Saturday, September 22, 2007

What Rowan Williams said, Sept 21

Before leaving New Orleans Archbishop Rowan Williams said at a news conference:

“It has been a valuable opportunity to listen carefully to the thinking of the bishops here on the problems that face the Communion; and also for us to share with the House some perspectives from elsewhere in the Communion. I think that in the light of the conversations we have come to a better understanding of the House in response to the questions and proposals of the Dar es Salaam Primates' Meeting. I hope that the House, equally, has understood more fully what those questions and proposals were meant to achieve. The House will continue to reflect on them over the weekend.

Despite what has been claimed, there is no "ultimatum" involved. The Primates asked for a response by September 30 simply because we were aware that this was the meeting of the House likely to be formulating such a response. The ACC and Primates Joint Standing Committee will be reading and digesting what the bishops have to say, and will let me know their thoughts on it early next week. After this I shall be sharing what they say, along with my own assessments, with the Primates and others, inviting their advice in the next couple of weeks. I hope these days will result in a constructive and fresh way forward for all of us.”

So we await the full text of the House of Bishops response to the Primates on 25th and then it will take several weeks after that until there is anything like an agreed global mindset on how the A of C and Primates will proceed in relating to TEC—and there may not be any agreement amongst them. It is very significant that two of the major players in the Global South are doing the rounds in the USA right now, the very time when the House of Bishops is meeting, and their words and actions suggest that their minds have been made up, and that TEC is out of their game. That is, they are set on creating new bishops and new structures in the USA and they regard the TEC as no longer a Christian Church. In fact, Nigeria is set to consecrate four new bishops in the very near future and to do so on USA soil.

St Matthew’s Day evening, Sept 21

The Revd Dr Peter Toon
President of the Prayer Book Society 2007

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