Monday 4 May 2009

Second Interview in Jamaica

On location in Jamaica with the Anglican Consultative Council: A second Interview for Anglican Satellite Television with Bishop Patercake-Baker, (Bishop-select) Canon Dr. Philip Crumb Monarch Bootslick, Canon Hatton Coaton, Reverend Doctor Art Tickle Righter, Doctor Stephen Niall N. Coffin and Canon Christopher Emmerdale, a reporter. The interviewer is, again, Archbishop Roald See O'Vee.

Archbishop Roald See O'Vee (RSV): Well, welcome to our second panel for interview and conversation and indeed patience, so I will simply introduce the fact that the same people here except that Bishop Nasser Alley has gone home, and instead we are joined by Bishop Pattercake-Baker from Art, er Aero, oh New Zealand and also we are joined by a reporter, Canon Christopher Emmerdale, or at least I think he is a reporter.

Canon Hatton Coaton (HC): He's no reporter but a snake in the grass.

Canon Dr. Philip Crumb Monarch Bootslick (PCMB): Well, whatever we may think, I do hope personalities do not come into this and that we can persuade Emmerdale about the virtues of the Communion Conservative position...

Archbishop Roald See O'Vee (RSV): Now this is no longer not unlike the situation I envisaged in 2006, indeed the adoption of the Covenant no longer follows a central approach and no longer defines the committed or associate approach to...

Canon Hatton Coaton (HC): What's he doing writing all this down?

Canon Christopher Emmerdale (CE): I am a reporter. This is what I do - to quote a bishop.

Canon HC: Not exactly for a neutral website.

Canon CE: Not exactly a neutral Anglican Communion.

Archbishop RSV: If we might be afforded some explanation.

Canon HC: The text is mature enough.

Reverend Doctor Art Tickle Righter (ATR): Why thank you!

Canon HC: And frankly we are all a bit bored with it now. Basically the strategy is, make it as easy as possible to join, so the Archbishop's strategy can't be said to have failed, but make it insignificant with Churches joining willy nilly or not, with absolutely no consequences for joining and not joining, so just to see who wants to do what with the thing.

Rev. Dr. ATR: I don't think that was quite the intention behind the third draft. The intention was to adapt to the new situation regarding the varieties of institutions that can call themselves Anglican and make the Communion strengthened by a looseness of definition appropriate to the situation. Now, this looseness...

Canon Dr. PCMB: I do think there is a moral authority attached to being a member of the Communion Covenant, and that we will be a community of bishops able to draw that community along a roughly conservative trajectory, understanding that bishops have pastoral responsibility for all their flock and the priests they delegate under them, and that this means that much that the Archbishop set out to achieve he will in fact achieve and this is a great commendation for him I am sure.

Dr. Stephen Niall N. Coffin (SNNC): What I've said is this is the real deal for a bit of fancy footwork. Whether he wants to get 'em out from the inside or not, or me down the wing, me old mate Righter here gives us a chance to get the pack of cards in the right order.

Bishop Pattercake-Baker (PB): No, I don't think this is about fancy footwork. It's about trying to extend the Indaba basis Lambeth Conference last year that might just be fading from too many memories at the moment, to build on the bishops' experience of working together to achieve understanding of... well not a set of resolutions, because these create problems, but an inclusivity, if I may use that word, of using that togetherness to come to decisions for the Communion that does not exclude anyone.

Canon CE: You mean it is too easy to include the unbiblical.

Canon HC: I thought you were just a reporter? Why don't you own up to your real presence here, if you believe in real presence anywhere?

Canon CE: If that bloke can come here, who wouldn't come to our conference to get 'corrected' first, then I shall be here too.

Canon HC: Yes but he's not muscling in like you are, at least here.

Rev. Dr. ATR: Maybe he's a bit of a coward. Look, there is actually substance in this Covenant. It isn't just a statement of Anglicanism. Read it carefully: it took long enough for us to write it.

Archbishop RSV: I felt it wasn't right for me to invite the unmentionable to our discussion on the basis that it could cause a sense of further rupture across the Communion when I am trying to gather everyone in for discussion, though I am happy to invite other people of the same views and actions and indeed to listen to them intensely as I once carried such views myself before I took on this job. But can I put it to you that we are seeking the same decision making here at the Jamaica no she volunteered meetings (ha ha) that we did at Lambeth.

Bishop Pattercake-Baker (PB): The same management team?

Canon CE: The same management team of indecision as at Lambeth 2008?

