Tuesday 25 January 2011

Indaba Daba Do

The Anglican Communion Official website regarding the Primates Meeting states:

At every meeting there are always a number of Primates who are unable to attend because of illness, diary commitments or issues in their Province. The informal nature of the meeting means that it does not require any kind of quorum to go ahead.

Now how's that for understatement? Presumably, the attempt by which primates 'decisions' become something to follow and, having not been followed, they don't turn up is covered by "issues in their Province". It says Donald Coggan set this up for "leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation" and presumably some primates ought to understand that deep consultation does not involve decision taking.

But this primates meeting is different, because, says the official site:

After the last Primates’ Meeting in Alexandria, Egypt in 2009, a number of Primates felt that at the 2011 meeting a mechanism should be found to address the big issues affecting the life of the Communion. In response to these requests a different kind of meeting has been arranged: a facilitated conversation with the aim of identifying, exploring, and, where possible, proposing next steps for those issues identified by the Primates as most seriously affecting the life of the Communion and their Provinces.

Presumably this is the Fred Flintstone approach, the indaba daba do, that is the Anglican misinterpretation of the Indaba process that, in origin, usually involves a large community meeting, thrashes out matters, including as many people as possible and - this is the bit left out - coming to a grand decision. The Anglican Indaba does not include a decision because neither this Primates Meeting nor the Lambeth Conference includes decision making powers. So it's rather a case of Indaba daba don't.

Or at least none of these gatherings do or did include such powers, but presumably with a Covenant the Standing Committee will oversee a process that will come to understandings or decisions whereby some Anglican Churches will be securely in the Premier League and some will be put in the Championship. But as a number of Primates deliberately stay away, and some think the Covenant is juridical in effect, and others think it is not punitive enough, the wheels seem to be coming off the wagon, whether it is by indaba daba do or indaba daba don't.


Rev R Marszalek said...

Oh shoobee doobee doo - at the heart of this is a humility, a willingness to engage and listen. That has to be a good thing, surely?

Pluralist (Adrian Worsfold) said...

Some aren't listening, unless they have long distance ears. There's more of management than humility.