VERY IMPORTANT: Joint Standing Committee plays a Role in Language changes of final Draft
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the other members of the joint steering committee of primates and the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) met late into the night Monday discussing language on the eight or so bullet points which might constitute an acceptable response from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and the primates.
The six-day fall meeting of the House of Bishops, which began Sept. 20 with a two-day visit from Archbishop Williams, concludes today. The bishops are attempting to provide a response to requests made of them by the primates in their Feb. 19 communiqué from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Archbishop Williams left New Orleans Sept. 21 to begin a pastoral visit in Armenia. All of the invited international visitors departed Tuesday morning with the exception of the Rev. Jim Rosenthal, director of communication for the ACC. Deacon Rosenthal said Archbishop Williams has already been briefed by representatives of the joint steering committee on the substance of the joint steering committee report to him.
1. Philip Snyder wrote:
How can the JSC brief the ABC on what the Hob hasn’t said yet?
September 25, 5:19 pm | [comment link]
2. Rick in Louisiana wrote:
Kendall, I was about to reply to your comment “I find this strange and troubling” which suddenly vanished into ether. (Updating the blog I assume.) I was going to ask, Strange and troubling why?
I don’t disagree. I just don’t get it. In my ignorance and naivete what am I missing here?
September 25, 5:22 pm | [comment link]
3. The_Elves wrote:
Yes, Kendall and I (elfgirl) cross posted. Kendall took his copy off. I’ve updated the headline on this piece it now matches Kendall’s. I’ll let him reply about his “strange and troubling” comment. (he wrote “I find this strange and troubling” )
September 25, 5:27 pm | [comment link]
4. Randy Muller wrote:
I think Jefferts Schori should have recused herself from the JSC meeting, due to conflict of interest. How can the JSC objectively discuss the requirements with Jefferts Schori influencing the discussion?
Because she didn’t and the JSC allowed it, the JSC input to the House of Bishops is a lot less useful than it otherwise would have been.
The process stinks. This is really bad.
Whatever happened to the idea of ECUSA not participating in the councils of the Anglican Communion until there was some kind of resolution?
September 25, 5:34 pm | [comment link]
5. Newbie Anglican wrote:
The ACC has undercut the Primates time and time again. I suspect that’s exactly what they are up to now.
September 25, 5:35 pm | [comment link]
6. SanderD wrote:
I am not sure why it is strange and troubling to have the members of the JSC working with the PB to advise on what would be a response that would allow them to advise the Archbishop of Canterbury that the Episcopal Church has responded favorably to the requests made of it. One would assume this is a good thing to those who wish to see the Episcopal Church’s assent to the Primates’ requests.
Different signers of the Primates’ communique clearly have VERY different interpretations of what would constitute “satisfactory” answers from the Episcopal Church. The Primate of the Middle East articulated one view to the House of Bishops last week, while the Primate of Australia articulated a very different view. (One would also assume, for example, that the Primates of the U.S. and Canada would have very different different views than, say, the Primates of Nigeria and Uganda. Yet all signed the same communique.) For these reasons, the Archbishop of Canterbury—who himself last week in New Orleans publicly acknowledged the diversity of thought among the Primates who signed the communique—has asked for the advice of the JSC in evaluating the Episcopal Church’s response. He has made it fairly clear that this advice will be given a great deal of weight as he formulates his own reaction to TEC’s response. (And given that the ABC signed a document last year that said that TEC had complied with the Windsor Report on 2 of 3 points, I should think conservatives would be pleased to see him weighing the advice of the JSC rather than his own theological and ecclesiastical views.)
Thus, I can’t for the life of me see why the Presiding Bishop and the members of the HoB working on the response document should not have the benefit of hearing the assessments of the members of the JSC to specific language that’s under consideration. This is not a gotcha game, or a question of simple mono-syllabic answers to the Primates. If it were, there would not be such a huge diversity among Primates as to what would constitute an acceptable response.
Rather, this is one segment of the Body of Christ trying to make difficult decisions about how to live in communion with one another—and respect the wishes of fellow members of that Body—while at the same time honoring the various theological and ecclesial identities of the American Church.
It’s beginning to seem as if certain segments of the most conservative portions of the Episcopal Church are beginning to fear that the HoB may actually pass a document that has the buy-in of a great many conservative and liberal members (and even some Network members), and to which the ABC reacts favorably.
