Sunday, 24 February 2008

Splitting the Opposition

At first the news came from just The Daily Telegraph that at last there was a deal by which there could be oversight for American traditionalists that still kept structures within The Episcopal Church (TEC).

The reaction is trackable in Stand Firm.

An important response came from Bishop Jack Iker, one of those who will attempt to take his diocese out of The Episcopal Church - that will respond by having him removed and the Diocese continue, as with Bishop Schofield joining the Southern Cone. Iker said:

This sure is news to me. Not only have I heard nothing about such a proposal - neither have I agreed to participate in it.


[6] Posted by Bishop Iker on 02-22-2008 at 10:32 PM

Stephen Noll, who produced some theology about orthodoxy for the GAFCON crowd, soon wrote:

As to Bp Iker's igrnorance on this matter, I suspect any deal-making which involves the ABC and 815 will be with the "Windsor Bishops," not with Bps. Iker, Duncan and Schofield, nor with Abps Akinola and Orombi. They are no longer welcome in the Common Room.

[19] Posted by Stephen Noll on 02-22-2008 at 10:57 PM

As an attitude to this, someone wrote:

Jesus does not do any deals....on to GAFCON.


[23] Posted by Intercessor on 02-22-2008 at 11:03 PM

What this move does is weaken the opposition. It provides for those Communion Conservative types (Radner, Seitz etc.) who would gain a space for within present TEC structures prior to any Covenant action against TEC, in an intended processes of seeing TEC return to a Communion Conservative form of orthodoxy. However, in so doing the effect now is to isolate GAFCON and indeed weaken all the opposition. It makes GAFCON appear indeed to be schismatic, whatever it may say about itself in the Anglican Communion (though it speaks with forked tongue). This person sees what the insider arrangement is not - it is not producing a third province (the first two being The Episcopal Church and the Angican Church of Canada):

I just with [sic] that Lambeth could find it within its inclusive, tolerant, pluriform truth awknowledging [sic] heart to recognize a third North American Anglican province including all the US and Canadians that want nothing more to do with their national churches...

[25] Posted by AndrewA on 02-22-2008 at 11:06 PM

Here again is Jack Iker, seeing how he is now on one side of the "solution" fence, whilst Communion Conservatives are on the other. In other words, they are split:

Stephen Noll is exactly right in #19. The Lambeth Palace/ACO office will no longer deal with “the extreme right.” They want to deal with those reasonable “Windsor Bishops.” But they will not stand up and be counted when the push comes to shove.


[27] Posted by Bishop Iker on 02-22-2008 at 11:07 PM

As a result those who have developed the insider-outsider plan become accused of scheming:

Well, your Grace +Iker: when Lambeth and Mr. Rowan Williams won’t deal with the people that really matter, yourself included, then we all know that the attempt is insincere at best, duplicituous (not to say mendacious) at worst! No, I think the “ABC” is a write-off, and - if I, a lowly commoner, dare give advice, it’s to simply go to GAFCON and forget Lambeth!!

(I’ll dare say it’s simple deceitful manoeuvering to undermine GAFCON)...

[34] Posted by Sasha on 02-22-2008 at 11:27 PM

Someone here has a hotline to God:

The ABC and his cohorts have been playing us for fools for far too long. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I have discerned that the ABC and his like-minded Revisionists lack honesty, integrity, godly conviction, and faithful courage. I am sure I am not alone on this discerning.

I will be a fool to continue to hope on the words (that keep changing) of this bunch of men and women (Revisionists all) with very little Christian conviction and love.

Fr. Kingsley+ Arlington, TX

[56] Posted by Spiro on 02-23-2008 at 12:13 AM

Of course the question is whether and inside plan will go through or be accepted by other than Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori, and if it goes through whether it will work. This person thinks that:

This plan is DOA. [Dead On Arrival]

If this plan involves the “Windsor” or Camp Allen bishops, it is DOA.

If it doesn’t involve those bishops who are preparing to leave or have left ECUSA, it is DOA.

This is not a problem that ECUSA can solve.

The only thing that will stop further defections from Lambeth, and further defections from ECUSA is for the ABC to disinvite about 30 ECUSA bishops from Lambeth, agree that the human sexuality "debate" was settled in 1998, and move on, without ECUSA if necessary.

[62] Posted by Randy Muller on 02-23-2008 at 12:19 AM

Well actually the Archbishop has repeatedly said that the 1998 resolution 1:10 represents the Mind of the Communion, about which it is or will be his privilege to cohere in his own mind. However, he wants the Communion via the Covenant to deal with The Episcopal Church, and so all these conservatives must be patient. The Communion Conservatives themselves are waiting for such actions: the legitimacy of action via the Communion. Here is an example of their weakness:

This being said, I worry about ABc Drexel Gomez. His stamp of approval of the abysmal revisionist-pandering Covenant draft perhaps signals a shift....

The orthodox or at least the comm-con variety will be placated (duped), yet again. Any wavering provinces, like Tanzania, will show up to Lambeth.

[71] Posted by robroy on 02-23-2008 at 03:17 AM

Then came a sort of confirmation of the insider-outsider plan.

It's up here now: George Conger report on Religious Intelligence

Doesn't look like anything new. No consultation with Pittsburgh or Fort Worth. No way of compelling liberal bishops to participate. The Presiding Bishop supports it - enough said?

Thinking Anglicans has picked it up too.
[76] Posted by John Simmons on 02-23-2008 at 06:49 AM
Here is some detail:

On Jan 31 Dr Williams met with Archbishop Gomez, Bishop Stanton, Prof Seitz and Dr Ephraim Radner and gave his backing to the emerging “Anglican Bishops in Communion” project, agreeing to issue invitations to the primates of the West Indies, Burundi, Tanzania, the Indian Ocean and Jerusalem and the Middle East to offer primatial pastoral oversight to the Episcopal Visitors.

The Presiding Bishop was briefed by Bishops Stanton of Dallas, Smith of North Dakota, Howe of Central Florida, and Bishop Bruce MacPherson of Western Louisiana on Feb 21, giving her “nihil obstat” to the Communion plan, one participant reported…

Here is one explanation from a horse's mouth. The best people to split an opposition are always the opposition themselves, of course. As well as splitting - weakening and isolating - the opposition, fracturing gives the best chance for the Anglican Communion of surviving the shock of some not turning up and meeting elsewhere first:

No. 19 is right.

It might be helpful to look at this story the other way. If avoiding schism is the endgame of the ABC, then a plan that causes more fracturing of the Communion would easily be thought to be a far preferable solution. Let’s face it. It is all about avoiding schism at this point rather than resetting the church back on its rails....

[77] Posted by Mrs. Lawrence on 02-23-2008 at 07:09 AM

I have always taken a view, because I have met it so often, that one should never underestimate the ability of an institution challenged to find strategies to look after itself. Of course institutions can fail, but in general those who attack at it are at first dealt with. The institutions here are the national Churches, and they will look after themselves. In that some in GAFCON pull away means that they have to deal with their own isolation, and Communion Conservatives will wait for the Covenant to do its trick - except that such a Covenant will simply run into the rejection of it by too many Anglican Churches.

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