Comments: comment on the NY and Texas meetings

I'm beginning to feel like the Major General at the beginning of Act II of the Pirates of Penzance. The police (here portrayed by the ACN) march about singing of how "we go, we go." After the fourth or fifth chorus the General explodes, "Yes, but you don't go!"

Posted by Steve Lusk at Wednesday, 13 September 2006 at 11:15pm BST

I would very much like to see the three documents – the draft text and the two revised texts that passed across the table in New York. That would give us some idea of the state of play.
As one might expect the negotiating went on after the meeting had closed with Duncan playing the international card and Griswold/Schori holding out the possibility of further talks.
It does Susan no good at all to hide her head under the table and say that they sky is not falling in and everything in the parish goes on a pace. TEC has already made significant moves in a direction that should (and I am sure does) make her very uncomfortable and the events she mentions have incrementally increased the pressure for change, some already made at GC2006 with possibly more to come.
The present tactic is clearly to wrong foot those primates who were planning some decisive action at Kigali, but the price of this is (on the surface) a steady move towards their position.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 9:50am BST

It's not a surprise that they were polite at the meeting and then made their moves afterwards. There are those who a driven by a sense of theological urgency and see being nice as being forced to consort with "the evil one" (a term I've seen used used at least once against at least one liberal in the last year). If they don't have those under the influence of the "evil one" under control (i.e. suppressed), then for their parishioners' sake they must split. Further, they must rescue the unsuspecting parishioners elsewhere who do not yet know that their souls are in peril.

I just pray enough of the sensible world is watching and waking up to realise that you would never trust these people to bring about world peace. They are as likely as not to create more mess than they resolve in any dialogue (because "the other" should repent or be burnt in hell) or entrench distrust between the parties by acting inconsistently after the meeting with what was said in the meeting.

On the upside, we should be able to argue the blanket redemption of women on the basis it is clear they have had no legitimate theological authority in the last 2,000 years - and even if they were to give good advice it would be ignored on principle by the power brokers anyway. Same as they have removed the scriptures (e.g. Book of Susanna) that would have informed women how to protect themselves from predatory men and/or priests. Or if women were too feisty they would have moved to destroy the church under the influence of the "evil one".

My other snicker is that Eve would be laughing that men didn't need her around to make the last 2,000 years worth of mistakes - they have clearly done it off their own bat - making every effort to clear women out of the way so they could take all the credit.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 11:16am BST

Forgive my ignorance Martin, but I don't understand all the nuances and allusions, here.

What is 'their position' (in 'the steady move towards'?)

Also what is the direction that makes her feel uncomfotable ?

do u mean FG and KS are being wrong footed / maneuvered ?

Posted by laurence.roberts at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 12:23pm BST

The "orthodox" Virginia parishes have embarked on "40 Days of Discernment," a series of guided discussions to "choose a way forward":
For those interested in how those people think, it's worth a read . . .

Posted by Steve Lusk at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 1:45pm BST

I've attempted to read as many of the reports, reactions, comments and blogs as possible. How do people find time for all this? And for so much speculation and conjecture about what really happened and what it all means?

As a member of the CofE, I'm feeling neglected in all the dicsussion, and it's MY Primate who is most often being dissected in the comments.

The potential schismatics are not articulating an Anglican ethos, ecclesiology or theology such as I have lived with for 60 years. We are living through and almost certainly about to witness a major change in Anglicanism. This may be 'resolved' by a split, and if the split is into two fairly equal chunks, one will include Canterbury and one won't.

The schismatics are also deeply dishonest and manipulative in their use of language and their abuse of reality. They are deliberately creating a new, false reality. I don't see what is Christian about that.

Nearly all the focus this week has been on TEC. There is no interest in other Provinces such as the CofE, the stance of our bishops, whether we are 'Windsor compliant' or not. TEC is in the frame and we are not. Changing Attitude England is researching couples in the CofE, clergy and lay, who have registered Civil Partnerships, some followed by a blessing in church, some attended by bishops. All this is in contravention of our House of Bishops' Pastoral Guidelines, and would be deemed 'non-Windsor compliant', if anyone were watching us.

If next week's meetings resolve anything (and few think they will), and if a solution is ever reached to the disputes within TEC, attention will turn to other Provinces, not least England, where apart from our capacity for hiding from reality, there is little to distinguish us from TEC. I'm interested in what isn't being said here, why extreme conservatives who would wish a similar outcome in England are not raising their voices. Less money? More realism? British reserve? Acceptance that if a 'Windsor compliant' church is created, it won't include Canterbury or the CofE?

