26 January 2016

Canterbury 2016

So Archbishop Welby decided to bring the primates (that is first or leading bishops) together to talk and pray. Given the inability of the arch-misleaders to agree on much, we have issues with the first affirmation of the church, "Jesus is Lord" in unison,I thought he was quite optimistic.

The Americans cannot manage to say the Nicene Creed together. I won't say the "et filioque" the statement that the Holy Spirit is begotten of the Father and the Son. I think it is an error. People have been excommunicated for holding both my view and its opposite. While Americans are not prone to excommunication, the history is still there.

Modern, "Conservatives," so called, are much fonder of limiting church membership. So much so that the context of gatherings sometimes eludes them. This appears to be such a time.

His Grace of Canterbury did not call a, "Primate's Meeting" into session. He can, with His Grace of York do that. They didn't, probably in fear of exactly what happened. This "gathering" for "conversation" turned into a let's-slap the-Americans session. Clearly, the intent and agenda of His Grace were ignored. His Grace wanted a discussion leading to a plan which allowed both the liberal North and the ultra-Conservative South to share a space, and both talk and pray together. Uganda, and its friends came looking for a path to exclude those who have the temerity to believe something they don't. The excluders seem to have taken over and imposed their hate-filed views on at least the final communique.

So, did the right-wing, "win?" No. TEC is still itself. ACCanada is still itself. CoE remains the established and moving church in England, (They seated the first female in Lords today!) TEC Scotland has not suddenly become conservative, nor has the Church of Wales. The actual governing body of the Communion, the ACC has no reason to obey or further the communique, in fact institutionally, it has reasons to ignore the primates. Unlike the ad hoc gathering, it has constitutional status. Paying attention to the primates would arguably reduce its status.

So keeping the second meaning of primates (monkeys) before us, we can look at the gathering as a swarm making noise, but signifying nothing. In that sense it is sort of like a Republican debate....

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