The Press Release wot Justin Didn’t Write (Or Possibly Even See)

I like Justin Welby. I know that may come as a surprise to some of you, but I like him, I really do. I think he’s a clever, witty, thoughtful, orthodox Archbishop who may yet be the best thing to happen to the Church of England in a long time.

I like Justin Welby.

So I was utterly flabbergasted to see this press release come out from Lambeth Palace today.

Katherine Jefferts-SchoriArchbishop Justin has welcomed news that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, is to be awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity by the University of Oxford

Archbishop Justin said: “I am delighted by the news that the Most Revd Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori is to receive an honorary Doctor of Divinity from the University of Oxford. This award, richly deserved, reaffirms Bishop Katharine’s remarkable gifts of intellect and compassion, which she has dedicated to the service of Christ.

“Prior to becoming ordained, Bishop Katharine pursued a career in oceanography, and her enduring deep commitment to the environment has evolved into a profound dedication to stewardship of our planet and humankind, especially in relieving poverty and extending the love and hospitality of Christ to those on the edges of society. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said of Bishop Katharine, ‘In her version of reality, everything is sacred except sin.’

“It must be noted, too, that Bishop Katharine’s achievements serve – and will continue to serve – as a powerful model for women seeking to pursue their vocations in the church.”

Compassion? COMPASSION?

This is a woman who has spent $34 million of Episcopal Church funds on pursuing with litigious venom orthodox clergy who have felt that there was no space for them anymore in TEC. This is a woman who instigated a policy that empty church buildings should be sold to anyone BUT orthodox Anglicans who had left TEC. She is probably the single person most responsible for all the bitterness and pain currently experienced by Anglicans of both sides in North America.

Compassion? This word used in this way in this press release is like a red rag to the bull of GAFCON. It is a massive slap in the faces of the Primates of Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya, coming so soon after the joint open letter from Canterbury and York. And as for being an intellectual, that is fallacious nonsense – she has a standard ministry degree like many other priests and any doctorates in theology she has received since ordination are purely honourary. She makes basic exegetical errors when preaching and is singularly incapable of affirming basic Christological truths. For the Archbishop to describe her “gifts of intellect and compassion” is ludicrous.

Here’s the thing though. I don’t think Justin wrote this and I suspect he didn’t even see it. He’s just finished off a busy and important tour of Africa, and if he has returned already to London the press team at Lambeth have given us no indication of that fact. But even beyond that there are three key clues that indicate that someone else wrote this and that Justin may not have even seen it before release. The first is simply the political incompetence of the statement coming so soon after the exchange of correspondence between Justin and the GAFCON Archbishops. Given that the Primates gave a clear and gentle signal that they were giving Justin a warning around the area of sexual ethics, to come back within the week with a press statement that to all intents and purposes sticks two fingers up in their face is just extraordinarily inept. That’s not Justin. The joint letter from York and Canterbury is subtle and gentle, this is a slap in the face in full public. That’s not Justin, it’s really not. Justin would have written a one liner congratulating KJS on the award of the DD and nothing else.

Secondly, the statement is full of stock liberal imagery – quoting Archbishop Tutu, “profound dedication to stewardship of our planet and humankind”, “extending love and hospitality”. That’s not Justin.

But third, and it’s the killer, the statement uses one word in particular that is not Justin’s style in the slightest. “Humankind”. That’s not a Justin word at all. Justin Welby refers to collective men and women as “humanity” or simply “human”. Need convincing? See here and here and here and here as brief examples. “Humankind”? Find me an example of Justin using that word and I’ll eat my hat. He certainly doesn’t use it in any of his speeches or statements on his website and trawling through the first ten pages of a Google search for “Justin Welby humankind” makes me pretty convinced he hasn’t used it anywhere before at all.

“Humankind” was written by someone else. Do you want to know where it came from?

In November Schori was given the Elizabeth Blackwell Award by Hobart and William Smith Colleges. At the presentation President Mark D. Gearan said,

In her career as an oceanographer and today as the Episcopal Church’s presiding bishop, she has shown a remarkable dedication to the stewardship of the environment and to the betterment of humankind. Her work to boost people from poverty and to move the Episcopal Church to a more inclusive status has aided individuals throughout the world and will help preserve the earth for future generations.

Let’s look at that shall we?