Canon HC: Who asked the reporter to butt in?

Canon Dr. PCMB: But but... But I think we can say that the atmosphere of Lambeth was a triumph and this triumph represents the importance of Anglicanism and I am so pleased that whatever Canon Emmerdale thinks, your leading theologian has advised to adopt the Covenant and so give the Covenant by its very participants a Communion Conservative imprint.

Dr. SNNC: Get in there! We can steal a march on the heretics. In the breakdown of the Communion as we know it, we might just forge a new set of relationships of the orthodox in there first. Art, you've allowed ACNA to sign, and you might just get your dioceses in. One bomb from above, one from below.

Canon HC: Well we will have to decide in this meeting whether dioceses are eligible to sign the Covenant as well as provinces. As regards the Communion, it is important to state that the moratorium consents to the consecration of a bishop in a same sex relationship has held, that the moratorium on the public rites of same-sex blessings has held mainly, but that cross-border interventions had not ceased but have got worse.

Canon Dr. PCMB: Yes, the Communion approach has held but the Federal Conservative approach has proved to be unhelpful. But if we can achieve ACNA signing and the dioceses signing is a very live issue if this bolsters the Communion.

Bishop PB: It undermines The Episcopal Church as a unit, and other Churches.

Dr. SNNC: Irrelevant. Blow the bloody thing up!

Canon Dr. PCMB: Irrelevant in the face of the needs of the Communion and a definition of the Communion. We can't have anyone in: no same sex blessings, same sex marriage, same sex bishops...

Canon CE: Tough for them: it was a strategic mistake, as someone in Australia said.

Bishop PB: We can't have dioceses in one Church signing on, but not in others. What would that imply?

Canon Dr. PCMB: We are bishops in Communion, headed by our courageous Archbishop.

Canon CE: We are a fellowship of believers: believers means excluding those who aren't. Now the people managing here are the indecision makers of the Lambeth Conference here to make indecision.

Canon Dr. PCMB: As has already been pointed out, you are a reporter here and you are not a bishop like I will be.

Canon HC: My actual point is that he is not a reporter. He's here with his own agenda and as for him not being a bishop, he's waiting for Orombi or the like.

Canon Dr. PCMB: Unfortunately, for the purposes of bringing him on board, he is not here, nor has he been at joint meetings of the ACC and the Primates.

Canon HC: He is risen too high in the hierarchy.

Archbishop RSV: I think it is important that we judge the success of the Covenant and the decision making or perhaps the not decision making here (which can still be an atmospheric success) by how much we can then go fishing.

Dr. SNNC: Fantastic turquoise waters out there. Wow. We always choose such good locations for us people to come and visit. How much is this little meeting here?

Canon HC: A third of a million pounds or more.

Dr. SNNC: What shit loads like that? Hey I could be here for months on that money out there on a bloody good boat!

Archbishop RSV: By fishing I mean mission. I was using a little part of narrative licence. Is not fishing what we are about? Fishers of men and women and indeed listening to gay people. I did once hope this was about strengthening the institutional bonds of our Communion up to myself via our bishops in dioceses on the basis of the kind of reading of the Bible I have not myself ever indulged in but would be a price worth paying including the self-scacrifice of gay people to make a Church that could be shown to the Holy Father in Rome as being a proper Church, but it seems that now none of this will happen on the basis of leaving the Covenant writing to other people to do because I am not a pope and so how can we move on to fishing - mission - then, which must be our priority, if this Covenant thing seems to be, well, what I did not intend it to be not unlike.

Bishop Pattercake-Baker (PB): By closing the churches here and knocking up a big congregation and getting the press to report on it?

Canon HC: We've done that.

Bishop Pattercake-Baker (PB): Oh I thought that wasn't a bad turnout. So they couldn't go to their usual places then. What was that Rastafarian song again?

Canon CE: Yes, I'll make a note of that: 'Heretical interfaith content overseen by the Archbishop'. Was that not so, Your Grace?

Archbishop RSV: #Let's get together an' we'll be all right!# We'll get together again later perhaps.

Canon Dr. PCMB: What an inspired evangelical hymn Archbishop: I shall have that at my enthroning ceremony. Let's get together indeed.

Dr. SNNC: Anyone coming fishing?

Canon HC: I know of a boat: cost a few dollars though.

Canon Dr. PCMB: Well, can I just say to end, what a most useful interview this was and... Oh everyone has got up and left. I suppose I'd better too. I do like that shade of purple that chap from New Zealand was wearing. Who was he I wonder?

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