March 25, 2017

October 7, 2014


Restarting the Game: Archbishop Welby Attempts To Hit The Reset Button

What a fascinating time in the Anglican Communion we are experiencing.

Forced by Katherine Jefferts Schori’s usual crudity after her announcing at a TEC House of Bishops meeting that the Lambeth Meeting would be delayed indefinitely—and would not take place in 2018—Archbishop Welby has indirectly “announced” it by pretending as if he’d said this all along.

“Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has responded to inaccurate media reports that the Lambeth Conference had been cancelled by saying, “As it hasn’t been called, it can’t have been cancelled”. . . .
“When I was installed in Canterbury as archbishop I met all the primates, they all came to that, and I said to them that I would visit all of them in their own country which, God willing, I will have done by the end of this November, and that at the end of that we would consult together about when to have a Lambeth Conference.”

Jefferts Schori was astoundingly precise in her language:

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby “has been very clear that he is not going to call a Lambeth [Conference] until he is reasonably certain that the vast majority of bishops would attend. It needs to be preceded by a primates meeting at which a vast majority of primates are present,” she said. “As he continues his visits around the communion to those primates it’s unlikely that he will call such a meeting at all until at least a year from now or probably 18 months from now. Therefore I think we are looking at 2019, more likely 2020, before a Lambeth Conference.”

I’m hereby putting out a call to anybody to please share with me a link to direct quotes from Archbishop Welby where he stated that his plans to meet with all the Primates by the end of 2014 would necessarily preclude calling the Lambeth Meeting for the expected every-10-year date of 2018.  Perhaps I’ve missed that earlier statement by him and if so I’d love to see it and read it.

So here are the interesting things I’m noting from all of this.

1) It’s clear that Archbishop Welby has been privately informing the Primates that there would be no Lambeth Meeting in 2018. He was only forced to make that reality public by TEC’s Dear Leader, KJS, blabbing it and stealing his announcement thunder.  No other Primate had done so that I am aware of [link to quote, please, if so].

So one must wonder—why didn’t Archbishop Welby make this reality clear back when he knew it? 

And . . . has he only come to this conclusion lately? After enough personal and individual meetings with Primates have taken place?

When might he have found the time to share this news with all of us—no Lambeth Meeting in 2018 and further, that the criteria for having either the Primates Meeting or the Lambeth Meeting was when “a vast majority of primates are present.”

2) Quoting from the ACNS article: ““The next Lambeth Conference needs to be called collegially by the primates, together with real ownership of the agenda and a real sense of what we’re trying to do with such a large effort, such cost. So when we meet as primates, which I hope we will do…with reasonable notice after the end of [the visits to all the primates], then we will decide together on the details.”

The problem with that line is . . . that’s been said before, of course. Rowan Williams was always clear about how “collegial” everything was, and how everybody would have “ownership of the agenda.”  Why should the Primates believe Yet Another Apparatchik about how they can direct the agenda?

Further, the last time the agenda was “owned” at a Primates Meeting where the “vast majority” of Primates attended—rather than entirely managed—the decisions made by the Primates Meeting weren’t carried through. They didn’t fit the agenda of Rowan Williams.

3) So here’s the deal.  What Archbishop Welby is attempting is a complete restart of the process that Rowan Williams managed for years and years and years of delay, spin, lying, incompetence, manipulation, and power-grabbing.

So let’s say that Welby grinds through all of his individual meetings with the Primates.

And let’s say he then wants—as is claimed—to announce a Primates meeting and a Lambeth conference.

Do you think the individual Gospel-believing Primates—the 22—are going to fall for that?

Because the thing Welby has to convince them of is “hey, guys, I’m entirely and completely different from Rowan Williams and I pinky swear that *this time* I’ll let the Primates “collegially” make decisions in the Primates Meeting, as well as about the Lambeth meeting.”

I’m going to be very very curious as to whether they will re-enter the game.

4) My hope is that they will refuse to engage in a “restart” of the process based on the new ABC’s claim of trustworthiness and paeans to “reconciliation.”  After all, he’s already repeatedly tipped his hand in his clear statements that the church can “live with” the sexuality heresies, particularly as we all do “mission and ministry together.” We know—beyond a shadow of a doubt from at least three extensive reflections of his on “reconciliation” that he does not believe that the sexuality heresies of TEC are intrinsically communion dividing:

“And yet … and yet we find that in parts of the communion, or all over the communion in aspects of our lives, there is a sense of focus, even of reconciliation, and it comes not from endless debate and discussion of what achieves this, but principally from mission and its collateral benefits. . . .

Across the Anglican Communion, we are profoundly divided on many things, and yet at the same time there are links through diocesan and provincial partnerships. The more we are engaged in these works of mission, carrying in word and action the Good News of Jesus Christ to a world that is more and more in need of Him, the more we find ourselves regarding those with whom we disagree as fellow Christians, who may be wrong but with whom we are called to live, whose love we receive and to whom we owe such love.”

He then goes on to laud Tory Baucum and gay-blessing and Crossan-and-Spong-loving Bishop Shannon Johnston for their setting

“an example of coming together before Christ in order to overcome the division that has arrived in the past few years.

To move away from such flowery language, the message is simple: If you want to get together, get on with mission, together.”

This quoted line from his latest also makes it clear:

“All the indications are that they want the Communion to flourish,” he said, “that they want to have meetings to discuss the issues that face us: How do we live as a Communion in a way that demonstrates very important differences over issues of sexuality?”

Well, no.  That is not the purpose of “meetings”—to decide how to live “as a Communion” while having “very important differences over issues of sexuality.”

The repeated statement by at least the Gafcon Primates, and many of the remaining Global South Primates is that the actions of The Episcopal Church are intrinsically communion-dividing.  It’s not a question of “how will the Communion divide”—that division, albeit internal, has already occurred.  The further question is not “how can we all live together in the midst of our profound disagreements” but is rather “what is to be done with the Provinces which have engaged in intrinsically communion-dividing actions?”

That is the question, to which an appropriate answer has already been provided by Scripture, tradition, reason, and 22 of the Anglican Communion Provinces. 