H&W Speech Lambeth Palace Press Statement
In her career as an oceanographer and today as the Episcopal Church’s presiding bishop, she has shown a remarkable dedication to the stewardship of the environment Prior to becoming ordained, Bishop Katharine pursued a career in oceanography, and her enduring deep commitment to the environment has evolved into a profound dedication to stewardship of our planet
to the betterment of humankind and humankind
Her work to boost people from poverty especially in relieving poverty
to move the Episcopal Church to a more inclusive status has aided individuals throughout the world extending the love and hospitality of Christ to those on the edges of society

The same person who wrote President Gearen’s speech wrote that part of Justin’s statement and the only obvious connection is 815 in New York. If they wrote that bit, how much of the rest of it did they write? I’d start with “intellect and compassion”.

Justin, any time you want to employ your own press statement writer who won’t issue politically dangerous pieces, you know where to find me.

The use of “Wot” in the title is a British cultural reference to something that claims to be spectacular but is actually extraordinarily inept. Go figure.

Posted in Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury, Media, TEC
  • Sigfridii

    A clear case of idiotic cut-and-paste plagiarism by someone. Do you suppose 815 wrote it and Lambeth just published it without consulting the ABC?

  • Hello Peter. I kinda hope ABC Justin did write it. It’s generous and kind. And, by the way, the PR doesn’t refer to her as an intellectual–just that she has an intellect. (And because you’ll probably question my “credentials,” I do attend one of those US Anglican churches that lost their building.) But, even if you considered her an “enemy”, aren’t we called to love her?

    • Guest

      Hi Julie – we need to be wise as well as gentle.

    • SeekTruthFromFacts

      Plenty of people love their neighbours without considering them worthy of an Oxford honorary DD! I can think of plenty of Oxford Anglicans (N.T.Wright? J.I.Packer? Oliver O’Donovan?) who would be more appropriate. Is someone is making a political point in the debate over women bishops…..?

      • Nope. I just really don’t appreciate the tone or attitude of the post. I’m not questioning appropriateness of the doctorate, but this post doesn’t just air our dirty laundry, it bares our fangs– in public. When I first read the press release earlier yesterday I thought it showed generosity of spirit. And, I don’t understand why we should attack our own; I would hope the GAFCON archbishops would feel the same. Or do you disagree? I’m listening.

        • SeekTruthFromFacts

          I meant that someone in Oxford was making a political point, not you – I’m sorry I didn’t make that clear, sister.

          On the point of whether we should discuss ‘in house’ matters in public and ‘attack our own’ – well, there are two matters here.

          There is the appropriateness of commending the honorary DD in these
          terms – the decisions of Lambeth PR. Peter’s intro makes clear that he wrote so directly because he’s a fan of the team that has just scored an own goal. He was sharing canapes with the ABC and the Lambeth PR people a few weeks ago. He’s not taking potshots from a distance; he’s gutted that his team has hurt itself and he’s offered to get his hands dirty and fix the problem. I don’t see what more you can expect from an ardent fan.

          There’s also wider context of Oxford’s decision to award the honorary DD to such a controversial figure. That decision is a public matter, (though Peter does not actually give an opinion on it). And although neither side brought much honour to Jesus through the buildings lawsuits, Jefferts Schori’s decision to sue people who hold Peter’s views makes clear that she does not consider them ‘in
          house’. He respects the lines that she has drawn.

          (Apologies if there are too many soccer/football references but hopefully you get the gist!)

          • Thanks for the explanation. Actually, being a native Californian, I maybe only kinda got the soccer references and I’m not sure that I’ve ever eaten a canape! I’m glad to hear that Peter is an ABC fan, though. I am too and have in fact been keeping a file of what I think are his best sermons and such since his start.

  • Tony Seel

    Okay, I can buy your reasoning, but why does he let this go on?

    • SeekTruthFromFacts

      See ‘Yes, Minister’, passim.

  • TJ McMahon

    If this is was issued without Justin Welby’s permission, perhaps he should fire the person in the PR dept that has been taking their orders from 815. If he does not, then he can retract it and issue his own statement, at the very least. Unlike his predecessor, he does know something about hiring, firing and public relations.

    The larger question, really, is why on earth the trustees, alumni and faculty of Oxford are putting up with some committee operating in their name granting a DD to a person who is in no way a theologian, who had reduced the membership of her own church by hundreds of thousands, has deposed hundreds of clergy, who spends much more on lawsuits against Christians than on feeding the poor, and who (lest we forget) “accepted the renunciation” of Bishop Scriven, who I might remind you was ordained bishop of the CoE by the (then) ABoC. And let us not forget the forgery of her own vitae, in which she claimed to be the “Dean of the Good Samaritan School of Theology”- which turned out to be the Sunday school of the parish where she was curate.

    This action makes a mockery of Oxford, and makes suspect its criteria for the granting of advanced degrees.

  • Martin Reynolds

    There is absolutely no question Justin Welby wrote this.

    There are several at Lambeth Palace and a few at Church House and at least one at the Anglican Communion Office who are capable of cobbling together this drivel.

    It certainly looks like a rehash but I remember seeing something similar earlier so I suspect the piece you quote is also derivative.

    Ah, reminds me of the search for Q and all those wonderful source and form critics …………
    I like the comment over at TA saying it was a step up from being a Six Preacher …….. Just a tad naughty.

    • I love how even you can call it “drivel”!

      • Martin Reynolds

        What do you mean “EVEN you” as if I were some some disgruntled troll!!

        Firstly I spent years writting stuff like this and digging up old copy to make my pieces sparkle, so I know it when I see it and secondly I see myself as reasonable balanced, committed, but comfortable in skin and shoes of others……

  • Pingback: Jefferts-Schori’s Doctorate and Welby’s Praise. Who is in charge? | davidould.net()

  • James Byron

    Who cares, honorary degrees are just that. If there’s any objective criteria used to award them, it’s a mystery that makes the Trinity look simple.

    Breakaway clergy were only sued because they tried to make off with church real estate. Lawsuits may be grubby, but for any institution that wants to survive, they’re a necessary response to members who try to bolt with the silver. Personally I’d let ’em buy the buildings at full market rates. Proceeds to be used to fund the cases against those unwilling to pay up.

    • Revd Larry

      If those churches had been bought by HQ (TEC) then fair enough but if they were paid for and built by congregations who wish to continue to use them and be served by orthodox clergy surely that is what should happen. Let’s wait for due process shall we.
      If you do your research you will see that TEC are prepared to sell them at full market price to anyone except the congregations that bought the land and built and maintained them. Go figure the integrity in that.

      • James Byron

        Did it already. As I said, I disagree with ’em on that score, although I see & respect their motive (deterrence).

        Episcopal congregations ain’t independent and they know it. They belong to a catholic church with episcopal government. The real estate was funded on the understanding that it was held in trust on behalf of TEC.

        If they want to leave, by all means, go, but find new premises.

        • aservant

          Check again. Many of those parishes preceded the existence of TEC and save for the Dennis Cannon (created as a response to a US Supreme court ruling) the TEC never had any rights to the property.

          • Trevor Crichton

            Hear! Hear!

    • Jonathan Lancaster

      Perhaps Peter could introduce his own Dennis canon – that way if anyone stops reading his blog he can seize their computers.

  • Ian Paul

    What a great bit of source criticism! You should be a NT scholar!

    • We try, we try….

      :-)

      • James Lloyd

        Mr. Ould, I am not convinced by your textual comparison. The same basic details are certainly similar, but there is little to no overlap in the actual wording and phrasing of the texts you compare. I imagine any brief bio of the Presiding Bishop, whether on the back of a book or in a press release coming from anywhere, would contain the same basic information.

        Furthermore, there is no chance that Archbishop Welby’s office would send out a press release with quoted text attributed to him unless Welby had at least approved it, if not written it himself.

        I realize you want to believe that Justin Welby would not really have such nice things to say about the presiding bishop you so despise, but I suspect he is not as orthodox as you think.

  • James Byron

    Just to add, regarding the tone: I believe conservatives get PO’d at Schori ’cause she’s not playing nice.

    Liberals are meant to “take the high road,” seek compromise, endlessly apologize for believing what they believe, be ashamed of their own existence.

    Meant to be weak.

    Schori’s far from perfect, but on her watch, TEC has affirmed gay people and their relationships, and taken a firm line against schismatics. They’re liberals who have the temerity to be confident, out, and proud. They have the nerve to act like conservatives.

    They dare to be strong.

    This will not do! This must be punished, lest it spread.

    • I think you’ll find TEC are the schismatics (at least the leadership driving the current agenda).

      • James Byron

        They haven’t tried to leave the Anglican Communion.

        What amounts to “constructive schism” is a novel concept!

        • Tony Seel

          Neither has the ACNA tried to leave the Anglican Communion. If the ACNA wanted to, it would.

