Chuck Collins Writes His Parish: Realignment update

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Baroness Caroline Cox, several times this past weekend, quoted Archbishop Ben Kwashi: "We have a message worth living for; we have a message worth dying for; don't you [in the West] compromise the message we are dying for."

I heard from a friend in England several weeks ago that an announcement was imminent that would be very good news for the orthodox in the U.S. I learned from others that it would involve a plan for churches to connect to the Anglican Communion apart from the Episcopal Church - this is what we have been waiting for since the vestry letter September 2006. It was reported that this would have the blessing of the Presiding Bishop and the Archbishop of Canterbury. I hoped that this would allow Christ Church and churches like ours to disassociate from the Episcopal Church with the blessing of Canterbury, yet still remain a member of the Anglican Communion.

This is the news I've been waiting for but, I'm sad to say that it is not good news.

It turns out that the four U.S. bishops have only resurrected an old idea that was earlier rejected as inadequate by orthodox Episcopalians, i.e. the Presiding Bishop's plan for alternate episcopal oversight. The plan of the four Windsor bishops is unworkable on every level. It will not help orthodox churches in hostile dioceses because it depends on the good will of revisionist bishops towards their orthodox congregations. For no reason at all bishops can say "no" to episcopal visitors (Communion Partners), and can still require churches to financially support the Episcopal Church (in their lawsuits against conservative congregations!). How is this good news for traditional churches? And for churches like Christ Church, it provides no way to connect to the Anglican Communion apart from the Episcopal Church. No wonder the Presiding Bishop endorsed it; it's her plan and she gives up nothing! The plan of these four bishops is a last gasp from a dying institution.

Not only does this plan fail to address any real issues, it threatens to change the focus of discussion in dangerous ways. Instead of calling the Episcopal Church to repentance for breaking the trust of the Anglican Communion, these four (and other Windsor bishops?) are now figuring out ways to let the Episcopal Church continue with what it is doing now and in the future. The problem for these four bishops is not the Episcopal Church, but orthodox churches and dioceses that threaten the unity because they can no longer associate with the Episcopal Church. The strategy is to blame Peter Akinola and Bob Duncan for the disunity we face, rather than the Episcopal Church who repeatedly refused to respond positively to the pleas of the Anglican Communion.

Everything in this discussion hinges on the "pendulum." Windsor bishops are 100% invested in the idea that the Episcopal Church, that has swung wildly to the liberal side, will one day swing back to a moderate centrist theology. But there is no indication in recent history or church history in general that there will be such a swing. There is no pendulum. Instead, I believe, the Episcopal Church is set on a trajectory away from mainstream Christianity that will never again intersect with mainstream Christianity. There are simply two churches within the Episcopal Church today with two totally different theologies and agendas. My concern is that we might get 5, 10, 20 years down this road before realizing that the likes of Louie Crew, Presiding Bishop Schori and Bishop Jon Bruno (and the next generation of revisionists that will control the Episcopal Church) will never concede to anything like a more balanced view of theology and morals.

Bishop Lillibridge gave a forceful address at the Diocesan Council last Friday for the essentials of the faith (See the next blog entry--KSH. It was heartening to hear him so strongly upholding the core teachings of the faith as nonnegotiables. As he attends the meetings of the Windsor Continuation Group in the months proceeding Lambeth we need to be praying for him. I will ask him to take to their meetings our concerns (and of many in West Texas from the feedback we've received) that churches who cannot in conscience submit any longer to the Episcopal Church be given a way to continue being "Anglican." Hopefully this Continuation Group will uphold some of the disciplinary portions of the Windsor Report, something that hasn't happened to date.

I am thoroughly energized by what God is doing at Christ Church these days. Our effort at Council last week was a remarkable witness to the vitality and life we are experiencing in the Holy Spirit. Leslie Kingman and Linda Camp, and the over 200 volunteers, deserve a huge thanks for showing our bishops and diocese that we are positive about our future and that we want to help guide and influence our diocese. Caroline Cox was overwhelmed by the spirit of our worship and fellowship on Sunday. I also appreciate the work the vestry and others are doing to collect information on the areas pertaining to the realignment.

The following is offered with the unanimous support of our parish leaders (meeting at the vestry retreat a few weeks ago) to assure our congregation that we continue steadfast in our mission and core values:

As the Vestry of Christ Church
»We remain firmly committed to Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture.
»We are prayerfully seeking God's wisdom and direction in light of the dilemma within the national Episcopal Church.
»We are preparing for our future, valuing our community and our rich heritage.

