Filed under: CaNN Commentary
Done He Broked It?
We’ve been talking with some folks, and have a few thoughts on current events.
When Rowan Williams managed to get wayward ECUSA & Anglican Canada to sign onto the Dar Es Salaam Agreement, it wa s triumph of diplomacy and principle. The universally negative reaction of Schorites and Hutchisonians made that clear.
This makes the recent near-blanket invites to Lambeth 2008 all the more stunning and seemingly ham-handed.
For instance: the Canadian General Synod is meeting for the next few days, but so what? If Rowan had ignored his ECUSA-supporting Communion bureaucrats, and simply said “If you want to come to Lambeth, then sign onto Dar”, then this would be an event fraught with drama and consequence.
This would have made the “communion broken at its deepest levels” thing painfully clear; it would have given the Commumion somewhere to go; given moderates a reminder that play-time is over; and given conservatives some indication that all the blather of the past decade had meant something and was going somewhere. It also would have affirmed all the work that Rowan had put into the Dar process, in trying to hold the Communion together: it would have been an ecumencical sign to the Christian world that we are not simply a house swept clean and garnished, ready for whatever spirit or novelty imposed by the radicals running wild under the Anglican banner.
Full Of Sound And Fury
But now, General Synod 2008 doesn’t have to worry about or decide on anything– whether ssame-sex marraige today or next time around, or localized and then ratified later– Lambeth Palace has offered no consequences to national churches or bishops or clergy or synod delegates for what they decide regarding Dar Es Salaam. Canadian radical Michael Ingham knows it, and has tread a very fine line– like any worldly politician– measuring the spinal content of the opposition.
So where does any Canadian opposition move to? Sectarianism? Nigerianism (which will not fly in most of Canada, without Canterbury heading things up– we are a loyalist and British church in instincts). Canadian continuing churches are microscopical– and going that way doesn’t answer the question of catholicity and ‘by what authority?’ for many traditionalists.
These are not the counsels of despair– we are in the middle of a long defeat on the local and cosmic scale. But institutions need not surrender and go into the white-flag making and cheese-eating business as soon as ever they can.
Rowan Williams has written what may be a final page in the life of the Anglican Communion as it was. He could have one more ace up his sleeve at Lambeth– but it’s already planned to be a timewasters-festival with no room in the feel-good agenda for wandering.. the bureaucrat’s delight. More talk and talk and talk. It’s a soft-torture technique.
They Warned Us
A final thought: what is as remarkable as the Lambeth invites is the relative silence of the Global South. Some may see this as indifference: we’d guess that they’ve already quietly decided and are acting, after ECUSA immediately reneged on the last-ditch Dar plea for them to cease and desist.
Fool me once, shame on you; try and fool me 37.5 times, shame on all of us.
CaNN News Editor
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