Friday, July 25, 2008

Archbishop of Canterbury seeks Lambeth compliant partners from Global South *UPDATED and BUMPED*

Update: So maybe I'm not totally off base in my thoughts below - Matt Kennedy agrees with me (does that give me any street cred?):

. . . There have been two meetings of the Global South, Common Cause, and Communion Partner bishops. I am not breaking news. These meetings have been reported elsewhere. The hope has been to mend fences and begin formulating a common strategy that includes both and inside and an outside track.

The fact is that while orthodox bishops were quite divided coming into Lambeth, the most noticeable shift during Lambeth has been in the direction of reconciliation and unity within the orthodox ranks. Communion conservatives and federal conservatives both on the primatial and episcopal level seem to have realized that though their consciences may lead them in different directions, recrimination serves no one’s best interest. . .

Original post: From Virtue Online, some analysis [boldface mine]:
A rival Global South movement is being set up here in Canterbury in an attempt to divide and conquer the Global South movement by encouraging a Lambeth compliant "Communion Partners" movement in an effort to isolate mainstream evangelical and Anglo-Catholics who number 40 million of the 55 million church-going Anglicans throughout the world.

Between 150 and 200 bishops from 17 provinces of the Anglican Communion met last Tuesday at the Kent University campus, with a number of North Americans who included Common Cause Moderator Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh.

Among the speakers were bishops Michael Scott-Joynt (Winchester), Tom Wright (Durham) and Bob Duncan (Pittsburgh) moderation of Common Cause Partnerships. The Rt. Rev. Ian Ernest chair of CAPA spoke and Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis addressed the gathering and spoke of the 2009 Global South Conference. They are to meet again, thought this is not certain, a source told VOL.

Senior members of the Global South Primates who were not there included Archbishops Peter Akinola, (Nigeria), Emmanuel Kolini (Rwanda), Benjamin Nzimbi (Kenya) and Henry Luke Orombi (Uganda), majority representatives of the Global South.

The design of this Lambeth Global South group of primates and bishops, which comes with the full support of Dr. Williams, is to blunt the Global South group of Primates that met in Jerusalem recently which includes Archbishops Peter Akinola, Peter Jensen, Gregory Venables, Emmanuel Kolini, Benjamin Nzimbi and Henry Luke Orombi and Valentine Mokiwa (Tanzania).

The list of 17 provinces includes Hong Kong, South Korea, North India, West Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Southeast Asia, Myanmar (Burma) Papua New Guinea, Jerusalem/ Middle- East, South India, Burundi, the Southern Cone, West Indies, Central Africa and the Philippines.

Together they represent approximately 6 million Anglicans. Deeply involved in this group is said to be Archbishop John Chew of Singapore, Secretary of the Global South Group and Bishop Mouneer of Egypt who is treasurer whose chairman is Archbishop Peter Akinola. Ironically the Assistant Bishop of Singapore, the Rt. Rev. Rennis Ponniah is not present at Lambeth. . .

The formation of a new Lambeth Global South movement in Canterbury would be designed to reinforce Williams' leadership of the Anglican Communion and thus would give support to his policy of non-action in the face of the actions of the U.S. Episcopal Church. Archbishop Williams' underlying strategy is to produce an inclusive church that will sideline evangelicals of the Global South who reject the theological and moral relativism that has emerged in Global Anglicanism.

Chris Smith, the Archbishop of Canterbury's aide de camp is reported to have met with Archbishop John Chew of Southeast Asia and Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East -- leaders of center right Communion Partners group, and Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone - a member of the more traditionalist GAFCON primates' council. The Bishop of Durham and other English bishops also met with the primates to formalize a way forward for conservatives amidst the chaos of the Anglican Communion the unfolding train wreck of the Lambeth Conference.

The two conservative factions currently disagree on the best way of responding to the crisis of doctrine and discipline within the Anglican Communion. The GAFCON wing led by seven primates and comprising over 60 percent of the Communion's members, are seeking to reform the Anglican Communion and affirm that Anglican doctrine rather than recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury is the basis of Anglican identity.

The difference between the "Communion Partner" primates and the GAFCOIN primates can best be summed up in the words of Chew when he spoke to the Church Times, "Whether you like it or not, Canterbury has got to take the lead, and we pray for him and wish him well. Archbishop Chew said that he expressed strong support for the recent Sudan statement. . .

Read it all. I don't know if I agree with this analysis. I think both angles can be worked, one inside and one outside the "official" meetings, like Lambeth. While it's true, there are two "reasserter" camps, I think they have a lot more in common with each other than with the "reappraiser" faction. But individual personalities can always get in the way (and David Virtue has been doing this a lot longer than most of us, so. . . )

I do think that it has been most effective this Lambeth that there be a group that did not come, representing some of the fastest-growing areas, like Nigeria and Uganda, and a group that did show up, like the Southern Cone. Only by the absence of some has the gravity and depth of the situation been realized by Canterbury and others. And by having some there able to represent and articulate the concerns of those absent, all those at Lambeth have been able to hear that witness.

1 comment:

Ann McCarthy said...

I agree with this take on things. I do think the TEC bishops were suprised by the opposition as they were probably assuming that those who strongly disagreed with them had all stayed home, and it was probably good for the GAFCON attendees to pull out for their own spiritual health. This way, too, others had a chance to stand up for orthodoxy and show TEC and ACoC that their actions are not acceptable to all, not just some.