To me, that’s the strange and troubling part…
September 25, 5:58 pm | [comment link]
7. Br. Michael wrote:
Sander, how about they are cooking he linguage in order to lie to the Primates?
September 25, 6:06 pm | [comment link]
8. Br. Michael wrote:
It’s about truth, not language. They can say “yes” or “no”. This is not really that difficult. And quite frankly the average person can see through the sort of nonsense.
September 25, 6:12 pm | [comment link]
9. APB wrote:
If TEC were of a mind to comply with Windsor-Dromantine-DeS, the communique would essentially write itself. If they need help in knowing how to comply with W-D-D, the JSC/ACC is about the last source to consult. They are who you talk to if you are looking for ways to write something which the gullible or desperate can convince themselves is good enough for now, but which leaves TEC free to continue its wayward ways. And that is what worries conservatives, and not just what you term as extremists.
September 25, 6:26 pm | [comment link]
10. Virgil in Tacoma wrote:
SanderD…as you can see from #8s response, it doesn’t matter what the HOB says; minds are already made up. It doesn’t even matter if Archbishop Williams is on board. The HOB won’t please the primates no matter what they say, or for that matter, do. The Anglican schism has already occurred.
There are too many varied interpretations of the communiqué for there to be a consensus.
September 25, 7:03 pm | [comment link]
11. Br. Michael wrote:
Virgil, just what offends you about “yes” or “no”?
September 25, 7:31 pm | [comment link]
12. Virgil in Tacoma wrote:
#11… a simple yes, or a simple no is too simplistic. The world is far too complex for that. A yes/no answer would imply a consensus within the body of bishops. There is no such consensus and one would not expect it in any organization.
September 25, 7:48 pm | [comment link]
13. Allen Lewis wrote:
… a simple yes, or a simple no is too simplistic. The world is far too complex for that. A yes/no answer would imply a consensus within the body of bishops. There is no such consensus and one would not expect it in any organization.
Go study the Canons of the Ecumenical Councils from the years 325 AD through 787 AD. The Church Fathers had no trouble at all with simple Yes/No statements. Please note that those Canons have been accepted by the Church Catholic for better than 1000 years. It is really not that hard to do if yoy really want to be clear as to what you mean and what you intend.
The problem with TEC is that its leadership has had no such desire for decades so that they can pretend to mean one thing while really meaning something else. Witness the varying “interpretations” of resolution C051 from General Convention 2003.
I rest my case.
September 25, 7:58 pm | [comment link]
14. Virgil in Tacoma wrote:
Allen Lewis…Looking back through the eyes of the Reformation, I see the ecumenical church councils as extraordinarily complex events that produced extraordinarily complex and nuanced documents. We can’t even decide which of these councils we abide by and the Reformation theologians have amassed a great deal of literature with contradictory interpretations of and respect for this catholic core. Hardly a yes no scenario here.
I do not see simplicity here. In the great body of historical theology, continuing complexity and evolution.
September 25, 8:34 pm | [comment link]
15. Sherri wrote:
Virgil, sometimes simple is all that’s needed. Sometimes “yes” or “no” is all that is required.
They can say “yes” or “no”. This is not really that difficult. And quite frankly the average person can see through the sort of nonsense.
I think there are indications that the media is beginning to see through the nonsense. Since TEC continues to proclaim itself fish while being fowl, it may lose some of the poster boy progressive glow it has acquired.
September 25, 8:49 pm | [comment link]
16. Allen Lewis wrote:
We can’t even decide which of these councils we abide by and the Reformation theologians have amassed a great deal of literature with contradictory interpretations of and respect for this catholic core. Hardly a yes no scenario here.
Excuse me? The Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church have all accepted and agreed on what came out of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. The fact is that the Nicene Creed and the understanding of the doctrine behind it has been accepted by those bodies since the year 680 AD. The Anglican Church in England did not change its stance on that one bit. Nor did the Episcopal Church up until the mid 1900’s. The point I was making was that there were certainly Canons produced by the several Councils that were indeed of a Yes/No variety and the Church Catholic had no trouble accepting them. Examples would be the anathematizing of Arius and his doctrine. There was no nuancing going on with that one!
September 26, 12:01 am | [comment link]