Wednesday, October 03, 2007

JSC report to Rowan: TEC gone far enough; serious problems remain

From Ruth Gledhill at the Times Online:

The report of the standing committee of the Primates and the Anglican Communion to Rowan Williams is now available. It is affirming of the TEC bishops, but frank about the serious difficulties still to be resolved - the litigation against orthodox parishes, the interventions inside the US from other provinces. Whether the solutions the JSC proposes will be workable remains to be seen. In my view this is a stunningly brave report, and a tribute once again to the almost desperate determination to resolve the issues facing the Anglican Communion without giving rise to schism. Just how serious things remain is evinced by just one small example - the US parish that was home to Methodism's John Wesley is the latest to leave, to Uganda. How symbolic is that? But maybe John Sentamu can bring some resolution. He is in Mauritius, for one night only, talking to CAPA.

I wonder whether it is significant that the response of Mouneer Anis, Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East, was not solicited in time for this report to be prepared for the Archbishop of Canterbury. His speech to the TEC bishops' meeting was one of the most interesting and most fearless (as well as fearsome!) delivered in New Orleans. A further two other conservatives have also not given their responses, although England's Elizabeth Paver has now done so. The report is not being received well in conservative circles. 'This was rushed out in order to make villains of CAPA,' said one source. 'It stinks.'

Archbishop Anis is among those most offended. He is said to be 'incredibly disappointed and grieved.' Apparently, the JSC sent out their draft report while Bishop Mouneer was in Syria and Lebanon with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Upon his arrival back, he asked for two days in order to study the draft before responding. By the time he responded, they had already published their official report.

His response, which reached The Times a couple of hours after the JSC report was published, indicates perhaps that hopes of reconciliation remain as distant as ever, as the JSC itself appears from this document to fear they might. Archbishop Anis said this evening: 'It is very unfortunate that not all the members of the Joint Standing Committee were present when a response to the HOB of TEC was drafted. The lack of discussion and interaction will not produce a report that expresses the view of the whole committee.' He said the TEC response merely represented a 'superficial shift' from their previous position and refuted the JSC's claim that there had been a change in position since 2003. . .

Read it all.

No comments: