Schori will go to Tanzania – but will she stay?

David Virtue is reporting that a leaked letter from ++Canterbury to Phillip Aspinall, the Primate of Australia, shows that Katherine Jefferts Schori will be invited to Tanzania to join the Primates in February. Of course, some of the his readers are absolutely apoplectic at the thought, but a careful reading of the letter shows that TEC is not in a safe place at all.

The key passages of the letter are as follows:

This meeting will be, of course, an important and difficult and important encounter, with several moments of discernment and decision to be faced, and a good deal of work to be done on our hopes for the Lambeth Conference, and on the nature and shape of the Covenant that we hope will assist us in strengthening our unity as a Communion.

Unlike some of the commentators on Virtue’s post, I think Rowan gets it. He knows that Tanzania will be make or break. It is the “important encounter”. That’s why, before the main session begins:

I am also proposing to invite two or three other contributors from that Province for a session to take place before the rest of our formal business, in which the situation may be reviewed, and I am currently consulting as to how this is best organised.

Virtue guesses that the others will include Bob Duncan, Jack Iker and John-David Schofield. That’s a good start, but I reckon that’s not a complete list. Add to the list Peter Akinola, Henry Orombi and you start to see the kind of meeting that will actually happen. This “pre-meeting” is going to be the one which decides whether Schori gets to sit at the table. If it was a done deal already then there wouldn’t need to be a meeting. That is the reason why Schori is being “given a chance both to hear and to speak and to discuss face to face the problems we are confronting together”, so she can sit down, hear that 25 or more Primates are unwilling to let her into the main sessions unless she does a complete volte-face, and then make her choice.

And don’t be confused by phrases from Rowan such as “The Episcopal Church is not in any way a monochrome body and we need to be aware of the full range of conviction within it.” They’re followed by the magnificent paragraph:

I am sure that other Primates, like myself, will welcome the clear declarations by several bishops and diocesan conventions (including those dioceses represented at the Camp Allen meeting earlier this year) of their unequivocal support for the process and recommendations of the Windsor Report. There is much to build upon here. There are many in TEC who are deeply concerned as to how they should secure their relationships with the rest of the Communion; I hope we can listen patiently to these anxieties.

and then:

The question of invitations to Lambeth has been raised several times, in relation to the status of TEC, and indeed other Provinces. I shall seek the advice of the meeting on this.

When was the last time ++Canterbury sought advice on who to invite to Lambeth? In Tanzania who will be giving the advice? It’s the 37 Primates who will share the meeting with Rowan. So for all those who are continually crying “Rowan doesn’t get it, I suggest you start reading what Rowan actually writes, not what you think he’s written. Because when I read what he has written, I think he really, really, gets it.

Katherine Jefferts Schori will definitely be going to Tanzania, but when she flies back home is the big question.

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  • Tony

    IfSchori’s role is put to a vote, fine. But if not, we have seen that ecusa officials, like Schori, the Griz, and other lesser lights have no shame. Given the opportunity to stay, she will.

  • richardc

    I don’t think Schori+ will be coming to a pre-session meeting. I think she will be attending the Primates’ meeting and will feel the chill of winter despite being in Tanzania. She will be there to witness the birth of the new Province. It think the ABC wants her to see the wheels put in motion, and understand the consequences to any act of retaliation she may conjure against those wishing to move into the new Province. She needs to be at the table with Duncan, Iker and Schofield so that she understands that she is being brought down a notch and those for whom she has contempt are being brought up a notch in the esteem of the Primates for them. Its as gentle a slap in the face as Anglicans can give. LOL.

    I think she will go home at the end of the meeting having fully understood the full intent of the Primates. She will be royally pissed at having her “station” so minimized but I think she may understand that she’s got not hope.

    My only concern is whether or not, having understood the gravity fully at such a meeting, would she come back and insist that they pay lip service and fully apologize and on paper become Windsor compliant. Theoretically it is possible. It’s their only hope. I doubt, however, they would do such a thing.

  • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

    Richard,

    I think on the basis that Rowan says that the meeting will take place before the main meeting that we can guarantee (assuming the communication is authentic) that the meeting will take place. If Schori refuses then she will completely burn her bridges and the Primates will interpret it as a complete snub on Rowan and them for whom he acts in these regards. That would lead to her being ejected from the moment the real meeting started.

    If on the other hand she does come to the meeting, that will be messy for her as well. The more I think about this the more I can’t see Schori doing anything in Tanzania that will prevent her from going home early. And God forbid she gets chucked out and hangs around like the “observers” did at Nottingham 2005!! Can you imagine the photographs? All the Primates going into session and KJS left sitting on a sofa somewhere. She MUST be more media savvy then that.

  • richardc

    Peter,

    I am tossing this out to you to ponder. In looking at who attended the 2005 Primates meeting, I came across an interesting model which might be doable in the US. I am referring to the Aotearoa, New Zealand & Polynesia Province model which has shared equal Primatial relationship by three bishops. Rather than a seperate province which creates geographical boundry issues which you have raised, I think a model such as this might allow for an orthodox primate such as Duncan as well as Schori. Any thoughts?

  • Tony

    I doubt that she would be sitting on a sofa in public view, Peter. More like sitting on a sofa in a private suite talking with her confidantes about how she can spin things.

  • Connie

    Peter Ould wrote: “She MUST be more media savvy then that.”

    I cannot agree. KJS has repeatedly blundered in her published communications and interviews. She has shown what it either a disregard for or lack of finesse, as well as a lack of perception on how her words and actions will be/are perceived.

