Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Disturbing Dynamics

Jim points us to a fascinating "behind the scenes" look at the recent House of Bishops Meeting offered by Bishop Jim Kelsey of Northern Michigan. Here's a couple of pieces that jumped out at me:

...By the way, those who had been at the Primates' meeting in Tanzania reported some very disturbing dynamics. The Primate of Mexico, Carlos Touche Porter, said that every time there was a break, new amendments were proposed for the Communiqué, always more critical of The Episcopal Church. His comment was, "as the meeting went on, I began to feel less like a Primate and more like a Cardinal". Between his observations and those of our press corps, it was clear, in fact, that every time there was a break, Peter Akinola disappeared into a room where Martin Minns and other conservative US folks were holed up, and when he emerged, he had the next revisions for the Communiqué - which in fact were adopted. In the earlier drafts, there was a phrase"We respect The Episcopal Church", and on the strength alone of Peter Akinola's objection, that phrase was removed. All of this provides important information: that it is clear who is in control of the Primates' Meeting, and this reinforces why it is so important that the Primates not be given increased power as a centralized authority in the Anglican Communion...
That's about what I figured was going on, but it is good for it to be stated openly. Abp. Akinola runs things at the Primates' Meetings. The North American extemists have Akinola's ear. Let's not forget this in future discussions regarding the supposed "authority" of the Primates.

Then there was this concise summation of the Network's plot:

...On the morning of the last business day, Stacy Sauls, Bishop of Lexington and Chair of the Property Disputes Committee gave an in depth report concerning research done on the tactics of the Network and the American Anglican Council (AAC) and other conservative/dissident groups. It was chilling. There is now clear evidence that there has been a strategy by these groups to create an alternative ecclesial structure within the United States, with alternative leadership (Robert Duncan, the Bishop of Pittsburgh as the Moderator of the Network) which might be recognized by the leadership of the Anglican Communion (i.e. - by those strengthened "Instruments of Unity") as the true Anglican Church in the United States. If indeed the Anglican Communion is transformed into a hierarchical body (through the implementation of the Windsor Report recommendations) and the Primates shift their support to the Network/AAC/CANA/AMiA congregations & dioceses, there will be a legal basis by which the dissident congregations will be able to claim ownership of all properties and church assets. This is serious stuff...
It is indeed "serious stuff." But what troubles me is that any of this would be "news" to our bishops. Some of us have been attempting to make this threat clear for a few years now, only to be dismissed as conspiracy theorists wearing tin foil hats. Now that our bishops have been clearly informed of this plot, maybe they will finally understand why some of us harbor such deep suspicions of anyone associated with the Network. It appears our suspicions are well founded.

Do read the Bishop's entire piece. There's some interesting bits about Dr. Williams and Dr. Grieb as well.


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