--The Rev. Chuck Collins is rector, Christ Church, San Antonio, Texas

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Posted February 26, 2008 at 12:23 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

don’t you compromise the message we are dying for.

Baroness Caroline Cox is a courageous lady with an intrepid mission; when she speaks it is worth tuning up our ears. Christians today are still dying for the gospel, in regions of the world where the efforts to compromise with TEC seriously undermine our courageous martyrs.

Shame on you, Bishop Howe.
The Rabbit.

February 26, 1:56 pm | [comment link]
2. okifan18 wrote:

Chuck Collins is one of the best rectors in the country, he knows a bad plan when he sees one, and calls a spade a spade.

It is a real shame that people are under any illusion that this will in any fruitful way move things forward. 

Who devised this plan?  Who was it run by to see if it was workable and useful? If a parish like Christ Church San Antonio isn’t behind it, that is a sign of serious trouble.

February 26, 2:13 pm | [comment link]
3. Hoskyns wrote:

The answer is presumably that ACI designed it. Was it a last-ditch effort to revive its flagging fortunes, catapulting this to the frontline by calling in some favours with +ABC in the name of Windsor etc.?  Non-consultation with faithful Windsor-compliant bishops leaves an unfortunate odour of old boy networks hatching desperate deals in smoke-filled backrooms. Has anyone at all welcomed this enthusiastically?  Or are the new ACI website’s days now numbered, too?

February 26, 2:48 pm | [comment link]
4. seitz wrote:

+Gary was fully on board with this, so I am glad at least to hear your confidence in him. As for the other charges, they are extrapolations and not part of the ‘plain sense’—of course ANYTHING can happen in TEC. But for other Bishops, it is crucial to discipline and model a strong alternative—not least for the links to the wider Communion world to hold through a season of downward negotiation of Communion linkages.

February 26, 3:35 pm | [comment link]
5. Grandmother wrote:

Dr. Seitz, please would you take a “stab” at clarifying this statement:?

“But for other Bishops, it is crucial to discipline and model a strong alternative—not least for the links to the wider Communion world to hold through a season of downward negotiation of Communion linkages.”

ie: What “downward negotiation”,  are you speaking of something you think might be in the “covenant”?

Thank you so much.
Gloria in South Carolina (where the Presiding Bishop thinks we cannot understand each other).

February 26, 3:51 pm | [comment link]
6. Bob Maxwell+ wrote:

Well written Chuck.

That anyone sees this as a way forward for orthodox congregations or dioceses is beyond my understanding. Since nothing is changed, nothing has changed. . .nor will it.

February 26, 4:20 pm | [comment link]
7. Observing wrote:

A comment on Thinking Anglicans best explains the problems with this plan:

I find this really worrying. The aims of supporting freedom of conscience and Anglican unity are laudable; however, seeing how things have turned out in US dioceses such as San Joaquin, Ft Worth and Pittsburgh, I doubt that this approach will do anything but promote further polarization and strife within TEC and the Communion at large. Where TEC bishops have been allowed to set up exclusionary zones ‘shielding’ their dioceses from the consensus of the national church (e.g. on ordination of women and sexuality issues), the results have been pretty unhealthy. The exceptionalist diocese can become a magnet for authoritarian bishops and for clergy disaffected with the direction of TEC. Some of these bishops have worked very hard over a long period of time to root out dissent among clergy and laity and enforce a uniformity of theology and praxis across the diocese. The exceptionalists thus grow further apart from the Episcopal mainstream and the conversation in the national church grows more polarized.

I think she is right. This plan just delays the inevitable. Eventually these Dioceses will either be assimilated into the new truth, or they will over a number of years become the new breakaways in the next decade, as TEC embraces the next heresy, which becomes the new line that cannot be crossed over.

In the meantime these dioceses continue to expand the asset base that will have to eventually be left behind when these dioceses reach their breaking point.

February 26, 5:38 pm | [comment link]
8. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

If this plan be “forward” in any sense, it must share in that sense of “growth” which the PB keeps assuring us is happening in the ECUSA/TEC/GCc DESPITE the statistics.

