What a nice surprise this morning to find an early Christmas present in my email inbox: the long awaited "clarity" on the "Alternative Primatial Oversight" issue. It is a proposal steeped in classic Anglican both/and ... protecting the integrity of the polity of the Episcopal Church and offering a pastoral response to those who hold a minority theological opinion. And the language "in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury" -- given that Kenneth Kearon was at the table for both the September and November meetings -- clearly indicates Canterbury "buy in" and perhaps ... just perhaps ... an end to the schimatic-generated fantasy that +Rowan was going to sweep in and vote TEC off the Anglican Island.
There's an ACNS (Anglican Communion News Service) news release ... an ENS (Episcopal News Service) release ... the titusoneniners, of course, hate it ... (here's one comment: It kind of reminds me of the Five-Year Plans the Stalinists promulgated in the Soviet Union in the 1930’s. All wind and no rain) ... my, my, my.
If you haven't time wade through all the links, here's the gist of the proposal:
The proposal provides for the appointment by the Presiding Bishop, in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury of a Primatial Vicar as the Presiding Bishop's designated pastor to bishops and dioceses that have requested such oversight. The Primatial Vicar, in episcopal orders, could preside at consecrations of bishops in those dioceses. ThePrimatial Vicar, accountable to the Presiding Bishop, would report to an advisory panel that would include the designees of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Presiding Bishop, the President of the House of
Deputies, and a bishop of the Episcopal Church selected by the dioceses petitioning for pastoral care by the Primatial Vicar.
The response makes clear that the arrangement does not affect the administrative or other canonical duties of the Presiding Bishop except to the degree that the Presiding Bishop may wish to delegate some of those duties to the Primatial Vicar. The response also specifies that the Primatial Vicar and the Advisory Panel shall function in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.
There's an Anglican Communion Network press release: "...at first glance what is proposed is neither primatial, nor oversight, nor is it an alternative to the spiritual authority of one who, by both teaching and action, has expressly rejected the Windsor Report and its recommendations. This is obviously not what was asked for.” click here to read it all
And the AAC's David Anderson had comment: “The proposal does not take into account the heart of the issue and problem which is that Katharine Jefferts Schori has adopted a form of faith, theology and Christology that is so seriously out of step with historic Anglicanism and Christianity that it calls into question her capacity to give appropriate leadership on this matter. It keeps all the power in her hands. The proposal is to be in consultation with not the consent of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Thus she makes all the decisions. It is a non-starter.”
And INTEGRITY has issued a press release which included: Integrity urges those dioceses that have requested alternative primatial oversight to accept this proposal so we can all get on with the work of the Gospel. It is long past time to put these divisive issues to rest and unite as one to do the work of God—such as striving to end the AIDS pandemic and proclaiming together the Good News of God in Christ Jesus. Read it all click here to read it all