Wednesday, 1 September 2010

He Interviewed

Radio Chadderbox employs a specialist reporter...

Interviewer: Thank you for being interviewed today, Rowanov Treetri. And you were recently at the African bishops' conference, with a collection of southern Primate figures like Henry Oromombibi and Nicky Okoh and Ernest Ian, and then Dunkin' Bob, as he likes to be known, with the big eyebrows.

Rowanov Treetri: My beard, his eyebrows.

Interviewer: You pals?

Rowanov Treetri: We get on well enough on meeting together, as we should.

Interviewer: There's a lovely photograph of you with your arms up and him swaying side to side. You like a bit of the old charismatic stuff?

Rowanov Treetri: Seeing as I have remade my public theological personality over a number of years since my appointment, it is perhaps only consistent that I should also remake my public worshipping personality too, so that in the office of Archbishop I can adapt to all different kinds of worship that takes place around the world.

Interviewer: They got you where they wanted you, didn't they?

Rowanov Treetri: I think I went of my own free will.

Interviewer: No, but you were forced to share a platform with Dunkin' Bob, and that gave the GAFCON crowd a nice little victory.

Rowanov Treetri: I confess that I hardly understand these terms. We don't have victories except after self-sacrifices.

Interviewer: Well, your sermon to them understood that they were supposed to treat all people with respect, as shepherds and sheep dogs, dealing with all the sheep. You were, between the lines, and hardly, but not upfront, preaching against their homophobia.

Rowanov Treetri: Somebody might have interfered with my sermon if I did. No no, I so left it to their imaginations what I was talking about - that no one need have noticed, I think.

Interviewer: So it wasn't quid pro quo was it? They were explicit in your sharing with Dunkin' Bob, whereas you hardly mentioned their need to be more inclusive, if indeed that's what you meant.

Rowanov Treetri: If indeed that's what I meant. Quid pro quo is thus like an eye for an eye. I did not say that, I am sure. I said what I said with intended care and measure.

Interviewer: Dunkin' Bob says: "...the only future for Anglicanism, is the kind of confessional Anglicanism as represented in the Jerusalem Declaration." Do you agree?

Rowanov Treetri: We all confess the creeds, we have further historical articles and documents, and the threefold ministry, bishops and synods; so we all confess these. And earlier I confessed that I didn't know some terminology. So we can confess what we don't know as well as what we do know, and also we confess collectively and confess individually and these might be different role performances.

Interviewer: He says, "as represented in the Jerusalem Declaration."

Rowanov Treetri: Yes, and there is a great deal to be said for it, as I have said before.

Interviewer: Do you agree with Duncan that the meeting wasn't best driven in its content? It was all too social, not Jesus enough.

Rowanov Treetri: Arguably the Millennium Development Goals and various social solutions are incarnate.

Interviewer: He said, "where the gospel of Jesus is not the driving force."

Rowanov Treetri: It is of course a point of view, but there was - that word again - confession too in the practical aspects we were discussing that involves all the people we shepherd and sheep dog. The Africans are bound to discuss poverty, conflict, lack of health care, HIV and AIDS, environmental issues, economic malaise, government corruption and such issues even if there are other obsessive topics or a desire to be more specialised. But you could say, for example, that in such a situation Jesus was a back seat driver with long arms and legs that went under the front seat on to the pedals.

Interviewer: But the bishops were more focussed and spiritual, and in so being also fully accepted Dunkin' Bob.

Rowanov Treetri: We would expect bishops, would we not, to be like bishops, I would think. I said in my sermon that we cannot choose whom we meet, and this would include me meeting some of them.

Interviewer: Do you agree that Central Africa and Southern Africa were right to call the Anglican Church of North America as "illegitimate".

Rowanov Treetri: I recall the circumstances of the birth of Our Lord.

Interviewer: Yes well Dunkin' Bob sees in them - Central Africa and Southern Africa - the same incoherence that he sees in the Church in England. He thinks a non-confessional Anglicanism does not cohere.

