Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Captain Yips contemplates ++Rowan's mind

Archbishop of Canterbury seal

From Captain Yips Secret Journal, an intriguing look at the current situation and the possible thinking of the Archbishop of Canterbury:
Let’s be contrarian for a minute. It’s so much fun!

Working assumptions: Rowan Williams is a smart guy, a learned and subtle theologian. His primary concern at the moment is to keep the Anglican Communion together.

We should expect that ++Rowan’s approach to the problem of TEC will reflect his intelligence and subtlety, among other things.

He has few tools in his shop for dealing with the crisis engendered by TEC. He’s expected to lead, but he has no power other than a certain historic prestige. His best tool is that traditional English one: diplomacy, diplomacy backed by intelligence.

As much as possible, he needs to know what the various factions are likely to do. He needs to leverage his few assets as much as possible. He needs to assess the various factions responses to various actions. The task of diplomacy is always to kick the current crisis down the road so that everyone can keep talking and maybe reach some nonviolent solution.

So what does he do?

He proposes the Anglican Covenant, a pretty mild document as it stands now. Everyone can then decide for themselves whether they are Anglican. It kicks everything way down the road.

He alternates sweet and sour in dealing with TEC. His emissaries talk tough, but he allows the subcommittee report prepared for the Tanzania meeting to describe TEC’s actions are far more compliant than he knows they are. He talks everyone into agreeing to the Pastoral Scheme as a way of creating safe space for the North American reasserters; whether he knows it fail or not is not important now. Were TEC to agree to it, well, crisis is deferred. If TEC does not agree, that helps define matters. From ++Rowan’s point of view, both outcomes advance his intelligence.

Then, unexpectedly, he issues Lambeth invitations to just about everyone. . .

You'll have to read the rest to see what ++Rowan might be thinking!

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