March 22, 2017

But for Wales...?

The election of a new bishop to serve the Welsh Diocese of Llandaff has created a good deal of storm and strife. The electing convention failed to elect by the necessary 2/3 majority, and so the choice devolved to the five bishops to take up the task. Among other things, they stated that they chose "not to give further consideration to any candidate nominated at the Electoral College in order not to compromise the integrity of the College process."

Among those nominated was Dean Jeffrey John of St Albans. If you don't know who he is, you can stop reading now. If you know, you will recognize the significance of his nomination. Beyond that nomination, he received (so it has been reported, though much of this was to be confidential) unanimous support from the Diocese of Llandaff itself, and a majority of all the other required votes, but less than the 2/3 required for election.

Now, I can well understand the rationale the bishops embraced in their most recent action; it might well be true, all other things being equal, that to consider any of the candidates who failed in the earlier round would be to second-guess the process, or perhaps cobble the future ministry of anyone so nominated who was approved on the second go. Indeed it might be seen as quite irregular to award the seat to one who failed to win it by the normal process.

But all other things are not equal. Dean John has a past, one that includes several quite irregular twists and turns towards an episcopal seat. Secondary considerations and "concerns," such as are raised in other parts of the Anglican Communion, have reared their heads. And there is a very slight difference between "concern" and "fear of consequences" — and "fear" is English for phobia — and I think you know which phobia this seems to be.

It is a mess, without a doubt, and will get messier before it gets clearer.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

The title is part of a quote from Man for All Seasons when More chides Rich for his betrayal: "It profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world ... but for Wales, Richard?"

1 comment:

John Julian said...

FOUR TIMES that good man Dean Jeffrey John has been nominated for the episcopacy. FOUR TIMES disgusting archiepiscopal and episcopal homophobia has perverted God's will. Why does Mark 3:28-29 come to mind? "Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin." When will those druidic dwellers open their eyes long enough to notice a new God-blessed world?