Primates meeting not in doubt but it may be different

Thinking Anglicans reports that the meeting will not be cancelled but that instead might be preceeded by small group meetings of “like-minded” bishops with the hope that these will set the stage for a larger meeting of all the Primates.

Apparently, there is considerable work being done to head off a potential boycott of the next meeting by the same Primates who stayed away from Lambeth in 2008.

Simon Sarmiento points to a CEN report by George Conger which back-pedals a bit from the previous report:

There are no plans to cancel the Dublin primates meeting, ACC secretary general Canon Kenneth Kearon has declared.

In a statement released via Twitter on Nov 11 in response to a story last week in the Church of England Newspaper about the Jan 25-31 meeting, ACC spokesman Jan Butter wrote: “Am afraid this story is not accurate. Communion Sec. Gen. Canon Kearon adamant: never any plans to cancel Primates’ Mtg.”

…The report in the CEN, however, did not claim the archbishop’s Oct 7 letter called for the cancellation of the primates meeting.

In response to a request for clarification, the spokesman for the ACC stated there had been a “slip of the pen”’ in the Twitter message in saying there were never any plans to “cancel” the meeting. “The point I was trying to get across was that there have never been any plans to suspend the upcoming Primates’ Meeting in Dublin next January,” Mr. Butter wrote.

However, behind the scenes conversations between Dr. Williams and the primates remain on-going, CEN has been told. While reservations and supplies have been laid on by the ACC staff for the 38 primates and the Archbishop of York to meet at the Emmaus Conference Centre outside of Dublin, it is not clear how many primates will attend the gathering…

TA also quotes a Church Times article, now behind a paywall, that says the format of the meeting might change to accomodate those Primates who will not meet with their more liberal counterparts without some kind of initial private audience with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Kearon told the Church Times that there is “a suggestion that this be a different kind of Primates’ Meeting, driven by the need for discernment and di­alogue around issues affecting the life of the Communion”.

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