The 11 diocesan bishops and assorted other bishops of the Anglican Communion Network have released a statement in which they reaffirm their rejection of the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire and “unanimously support the recommendations of the Windsor Report as the basis on which our divisions may begin to be mended.”
There is great political capital to be made in some corners of the Communion–not least in Lambeth Palace–in affirming the recommendations of the Windsor Report. But it would seem to me that for your affirmation to be credible, you would have to have evinced some respect for the report’s recommendations up to this point.
Bishop Robert Duncan, the moderator of the Network, has not done so. He has hosted a gathering at which bishops from other countries ordained priests and deacons to work in Episcopal dioceses. This violates the Windsor recommendation against such boundary crossings. He has also put a priest of his diocese under the authority of the Church of Nigeria, so that priest could go into another Episcopal bishop’s diocese and conduct services for Archbishop Peter Akinola’s fledgling Nigerian convocation.
Like many of his allies among the Anglican primates, Duncan behaves as though the parts of the Windsor Report that request changes in the policies of the Episcopal Church are Holy Writ, and the parts that require he and his allies to stay out of other bishops’ dioceses are of no consequence.
So when I come to this paragraph…
“We, the Network Bishops, are prepared to be part of the efforts to reverse the situation, precisely because we are committed both to the Anglican Communion and the Constitution of the Episcopal Church, and because we long to be instruments of healing and reconciliation in the face of division.”
…I have a hard time taking Bishop Duncan at his word, especially because I’ve read some of the documents that informed the second part of our story Following the money: Donors and activists on the Anglican right .
These documents, which predate the Windsor Report, came to light in Calvary v. Duncan. They make it clear that the bishop and his allies are set on replacing the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion with a more conservative entity. (Have a look at this one and note the commitment to “guerilla warfare.” How these comfortable men in their comfortable jobs like to beat their chests and imagine themselves as warriors.)
Since General Convention 2003, Guerilla Bob has done everything he can to undermine his brother and sister bishops and marginalize the Episcopal Church within the Anglican Communion. There is little reason to believe that he will not continue to do so.
The signers of this letter–Some of whom have also had pretty cozy relationships with boundary crossing primates like Orombi of Uganda and Venables of the Southern Cone.–want to have things both ways. They would like the Church and the Communion to take their endorsement of the Windsor Report seriously while the moderator of their network and their allies among the primates violate it with impunity.
Gentleman, consider the possibility that we aren’t as dumb as you think we are.