February 26, 5:38 pm | [comment link]
9. seitz wrote:

Downward negotiation = wishing to describe an autonomy for TEC that is inconsistent with catholic anglicanism, and which is assumed in the preamble to the constitution and canons of ECUSA. Anglicans are Christians in a Communion (hence ACI). They are not national churches where one uses a retinal scanner to get into a new ‘Christian’ zones. And neither is the Communion a collection of the like-minded in Provinces which are inventing a new kind of Anglicanism—even for very pressing reasons. If it comes to that, the Communion is over anywhere. It may come to that. Some may want it to come to that.  Others are wanting to do everything possible to prevent the fracture of anglicanism whilst maintaining things like ‘CA Principles’ (e.g.).

February 26, 6:02 pm | [comment link]
10. Ephraim Radner wrote:

I received Chuck’s email earlier today, and responded to it.  Seeing now that his email is public, let me share the response I sent him and his other correspondents.

Dear Chuck,

I appreciate hearing your reaction to various developments in the Communion and more locally to SouthWest Texas.  I know there are real concerns and pressures that you are feeling and that you have been hoping might be addressed so that you and your congregation, along with others, might find a better place to order your witness.

I need to respond, however, to the characterization you have offered of the rather modest proposal of which you speak in this email.  Obviously you are disappointed that it doesn’t do what you feel you need.  But your disappointment should not extend to blaming the proposal for what it simply never sought to accomplish for a host of reasons.  It is not a betrayal or a sell-out simply because your own expectations—based on I don’t know what source of knowledge—were not met.  Let me take simply one paragraph of what you wrote:

“Not only does this plan fail to address any real issues, it threatens to change the focus of discussion in dangerous ways. Instead of calling the Episcopal Church to repentance for breaking the trust of the Anglican Communion, these four (and other Windsor bishops?) are now figuring out ways to let the Episcopal Church continue with what it is doing now and in the future. The problem for these four bishops is not the Episcopal Church, but orthodox churches and dioceses that threaten the unity because they can no longer associate with the Episcopal Church. The strategy is to blame Peter Akinola and Bob Duncan for the disunity we face, rather than the Episcopal Church who repeatedly refused to respond positively to the pleas of the Anglican Communion.”

The proposal for “Communion Partners” is really quite simple and limited:  to allow for dioceses, and eventually congregations, in TEC to maintain a visible connection of communion with the larger Communion, especially that part of it that has remained faithful to the Communion’s common teaching of the Gospel, during a time of Communion “sorting out” vis a vis North America (among other places), but without immediately embroiling everyone in conflict and litigation.  It will allow that connection to take place with Communion-oriented bishops and with Primates.

The plan is not about “figuring out ways to the let TEC” get away with unfaithful practices and teaching;  it is not about “blaming Peter Akinola and Bob Duncan” for anything;  it is not about “changing the focus of discussion”.  This is simply not true and frankly is an unfair accusation across the board, that takes in a range of bishops, Primates, and others who have not sought any of this.  The discipline that TEC needs and deserves remains something that only the Communion as a whole can provide.  That has not been forthcoming, as you rightly point out, but there are many people (including those involved in this modest proposal) who are working for it.  In the meantime, congregations, clergy, and others face all kinds of choices as to what they will do.  Some have indeed chosen paths that might lead , and in some case have indeed led to conflict and litigation in their attempts to decouple themselves legally from TEC.  And these are choices that have been carefully made.  But there are others who do not feel they can go that route at this time.  The modest proposal in question is a simple and provisional way to provide some kind of public differentiation and commitment that avoids such legal threats.  It isn’t for everyone, obviously.  But it isn’t the betrayal and mistake you have interpreted it as being.

Blessings in Christ,

Ephraim Radner

February 26, 7:02 pm | [comment link]
11. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Nope, no one should ever blame anyone for any failure to act in any way to save the Anglican Communion.  Just keep on ignoring the Lambeth jamboree of 1998 along with the rest of it, like the ACC and the Primates and that chappie at Canterbury, and, I almost forgot, the Anglican Communion Office (the outpost of ECUSA/TEC).  So now we have a CYA proposal for fence sitters who have a chafe from their pole dance.  Yes, yes, we should celebrate this technique for its vast successes.

Congratulations, the fence sitters maintain the fence until their retirement.  This jest is, unfortunately, in earnest.  Though it seems more like “Earnest Goes to Canterbury…Wowee!”

February 26, 7:47 pm | [comment link]
12. Frances Scott wrote:

To my way of thinking this is a step forward simply because it increases the number of Global South Primates involved with clergy and lay people in the U.S.A. from 5 to 10.  If there are any Global South Primates left who are not involved, would someone please think up another plan so that they could be coaxed on board?

