Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Behind +Duncan’s Pastoral Letter

As most of you know, Anglican Communion Network Moderator Bishop Robert Duncan issued a pastoral letter yesterday. But it got out before then. It was intended to be read to Network congregations this past Sunday. And, not so intended, it was leaked by our clever revisionist friends beforehand. Hey, I don’t begrudge them their fun.

The letter itself isn’t that remarkable. What is more interesting is what has been going on behind the letter. The best analysis I’ve seen of that comes from Captain Yips.

First, the snarky responses (Yes, I know. Pot calling kettle and all that. But I know snarky.) from a few of our revisionist friends are remarkable given that there wasn’t anything that remarkable about the letter. Christopher Johnson has noted this as well.

Second, Captain Yips reveals part of what prompted this letter. Congregations who have left the Episcopal Church [Anglican understatement alert] aren’t particularly interested in going back [/Anglican understatement alert] and are concerned that the Primates’ Tanzania Communique seems to set their going back as a goal. From Captain Yips:

In addition we also received copies of an email from Canon Bill Atwood of the Ekklesia Society to our bishop, Frank Lyons. It seems that +Lyons had asked for some clarification. Canon Atwood wrote, "I am hearing a lot about anxiety from churches who have gone under foreign jurisdiction having to 'just go back.' I am convinced that their fear is unfounded." He goes on to say, "ABps Henry Orombi and Greg Venables said in the meeting in Tanzania that they 'would not send their children back into an abusive home.'"

Interesting, is it not? And, apparently, Bishop Duncan also felt the need to calm these fears.

In addition, I would surmise that some congregations still in TEC aren’t particularly eager to stay for much longer and are also concerned about the pastoral scheme of the communiqué.

+Duncan’s pastoral letter makes much more sense when taking into account these concerns.

No comments: