Regarding the listening process, I don't have much hope that it will ever happen. It's been seven years, and it hasn't happened yet. How can it, when the champion of the extreme conservatives, Peter Akinola, has stated he can't even sit at the same table with a gay man, let alone TALK to one. There is no interest in dialogue among the extremists; never was. They have refused to abide by the Lambeth resolutions calling for this since the beginning, which has played a critical role in bringing us to the place we are today.
The vote to affirm the Primates' request to ask the North Americans to voluntarily withdraw from the ACC was 30 for, 28 against, and 4 abstentions. That's a pretty close vote. So much for the claim that the entire Communion is upset with the North Americans. This was done by secret ballot, btw. Is this how we will decide ethical issues in the future? The original resolution, which called for the North Americans to withdraw from all leadership positions was amended to identify only those bodies connected with the ACC. Why? As I previously mentioned, it's because they don't have the authority to do any more than that.
The Primates will now be members of the ACC. In other words, the only entity within the Instruments of Unity that contains representatives drawn from the laity has now been consumed by the purple shirts. The rule of the Primates has been solidified. For all intents and purposes, the ACC has ceased to exist. As of today, priests, deacons and laypersons are excluded from having any voice in the decisions regarding the future of the Anglican Communion.
Next act in this ongoing saga will be General Convention, 2006. In the meantime, we have other things to do. Press on the Kingdom.
On a different note, I came across a press release, dated in the future (2010) that some of you might have seen about a year ago when it was making the rounds. It seemed an appropriate piece to recall today;
Treat Dogs as Dogs?Woof!
A new controversy is bubbling up throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion and threatening its unity. Conservatives in many provinces are insisting that the church return to what they term "the biblical teaching on dogs." Others, especially in Britain and North America, insist that there is nothing unchristian about showing dogs love and respect as creatures of God...
Matters have come to a head over proposals for the Episcopal Church to develop official services for the blessing of dogs. Some bishops have already endorsed such services for use in their dioceses, while others know they occur by reading about them in parish newsletters. Reports of such services also appear in newspapers, usually around the October 4 feast of St. Francis of Assisi, a figure viewed as suspect by conservatives, who regard him as a proto-pan-speciesist.
The conservatives have coalesced as TDAD (Treat Dogs as Dogs). They are extremely well-funded, allegedly by a couple of Texas millionaires who made their fortunes in cat food. TDAD is appealing to Anglican leaders in other parts of the world, and finding support in some places. Several African and Asian prelates read the biblical texts about dogs quite literally, and find support for their views in places in their homeland where packs of scavenger dogs prowl around freely...
Various Episcopal and Anglican bishops are talking quite loudly about schism. In response, the Archbishop of Canterbury has summoned the heads of all Anglican provinces to meet with him at Lambeth Palace. His personal view of the matter is apparent: the meeting takes place the day after he officially opens the Greater London Dog Show. Conservatives hope to be vindicated, while progressives question the validity of the meeting since it will include no dogs, only primates.