I had my fingers burnt recently when I misread in part a piece from the Anglican Communion Institute when I said that they wanted to give God a push towards carrying out their views, as part of a larger piece that attacked the assertion made again and again without evidence that The Episcopal Church (TEC) is moving toward Unitarianism. The latter and main argument stands but these members of the ACI have decided to become something of a self-appointed witness for what they regard as tradition within TEC whilst others have set up some peculiar body called The Anglican Church of North America.
Ephraim Radner writes his letter as a:
concerned member of the Covenant Design Group... [with] ...a simple plea for us to do our work better in the midst of continuing ecclesial disintegration.
He indicates his view that his bishop, the Rt. Rev. Robert O’Neill, ordained to the transitional diaconate a publicly known partnered homosexual because, Ephraim Radner thinks, the opposition had moved away within his own diocese in Colorado. Thus statements of keeping to a wider Communion position had been overturned by the action and he thinks that this feeds structural separation.
I thought the Windsor "ban" was against ordaining partnered people to the Episcopate, not the diaconate, and thus nothing is overturned.
Not the Same Stream highlights this paragraph (I do wish it would sort out its absolute line endings, it's very untidy):
And who should offer a different testimony, if not you and us together, at least serving groups ostensibly committed to and charged with forging a better way for our Communion? We cannot control events and the decisions of others. But we can certainly engage honestly and squarely what is at stake and avoid equivocating (yes, we do too much of that); we can speak clearly and not secretly or in code; we can offer concrete and effective proposals, and not diplomatic blurs; and we can prosecute them with all the energy God has granted us rather than being sidelined by the doubtless real but nonetheless surmountable bureaucratic obstacles with which common life across the globe presents us.
Some points here need highlighting again!
- avoid equivocating (yes, we do too much of that)
- not [speak] secretly or in code
- not [offer] diplomatic blurs
- sidelined by ...bureaucratic obstacles
Given that this is addressed to the Covenant Design Group, as a concerned member, this looks like a criticism of the group, yet itself given in equivocating manner, secretly or in code, using diplomatic blurs.
Well, the early February meeting of the Primates in Alexandria will discuss the Covenant and hear from the Windsor Continuation Group that recommends a ban of partnered gay people to the Episcopate.
The suggestion from the letter is that the Covenant preparation has come under equivocation, code, diplomatic blurs and bureaucratic compromises and will be a fairly useless document - useless enough to get the nod from Western Churches and just have it as one more document.
Of more concern, perhaps, in the dark and dubious world of Anglican politics, is that the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has asked the GAFCON primates to prepare a paper and present the case for the Anglican Church of North America to the Anglican Consultative Council (to enter the Anglican Communion) and that apparently [see comments] these primates will do this at the Alexandria meeting.
Of course papers presented then go on shelves, so this in itself indicates little, but it might give false encouragement to the schismatics. On the other hand Rowan Williams may have just followed procedure, the rest is hyped by the GAFCON crowd [see comments].