          • James Byron

            ACNA congregations broke away corporately from TEC, and tried to take a lot of TEC’s real estate along for the ride. Schism de facto and de jure.

            Yet TEC are, apparently, the schismatics, presumably for ignoring what the Bible says about gay people (by some act of hermeneutical magic, it’s A-OK to ignore what it says about women in authority, slavery, and divorce).

            • Tony Seel

              James, our parish left pecusa in 2007. We left three buildings because we knew that NY religious incorporation law didn’t favor us although the diocese did not put one dime into the purchase or maintenance of our properties. The last figure I saw was that pecusa has spent $34 million dollars suing other Christians (this is assuming that pecusa leaders are Christians, which is a big assumption given their behavior – “by their fruits you will know them…”). Yes, pecusa are the schismatics by their acceptance of heresy and their ignoring of communion standards. As for the rest of your statement, I suspect that getting into biblical interpretation with someone who excuses pecusa’s communion-breaking behavior would be pointless.

              • James Byron

                All credit to you and your congregation for leaving TEC honorably. :-)

                The Anglican Communion is autocephalous. Lambeth ’98 overstepped its bounds (largely ’cause Carey lost control of proceedings).

                No need to get into biblical interpretation, I concede the point: the Bible condemns homosexuality. The Bible is wrong.

                Congregations know the terms when they give. If they try to make off with real estate, TEC is well within its rights to file suit.

                • wyclif

                  The “making off with the real estate” bromide, as I pointed out above, is a complete show stopper, James. Things are quite a bit more complicated than that, and to act as though they are not is to engage in duplicity.

                • Tony Seel

                  Fortunately in places like SC, pecusa theft is not allowed.

              • Trevor Crichton

                Why are you referring to TEC as “PECUSA?” “PECUSA” is the traditionlaist/orthodox church that TEC replaced and which TEC drove out and now systematically trying to destroy root & vine.

                • Tony Seel

                  pecusa is not the trad/orth church that the episcopal fraud replaced. You obviously don’t recall when Bp. Wantland tried to use pecusa and pb frank griswold sued him for it. tec is destroying itself – that’s why pecusa sees the ACNA as competition. I use pecusa mostly because it acknowledges that while priests in the episcopal fraud like to play dress up they are really just protestant liberals.

                  • Trevor Crichton

                    Father Seel: Surely you remember your Anglican Church History? Prior to the American Revolution in 1776, the Anglican Church in the colonies was administer by the bishop of London. But in 1789, the Anglican colonists did not want their church associated with the Church of England for two primary reasons: [1] English Church was attached to the government of a foreign power and [2] Its liturgy still had prayers for the Royal Family & Parliament. They also were a very “Protestant” bunch who didn’t want to be association with Catholicism and thus tacked the word “Protestant” onto their corporate title “The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.” It wasn’t until mid-1970s that a General Confession chose to drop the word “Protestant” from the corporate title of their church. However, there seemed to some question as to whether or not “The Episcopal Church” should reincorporate or not and thus the former corporate “PECUSA” became an alias at best which is why Griswold sued anyone who attempt to claim it as a corporate name. In common reference, that church is now known as “The Episcopal Church” or “TEC.” “PECUSA” is fondly remembered for her good character in the past or in church history as the church of our fathers and grandfathers, NOT the church she was turned into today by progressive Episcopalians. I do hope that this rather lengthy response clears things up a bit. There seemed to be a bit of a muddle about it.

            • wyclif

              Ehhh. Actually, that’s not true. Let me enlighten you on the state of the situation over here in the USA. Many of those congregations and parishes owned their parish property via deed—and it had been paid for by the people of the parish, *not* TEC. Furthermore, in many places in the USA (for example, the state of South Carolina) congregations pre-dated TEC by quite a number of years. TEC attempting to possess these properties through litigation has proven quite problematic and nigh impossible given the fact of their colonial history.

              So yes, TEC are the schismatics for their denial of the unique, salvific nature of Jesus the Christ, their endorsement of homosexual “blessings”, and their rejection of the Nicene faith.

              • James Byron

                As *I* said above, congregations paid for the real estate on a conditional basis (membership of TEC). If they break that condition, TEC is well within its rights to file suit. The congregations can then make their case before a judge or civil jury.

                If you give a gift, you can’t just take it back ’cause you don’t like what’s been done with it. Ownership transfers, just as it does when folk join an organization. States existed before the federal govt. Look how well their secession went.

