Aggregation, aggregation, aggregation

Lots of good stuff on the upcoming Primates meeting: Simon has an excellent set of links, including this one to the Toronto Star. We haven’t heard much from or about the Canadians in the run up to the meeting, so it is will worth hearing Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, who says:

“Archbishop Akinola has sprung to the side of U.S. conservatives,” says Hutchison, who retires this summer. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes that worldwide.”

It’s also worth visiting the Guardian’s blogs to see Stephen Bates describe Bishop Michael Scott-Joynt, who weighed in with this plan to colonize our Church last week, as “a figure of stately pomposity – not to say conceit.”

I have been criticized for criticizing the bishop, so I am reassured to hear none other than Bishop Martyn Minns say of Scott-Joynt and his colonizing chorus : “They always seem to have these thoughts and feel the need to share them just at the worst possible time.”

Bates concludes:

“The notion that the US Church – one of the longest established in America, an offshoot of the Church of England and the church of most presidents since George Washington – is not Christian is so bizarrely overblown as to be risible. They may not share the Bishop of Winchester’s cramped, disapproving and drably censorious, dessicated Anglicanism, but they certainly have a clearly motivated Christian belief system, based on faith, hope and charity, the old nostrums that Scott-Joynt may once, dimly, have read about in college. He may not like their Christianity, but he can’t say they don’t believe in Christ.

The outpourings of the Bishop of Winchester and his colleagues are counter-productive, both from the perspective of changing anyone’s minds and for the reputation of the Church of England, and they also serve to undermine the Archbishop of Canterbury as he strives to keep the worldwide communion together this week in Dar es Salaam.

Furthermore they are deeply divisive within the CofE’s bench of bishops, where Scott-Joynt and Nazir-Ali are both regarded as insufferable by many of their colleagues. What a happy ship it is.”

Having read those ringing words from a British journalist, I am moved to ask why they couldn’t have been spoken by a leader of the Episcopal Church.

Meanwhile, the Mad Priest, another friend across the seas, is also in fine form:

“This is not an argument about the authority of the Bible it is an argument about authority.

On one side you have those who need to be in charge, who crave power and authority, who use concepts like the inerrancy of scripture to give credence to the idea that some human beings should also have absolute power over other humans. ….

On the other side, as epitomised in the person of Katharine, the American PB, are the leaders who lead only to give their power away to those whom they lead. Such leaders tend to be embarrassed by their authority because they know such authority is a human construct and not of the Kingdom. They realise their position only exists because of the fallen nature of humanity and as such is only provisional. They would give up their authority willingly and at a moment’s notice if there was a better way of protecting the oppressed of the world.

And then there is the Raspberry Rabbit who writes of Bishop Katharine and the trial before her:

“It’s where the rubber hits the road, isn’t it – being in the midst of people who dislike and mistrust you – making your case surrounded by a host of opponents? There are many quick roads to resolution – one of which is to simply state the case aggressively and let the ‘opposition’ hang – another, to withdraw at a moment of your own choosing. But Christians – more than mere nationals – are citizens of something greater and Americans should not be immune to sobering lessons in international citizenship – even good Progressives.

It’s not enough to present a faultless position and to leave such a meeting with one’s Talent intact.”

And finally, a comment from our friend Ann Fontaine, which is as close as I will come to saying be of good cheer:

I have seen Katharine listen and listen and listen and then say something that set it all in such a new context that everyone else’s blah blah blah seems petty and mean. She can be breathtaking at times.

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