Thursday, January 29, 2009

Primates Meeting Next Week Will Be Interesting

Next week, the Primates of the Anglican Communion will meet. And however much the Archbishop of Canterbury tries to distract the meeting with briefings and papers and such, the elephant in the room will be the question of whether and when to recognize the Anglican Church in North America as a new province.

It is interesting that the Welsh primate, Barry Morgan, who adamantly opposes a new province as “nonsense,” also says his view is in the minority among the primates. Whether he meant his hard line view is in the minority or simple opposition to a new province is in the minority, we don’t know.

Christopher Johnson has some ideas of what might transpire at the Primates Meeting. As for me, I think it unlikely the new province will be recognized at the meeting. Should ++Rowan think he doesn’t have the votes to stop it (Yes, I do think Dr. Williams sides with The Episcopal Church when push comes to shove.), I think he will use all means possible to prevent a vote.

The question then is to what extent will the other primates let him get away with that. I think he get away with it for a time. Either that, or he will have enough votes at this meeting at least. For one thing, the Anglican Church in North America hasn’t yet approved a constitution yet. (The current constitution is provisional only.) So a reasonable case can be made for waiting even to those well disposed toward a new province.

And you know how much ++Rowan likes to wait and delay. He’ll succeed in doing so without too much additional upset at this meeting at least.


Christopher Johnson said...

Dr. Williams will get away with it if the primates let him. If they don't, if they finally draw a line in the sand, demand a vote and are willing to walk out if they don't get it, then we will see some progress. If they're not willing to do any of that, I've got no more time for them.

tjmcmahon said...

While I inclined to think it is too early for the Primates to agree to the entrance of a new province (constitutional issues, plus the fact that no one actually belongs to this province yet pending various diocesan conventions and permission from the various Churches providing oversight to Anglican groups), it is past time for a Dar-type pastoral council to be appointed to give some protection and pastoral support to orthodox Anglicans. This would allow the constitutional and formative processes of the ACNA to go forward in a manner approved by the Communion as well as aiding in cooperation for the 1/2 dozen Primates who are currently providing oversight.
Additionally, were I a Primate, I would kick KJS off the Joint Standing Committee immediately, for lying at Dar, for deposing their clergy, for her conflict of interest at New Orleans- where she participated in the "unbiased" determination of whether TEC had complied with Dar and Windsor. And let's not forget that she is currently, or recently, involved in lawsuits against parishes and dioceses of Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Southern Cone (not sure about Rwanda or others). Among other things.

Mark said...

Yes, KJS being on the Joint Standing Committee is a bit like Sudan being on the UN Human Rights Committee.