Monday, May 12, 2008
Well, the Archbishop of Canterbury has written a Pentecost letter.
I'm trying to get my head wrapped around the ABC's request that every bishop come to Lambeth with a serious attitude about the Windsor Report in general and the development of an Anglican Covenant in particular.
The Windsor Report RECOMMENDATIONS have been broken more often by its supporters/proponents than its critics/opponents.
TEC did not make any promises we knew we couldn't keep. General Convention was force fed and agreed to B033; and while a few diocese have nominated GLBT candidates for bishop, thus far, we have kept our promise.
Gene Robinson, duly elected and consecrated bishop of NH, has not been invited to Lambeth.
The Primates of the Southern Cone, Nigeria and Uganda (and a few others I can't recall this very red hot second), have crossed borders with impunity in violation of the RECOMMENDATIONS of The Windsor Report.
So far, Canterbury has not only remained silent on these violations, the offending bishops have been invited to Lambeth.
I have not heard if the former TEC bishops who have been deposed have had their invitations rescinded by the ABC, but I tend to doubt it. And, two bishops whose dioceses have taken first steps to abandon the communion of TEC for another communion have announced their intention to honor their invitations and be present at Lambeth.
If the ABC is serious only about certain Windsor Report RECOMMENDATIONS, but not about others, why should anyone else take it seriously?
So, it comes as no surprise that there is little or no trust in this and many quadrants of the communion, especially for that which is proclaimed from Lambeth Palace.
When I have a family in counseling where trust has been jeopardized or damaged, I couldn't begin to imagine discussing any kind of 'covenant' until I am able to make an assessment of the nature and extent of the damage, find some strands of hope, and test out some strategies to begin to repair and rebuild trust.
To do otherwise is like unto suggesting to a couple whose marriage is in trouble that having a(nother) baby would solve their problems. Or, to a couple with profound differences that entering into a covenant of marriage would help them find common ground and live happily ever after.
Or, more pointedly, it would be like a doctor, listening to a patient complain of persistent pain prescribe morphine to treat the symptoms of the pain without doing any tests or assessments to treat the cause of the pain.
I honestly don't know if the eventual establishment of a Covenant would be a good or bad thing for the Anglican Communion. I certainly have my doubts. In any event, it is much, much too soon to tell. There is much too much preliminary ground work to be done.
If the ABC can't even invite an honestly gay bishop to a conference which has been "talking" about a "listening process" since 1988, while there will be in attendance closeted gay bishops, polygamous bishops, bishops who cross diocesan and provincial boundaries without regard for the Windsor RECOMMENDATIONS, bishops who are in open rebellion to the authority of their own Presiding Bishop because of her gender and "theology", and bishops who are, no doubt scoundrels of all sort and variety, how in the name of heaven can the ground be considered ready for the establishment of a Covenant?
Besides which, how can a Covenant be seriously discussed, much less seriously considered or entered into, with only 1/4 of the baptized orders of ministry (laity, deacons, priests, bishops) in attendance?
It's simply, seriously madness.