Saturday 26 January 2008

GAFCON to Upstage Lambeth (Opinion)

The Lambeth Conference 2008 is condemned by the GAFCON crowd for avoiding the making of serious resolutions and that, even if it did, such would be hollow (given the claimed condition of impaired unity in the Anglican Communion). So what is the purpose of GAFCON according to its legitimising supporter, J. I. Packer?

I see GAFCON as an attempt to upstage Lambeth by making policy decisions for the Anglican Communion, distilling policy guidelines for the Anglican Communion for Lambeth proper.

So whilst Lambeth does its study sessions, this not an alternative Communion (they say) is going to be producing the resolutions that Lambeth will not, and do them for the whole Anglican Communion. So in addition to, Lambeth 1998 1:10 these folks will be quoting Jerusalem 2008 1:10 for everyone.

Hang on a second. Did not a certain dialogue take place?

Archbishop Akinola then said, that this was a pilgrimage and wondered what the difference was to other pilgrimages.

The Rev’d Canon Hosam responded by saying that this was not only a pilgrimage, since the Archbishop himself was talking about a conference with an agenda.

Archbishop Akinola replied that he would be happy to change the terminology and refrain from calling it a conference, in which case he would call it a pilgrimage.

Which way do they want this? Do they want a Conference with solid resolutions, or do they want a Pilgrimage? Are they then going to Cyprus (an offer they can refuse - or wobbling), to make resolutions for the rest of the Anglican Communion, or is it still Jerusalem for such resolutions? Is J. I. Packer wrong? Are their supporters increasingly confused?

Perhaps J. I. Packer is a bit off message:

There is legitimate disagreement whether it is better to go to GAFCON or have GAFCON after Lambeth and encourage everyone to go to Lambeth. Archbishop Mouneer Anis is much wiser by saying we should go to Lambeth and constitute an evangelical phalanx.

He says he is not at the centre of discussions. Perhaps he should be told, or some clarity be given for him and everyone else. The whole point is for GAFCON to come first and set the agenda. Maybe, then, if he is being presented as on message, the wobble is in the timing!

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