Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Ridley Daft - a Means to Divide

As The Episcopal Church moves towards its consecration of its bishop who happens to be lesbian, the Global South is introducing an interesting new tactic.

So far we have had the issue of the new Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion already setting up shop, and this is the bureaucratic hub as regards the not yet (if at all) in place Covenant. It is the focus of the talk and advice, but the Standing Committee is to relate, more or less, to the Anglican Consultative Council, the nearest thing to something synodical at this international level of getting together. This is instead of the Primates.

However, some of us have noticed that the latest wheeze of the complaining Global South hierarchy, as regards this up and coming meeting of 19th - 23rd April 2010, is that:

provincial and invited participants should be unequivocally committed to uphold the spirit and intent of the 1998 Lambeth Resolution 1.10 and the proposed Anglican Covenant (full Ridley Draft).

That's a new one, or rather an old one: and that older draft was more towards the Primates in terms of centralisation. It surely is daft to go backwards; this was revised, and the newer more acceptable final draft removed the much more clearly Roman Catholic view of hierarchy towards a more bureaucratic hierarchy - which some have since wanted to manipulate by having the Standing Committee begin again with invitees as the Covenant gets signed, should it ever be so. But now they want the dafter draft! Are they not confident enough to manipulate the new Standing Committee? Presumably its means to power is not sufficiently Primatial.

So the whole thing is descending into something of a mess. The 'Catholic' notion of making the Communion more like a Church, as pushed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, is turning with that into a fellowship of believers worldwide with an authority system to match. I suppose if you start a ball rolling, don't be surprised if people come along to kick it harder, and at different angles.

They want the Archbishop of Canterbury to convene a Primates meeting, and one on condition that he excludes both American and Canadian Churches. The latest politicking correspondent in public is the Archbishop of the Province of the Indian Ocean, Ian Ernest. Why can't they convene one if it is so urgent? After all, one is due in January 2011. Perhaps because they want or even need his stamp of legitimacy on to something that is made to be urgently exclusive and excluding, but such would be against what he said in his December video about the final draft.

If you are going to organise a schism, don't you do it yourselves?

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