The moment that the actual Gospel-believing Primates let Archbishop Welby get away with asking the former question, is the moment that they lose the game.

They need to stick to their oft and clearly-stated principles.  “We will re-engage in legitimate Communion instruments—without engaging in any further dialoguing or indabaing farces—once there is discipline and disinvitation of TEC/Canada.  Until you can demonstrate that reality, we will not re-engage.”

My fear is that a good chunk of them will be lured back into the game, in response to “individual relationships” with ABC Welby—just like the old “individual relationship” they had with Rowan Williams.  It’s an endless game, if they re-enter it—because of course, Welby doesn’t last forever.  He too can drag on the whole “reconciliation meme” for another decade and then happily retire—just as Rowan Williams did.

When our blogging crew discussed what image we wanted to use for this feature, we had a few options.  But the most obvious one was the iconographic image from 1960 by M. C. Escher, Ascending and Descending, powerfully illustrating a work ritual that ends in futility and sameness. No matter how earnestly the monks carry out their steps, they still end up in the same place—always treading, never arriving. “Always winter and never Christmas.”

That is, in fact, what Archbishop Welby wants. To use another metaphor long used to describe dysfunctional human relationships, he wants a return to the steps of “the dance” that the Primates engaged in back in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006—most all the way through 2008’s Lambeth Meeting. Some and then even more of the Primates stepped out of the “dance” and refused to engage in the old dysfunctional relational ritual. Even in Escher’s lithograph, two of the monks have stepped away from the endless ritual staircase climb.

Of course, the psychology of relational change, discipline, and order doesn’t end with individuals stepping out of the same old rituals. The next step is always the shrieks, demands, manipulation, persuasion, pleading, and threats of those still within the dance to “change back”—to return to the old comforting ritual dance that led to the same results. Rowan Williams did this repeatedly, then finally surrendered. Now Archbishop Welby—who is better at this sort of game—is seeking the same return—the same meetings and indabaing and “conversations” about how we all might “live together in the midst of profound differenc,” even while those who have stepped away from the dance have continued to repeat their new rules for engagement.

I hope they refuse to re-enter the dance, refuse to climb those stairs to nowhere. It is a picture of futility—the only hope is to call more and more of the monks away from the old steps and the old destination.


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55 comments

Actually, with all due respect, I think you are incorrect. From the beginning my compatriots in the orthdox Anglican world have been too quick to take their ball and leave for someplace else, or simply not engage at all, when their preponderant numbers in the Communion, among the Primates, and in sheer numbers of bishops they could have taken matters into their own hands and made things go their way. As a result they have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory time after time after time. I, and myriads of others like me, pay no attention whatsoever to their statements and generalized grandstanding posturing, since they are making themselves irrelevant simply because they will not do anything buy withdraw, leaving the field to the enemy. What kind of generals and colonels are those people? They would be court-martialled in any decent army. My prescription for success is for the Primates to ALL meet, despite Mrs Schori’s defiling presence, and then by force of numbers make things go their way. Have Schori leave in a huff if she wants. Then have them call a Lambeth Conference and invite everybody, and have each and every bishop show up and duke it out. They would invariably prevail. But they won’t. Why is that? Because they do no know how to win, only withdraw and lose. I feel shame in my heart when I think that even nominally I look up to them as leaders, when I know they’re just poseurs.

[1] Posted by A Senior Priest on 10-7-2014 at 07:46 PM · [top]

RE: “From the beginning my compatriots in the orthdox Anglican world have been too quick to take their ball and leave for someplace else, or simply not engage at all, when their preponderant numbers in the Communion, among the Primates, and in sheer numbers of bishops they could have taken matters into their own hands and made things go their way.”

No—they engaged fervently literally *for years*.  The Dromantine Primates meeting came to some excellent conclusions—and in the three years after that meeting Rowan Williams prevented and deliberately sabotaged those decisions, all the while engaging in ridiculous stalling maneuvers with Windsor Committees [whose recommendations he ignored too] and “Anglican Covenant processes” up to and including the 2008 Lambeth Meeting in which he invited all the bishops of TEC save Gene Robinson, contrary to what he had asserted earlier and what had been clearly recommended.

After that point, the Primates ended further meetings and engagements—including the saintly and eminently patient Archbishop Mouneer, who after the tawdry and horrifically vacuous Lambeth Meeting, resigned from the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion in January of 2010. It had taken him six long years of betrayal and lies from Rowan Williams to do that.

Six years.  This was my comment at his eminently reasonable resignation:
http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/25417/comment-sf/#417521

There is no further need for engagement with leaders who do not deem a church blessing sex acts between two men or two women communion dividing.  All the necessary meetings and “conversation” and indabaing and faux decision making has been completed.  All that remains is for Archbishop Welby to pick which side he wishes to be on—and I think that side is fairly certain since he does not believe that blessing sex acts between two men or two women is intrinsically communion dividing, nor does he recognize that the likes of Bishop Shannon Johnston and the “vast majority” of TEC bishops do not share the same faith or Gospel as the “vast majority” of Anglican Communion Primates.

RE: “What kind of generals and colonels are those people?”

Very much like George Washington—who refused to fight on fields that were stacked against him.

RE: “My prescription for success is for the Primates to ALL meet, despite Mrs Schori’s defiling presence, and then by force of numbers make things go their way.”

Yep— precisely what they did at Dromantine.

If Archbishop Welby wants their presence at a Primates Meeting he knows exactly what he needs to do.

[2] Posted by Sarah on 10-7-2014 at 08:14 PM · [top]

I fail to see how anyone would fall for this, when at the same time +Welby is pushing “continuing indaba.”  Didn’t Kenya just recently formalize its refusal to participate in the indaba nonsense?

[3] Posted by Katherine on 10-7-2014 at 08:31 PM · [top]

He really is growing into the job nicely isn’t he? Just look at these two examples

“As it hasn’t been called, it can’t have been cancelled”. . . .

What an artful dodger that one!

“The next Lambeth Conference needs to be called collegially by the primates, together with real ownership of the agenda and a real sense of what we’re trying to do with such a large effort, such cost.”