Whatever the final outcome, TEC and the CofE and several other Provinces will remain in a Church conforming to the best ideals of Elizabethan settlement Anglicanism, and a new, Global South-dominated Church may come into being as a necessary historical step in the outworking of the Church of God. It is this Church which might include some splinters from TEC.

Posted by Colin Coward at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 2:10pm BST

Outside of the Box - a question and a suggestion:
Question - Has any diocesan covention actually voted to either leave the Episcopal Church or challenge the legitimacy of the present leadership including Executive Council?
Suggestion - Convene a meeting of diocesan chancellors to draft suggestions themselves - no bishops invited. If that would make too large a group to allow for real discussion then equal numbers from those dioceses requesting APO or Network affiliated, those with substantial numbers of congregations that self identify as reasserters and the like number from dioceses that are happy to be part of TEC and voted with the majority at GC06. The very fact that they know they have no power to make decisions might free them for creative thinking. Of course bishops meeting separately have no authority but they'll not admit that.
Columba Gilliss

Posted by Columba Gilliss at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 2:28pm BST

Steve Lusk -- a brilliant encapsulation of the feeling of many!

I confess to finding the entire proceeding curious -- certainly the Presiding Bishop has no authority to divide the Property of The Episcopal Church -- I cannot see what ability anyone participant had to do anything to change the situation other than being faithful to their ordination vows and either acknowledging the authority of the General Convention or simply leaving (as any individual is free to do).

Posted by Prior Aelred at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 2:53pm BST

Nice to see you Colin -- I am most interested to hear your suggestion that when the split becomes formalized the C of E & TEC will find themselves in the same grouping since another analysis (I forget now where I saw it) said that the inevitable future of the C of E was exclusively Evangelical (since they are the only ones who go to church or have any money)
BUT as to the meeting in NY -- I've said before that I don't understand what the outcome could have been except bishops agreeing to acknowledge the authority of General Convention OR leaving TEC OR stalemate since none of the participants had the power to do anything else (the only precdents for entire dioceses leaving was in the American Civil War & that was dealt with the same way that the federal government dealt with the secession of the states -- PECUSA refused to acknowledge that the PECCSA existed & merely noted the absence of their deputations from the General Convention)

Posted by Prior Aelred at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 3:04pm BST

Here I am again, counselling patience. But it seems to me that we still don't know what happened in the New York meeting. Even the suggestions of "drafts" are speculation, fueled by sources that may be respected by those who quote them, but that can't be respected generally until we know who they are, or we know from facts that they've been accurate.

As we say in our house, "arguments from silence are specious in both directions." That is, if we don't know, *we don't know.*

Posted by Marshall Scott at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 3:06pm BST

Whatever goes on internally in these meetings, they serve possible important new conservative strategic ends. Having occurred, they can be spun endlessly by being defined at any given moment in the way most favorable to the split/realignment campaign agenda.

Among the most popular new conservative realignment spin cycles so far? (1) we orthodox bishops tried, but the nasty TEC libs are stubborn/willful/wrong-headed. Can't they see we are trying to get them to repent and save their very souls for all eternity? (2) we are still meeting and talking, so no network diocese/parish is actually really leaving TEC via APO - we are just seeking pastoral oversight that doesn't impinge on matters of TEC polity or authority. (3) our meetings are yet another step along our godly path to becoming the true Anglican church in this USA Province, by implicit recognition and attendance of Canterbury (or Canterbury's reps) - and these meetings are all ways of breaking the news to TEC libs that they are already voted off the Anglican worldwide island. Each meeting lets their walking apart become more obvious, as we hold true and negative and steady and traditional about queers (and maybe women in ministry).

See what other pop favs you can find as you read.

Will Canterbury ever act/speak/lead decisively to express the traditional frames of Anglican leeway through which this can all be resolved, i.e., agreeing to disagree while we continue in common worship and common Tikkun? One increasingly doubts, but hopes, but prays.

While all the spin cycles are going down, the fact is that new conservatives are making new power plays to be the proper Anglican church in USA - and so far at least Canterbury is as much on that hot seat as TEC could ever be. I wonder how it will all work out in the long run?

