An ACNS Release on the Primates Meeting Press Conference

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams said that the outcomes of the Primates’ Meeting in Ireland had met his “chief hopes” for the week.
Speaking at a press conference Dr Williams explained that when inviting the Primates to the meeting he had indicated what things might be considered there. These included decisions about an effective Primates’ Standing Committee, reflections on primacy itself, and expectations of the Primates’ Meeting.
“My chief hope was to emerge with greater clarity and agreement about what we expect of the Primates corporately and how best we can realise our expectations,” he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican PrimatesPartial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011

11 Comments
Posted January 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Chris Taylor wrote:

The fact that Primates representing the vast majority of the Communion were not there seems not to have been a problem for the ABC.  No wonder it was possible to emerge with “greater clarity and agreement”!  He seems ever more detached from reality and a genuinely tragic figure.

January 30, 7:23 pm | [comment link]
2. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

“The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams said that the outcomes of the Primates’ Meeting in Ireland had met his “chief hopes” for the week”. 

Oh, I’m sure.  Manipulate, obfuscate, “moving right along”, Delphi, and divide-and-conquer. 

“Acknowledging the “significant number of absentees” at the meeting he said that the fact remained that two thirds of the body of Primates was present and three quarters expressed their willingness to attend but were unable to do so”.

Utter fudge—everybody knows that the primates representing the MAJORITY of the world’s Anglicans were not there.  Try again.

January 30, 8:13 pm | [comment link]
3. jamesw wrote:

Of course this was a successful meeting for the ABC as regards his three questions:

These included decisions about an effective Primates’ Standing Committee,

With the release of their “working paper”, I think it pretty clear that the Primates’ Meeting will join the Lambeth Conference in being utterly ineffective.  Decision made.

reflections on primacy itself,

This they did.  To what end and purpose is a whole other story, but they did reflect.

and expectations of the Primates’ Meeting

Expectations of the Primates’ Meeting ought, quite clearly, to be exceedingly low, which is exactly what Rowan Williams wanted.

So, of course, this charade met Williams’ “chief hopes” - he has successfully ensured the future castration of the one Instrument of Communion which had ever shown any challenge to his manipulations.

January 30, 8:33 pm | [comment link]
4. Br. Michael wrote:

Do we even care?

January 30, 8:38 pm | [comment link]
5. jamesw wrote:

Acknowledging the “significant number of absentees” at the meeting he said that the fact remained that two thirds of the body of Primates was present and three quarters expressed their willingness to attend but were unable to do so. “That means that two thirds of the Communion at least wish to meet and wish to continue the conversations they have begun.”

Note the clever sleight-of-hand Rowan Williams employs here.  He equates two-thirds of the primates with two-thirds of the Communion, when in reality, the absent primates represented a substantial majority of the Communion.  Also, do note that 23/38 primates attending is 60%, not two-thirds; and a more accurate figure of those primates who purposefully absented themselves was 11/38 for a figure of 29%.

January 30, 8:41 pm | [comment link]
6. jamesw wrote:

I noted the following here.  I think that this represents the talking points/PR strategy of RW.

The unity of the communion has been severely strained by moves in the United States to first appoint an openly gay priest as a bishop, and then by the elevation of a lesbian to serve as a bishop.

“Of course there is a critical situation in the communion. Nobody would deny that,” Williams said.

“But that critical situation has not ended the relationships, often very cordial and constructive, among the churches of the communion,” he added.

Bernard Ntahoturi, the Anglican archbishop of Burundi, said the absent archbishops had not withdrawn from the communion.

“They are still members of the Anglican Communion,” he said. “Not attending physically does not mean that you are not participating in the life of the community.”

Williams said the Dublin meeting worked to define the role and responsibilities of the primates, and he said efforts to repair division will continue.

“It’s a long task,” he added.

So what is the message?  How should it be parsed?

The Communion is “severely strained….{b}ut that critical situation has not ended the relationships, often very cordial and constructive, among the churches of the communion” and that “the Dublin meeting” and RW’s other little projects represent “efforts to repair division” that “will continue.”

And what about those missing conservative primates?  The “absence of several conservative African bishops who refused to join a forum which included the head of the U.S. Episcopal Church” are the main barriers to these “efforts to repair division” but the conservative primates should be ignored because “The fact remains that two-thirds of the body of primates is present, and something like three-fourths or something more expressed their willingness to be present.”

January 30, 8:54 pm | [comment link]
7. Pageantmaster ن [Repent Justin Welby] wrote:

I expect it will be a few days before we find out what actually took place in this ‘meeting’.  In the meantime we will have to make do with this and five infantile briefings from the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party; not to mention the amazing reappearing and disappearing photos of the Palefaces looking glum.

January 31, 12:21 am | [comment link]
8. Old Guy wrote:

Hasn’t the emperor been without clothes for a while?

Isn’t the ABC an English civil servant, who works for a secular Parliament, where only about 40% of the population believes in God.
http://www.vexen.co.uk/UK/religion.html#God
Presumably, the percentage that believe in the God of the Bible is less than 40%.  Anglicans are listed as 13.4 million in England, but I understand the regular church goers are closer to 2 million.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3226753.stm

As for the TEC, I think the leadership, for the last several decades, has been far more inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., than Martin Luther—or Mark or Luke.  Religion seems to be a means to a greater worldly good—climate change, civil rights and selected sins. 

With regard to the murder of Mr. Kato, may he rest in peace, in 2009 there were over 16,000 murders in the U.S.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur-crime-murders
Uganda did not even make the top 83 list.  Why is that death worth the political clout of the Primates, whatever that is, but the 16,000 are not?  Is the focus on the evil of murder (6th Commandment) or something else?  Was his murder somehow more serious than the 16,000?

Who benefits from the illusion that the Anglicans are the third largest Christian communion in the world (which seems to get quotes a lot)?  If there is a crisis in the Anglican communion, who would benefit by that not being the center of the Primates’ attention?  Would there be any value in the Primates giving it their attention?

January 31, 1:09 am | [comment link]
9. MichaelA wrote:

While ABC is engaged on the “long task” of defining what a primate’s role is, the absent primates have already done it!

January 31, 1:15 am | [comment link]
10. Fr. Dale wrote:

My chief hope was to emerge with greater clarity and agreement about what we expect of the Primates corporately and how best we can realise our expectations,” he said.

Now that the ABC had his skewed sample of like minded folks at the “Primates” meeting, he can can speak of ‘greater clarity’. The Primates who chose not to attend the meeting avoided the precooked agenda served up behind closed doors. Their non attendance also provided greater clarity.

January 31, 10:29 am | [comment link]
11. Larry Morse wrote:

Sorry,PM, though your earlier explanation was strong and clear. This meeting is a howler, a parody, and it casts the C of E and his version oif Anglicanism in a garish light. He has shown himself in his true color - dishwater gray. Even his Sarumen color has come out iin the wash.
Larry

February 1, 12:45 am | [comment link]
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