    On the plus side, this has contributed mightily to the clarity we are seeing in differentiating the religion of TEC from Christianity.

    Otherwise, I think your commentary on the Primates meeting and the Pre-meeting is a good prediction of how things may go.

  • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

    The thing about the New Zealand arrangement is that it is a particular historical way of handling three different ethnic groups who share the same theological basis. In the USA it is the very doctrinal schism that will prevent a Polynesian model from being applied, because that model would infer theological equality to the different camps and that’s unacceptable to the Global South Primates.

  • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

    I’ve already written here – http://www.peter-ould.net/?p=188#comment-536 – that the Polynesian model won’t work. The thing about the New Zealand arrangement is that it is a particular historical way of handling three different ethnic groups who share the same theological basis. In the USA it is the very doctrinal schism that will prevent a Polynesian model from being applied, because that model would infer theological equality to the different camps and that’s unacceptable to the Global South Primates.

  • Sinner

    For those of you saying the ABC is a Coward and does not execrise Leadership I think this letter clear does: he’s calling the Global South’s bluff.

    Given the current mess in the UK over the evangelican covenant (NT Wright calling John Stott a cynical backstabber is a new low); and the dissentions from the latest GS statemets, the ABC thinks that either the key GS leaders (Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania) will attend; or that even if they don’t come, most of the rest of the GS will anyway – thus undermining Akinola. For the Global South to even attend this meeting is clearly a victory of sorts for the ABC.

    As it is: it will be a phyrric victory: the GS have the numbers to vote ECUSA out of the communion permanetly, they can do so at this meeting, and they have promised to do so at this meeting. So I hope and pray that ECUSA is cast into outer darnkess, and then the long and arduous job of building up a Christian Anglican church in the US can begin anew.

    Regarding US Bishops – frankly, who cares if none of them are invited to Lambeth?
    All the US bishops, especially Duncan, but even Iker & Scofield – are complicit in the heresy of ECUSA! Better that AMIA and CANA between them become the new province in 20 or 30 years time: and better still that only true missionary bishops, born and raised in the fires of Africa, are sent to apostate US, rather than “Bishops of Bray” – ECUSA one day, Uganda the next, the new US province the next!

    Akinola has been very clear that the time to leave the sinking ship as long passed – everyone sill in it should just be ecommunicated along with Shori and Robinson et al – and we’re done with you!

  • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

    No Sinner, FAR better that Iker, Duncan and the rest who are Windsor compliant ARE invited to Lambeth. That will demonstrate the orthodoxy of the Communion.

  • Lee Poteet

    Sinner, What you fail to realize is that neither CANA or AMiA are any more orthodox than TEC. None of them can go the full way with the New Testament when it comes to the matter of orders. The real fault of inviting minus Katerine to Tanzania is that in scriptural terms she can not be and is not a bishop and hence can not be a primate.

    If Anglicanism is even going to appear orthodox then the bishops of those who left ECUSA thirty years ago should be the ones invited to Lambeth . . . and to Tanzania!

    I think +Rowan’s performance as a bishop and a Christian has improved – crisis will sometimes do that for you – but he is as of yet a far way from understanding what is needed to return all of Anglicanism to the standards of classical prayer book theology.

  • Sinner

    Iker, Duncan and the rest are tainted by their affiliation with ECUSA. Duncan and Iker are still (technically) bishops in good standarding with the ECUSA HoB!!

    No such bishop should be invited to Lambeth. Once Scofield has finally gone, then he can be invited; once Duncan has done the same, then him too!

    Lee, if Shori is not a bishop, then neither is +Uganda or +Tanzania both of whom ordain women and have said they will ordain women bishops. If Victoria Matthews becomes Canadian primate, the slander that Africans object to Shori becuase of her gender will be put to rest! The do not, it is not even her heresy that is the problem: it is the continuing unrepentant heresy of ECUSA, culminating in committing the unforgiveable sin, blashpheming against the Holy Spirit by claiming the Spirit blesses sin

    It does not matter of if Shori personally repents. If she falls to her knees in sackcloth and ashes, and breaks her mitre across her own back, and resigns from all her “orders” in ECUSA, then she may herself be saved. But then she would have to leave the room anyway! Because she is not there as an inidvidual, she is there reprsenting ECUSA. ECUSA has been disciplined, has failed to respond to that discipline, has has its last chance to repent at GC06, has failed to repent, and now the only way the communion can retain its integrity is to expell ECUSA in February.

    The Archbishop is right. The Windsor process for ECUSA must proceed to its conclusion: with the expulsion of ECUSA as descrbed in the last paragraph of the Windsor Report. And at that point, every member of ECUSA is excommunicated from Anglicanism; and all orders and ligurgical actions become null and void.

  • Saved By Grace

    “Regarding US Bishops – frankly, who cares if none of them are invited to Lambeth?
    All the US bishops, especially Duncan, but even Iker & Scofield – are complicit in the heresy of ECUSA!”

    That’s quite a broad statement. Maybe they stayed in Ecusa in spite of the heresy. Maybe they are trying to do some good there. I know a Christian minister who belongs to an organization called the League of the South. A lot of the people who belong to this organization are Kinists, racists of the worst sort. Does this make this minister a Kinist too? I hope not. I’d rather hope that he is a member because he is trying to do some good there, and teach those folks to be better Christians. Same goes for Duncan and Iker et al.

  • http://cynthiagee.blogspot.com cj

    I know of at least TWO Anglican ministers who belong to the League of the South. And when the subject has come up on other conservative Anglican blogs, such as His Evidence and I have (quite politely) spoken of this, my comments were deleted. Funny about that.

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