February 26, 9:05 pm | [comment link]
13. Brad Page wrote:

I appreciate seeing Dr Radner’s response (#10), but wonder if he and the good folks at ACI aren’t simply “caught out” by what this proposal actually means (and accomplishes) out in the real world (in spite of their intentions for what it should mean).

February 26, 9:28 pm | [comment link]
14. seitz wrote:

#13—fascinating question: is your world the real one? I mean this in all seriousness.

We were completely aware that a certain kind of blogging commitment to other ways forward in what you call ‘the real world’ would see anything different than its hopes (Gafcon; RDW is untrustworthy, wrong, or evil; Common Cause; etc) as heresy and wrong and would likely react as it has. But that ‘real world’ has never been other than it is now. I even see people speak of Network as if it is still operative at the level of Bishops, when for some time that has not been the case. I can assure you that pretty much every blog reaction that is happening is predictable—any blog reader would see this. What is far less clear is whether the ‘real world’ of conservative anglicanism within TEC is actually represented in what comes in responses. That is what makes it difficult to know how best to respond in terms of clarification—many people already have a very different set of thresholds in place, and see things through these.

February 26, 9:51 pm | [comment link]
15. Kendall Harmon wrote:

Thanks to Dr. Seitz and Dr. Radner for their posts.

February 26, 10:20 pm | [comment link]
16. Brad Page wrote:

#14: Apparently you were not “caught out” but rather expected the various responses you have received here.

However, I still wonder if you appreciate the usefulness of the proposal, not for a subset of conservative Anglicanism in the US, but for the leadership of TEC as it moves forward with the full revision of Anglicanism in the USA (undeterred by any Communion action to date).  Of the two, I fear that the leadership of TEC will find the proposal the most useful.  That is the “real world” to which I was referring.

I appreciate your commitment to long term hopes for the restoration of institutional Anglicanism in TEC, or a fully endorsed Communion alternative.

February 26, 10:58 pm | [comment link]
17. Tom Roberts wrote:

For some the real world is as we find it, and for others the real world is as we make it. One might note that the American Revolution was not “real” until the likes of Tom Paine and George Washington made it so.  Otherwise, as Brad Page wrote in similarly in 16, more moderate proposals than Common Sense would have been found by more moderate leaders to be useful. I would further note from Brad Page’s last, accurate observation, that this proposal is determinative of nothing, and could yield any number of outcomes, good and bad, as the future might bring.

February 27, 12:47 am | [comment link]
18. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

I welcome the widespread distribution of this lucid and forceful letter by the highly respected rector of Christ Church in San Antonio.  While I acknowledge that the proposal now put forward by the bishops of Dallas, CFL, ND and W-LA should be evaluated according to the modest aims the drafters had in mind, it remains true that Fr. Collins speaks for many of us in that this plan seems hopelessly inadequate in many ways.  It offers very little in fact by way of “differentiation” from TEC and NO real “structural relief” at all.  Of course, there is nothing wrong with fostering more fellowship between orthodox churches and dioceses and sympathetic GS primates.  That is all well and good.  But it is woefully inadequate in terms of what is needed, which is RADICAL and MAXIMAL differentiation between orthodox churches and a completely corrupt TEC.  Worse yet, this plan would commit the five GS pimates to continue their current policy of avoiding “boundary crossing.”  I think that is a fundamental mistake.  Boundary crossing is a vital necessity.  The Windsor Report is simply wrong.  Dead wrong on that point.

Dr. Radner+ and Dr. Seitz+, I have great respect for you personally.  But I think this plan is DOA.  But then again, that is why I worship at a Ugandan church in Richmond.  I can’t stand to be in TEC.  I LOATHE TEC, and that is not too strong a word, although I temporarily remain canonically resident in the Diocese of Albany.  But if +Love starts waffling like +Howe, I will leave TEC permanently and quickly.

I love what Bp. Kwashi of Jos recently said.  “Don’t compromise the faith we are dying for.”  Amen.  “Let goods and kindred go!”

David Handy+
Passionate Advocate that nothing less than a sweeping, radical, thorough-going New Reformation is absolutely necessary, even if it destroys the AC as we know it

February 27, 12:53 am | [comment link]
19. seitz wrote:

I doubt that a proposal that emanates from ACI, involves CA bishops, SC, CFL, TN, Albany, Dallas, TX, W-LA, W-TX, ND, includes +WI, +Tanzania, +Burundi, +Middle East, +Indian Ocean, with support from Canterbury (aspects of this not completed due to the Daily Telegraph spilling a story) is going to feel like the channel ‘TEC leadership’ (your term) would have tuned into in the first instance.