Shifting the responsibility and the blame to someone else! “I am a victim of society!”

Brilliant!

[4] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 10-7-2014 at 08:58 PM · [top]

RE: ““As it hasn’t been called, it can’t have been cancelled”. . . .

Since 1948 the Lambeth Meeting has been held every 10 years like clockwork.

Two meetings, since the first Lambeth Meeting of 1867, were delayed by more than a year—because of the two World Wars

I agree that “the Lambeth Meeting” was not “cancelled.”  But the 2018 Lambeth Meeting *has* been “cancelled*—and will be rescheduled.

[5] Posted by Sarah on 10-7-2014 at 09:16 PM · [top]

Senior priest-
As Sarah points out, in Communion meetings, the odds are stacked against the orthodox Provinces. At Dar, they won outright, Williams then walked out, held a press conference, openly lied about his plans, and then let TEC off the hook, and effectively stopped holding Primates meetings, the following one being an open insult specifically intended to rob the Primates of the what little influence they still had.

At Lambeth, TEC sent every single liberal bishop who could fly over without medical restriction.  The average Nigerian bishop at the time had a diocese of over 100,000 while TEC’s average is a few thousand, and they sent a bunch of suffragans. coadjutors and probably some retirees.  And then the whole thing was orchestrated specifically to avoid another liberal embarrassment.  Which worked until the Archbishop of Sudan walked out into the courtyard, spoke a couple sentences to the press, and then TEC and the ABoC and ACO looked like the manipulators they are. The Nigerians and Ugandans and many others just had more important things to do than to parade around England giving the appearance of unity and acceptance of TEC innovations and endorsing the overthrow of orthodoxy in England.

Welby, by his own machinations, is no longer trusted by anybody- liberal or conservative.  In his own mind, he can be the primus inter pares over an overwhelmingly orthodox world wide body, in which, for reasons of only he understands, he expects the orthodox to embrace open heretics as Christian brothers and sisters, while at the same time going home to marry his friends sons to each other.  It won’t work, but that is what he is trying to do.

[6] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-7-2014 at 09:24 PM · [top]

Sarah,

The Lambeth Conference will be rescheduled IF (and it is a huge IF) the Primates reach a consensus on calling one and setting the agenda.  Knowing that TEC, CoE, Canada, Wales, New Zealand, Mexico, Brazil and several others will NEVER agree unless all TEC (and by then, no doubt, CoE) gay bishops are included, the probability is still, essentially, zero.

[7] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-7-2014 at 09:29 PM · [top]

RE: “The Lambeth Conference will be rescheduled IF (and it is a huge IF) the Primates reach a consensus on calling one and setting the agenda.”

Sure but before that Welby needs to lure the “vast majority” of Anglican Primates into a Primates meeting—he needs them *to attend* and lend credence to a Primates Meeting and to his restart.

I’m hoping they won’t—because what they decide at such a Primates Meeting is unenforceable not to mention that Welby has already precluded anything that means *not* living together “as a Communion in a way that demonstrates very important differences over issues of sexuality.”

Anything that involves church discipline is not an option. It’s all about “living together in reconciliation and engaging in mission and ministry all together despite our differences.”

[8] Posted by Sarah on 10-7-2014 at 10:07 PM · [top]

I agree, Sarah.  There isn’t going to be a 2018 Lambeth Conference.  Or any Lambeth Conference after that.

WESTERN LIBERAL ANGLICAN PRIMATES: We’ll come to a Lambeth Conference as long as it’s structured the same way as the 2008 Conference was and doesn’t make any formal statements about “Anglican teaching.”

NON-WESTERN TRADITIONALIST ANGLICAN PRIMATES: We’ll come to a Lambeth Conference as long as you abandon this indaba crap and actually take a stand about something, regardless of how much American money it will cost you.

[9] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 10-8-2014 at 04:43 AM · [top]

#9.  I wouldn’t say there is never going to be another Lambeth Conference.  It is just not likely there will be one for the next several decades, or one where a colonialist Archbishop of Canterbury is running the show.  So not cancelled, just postponed.  I tend to think the global south is playing the long game here.

[10] Posted by pendennis88 on 10-8-2014 at 02:53 PM · [top]

Sarah,
Is this the same “reset” button used by Hillary Clinton? If so, I think it is defective.

[11] Posted by Fr. Dale on 10-8-2014 at 03:34 PM · [top]

It’s pretty obvious that despite his title, Welby is no longer part of the Anglican Communion.

[12] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 10-8-2014 at 05:02 PM · [top]

I think Sarah chose the perfect graphic to accompany the piece.  Picture worth 1000 words (or in the case of the previous ABoC, 3500 words).

[13] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-8-2014 at 06:40 PM · [top]

A reasonable complaint by conservatives during Rowan Williams’ time was that the Primates Meetings were sidelined and/or disregarded. Sarah gives an excellent example of this in hercomment: ” The Dromantine Primates meeting came to some excellent conclusions—and in the three years after that meeting Rowan Williams prevented and deliberately sabotaged those decision”.
By saying Lambeth will only go ahead if the Primates agree, and only if an overwhelming number turn up Welby has given an effective veto to the Global South/Gafcon group.
That has got to be a plus.

[14] Posted by obadiahslope on 10-9-2014 at 12:42 AM · [top]

RE: “By saying Lambeth will only go ahead if the Primates agree, and only if an overwhelming number turn up Welby has given an effective veto to the Global South/Gafcon group.”

Only if he follows through with his statement—and of course, only if the Primates show up to a Primates Meeting, lending credibility to his restart—and all while *not* disinviting both TEC and Canada Primates.

In other words . . . the same old same old.

This is all about sucking the Global South Primates back into the old dance.

They need to say “you know what to do in order to get us to a Primates Meeting.”

[15] Posted by Sarah on 10-9-2014 at 06:17 AM · [top]

When the American boss says that there might not be a big meeting, that carries the hint that the Americans might not be paying for it.

