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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory: La Cuchina Lambeth

So, kittens, while we were pondering the heavy issues of pornography here at "Telling Secrets," the rest of the Anglican Communion was (and rightly so) up in arms about the latest from Lambeth Palace.

There is much to consider and digest, but my initial reaction to the ABC's statement concerns the message it sends about the recognition of the authority of Gene Robinson and Martyn Minns as bishops.

While I am insulted and outraged that Gene has not been invited as a full and equal member of the rest of the bishops in the Anglican Communion, there is no doubt that his election (vs. "appointment") is seen by the ABC as "regular" and the status and authority of his episcopacy has been officially recognized in his status as "invited guest."

It is also obvious (and, I would imagine, painfully so to some) that Martyn's "appointment" (vs. election) is viewed as "irregular" and his status and authority as bishop therefore has not been recognized at all.

I take no comfort or joy in any of this. It's the same British sense which created the "upstairs/downstairs" maid status, which is a slippery slope to extreme segregationist evils such as apartheid.

Gene can attend, but can not vote. However, the ABC also made it very clear that there will not be any "voting" - that Lambeth is not nor now nor ever has been intended to be a "legislative session."

So, in actuality, the "invited guest" does everything an "invitee" does. The status is primarily symbolic - which does not, in any way, reduce its sting.

What is confounding to me is that if this is the ABC's way of appeasing those who would object to Gene's very presence at Lambeth, it has failed miserably. If Gene chooses to accept the invitation with the status of "invited guest," he'll still be present and able to attend all sessions with the other bishops, archbishops and Primates. He'll still have the opportunity to be incarnational to those who profess never to have seen an LGBT person. He'll still have an opportunity to tell his story.

And, please note: BEFORE the imposition of the so-called September 30th "deadline."

So, what has really been accomplished? What kind of authority has really been exercised here?

In case you were wondering, that pungent odor in the air is a burnt batch of Anglican Fudge.

It seems to be a specialty of the "Cuchina Lambeth."

3 comments:

Thomas said...

It's really the same British sense that created "The Primate of England" and "The Primate of All England."

Lauren Gough said...

Well, Elizabeth there has never been much to write home about English cooking! And the ABC has merely cooked up another controversy. If HoB were to act with the solidarity of the April Communication and stay home from Lambeth it would be abandoning the Communion to the homophobes. And you can bet that the "Windsor Complient" bishops would attend.

I have had a problem with the Lambeth conference for a long time. It has grown so large that nothing substantive can be done and because it is all bishops, in many polities in the Communion, nothing substantive CAN be done.

Weiwen Ng said...

I love the burnt Anglican fudge bit.

perhaps Rowan Williams is not quite the coward that some think he is. I think he could handle this better, but let's remember that he hasn't invited Minns (yet). ditto for Nolbert Kunonga, a crony of Mugabe, and a few other irregularly consecrated folks.