Monday 25 February 2008

The Communion Partners Plan - A Question

We assume that "Windsor Bishops" - those whose orthodoxy that the Archbishop of Canterbury does not doubt...

The matter is further complicated by the fact that several within The Episcopal Church, including a significant number of bishops and some diocesan conventions, have clearly distanced themselves from the prevailing view in their province as expressed in its public policies and declarations. This includes the bishops who have committed themselves to the proposals of the Windsor Report in their Camp Allen conference, as well as others who have looked for more radical solutions.

...will create their pastoral connections with outside bishops whilst retaining their membership of The Episcopal Church and loyalty therein (cough). More testing, presumably, is a situation where a (declared by them) "liberal" bishop has an orthodox parish which now goes via its liberal diocesan bishop to seek extra pastoral care via a Windsor Bishop nad may be then an outsider.

It is limited to pastoral care; but what happens when some strategy is decided, or some advice sought, that has a more institutional impact, when the persons consulted are not TEC and its methods and ways, but more directly the pastoral bishops elsewhere. There is a rice paper fine line between pastoral support and, in effect, overseeing in the fullest sense from outside.

Can this distinction be maintained?

Plus the fact is that Archbishop Gomez is involved in this Communion Partners Plan, committed against boundary crossing, and yet he has himself been involved in consecrating to boundary cross into TEC space - this man who runs the Covenant Design Group to apparently preserve and centralised the Communion. These three seem, each to the other, rather incompatible. The Communion Partners plan depends on an interventionist Communion Covenant, which is hardly likely, and the consecrating of boundary crossers is incompatible with a plan that is supposed to reject boundary crossing - but only if the distinction is maintained between pastoral support and wider decisions.

The problem is all bishop-priest-deacon-laity relationships are pastoral, and even administrative and system decisions are there for the pastoral relationship.

It could just be that the GAFCON separation is all the cleaner and more honest, and the more practical and simpler to understand. They are easier to reject too, but the Communion Partners Plan seems to have the characteristics of the Trojan Horse.

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