[16] Posted by Just a Baptist on 10-9-2014 at 06:23 AM · [top]

Does anybody have the minutes from the once every 6 months meeting of the Standing Committee?  I assume Welby is still calling those to rubber stamp his travel vouchers.

[17] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-9-2014 at 06:53 AM · [top]

Oops, found the press releases.  Actual minutes not available.  Apparently now meeting every 14 months, or at least, that is all they are willing to admit to.
Of course, the fewer standing committee meetings, the better.

[18] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-9-2014 at 07:03 AM · [top]

The whole point of the “overwhelming majority” statement is that allows Welby to bypass any decision reached at a meeting in which TEC and Co (Canada, Brazil, NZ, Scotland, etc) are not invited- or are invited, and don’t show up to because the agenda actually calls for action.  He wants everyone to “agree to disagree” up front, and sign off on gay marriage and clergy (tacitly) by showing up and not doing anything about it.  Make first order issues into minor cultural discrepancies. Turn the 1662, 39 Articles, Nicene Creed into “historical documents” and have them treated worldwide as they are by TEC and CoE.

But then, last week, he did make formal statements excommunicating (from communion with his see) 3 bishops who were in attendance at Lambeth 2008, the 20,000 people in those dioceses, and 80,000 other people who were thrown out of TEC by TEC bishops and their heresy.

So, he is really on a roll.

[19] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-9-2014 at 07:17 AM · [top]

RE: “The whole point of the “overwhelming majority” statement is that allows Welby to bypass any decision reached at a meeting in which TEC and Co (Canada, Brazil, NZ, Scotland, etc) are not invited . . . “

It’s interesting.

I believe the words “overwhelming majority” were used by Schori, not by Justin Welby.  I’d have to check.

In fact—heh heh—the timeline laid out was by *Schori* not Justin Welby.  She dished *so* many details—and he’s been left with just a “uh, yeh . . . we’ve always said that” kind of statement without verifying her details.

The point, I think, of the words “overwhelming majority” is that he gets to define that however he pleases whenever he decides that the restart of the dance is or is not happening.

IF the Global South Primates show up at the Primates Meeting without Communion discipline he gets to say “see—the overwhelming majority of Primates are here.”  If the GAFCON Primates [6-8—they don’t post their list any more which is probably sensible at this point, but frustrating] don’t show up at the Primates Meeting he can say “boy, thank goodness the overwhelming majority of Primates are here!”

And so on and so forth.

In other words . . . whatever happens . . . as with the horrible 2008 Lambeth Meeting . . . it will all be declared as Simply Marvelous!

[20] Posted by Sarah on 10-9-2014 at 07:39 AM · [top]

If the global south primates show up… But what if they don’t?

And what if they do show up with conditions they demand if any Lambeth Conference is to go ahead?

Assuming that you are right and Welby wants to suck them into a repeat performance… They don’t have to play along.

Sarah, you have a good track record with analysing this stuff, but with the greatest respect I hope you are wrong.

In any event, The Gafcon crew are smart, and may simply ignore Welby’s invitation.

[21] Posted by obadiahslope on 10-9-2014 at 08:59 AM · [top]

RE: “And what if they do show up with conditions they demand if any Lambeth Conference is to go ahead?”

If they show up at the Primates Meeting—and they haven’t achieved Schori’s/et al’s absence—then they’ve re-entered the steps of the old dance.

He’s hooked them back, at that point.

And that will be a Waste Of Their Time. They will have demonstrated that they’re hookable and he gets to then do the old Rowan Williams dance until they—yet again—step out of the dance.

Why waste that time?  Why not stick with Not Being In The Dance At All?

I hope they do.  And I hope it’s more than the Gafcon crew—far more.

[22] Posted by Sarah on 10-9-2014 at 09:20 AM · [top]

Why not stick with being in the dance at all? I think this is a judgment call. One tactic would be to attend a primates meeting, vote against a Lambeth Conference, and proceed with a 2018 Gafcon.

[23] Posted by obadiahslope on 10-9-2014 at 02:34 PM · [top]

RE: “Why not stick with being in the dance at all? I think this is a judgment call.”

Well I’m not talking about it being sin.  I’m talking about wisdom and discernment.

Here are my answers:

1) Being in the dysfunctional dance with another person who is in charge lends credibility to the dance.

2) Being in the dysfunctional dance with another person who is in charge makes public your support for the dance.

3) Being in the dysfunctional dance with another person who is in charge fosters frustration and anger on *both sides*—but with no results.  The chasm still exists between the two sides, no good result occurs, *and* you’ve demonstrated that your principles really aren’t firm or seriously held.

4) Being in the dysfunctional dance with another person who is in charge *still* means you don’t reach your goals, whatever they are. 

5) Being in the dysfunctional dance with another person who is in charge wastes time that you could spend pursuing your goals.

With your example of a tactic:
1) Voting against a Lambeth Conference doesn’t mean it won’t take place anyway—so that’s a meaningless gesture.
2) One may proceed with a 2018 Gafcon without ever attending a Primates Meeting.
3) You’ve yielded your ground by attending—because remember the Primates who believe the Gospel have already made clear that they will not fellowship or engage in dialogue with Katherine Jefferts Schori further—attending a Primates Meeting with her around means you’re back to refusing to attend Eucharist [remember those heady days?] while *still* not accomplishing anything other than lending credibility to the Primates Meeting and re-engaging in the dance for Justin Welby.

Why restart a process that is *demonstrated already to have failed* once Justin Welby invited KJS to the process as well?

[24] Posted by Sarah on 10-9-2014 at 04:09 PM · [top]

In short—you gain nothing, but you give away credibility and public participation.

[25] Posted by Sarah on 10-9-2014 at 04:10 PM · [top]

Obadiah,
For any vote at a future Primates Meeting to have meaning, before said Primates Meeting, the ABoC would have to publicly enforce the unanimous vote taken at Dar Es Salaam.  So, unless and until he is willing to enforce the EXISTING votes from those and many other meetings, why bother to attend another?

[26] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-9-2014 at 04:50 PM · [top]

Agree with Sarah here.  At this point, there doesn’t need to be a “meeting” for there to be progress made.  The “meeting” itself is more for show.  And if you show up for the meeting, you are contributing to the show.  The question is - whose show are you contributing to? 

