December 1, 2011

Shedding some light

Further to the previous post...

In what seems a very disingenuous statement, I just noticed (thanks to Rod Gillis for pointing it out in the comments to the report at Thinking Anglicans) the irony in another portion of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Advent musings:

In spite of many assurances, some Anglicans evidently still think that the Covenant changes the structure of our Communion or that it gives some sort of absolute power of ‘excommunication’ to some undemocratic or unrepresentative body.  With all respect to those who have raised these concerns, I must repeat that I do not see the Covenant in this light at all. (¶ 7)
Beg pardon, but it is the Archbishop who introduced language of two tracks or two "tiers" for the future of the Communion. Moreover, the invitation not to participate in, or be suspended from, one or more of "the Instruments" is spelled out in the Covenant at 4.2.5. And further unspecified "relational consequences" concerning the actual status of communion between members churches, is also threatened (4.2.7).

If these are not "change to the structure of the Communion" then what are they? It seems to me they are fundamental changes to the only structure we have. Evidently, the Archbishop thinks otherwise, which leads me to wonder what he means by "structure."

But perhaps the light in which he sees the Covenant is the gloomy light of the doomsayers who are convinced that the Covenant is the last best hope for Anglican humanity. My hope is that the Archbishop might come to see the Covenant in a different light. I suggest daylight, at the very least, if not the illumination of the Spirit.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


Leonard said...

Thick, the ABC spreads it on thick or simply thinks thick...I think he thinks thick (and/or is stubborn as a mule).


Brother David said...

Are you ready to concede that he is intellectually dishonest about the whole thing?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thanks Len and David. I'm not sure he is either thick or dishonest, though he gives the appearance of both at times. I do think he is stubborn. Perhaps also I will concede that he is not as wise as some seem to think -- particularly in making connections and seeing implications: I imagine him being given a jigsaw puzzle and instead of making a picture, sorting the pieces by the number of prongs and holes they have, in neat little piles.

I would say his biggest flaw is the one that has been evident (to me) from the outset -- he is not a leader, and is incapacitated by the notion that he is only allowed to function as some sort of impartial umpire. He seems unable to lead from his own base beliefs, or, rather, stymied and strung between two conflicting sets of beliefs, to both of which he holds. This gives the appearance of duplicity, but I think that is too easy an answer. I honestly think he is unable to break free from a belief that "Lambeth has spoken" and as much as he might disagree he also believes he is powerless to do anything to the contrary. That is a failure in leadership, as I see it, rather than thickness or dishonesty. I don't think he understands what leadership means, and that is tragic, not only for him, but for the Communion. He could have moved the Church of England and the Anglican Communion into an engagement with a 21st century world, but he has, I fear, doomed both to eventual collapse and irrelevancy.