Via email, the weekly message from the American Anglican Council and Bishop David Anderson, August 29 [boldface mine]:
Dearly Beloved in Christ,
This past week the GAFCON Primates Council (GPC) met for the first time and began the organizational process. Decisions about who will take the duties of the General Secretary and who will be the chairman were followed by decisions about forming a Secretariat to handle the everyday business affairs associated with the Council and setting up an Advisory Board.
It may be too early to say that the GPC is fully up and running, but they are now quickly putting in place the organizational infrastructure to provide for the role that they intend to play in the years ahead. Putting together a strong infrastructure to carry out the work of GAFCON and the related Primates is essential, and creating a sound funding base for it will also be crucial for its long term effectiveness.
Those in North America were naturally listening hopefully for word about a North American Province, and desiring to hear that one had now been established. In many ways that was an unrealistic hope, since this first meeting had to organize the Council itself, a singularly daunting task, but the statement that a priority will be given to the North American situation and the formation of a Province is helpful reassurance.
In another sense, however, it is not up to the GPC to create a North American Province; their decision is whether to recognize a body already formed. It is likely that the Common Cause Partners Federation will wish to petition the 2009 Council meeting for recognition, and with its organizational issues taken care of, the Council may give favorable consideration to that recognition.
What the GPC will need to keep in mind is that the revisionist heterodoxy demonstrated by the North American church leaders also has a pernicious grasp on a good portion of the British Church as well.
With regard to "moratoria" on electing/consecrating any new homosexual bishops in the Anglican Communion, the next chance of such an election isn't in North America. We have become aware through reliable sources that Dr. Barry Morgan is a man of his word - he previously has said, "I (Barry Morgan) would ordain Britain's first gay Bishop."
Wales is in an election process for Bishop of Bangor and the election has as one of its still-secret nominees none other than Jeffrey John, sometime bishop designee for Redding, who had to withdraw when the appointment created an uproar. Failing to take the prize home with him, he was given an appointment as a Cathedral Dean to console him, but it now appears that some stock options for the future were thrown in as well (Dean Jeffrey John is in a same-sex civil partnership).
The electoral college consists of the clergy of the diocese of Bangor and all of the Bishops of the Province of the Church of Wales. Although being on the slate is no guarantee of an election, it is clearly something that Archbishop Morgan desires, having said that practicing homosexuals should not be barred from becoming bishops, and having called the opponents of such consecrations "exclusive and narrow-minded."
Could this be happening without the Archbishop of Canterbury knowing about it? Perhaps in theory, but this is Dr. Williams' former Province where he was first a bishop and then the Primate, and one would have to conclude that this type of information, even if not properly made available to Canterbury, would be soon found out by his intelligence operatives.
Dr. Williams might well wish not to know until too late, so that nothing is left on his doorstep for evidence, but we do know that Jeffrey Johns and Rowan Williams have been friends for years, and that it was extremely hard for Dr. Williams to advise Johns that it was time to fall on his sword, figuratively speaking, hence the consolation prize of a deanship. I really doubt that Dr. Williams wishes to rain on Jeffrey's parade twice, and if Canterbury would like plausible deniability, it is understandable.
However, Dr. Williams, if you are on record as knowing about this, and the event takes place despite all the "moratoria" recommendations that were made, the Archbishop of Canterbury will not get a free pass on this one. The Welch electoral college meets on September 10th and the election takes place October 10th. Will Jeffrey Johns still be on the short list for the election? Will he actually be elected?
We have said over and again that the greater part of the tear in the Anglican fabric is over the issues of Christology and the Authority of Holy Scripture, and at least in the USA, the disagreements over sexuality are derivative from these fissures. The sad part is that the media doesn't understand the theological mischief that the American church is pushing, and sex and money sell newspapers. Further, when it comes to human sexuality, nothing is ever settled - by design. If those who advocate for the gay sexual agenda lose, they keep coming back, wearing down the orthodox with "conversation", which means, listen to them until your ears fall off and you give up. If they gain ground by court or compromise, it is only the staging ground for demanding more.
Enough of this foolishness. Those who want to talk the talk and promenade about in their ecclesial vesture, but can't walk the walk, need to be removed from leadership. So...perhaps if Canterbury were to make a phone call to a certain Dean, things could go away again as they did once before. It wouldn't solve any of the existing problems, but it would keep the Communion from sinking deeper into the mess it has already created.
Oh, for the clarity and purpose of GAFCON to spread Communion-wide!
Blessings and peace in Christ Jesus,
The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, Sr.
President and CEO, American Anglican Council