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 3:50pm BST


Good points. Still, I am actually "slightly"--and it would be hard to emphasize how slight--optimistic. There is a lot of pressure for settlement on both sides. This often leads to some unique and creative solutions. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


Posted by Steven at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 4:16pm BST

It's time ALL the meetings are OPEN and televised with LIVE cameras. No longer can we allow blatant behind-the-scene manipulating and "for our own good" actions to be taken for us at TEC..."inside information" and obvious deceit, underlying or out-in-the-open THREATS plus the fear/hate and apprehension generated by Bishops dressed up as messengers of "true" Scriptural "understanding" must be noted for what they REALLY are...they are wedges with words against fellow Episcopalians/Anglicans, our faith, our families and our unity. We ought not allow any more suffocating, divisive and deceitful doubletalk from some of the less-than-honorable gentlemen who *insist* they know what is best for the rest of US to be "off record!"

It's time to hold everyone fully accountable (and check their expense accounts too) and for all of us to stand in the light of day and SEE and HEAR all the debate (about us) in realtime.

Listening to the ongoing homogenized/pasturized and often twisted "sanctimonious reasoning" presented post meetings/convention/whatever by Duncan can't be trusted as "good faith." Duncan continues to deliver his not-so-subtle threats from his tidy pot/plot of "inside information" from foreign Primates:

"He (Duncan) told Reuters the worldwide Anglican primates would take up the oversight question in a February meeting, and he predicted that a “staggeringly high” number of Episcopalians could eventually align with a different Anglican leadership."

This is fear mongering, this is more threats to TEC democratic process and also a "insiders" warning to our membership that more behind-the-scene negotiating is taking place.

Let's OPEN the Meetings to "live" coverage from Camp Allen and onward...then we will decide if the "Windsor" Bishops have read/believe in ALL of the Windsor report or only if they wish to glorify their "righteouness" posturing again.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 4:30pm BST

Colin Coward does not seem to see the significance in the words and actions of the ABC - look what he did to his friend J.John

He no longer seems like a man who believes a fudge can be made to keep TEC and the vast majority of Anglicans in the world together. He has made sacrifices (like pleasing J.John and friends) which show this.

CofE - the ABC may not like Reform but he is very keen on "Alpha" and he has never let them down, unlike his old friend J.John.........don't bet on the CofE jumping into bed with TEC.

Posted by NP at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 5:31pm BST

Leonardo Ricardo is spot on when he demands that "Let's OPEN the Meetings to "live" coverage from Camp Allen and onward...then we will decide if the "Windsor" Bishops have read/believe in ALL of the Windsor report or only if they wish to glorify their "righteouness" posturing again."

Too much posturing by the insiduous 'drama kings/queens' of the ilk of +Duncan, Iker, Wimberly et al. Their deliberate misrepresentations need to be exposed for what they are--LIES unworthy of men in holy orders. How can they accuse faithful, Prayer Book-compliant fellow-Episcopalians on the other side of the divide of being 'unitarians'? Even the 1979 BCP (and Common Worship for that matter) is strongly trinitarian.

Posted by John Henry at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 6:18pm BST

Ekklesia just posted this news article about how Americans see God:

One interesting finding is that people who see God as angry and engaged are more likely to be absolutists, and I would postulate act to prevent the "wrath of God". I would postulate that those who are seeking to have absolute control over the communion or split lest they are corrupted have a fundamental perspective an angry judgmental God. (Any leader who uses tsunamis to warn of God's forthcoming judgment and hell must have this perspective).

While God might be judgmental, God also heals there are many passages in the bible where God "pulls his punches" e.g. Isaiah 19:22 & 55:6-13 & 58, Ezekiel 18:29-32, Hosea 11:8-11, Lamentations 3:31-33, Jeremiah 30:14-22 & 33:6-12, Hosea 6:1-6, Hosea 14 which includes: "I will heal their waywardness and love them freely,for my anger has turned away from them."

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Thursday, 14 September 2006 at 9:19pm BST

What is to become of us? (and I do mean US.
Each side just shouts at the other, insisting,'we are the Anglicans, not you', 'we are the Christians, not you', and you are the schismatics, not us'.
I know there is deep hurt but some of the language being used is very offensive ( and, yes, I know 'they started it').
I'm watching all this from a distance. It will be a while before we in Ireland have to go through something similar to TEC, and I pray we are spared because we're so small that these sort of insults would destroy us.

Posted by ChrisM at Friday, 15 September 2006 at 12:25pm BST

Cheryl, that is so sad, that so many people don't know that God loves them. Even sadder is that no-one will be triggered to learn how the Church can have gone so wrong and work to fix it, and some will probably take exception to my sadness over this and call me a weak liberal!

Posted by Ford Elms at Friday, 15 September 2006 at 1:28pm BST

Glad to see that fr. Jake's dog Barkley is orthordox !

Posted by laurence.roberts at Friday, 15 September 2006 at 7:57pm BST
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