It bears reflection, if not prayer, how the forces often the subject of most attack on this blog (and on SF), are precisely those forces most seen to challenge the standard operating procedures of TEC. Who will object to this Plan? Not conservative anglicanism—major parishes, dioceses, etc.—unless they are seeing Gafcon as the only way ahead. No, resistance would come from ‘TEC leadership’.

February 27, 12:58 am | [comment link]
20. seitz wrote:

Sorry, I meant this response to #16. I see passionate new anglicanism has jumped in, in the meantime. Letting goods and kindred go might well be my vanity plate.

February 27, 1:03 am | [comment link]
21. Cennydd wrote:

This bird won’t fly!  This airplane will never get off the ground!  Forget it!

February 27, 3:39 am | [comment link]
22. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

Even minor parishes and their clergy (not to be slighted from Chris’ 2nd paragraph in 19) can appreciate a Communion Partners fellowship (at its least), because despite the large amount of departures from TEC, it speaks of the needs of those embodiying “conservative Anglicanism” still within TEC, and so many of them willing to stay because it is not God’s will for them to leave.  If the ACN was still “working within” TEC, and if the American Anglican Council had not re-focused itself, then this Communion Partners “plan” would be only a re-hash.
But such is not the case. 
Fr. Chuck’s message to his parish pulls at my heart as I hear his great desire, mixed together powerfully with his obedience to his ordination vows, to guard the flock, and his hope being diminished by the evidence of a misbegotten report of a realignment plan he could sink his pastoral teeth into.  His criticism of the plan is understandable from that perspective, and as he must now tell his flock, “No, this wasn’t it.  Hang on.”
He and I have similar dedication and concerns to make sure that for the sake of the parish, the Plan, is really The plan.
But where we differ (and only in the sense of calling) is his focus is beyond ACN and AAC to realignment, where these two associations are simply not necessary to the goal anymore.  My focus (and of my own parish for the time being as I help them look for their answer) is to continue to look for the Faithful fellowship in Christ these four bishops, and whomever else they may represent, offer across the board and beyond.
Besides a very strong calling through the Holy Spirit, what else could possibly inform me of such a stand and need for fellowship on what looks more and more like alien ground?  First, my calling is confirmed by so many searches in scripture, one verse, for instance, that stares at me every day, Ephesians 3:20,21 as found in the Daily Office.  And that verse leads me to the practical application of the work of the Holy Spirit, as in revival.  I believe revival can and does happen in the most unlikely places, and so many times when you least expect it.  Like this alien ground.
Does God need a Communion Partners plan to bring about revival?  Maybe yes, maybe no. I don’t know; I don’t see it yet.  I’m glad it doesn’t have all the details at this point.  But it is a hope of fellowship that otherwise no longer serves conservative anglicanism in TEC.
And it is a warmth to my confidence in God’s promise that the Lord is still present.  For those who are not leaving TEC (whatever your situation and calling) I pray our fellowship expands.


February 27, 4:37 am | [comment link]
23. seitz wrote:

I should also add. The choices are not a ‘pendulum’ logic or realignment (if that is the alternative in the letter above). Significant portions of TEC will press on and demand autonomy and innovation. At issue is whether a Communion alternative can be identified, bolstered and linked to the wider Communion, during this season—in ways that avoid the legal and jurisdictional messes (see now the Southern Cone news) that realignment brings. So no, this is not about a pendulum swinging back (that is not a biblical idea of time, but belongs to the logic of markets). It is about maintaining the evangelical and catholic faith on terms appropriate to the life of the Anglican Communion, for its own best furtherance in God as a Communion. The ‘change’ mantra is compelling as we see with the Obama juggernaut. The alternative to this is not a pendulum swinging back.

February 27, 9:05 am | [comment link]
24. carl wrote:

How this plan will help any given local parish or parishioner is hidden from me by large amounts of arm-waving.  But it does seem tailor-made to help an orthodox yet institutional bishop keep his diocese from collapsing.  As people walk towards the door, the bishop can plead “Wait! Come back! We have this Communion of Bishops Plan, now!”  Will it change the direction of TEC?  No.  Will it provide protection from the depredations of TEC?  No.  Will it secure a parish once the protection of the current Bishop is removed?  No.  Will it provide an illusion of safety to those who stay? For a little while at least.  I am sure those on the stern of the Titanic felt momentary relief as the stern momentarily settled just after the ship broke in two.  But the key word in that sentence is ‘momentary.’


