. How do I know that? Well, it is not because I am on the invitation list. I blame too many public thoughts on this blog :)
However, if the Primates Meeting matters little to you, there is a little something else to consider with Anglican analytical thinking hats on. Martyn Percy, recent visitor to these islands, has written a consideration of the Mawer report into the fiasco when Philip North was selected and (effectively) deselected as Bishop of Sheffield recently.
It is a fascinating sociology meet theology, what is English catholicism really all about in an age of gender fluidity tour de force guided by a delineation between "ambiguity" and "nuance". But, as a tour de force, is it a forced argument? I am not sure what to make, for instance, of the following:
"Sacralised ambiguity becomes the inevitable victim in this. I say this, fully conscious of an underlying theological and spiritual reality. That in the Eucharistic mimesis of Anglo-catholic worship, the priest is almost bound to become, in some sense, the misunderstood victim."
But I am glad to have read Percy's thoughts. Last Friday night I attended Michaelmas at St Michael's and All Angels. An exemplary Anglo-Catholic experience. But, I ask myself, what is the future of Anglo-Catholicism in the 21st century? Might (to take up Percy's language) its ambiguities be nuanced in different directions? Do its combinations of ambiguities and nuances offer the sense of (attractive) mystery which (many tell us) is the key to the future of Christianity in the West?
I don't imagine the Primates Meeting will offer us many clues about how we move forward as an expression of the catholic church.