The primates don’t need to go to a Primates’ Meeting to accomplish their goals.  The Global South primates should instead discuss amongst themselves what would be needed for them to attend a primates’ meeting or Lambeth, and then issue a joint statement setting out the conditions.  And then simply refer Welby to that when he comes calling.  That way Welby would know exactly what needs to be done for them to show up.

In this way, there would be two possible results.  Either there would be no primates meeting or Lambeth, or there would be, but the meetings would be on the Global South’s terms and Welby’s attendance would be on their terms, not his.

[27] Posted by jamesw on 10-9-2014 at 05:54 PM · [top]

jamesw nailed it:

The primates don’t need to go to a Primates’ Meeting to accomplish their goals.  The Global South primates should instead discuss amongst themselves what would be needed for them to attend a primates’ meeting or Lambeth, and then issue a joint statement setting out the conditions.  And then simply refer Welby to that when he comes calling.  That way Welby would know exactly what needs to be done for them to show up.

In other words, no more of Dr. Williams’ indaba conceit.  This Lambeth Conference will actually pass resolutions with teeth on them or we’re not going to waste our time since we’ve always got GAFCON to fall back on which, Your Grace, you’re welcome to attend any time the mood strikes you.

[28] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 10-9-2014 at 09:31 PM · [top]

James W, I agree. I do think the Global South/GAFCON primates should work out their position in advance of any Primates meeting. I think your process would be a wise course for them to follow.

[29] Posted by obadiahslope on 10-9-2014 at 10:00 PM · [top]

The GS already stated a position (Communique Feb 21,2014):
4. However, we trust in God’s promise that the “gates of hades will not overcome” the church. Holding unto this promise, we believe that we have to make every effort in order to restore our beloved Communion. Therefore we took the following decisions:
a) We request and will support the Archbishop of Canterbury to call for a Primates Meeting in 2015 in order to address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion. It is important that the agenda of this Primates Meeting be discussed and agreed upon by the Primates beforehand in order to ensure an effective meeting.
b) We decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dromantine in 2005 and Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.
c) We realize that the time has come to address the ecclesial deficit, the mutual accountability and re-shaping the instruments of unity by following through the recommendations mentioned in the Windsor Report (2004), the Primates Meetings in Dromantine (2005) and Dar es Salam (2007), and the Windsor Continuation Group report.


Reading through, it is quite evident that section c) is the agenda they are expecting for meeting a).  Section b) is that part of the agenda that they have decided to implement on their own, since the ABoC reneged on the deal at Dar.

[30] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-10-2014 at 07:23 AM · [top]

“That way Welby would know exactly what needs to be done for them to show up.” I think this is water over the dam. The primates have already made their case and have moved on. Doing this would feed right back into the ‘reset’ ploy. ++Welby has already proven himself to be Rowan Williams 2.0. There is no turning back, no reconciliation and no reforming Canterbury.

[31] Posted by Fr. Dale on 10-10-2014 at 07:27 AM · [top]

#30 - which is why the most likely thing is that there will not be a primates’ meeting, at least not one called by the colonialist Archbishop of Canterbury, nor a Lambeth meeting.  (Not “cancelled”, just “postponed” - indefinitely.) But there will likely be another GAFCON meeting.  I believe the next one, assuming an every 5 year pace, should be in 2018.  There, the part of the Anglican communion that is actually in communion can gather, and undoubtedly have a good and joyful meeting.

[32] Posted by pendennis88 on 10-10-2014 at 08:05 AM · [top]

Jamesw wrote:

In this way, there would be two possible results.  Either there would be no primates meeting or Lambeth, or there would be, but the meetings would be on the Global South’s terms and Welby’s attendance would be on their terms, not his.<blockquote>

All well and good but there is a third option exists…. ++Welby calls Lambeth anyway and totally disregards the requirements of the Global South Primates and then complains that they have stayed away. KJS+ will declare that a majority of the provinces are represented (since incorrect facts don’t both her much) and that will be that. The Institutionalists will have their Lambeth Conference and VOILA There is Unity in the WWAC… Indaba, Kumbaya and all that!

The Anglican Communion is split like it or not. The split has happened and just because ++Welby is acting as if he is really, really trying to keep the Communion together does not make it so! The institutionalists are looking at the outside which is indeed torn and tattered and split in many ways. They are wanting to keep everything together. Meanwhile, the Global South, GFCA, GAFCON are all moving forward, while realizing the tattered nature of the WWAC. To borrow our bishop’s vision statement for the Diocese of South Carolina: “Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age”, that is exactly what the Global South is doing. Meanwhile, the Supreme Institutionalist ++Welby is lamenting the state of the WWAC and seems to be trying to make everyone happy by flying to various provinces all around the world.

The state of the WWAC right now reminds me of snake shedding its skin. Now that is not such a pretty sight (and perhaps not the best metaphor) but the institutional “skin” of the WWAC is indeed torn and tattered but there is a new and healthy communion just underneath the skin which involves a majority of the old that is re-forming around the Global South provinces. Don’t believe me? At the investiture of ++ Foley Beach as the Archbishop of ACNA, there were representatives of many Anglican Provinces. In fact, here is what Archbishop Beach said in Locust and Wild Honey blog!]

<blockquote>I give thanks to God that we have here tonight the Primates of numerous Anglican Provinces Representing the Provinces of Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, South America, Myanmar, Egypt, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Jerusalem. We also have representatives sent by the Primates of Southeast Asia, Congo and Sudan. And we have bishops here from South Sudan, Argentina and Brazil.

All are here tonight to put their ‘Amen’ on our proceedings and affirm their communion with us as fellow Anglicans in the Anglican Communion. Actually, this group of leaders not only represents all of the largest Provinces in the Anglican Communion, but also the vast majority of Anglicans worldwide. We are blessed to have you here! And We are blessed to be ministry partners with you, sharing the Good News of Jesus around the world.