February 27, 10:29 am | [comment link]
25. pendennis88 wrote:

Well, in fairness, no one seems to have sold this BIC scheme as some secret plan that would save the communion other than Jonathan Petre.  Otherwise, it seems to be what it is - something that assist a few bishops, particularly those named Howe, Stanton and Lawrence - in maintaining a catholic relationship with other orthodox bishops and archbishops.

It does not, nor is it designed to, address the contentious issues that face and divide the communion.  It does not address discipline for TEC.  It does nothing to protect any other orthodox bishops or any parishes.  It does not even protect the diocese of bishops like those three after their eventual departure. 

The disappointment many express at the scheme is really disappointment that no one at the higher levels of the communion seems willing to face those issues.  But not to decide is to decide.

I see that folks point out that the Archbishop of Canterbury has no formal power over provinces.  But that mispercieves the question.  There are different types of power.  Even in secular organizations with clear lines between boxes on charts, there is power in being able to ennunciate a goal, garner support, and evidence moral authority that cannot be found written in a bylaw or committee charter.  There is even power in asking that the right thing be done when you expect to be turned down.  Those who lead for a purpose as opposed to just being appointed to lead, often know these things.

So the BCI proposal does nothing to stop the impending train wreck of the communion.  Fine.  Good luck with it.  But some primates have been acting to help orthodox clergy and laypeople.  In the absence of anyone else leading or taking action, they should not receive opprobrium for it, that should go on those whose refusal to take action, and, indeed, whose repeated breach of trust, has driven the communion to this point.  That is not the ACI, incidentally.

So will anything else happen before Lambeth, or will we just drift into fragments?  I see some say we should watch for what the Windsor Continuation Group does.  I think it would be great if they would disinvite the VGR consecrators.  That is the one thing that might save Lambeth.  But based on past evidence, I will believe it when I see it.  Frankly, at the risk of being cynical, I think it is more likely Schofield will be disinvited than anything else.

Just my opinion, of course.

February 27, 11:28 am | [comment link]
26. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

Dr Seitz - if your comment #23 is referring to my comment #22, then, no, I am not advocating a wait-until-the-pendulum-swings-back mindset.  Rather, if the Lord calls you to not leave (no matter where “the pendulum” might be in its swing, i.e. keep your eyes upon Jesus), then you have the consolation of knowing the Lord is with you.  And if others are with you, even better for your soul.


February 27, 2:58 pm | [comment link]
27. seitz wrote:

Rob—the pendulum idea was asserted by Chuck Collins with the claim that 100% of Windsor Bishops were convicted by its logic. I judge that false. The use of ‘Hobson’s choice’ in matters like this strikes me as unfortunate fallout in our season of judgment.

February 27, 5:46 pm | [comment link]
28. wildfire wrote:

On the question of whether ECUSA leadership will like this plan, consider who might have leaked it.  In this regard, don’t let Dr. Seitz’s fascinating parenthetical in #19 slip by unnoticed: “support from Canterbury (aspects of this not completed due to the Daily Telegraph spilling a story).”

Bp. Howe was mighty unhappy last Friday night at 11:30 p.m. when Jonathan Petre published his story in the Telegraph about the plan long in development but leaked within 24 hours of the meeting at 815.  So unhappy that he put out a correction late that night.  I think I am beginning to understand why.

It is pretty obvious by now that the Communion Bishops group did not want this story out. Not only was it substantially incorrect; they weren’t finished with the plan yet.  And Petre put it in a very anti-Rowan context: that of his “recent comments backing aspects of sharia law” and of someone “whose leadership has been under growing attack from conservatives.”  But one thing Petre got right was that there had been a meeting in NYC.  If the Windsor crowd didn’t leak it, who did?  And why?  A possible motive for the leak is now understandable given Dr. Seitz’s comment: kill it before it can be completed.

February 27, 6:16 pm | [comment link]
29. seitz wrote:

Press stories, esp in the UK, serve the purposes #28 intimates, and did so in this instance as well. Then others play catch up and compete, and the misinformation multiplies, and the blogs are forced to/welcome opining about the crazy-quilt of half-truth, half-spin- with-intent. Efforts to correct are seen as defensive or dissembling, and the larger choreographing issues are plagued. I suspect in anything on a large-scale is going to have to face into this reality, difficult though it be, and pray for God’s will.

February 27, 6:36 pm | [comment link]
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