Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Strong Words about Rowan from the Global South

After their recent meeting in London, the Global South Steering Committee has issued a statement. Most notable are the strong words about Dr. Rowan Williams’ leadership. By Anglican standards, they are practically calling him out. For starters they clearly criticize his “undifferentiated invitations to the Lambeth Conference (July 2008) of the un-repenting Bishops who have clearly flouted the bonds of trust and 'torn the fabric at the deepest level' of the Communion . . . .”

Then they take on his whitewash, via the Joint Standing Committee, of the Episcopal Church’s defiance, saying it “has further weakened the remaining fragile threads of trust in the Communion and severely affected hope for any genuine resolution.”

They are not optimistic at all about the Anglican Communion:

These have caused various deepening negative assessments and cast further doubts on the state, will and ability, of the Communion to continue as a recognizable living and witnessing expression of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. Consequently, initiatives and challenges have emerged which could lead to further fragmentation and disintegration in the Communion, which is already in the nadir of collegial trust and confidence.

It’s hard to miss the inference that it’s Williams’ leadership especially that has eroded trust and confidence among Communion bishops. They all but say, “Rowan, we don’t trust you.”

They once again criticize Williams for not inviting to Lambeth missionary bishops from the Global South while freely inviting apostates:

. . . we deeply regret that the Archbishop of Canterbury did not consider it appropriate to invite those bishops consecrated by outside Provinces to address pastoral exigencies in USA. The temporal pastoral responses to needs on the ground should not be treated on the same level as the crisis-creating theological and ethical innovation of those involved in the consecration of Gene Robinson. Furthermore, these responses would not have continued if the requirements of the unanimously agreed Communiqué of the Primates’ Meeting at Tanzania of TEC had been adequately complied with.

They leave unsaid that Our Lord of Canterbury himself undercut the Tanzania Communiqué. But given the rest of the Primates' statement, I think that can be read between the lines.

One thing about Anglicanism I don’t like is the propensity to be entirely too polite in addressing sorry bishops and their leadership. So it’s refreshing to see these Primates engage in such straight talk about Rowan Williams’ leadership.

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