Tuesday 11 March 2008

Bishop Refuses to be Exhibited!

Bishop Gene Robinson has refused to be exhibited at the Market Place of the Lambeth Conference. Yes, this was the invitation!

Here is a letter exclusive to this blog and which I am able to publish:

Dear Bishop Victoria Gene Robinson

As you know there has been some unclarity about your status and therefore attendance at the Lambeth Conference. I have been considering ways patiently in which you could attend the gathering of the Lambeth Conference, particularly as it discusses the proper boundaries of provinces one to another in what constitutes formal and rightly identifiable Christian doctrine and standards of performance of each province as understood throughout the Communion. Your life being scandalous to some bishops in Anglican dioceses of various provinces and their expectations of other provinces of the Communion, I have sought to fashion a form of invitation which, whilst meeting the stances of those you scandalise, produces an acceptable invitation to you and to those who - in formal terms - legitimately selected you as bishop in your diocese and who, further, regard you as fully a bishop in The Episcopal Church and a beacon of faithful, ethical behaviour regarding relationships and their honesty and fidelity. Whilst I cannot say that you and your diocese are in Communion with me, I nevertheless would value your presence so that you could be, as you may be, according to how we discern the means of the status of The Episcopal Church through the Communion according to the Covenant processes to be discussed and whether your diocese would then be considered separately, as in the manner of Windsor bishops and their dioceses within The Episcopal Church and who remain faithful within the Communion, whatever is decided at the proper Communion level.

Whilst the Mind of the Communion is settled on the fundamentals of this matter, I do wish not to invite you here on a limited parallel basis, which would be the implication of your attendance as a visitor inside the grounds of the University of Canterbury in Kent purely for consultations about what could not be the unlimits of Communion and who is to speak for the Communion in deciding bases of exclusions (should these be appropriate) and mechanisms and processes by which such decisions or negating decisions are or are not to be decided.

In reference, therefore, to writings of al-Majahari of the Indian Subcontinent, who faced just this dilemma with the Umma in terms of Muslim boundaries in relationship to native Hindu faith at the beginning of the second millennium of the Common Era, and also referring to the oral and written traditions of Subhuteo, who considered relationships within Japanese Buddhism in consequence of considerations with Confucian ethics at about the same time, I have come to a decision in consultation with other Instruments of Communion to make an invitation on a supplementary basis by which you can stay in the foyer and be on display. This will be in the marketplace, on a pedestal.

As my brother, and in cases where they are recognised, sister bishops walk past you going towards their deliberations, you might seek to express across some opinion. African bishops (those that attend both the Global Anglican Future Conference in preparation for Lambeth and indeed Lambeth itself), seeing you in the marketplace, and noting your confinement there, might want to seek an enterprise solution and make a bid for you. I understand further that one of two may want to try exorcism. I have therefore, again in consultation with other Instruments of Communion, gathered together a small team of experts from a number of dioceses representing a cross section of Anglican provinces as to what might constitute appropriate behaviour towards you, as you stand there for some people to gawp, prod, poke and make a bid.

In turn I would make a request of you. Please do not wear purple, as this may offend in the manner of red rags to bulls. Please do not wear rainbow colours, as some could confuse this colouration of apparel (its seeming references to Noah) with the Covenant that will be at the heart of our discussions that you would miss. Please also, in the listening process, say very little. Indeed, for the sake of harmony of the Communion, could you limit yourself to selling the odd nicknacks while bishops are absent from you and be extremely unnoticed when they are present?

As you know the Anglican Communion is not more unimportant than anything can otherwise be. I think I can say this, and although we might pray for minorities I hope that you can pray especially for the Anglican Communion. We wish the Communion to become recognisable to the Roman Catholic Church as my legacy to His Holiness Pope Benedict, so that when I bring the Catholic witness to its true conclusion the Curia of Primates will be able to decide to follow me over in more of an institutional sense.

I look forward to your reply. In addition, I should say that, although I have no extensive powers, and indeed I concur with the Bishop of Carlisle regarding government direction, though I have a pluralist view of institutions and potentialities, I really do not think it would be worthwhile in your meeting the media like a loose cannon in the streets of Canterbury, and therefore I would need to add that if my supplementary form of invitation is unacceptable to you that you do not come and embarrass me and the Communion which, as I have already implied, but not stated, matters more than everything to me in the way in which its admitted unclarity is to be overcome during the period in which bishops take fellowship with each other.

Yours, I think, in Christ

Rowan Cantyouar


-frank said...

Thanks! That was delightful.

Anonymous said...

LOL through my tears . . . You have got it!

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

It gets (or I get) worse, I'm afraid. How on earth will he at last have to decide on Bishop Schofield?