Folks. The answer is simple. In with the new and out with the old. Want to remain part of the old WWAC? great just use another name other than “Anglican” to describe what and who you are as the new Anglican Communion is authentically Anglican in ways that the wayward western provinces will never understand. Reconciliation of the old with the new will only take place IF the wayward western provinces recognize their heresy, repent, and ask for true reconciliation with the new. 

  JMHO as always.

[33] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-10-2014 at 08:09 AM · [top]

ACK. I did not mean to make my comment a blockquote- Just the first sentences by Jamesw. Sorry…..

[34] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-10-2014 at 08:10 AM · [top]

tjmcmahon - I would suggest that there would need to be more details than just

a) We request and will support the Archbishop of Canterbury to call for a Primates Meeting in 2015 in order to address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion. It is important that the agenda of this Primates Meeting be discussed and agreed upon by the Primates beforehand in order to ensure an effective meeting.

There does not need to be a “meeting” per se in order to “address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion.”  What I am saying is that PRIOR to the “meeting” it be made clear to Welby some things that need to be done, or at least started.  For example, carrying through on earlier Primatial decisions.  I think it would be a colossal strategic error to simply trust that Welby would have any serious inclination to “address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion” in a Primates’ meeting just by him saying so.

In other words, the Global South should only agree to attend a Primates’ Meeting IF they already had their minimum conditions met BEFORE the meeting.  So, suppose that their conditions were that Provinces which had violated Lambeth 1.10 on sexuality were being suspended from the Primates’ Meeting; that ACO officials were excluded from the meeting and from having any organization role; and that the agenda be agreed upon prior to the meeting.  If Welby then agreed to meet under those conditions (which he wouldn’t, BTW), the very act of his agreeing to meet would lend credence to the Global South position.

Anything else would be “same old, same old.”

[35] Posted by jamesw on 10-10-2014 at 10:54 AM · [top]

And I also would suggest that there should be more needed then just an agreed upon agenda.  If you have all the liberal primates there with Welby and ACO officials, then it doesn’t matter what the agenda is thought to be (or agreed publicly to be), because there will be quite a different ACTUAL agenda.

In other words the Global South should not agree to another Primates or Lambeth meeting in which they attend with empty hands, hoping for a positive result.  Because their bargaining chip is their actual attendance.  If they attend without having anything to show for attending, they have just given up their bargaining chip for nothing.  No, they need to have something IN HAND before agreeing to attend.

[36] Posted by jamesw on 10-10-2014 at 10:59 AM · [top]

Fr. Dale,

I think this is water over the dam. The primates have already made their case and have moved on. Doing this would feed right back into the ‘reset’ ploy. ++Welby has already proven himself to be Rowan Williams 2.0. There is no turning back, no reconciliation and no reforming Canterbury.

This may be.  I think that the primates learned a hard lesson last time.  I agree with Sarah and you, that I hope that they remember this lesson and don’t fall for the same old ploy again.  That’s not to say, however, that the primates can’t respond differently.

Now, let me be clear, I think that if the primates responded to Welby as I suggest, that Welby would not engage, and the ploy to have more endless, unproductive meetings to try to show to the world that the Anglican Communion is “still meeting together and fellow-shipping despite their deep differences” would be thwarted.  But in my opinion, better to call Welby’s bluff and say “sure, you want an Anglican Communion meeting?  Here’s what it will take to get one”, then it would be to allow him to try to pick off primates one by one.

[37] Posted by jamesw on 10-10-2014 at 11:19 AM · [top]

RE:

“Because their bargaining chip is their actual attendance.  If they attend without having anything to show for attending, they have just given up their bargaining chip for nothing.”

JamesW—you are exactly right.

[38] Posted by Sarah on 10-10-2014 at 11:37 AM · [top]

Jamesw, As long as ++Welby is currying favor with TEC, it does not matter to him (despite what he may say publicly) that the Global South primates won’t attend. Face it, if there is a primates meeting that the Global South Primates would attend, TEc and ACoC won’t be there along with their *supporters*. So if ++Welby wants a meeting of the majority of the Anglican Primates, he could easily have one but if he wants one in which every primate will attend that is indeed an empty promise. Won’t happen because the communion is so split already.

I agree Fr. Dale. The Global South and GAFCON primates have moved on and if ++Welby wants to be part of that communion, great but he will need to realize that TEc and ACoC, as they are today, are not welcome.  Many of their leaders need to repent and return to an authentic Anglican faith. IF that happens, then it can be discussed how and when to move forward with Lambeth.

[39] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-10-2014 at 01:53 PM · [top]

#1) A Senior Priest,

If the battle you are fighting by remaining accomplishes nothing than why fight it.  In Northern California I watch as each orthodox priest retires and is replaced by a moderate who is anything but.  I’m sure if you look around your diocese you will see just what I refer to.  The battle you are fighting is mere shadow boxing. The revisionists in your diocese have already won, and they are content to wait you out.  One by one your orhtodox brethren are being replaced with sympathizers.  Sorry to state the obvious. It is simply true.  You actually are the poseur as you think you are actually winning your local battle.  If you know Northern California, just look to Roseville and notice how that orthodox stronghold became revisionist a few years after their Rector retired.

You may not care to listen to those who have left but the congregations we are planting and building are restoring an orthodox Anglican presence to North America.  You are not.

[40] Posted by Ed McNeill on 10-10-2014 at 02:18 PM · [top]

SC blu cat lady - I don’t think that we are coming from very different places.  We both agree that Welby’s claim to want a meeting with all the primates present is predicated on this being part of an “all is well, we are all together despite our disagreements” show, and that the Global South primates should have none of that.

But, the Global South primates nor the GAFCON primates have left the Anglican Communion.  And they don’t plan to (and so they have not simply “moved on” nor do they apparently intend to).  Like it or not, the supposed “Instruments of Unity” are now largely under Welby’s control.  Welby is the ABC, who is the probably the most important Instrument of Unity in the Anglican Communion.

And so, the question is how the Global South primates should respond when the Anglican Communion’s leading Instrument of Unity calls for a primates’ meeting.  Do they ignore him, to which he can claim that he tried to reach out but he was ignored?  Or do the primates say very politely, but very firmly, “yes, Abp. Welby, we would love to meet as a group, and we would be happy to discuss the agenda and travel arrangements once you have takes steps A, B and C.”