Rowanov Treetri: We have long had different tendencies in the Church in England, in training colleges, in parishes, in individuals; there has always been a mixture of coherence and incoherence, often coherence out of the incoherence. Making Anglicanism confessional historically is a means by which we see both emerging incoherence at the cost of such initial definite coherence, and so balancing the two has always been important.

Interviewer: Did you talk to him?

Rowanov Treetri: And Nara, his wife, who is to him as the Church is to Christ. We spoke about our families. He told me about the challenges of his ministry and I told him that I am the Archbishop of Anglicanism.

Interviewer: He thinks you are the same since 2002.

Rowanov Treetri: He thinks I am consistent: I know that much.

Interviewer: It was a back-handed faint praise compliment.

Rowanov Treetri: And much to be welcomed among the kind of comments I receive these days.

Interviewer: There is a complicated rejection of colonialism still going on, isn't there, but one wonders if Anglican Average and GAFCON and Dunkin' Bob are another form of colonialism, pushing an agenda on to Africa.

Rowanov Treetri: There is potentially a bouquet of barbed wire, of something of the past that goes round and around. You watch the world going round and around, as the song has it. Ooh, give me freedom and light, give me reason and right, All I need's a little time to get by, Turn my face to the wind, hear the nightingale sing, And wonder at the stars in the sky... So many things I don't know, so many ways I won't go, So many secrets that will never be found....

Interviewer: Do you agree with Central Africa and Southern Africa that to discard the relationships with The Episcopal Church would be wrong - the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation and not throwing stones in your own glasshoused swimming pool; the virtue of tolerance and living with rich diversity. It's not about being used as a pawn in battles, the colonialism thing again.

Rowanov Treetri: I do notice a great deal of difficulty they seem to have with the English language, in their statements, that causes some unclarity of meaning. My view is that we should take time and be patient, and keep taking time and be patient, and have the structures that raise the issues and take time and be patient, and use arguments from both sides as the situation seems fit while we are being patient.

Interviewer: And they are right, are they, these two, that individual provinces should decide positions?

Rowanov Treetri: Yes but in the context of a Covenant and procedure that allows us all to be more like a Church worldwide because we all share bishops and yet where there are features of the ongoing discussion and patience that assist us to understand the positions of the provinces which, of course, retain autonomy.

Interviewer: What - well do you agree then with Ernest Ian that teachings of homosexuality are irrelevant to the needs of Africans?

Rowanov Treetri: I don't know what the teachings of homosexuality are. I have spoken before of a "lifestyle choice" for which I was much criticised and while there could be a culture of homosexuality perhaps there are many and they are not exactly of homosexuality but it is just an aspect. In any case we have our own teachings and I was applying these to suggest that there are lots of people, and we do not choose who we are to encounter and shepherd, as I have said.

Interviewer: If they want shepherding by you at all.

Rowanov Treetri: Or sheep dogging.

Interviewer: Yes you could put it like that. Should Africans love their culture when they would contrast that with Anglicans not subsuming to culture?

Rowanov Treetri: You raise a fine distinction for a long discussion. Have I answered your questions now?

Interviewer: I'm not sure but thank you Archbishop.

4 comments:

Point of Order said...

As Admiral Kirk said (ST2), "now we have something new to think about."

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

He wasn't Admiral for long.

Pensamento positivo said...

Hi, dear pluralist!

I am not an Anglican, just an open minded Roman Catholic, with a foot on and a foot out of my unfortunatly disgraced Church... Pedophilia, pedophiles, or just "fathrophiles" as you like...

To be honest I know your site via Thinking Anglicans... And I have to be honest, I never nave lough so much, than with this religious site!... You are incredible!!!... Ok, I know, +++Rowan Williams isn't a good leadre, but well... He is your leader now!!!... Ok, I don't like Pope Ratzinger... But I can't name it as Pope Ratazaniger... Though it is what he is...

Excuse me for my bad English. I am not a native English speaker!... Good Evening!!!...

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

I find these humorous approaches more difficult, given the subject matter, but you have set me a challenge, to do Ratzinger, especially when he visits this country. I'm one of those who thinks he'd do best by staying away.