Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dr. Rowan Williams Grades on a Curve

Grade inflation hits the Anglican Consultative Council. From Professor Rowan Williams:

What have we achieved? What are the challenges we’ve discovered? What are the lessons we’ve learned?

There’s no absolute measure for achievement.

Of course not.

In critical times quite small things may be quite large achievements. And so, if we reflect on what we’ve done in the last ten days, then it may be that even some apparently very routine things are real achievements. We’ve got up every morning; and we’ve prayed every morning; we’ve read scripture together; we’ve affirmed our will to stay in relation;

Plays well with others . . .

and we’ve done some planning. We have sent forward work on the aid and development alliance, on theological education, on evangelism and church growth, on the Bible in the Church.

Applies himself . . .

We’ve agreed on the follow-up to the work of the Windsor Continuation Group.

After gutting the moratorium on litigation. And you did that by, what, one vote? And that after unseating that vote from Uganda. Some agreement.

We’ve even agreed on the substance of the Covenant, including, and we should remember this, the timescale for that work.

Really? Don’t you mean a majority, manipulated by parliamentary abuses, voted to put off the most important section of the Covenant, that on disciplinary procedures. A large minority, who actually represent the majority in the Anglican Communion are not happy about that. To call that agreement is, again, a stretch. But we are grading on a curve here, aren’t we.

I won’t bore you with the rest of ++Rowan’s speech. Like most of his statements, it is sheer torture to read. But if you must, here it is.

The following stands out, however:

But that takes us into the final area – what have we learned? And I don’t simply mean what have we learned in terms of process, though it does seem to me that we’ve learned yet again that one of the things we’re not terribly good at is resolution passing. I’d suggest, purely practically that for the next ACC we might very well have a little briefing in advance about procedures, and perhaps some time right at the beginning of the meeting – it’s a highly practical suggestion and very modest – right at the beginning of the meeting to explain a bit about how resolution procedures work.

Oh please. ++Rowan’s pet primate, Aspinall of Australia was behind the parliamentary finagling that more or less killed Section 4 of the Covenant. And Rowan aided and abetting it. For him to now say let’s do resolution procedures better is like the Mafia advocating gun safety.

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