The Global South primates need to keep a few balls in the air.  One is to continue with the relationships and building up of the Global South Anglican alliance/fellowship.  But the other is to engage as necessary with Welby and the official Anglican Communion and in as wise a manner as possible.

[41] Posted by jamesw on 10-10-2014 at 02:22 PM · [top]

While not exactly a formal meeting of the Primates who represent the vast majority of Anglicans, the presence of the Archbishops of Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda - and others - at Archbishop Foley’s investiture was a good start.  And a good answer to Justin Welby’s dithering about the future of the Communion.

[42] Posted by hanks on 10-10-2014 at 02:30 PM · [top]

RE: “The battle you are fighting is mere shadow boxing.”

You don’t know what battle he is fighting.  Neither do I. I’m fairly confident he’s fighting precisely the battle he was meant to, having observed his comments over the years.

RE: “One by one your orhtodox brethren are being replaced with sympathizers.  Sorry to state the obvious. It is simply true.”

You say that like people who remain in TEC don’t recognize that.  We do.  We knew it before others knew it.  So maybe—just maybe—we have other fish to fry that you know nothing of.

RE: “You actually are the poseur as you think you are actually winning your local battle.”

Huh?  You’ve already admitted you don’t even know what he’s fighting.  So how do you know that he thinks he’s winning or even that he’s *not* winning?

RE: “. . . but the congregations we are planting and building are restoring an orthodox Anglican presence to North America.  You are not.”

Some of us, oddly, have decided we want nothing to do with ACNA’s conception of “orthodox Anglican presence”, Ed.  Doesn’t make ACNA’s conception “bad”—it’s just nothing we want to have anything to do with. Nor do you want to have anything to do with our plans or our battles.  Which would be why we’re not in the same entity. So acting all triumphalistic—or as he put it, with grandstanding posturing, which you just did—is pointless and just makes some of us laugh.

Neither you nor he will be on the same page.  You’re not going to be together.  I suspect you both are perfectly satisfied with that.

[43] Posted by Sarah on 10-10-2014 at 03:14 PM · [top]

My comments to Senior Priest were not directed to everyone who remains in TEC.  I have many friends who continue in TEC and understand themselves to be so called.  I don’t question this.  I do object though to the argument that those who left TEC abandoned the battle.

[44] Posted by Ed McNeill on 10-10-2014 at 03:42 PM · [top]

Jamesw,
I think you misunderstood me. Where did I say that the Global South provinces have left the Anglican Communion? Perhaps you misunderstood when I said that they “have moved on” as meaning they have left the Anglican Communion. What I meant is that they moved past the need for in dada nonsense and refuse to engage in the pointless in daba mushy *conversations* with the heretical western provinces and if that includes the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury, so be it.

Sometimes refusing to engaging someone is the best way to make them aware you are serious about your position especially if they are saying (as ++Welby is) that he wants a meeting of all the primates. If ++Welby wants a meeting of all Anglican Primates, I think the primates of the Global South have made it quite clear in their written statements what they expect. I have taken some texts as block quotes as clear examples of what they expect as a group.

First quote:

The Global South Primates Steering Committee met at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014. We were delighted to have The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, the Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), and Canon David Porter, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director for Reconciliation, as guests joining this important meeting in which we discussed the way ahead for the Anglican Communion and other matters. The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala, the Primate of Kenya, and The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, the Primate of Congo, apologized for not being able to attend.

.

NOTICE ++Welby was at the meeting when the Global South Primates Steering committee met together in Cairo in Feb. 2014. If ++Welby was there, he already knows what the Global South primates steering committee expects from him. So far, has he changed his views to say…. Ok. You (being the Global South Steering committee) are right and our discussion here gives me a way to move forward with this tattered and torn communion we are experiencing. We (as primates) need to do the very things that have already been decided upon as a group.  So far, I don’t see his views/actions changing.

Next quote:

<blockquote>We realize that the time has come to address the ecclesial deficit, the mutual accountability and re-shaping the instruments of unity by following through the recommendations mentioned in the Windsor Report (2004), the Primates Meetings in Dromantine (2005) and Dar es Salam (2007), and the Windsor Continuation Group report.</blcokquote>

While I wish they had not waited seven years to come to this conclusion, these primates have already made ++Welby aware exactly what they expect to see happen for the restoration of the Anglican Communion. They are telling ++Welby that the decisions have already been made by the primates but ignored by previous ABCs and if the present ABC wants their cooperation, then he needs to follow through and implement these decisions.  Is it not clear what they expect from Welby? They do see a need to call a primates meeting in 2015. It seems to me that they are telling ++Welby the ball is in your court, what are you going to do? Are you going to finally implement decisions made by the primates or not?

The Global South provinces are continuing with their Anglican faith and recognizing and working with other faithful Anglicans around the globe. That is what a communion based on a shared authentic Anglicanism should be and do. Whether the western provinces will get on board with the revival and restoration movement spearheaded by the Global South provinces is another question….. to which many of us probably can predict their answer/actions.

[45] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 10-12-2014 at 04:36 AM · [top]

I wonder if the decision to cancel Lambeth is because some people in CofE foresee a worse boycott than 2008 next time around, due to increasingly open toleration of liberalism within CofE? 

Its less embarrassing for them just not to have a Lambeth Conference at all.  And cheaper.

[46] Posted by MichaelA on 10-13-2014 at 02:26 AM · [top]

Quite perceptive Michael A.  But I think it goes beyond expense, or fear of a “boycott.” In order to hold another Lambeth (and invite the Global South), Welby will have to overcome the opposition of what appears to be the majority of his own HoB- the legacy of elevation of revisionists to the episcopate.  He will also have to face the embarrassment of the PR disaster that will ensue when the Government refuses entrance to the majority of the GS delegations at the behest of “priests and bishops” in his own CoE, and their supporters in the government.

Given the blather coming out of the CoE, and their support of bishops who are clearly in violation of canons and their own vows, I can’t imagine that any conference hosted by the ABoC who cannot maintain a semblance of orthodoxy in his own church will be attended by the GS in any numbers. They are perfectly capable, as they have already demonstrated, of calling their own meetings, and inviting anyone who shares the faith of Christ.  If there is a Lambeth, perhaps a few GS bishops will attend as ecumenical visitors.

[47] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-13-2014 at 06:20 AM · [top]

This blog has an interesting transcript of a recent submission concerning parish numbers in a CofE diocese.  http://davidkeen.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/the-parish-system-game-over.html

I would be interesting in comments by US readers on whether it seems better or worse than TEC? (and yes, I appreciate that every diocese is different so its only a very rough comparison!)

“In the Diocese of Exeter we have 607 churches, many of which are listed. Over 200 of them attract less than 20 to Sunday services, and 124 attract less than 10. The average age of a committed member is 65….. It is time, I believe, to allow some aspects of parochial life to die and trust God for resurrection rather than resuscitation. The battle for weekly Sunday worship is over in many parishes, and the canonical obligation associated with this need to be rescinded. The maintenance of a parish share system which has become a tax on mission for some, and a smokescreen from the reality of death for others needs to be abandoned, in favour of a system which enables healthy churches to flourish, and sick ones to expire in their present form.”

The blogger then shares about his own diocese, which seems in somewhat better shape than Dio Exeter, relatively speaking:

Here in Bath and Wells we have just under 500 churches, 66 of these have 10 members or fewer, another 162 have 11-25. And we have a parish share system (for non-Anglicans, this is how parish churches contribute to central costs, including training and provision of vicars): the practical result of this is that one of the churches in our parish has grown by 32% in the last 9 years, the Parish Share we pay to our Diocese has grown by 92%. A further 10% rise awaits us next year. It doesn’t take a maths genius to work out that this can’t be sustained in the long term. Worse, it means that there’s less resources available to invest in growth for the future. Every growing church set in a declining Diocese is faced with the same

The only escape from the spiral is that a) the majority of churches in the Diocese start to grow instead of decline (in the latest stats I have, declining churches outnumbered growing churches by 6 to 1) b) we change the way the sums are calculated and collected (as many Dioceses are beginning to do) c) we find the ecclesiastical equivalent of George Osborne and do some serious austerity. Otherwise, in the words of the designer on Titanic ‘the ship will sink, it is a mathematical certainty’

[48] Posted by MichaelA on 10-20-2014 at 05:52 AM · [top]

MichaelA,
“I would be interesting in comments by US readers on whether it seems better or worse than TEC? (and yes, I appreciate that every diocese is different so its only a very rough comparison!)” The drop in TEc is a good thing in the sense that the venues and opportunities for false teaching are diminished.

[49] Posted by Fr. Dale on 10-20-2014 at 06:34 AM · [top]

Michael,
I suspect the average TEC diocese pales by comparison to Bath and Wells or Exeter.  No TEC diocese has 500 parishes.  100, if there are any that big, is very unusual.  600+ would be a “province” of TEC with 9 or 10 average dioceses. The local diocese has 23 (+/- 1 or 2).  The entire diocesan ASA is just over 600 including many summer visitors- that is using their count, which is not necessarily really ASA- and I would think that the larger parishes in many CoE dioceses have more folks on a given Sunday than the entire diocese.  We do know that with an average ASA of 65 (+/-) TEC parishes are, for the most part, small and strapped for funds.

Of course, the local diocese is unusually small, even for TEC, and has a large percentage of its churches 20 or smaller.  In many dioceses, the bishop would just convert a parish that size to mission status, and close and sell it a few years later.  I get the impression that is much harder to do in England, where the parish is an historic entity, and the bishop more constrained in the closure than most of his TEC counterparts.

[50] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-20-2014 at 07:16 AM · [top]

tj, now I think about it, it is rather extraordinary.  Dio Exeter has one diocesan bishop assisted by two suffragans.  According to wikipedia it has 506 parishes and 600+ churches.

How do three bishops minister to 500 parishes?

Here in Sydney we have about 210 parishes.  The Archbishop has four or five area bishops (effectively, suffragans) to assist him.  So that’s 1 bishop to 40 or 50 parishes at most.  How can a bishop effectively minister to 150 parishes or more?

[51] Posted by MichaelA on 10-20-2014 at 07:30 PM · [top]

Michael,
I note from what I imagine is the same wikipedia article, that there are also 6 retired bishops who are appointed as assisting bishops in the diocese- so while administration of the diocese must be quite a chore, with a the total of 9 bishops, plus +Ebbsfleet who pops in from time to time for the Anglo Catholics, I imagine they don’t have too hard a time getting everyone confirmed and whatnot.  I am not familiar with the diocese, but it is not like they have to travel NY to LA or Perth to Sydney to get round to the various parishes.  The local TEC diocese is twice the size of Wales, one of the various overlapping ACNA dioceses (Dio of the Great Lakes) is, if you count all the states where it oversees parishes, physically larger than Great Britain.

[52] Posted by tjmcmahon on 10-20-2014 at 08:26 PM · [top]

Good point, tj.  I didn’t notice that - they are “licensed as honorary assistant bishops in the diocese”.  9 bishops to 500 parishes is a much better ratio, especially if they have archdeacons to shoulder some of the load.

Interesting that of those six retired bishops, four were formerly bishops outside England: Peru, South Africa, Melanesia and Scotland.

[53] Posted by MichaelA on 10-20-2014 at 11:37 PM · [top]

Sara,
You wrote:
“1) Being in the dysfunctional dance with another person who is in charge lends credibility to the dance.”

Does blogging about why you should not take part in the dance,  constitute taking part in the dance?  Just asking
God bless you

[54] Posted by Ordinary on 11-25-2014 at 09:11 AM · [top]

Hi Ordinary—communicating with my allies in no way involves engaging with my opponents in the dance, blessedly.

It touches on something interesting about rhetoric—one may communicate clearly without ever participating in various processes.

[55] Posted by Sarah on 11-25-2014 at 09:38 AM · [top]

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