                TEC may be heretics by your light. It’s hard to see how they’re schismatics for making a decision you disagree with (regardless of the apocalyptic terms you use to dress your personal opinion).

                • Guest

                  I wasn’t sure whose comment to tack this onto, but I’m not sure it’s really about who’s a schismatic. I think I would have to become a schismatic if the organisation I belonged to had changed its position to a point where I didn’t recognise it as the same organisation I had joined any more – and I think you’re right to point out that it’s more about being heretics.

                • wyclif

                  As I pointed out above, those conditions simply do not apply to every TEC congregation. You are simply not appraised of the US law regarding church property, since it differs from state to state. For instance, take the case of All Saints, Waccamaw, South Carolina:

                  “The property of All Saints was first placed into a trust in 1745, some 234 years before the enactment of the Dennis Canon by General Convention 1979.”

                  http://accurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2010/02/all-saints-waccamaw-episcopal-vestry.html

                  Sorry, but it simply *will not do* to make these broad-brush, ill-informed claims regarding the lay of the land in the States regarding TEC. As I tried to tell you, the situation is not as simple as you’re attempting to paint it. All Saints completely owned their property deed outright, long before TEC existed, and they are hardly the only parish (particularly in the south-eastern portion of the US) that conforms to those conditions.

                  The fact of the matter here is that TEC is no longer the only Anglican game in town. The sooner they realise that, the better. Deposing hundreds of clergy, shuttering parishes, and suing congregations for property that the members and their families have paid for and owned free and clear has done TEC no favours in the public relations department.

                  • James Byron

                    With over 50 separate legal systems in the union, it’s unsurprising that, in one state, in one case, there’s a win. In that specific case it may be justified. It does nothing to undermine the general principle, backed by more than a few courts from sea to shining sea.

                    This affected victimhood is something to behold. No one’s been “deposed.” The clergy chose to leave. TEC took ’em at their word, and didn’t let ’em walk away with the silver.

                    If the ACNA wants recognition in the Anglican Communion, a decent case can be made that it should have it, at least so long as Sydney Diocese, Nigeria, & the rest are in.

                    Responsibility for schism rests squarely with those who upped and left. I don’t see why they’d even want to deny this: evangelicalism’s long emphasized the invisible church over anything on earth.

                    • wyclif

                      It’s not one case in one state. The current litigation in South Carolina is instructive, not only the past cases I quoted and linked to. My point is that your “general principle” isn’t a general principle at all.

                      And your remark about “affected victimhood” is laughable and absurd, especially your statement that “no one’s been deposed.” To date, over 700 clergy have been deposed by TEC for nothing more criminal than theological orthodoxy. Let’s review, shall we?

                      Virginia Bishop Peter James Lee removed 21 clergy from ordained ministry in 2007 claiming they had abandoned the Communion. They had done no such thing.

                      Florida Bishop Samuel Johnson Howard had deposed 42 Episcopal priests by 2008 for supporting theological orthodoxy.

                      In May 2009, Provisional Bishop Jerry Lamb deposed a total of 61 active and retired clergy in the (TEC) Diocese of San Joaquin by charging the central California clergy with “Abandonment of the Communion.” Of course, in TEC that phrase is synonymous with not hewing to the heretical drift of TEC, and there had been no such “abandonment” of their parishes and people.

                      In February 2010, the TEC Fort Worth diocese deposed 57 clergy charging them with “abandonment of communion” when they had done no such thing.

                      in September 2009, the Provisional Bishop of TEC Quincy deposed 34 priests and deacons, claiming that they had renounced their ministries in The Episcopal Church when there had been no such renunciation of ministry.

                      Then there are the 88 clergy who are keeping their clerical ties with The Episcopal Church instead of the phony, rump TEC diocese that attempted to illegally appropriate the symbols of The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

                      And that’s to say nothing of the dozens of court battles TEC leaders have fought, spending $26 million dollars (!) of non-profit funds to date on litigation to force congregations to forfeit the buildings they, their parents, and their grandparents paid for, only to see TEC sell them for a pittance so they can be converted into “Islamic Awareness Centers.”

                      So James, I’m not very impressed at all by your spin job on affairs on this side of the pond. Your comment about walking away with the silver is not only predictable and tired as a leftist talking point—it’s completely transparent, inconsequential, and worthy only of ridicule. There’s a reason why The Episcopal Church USA is the butt of every ecclesiastical joke over here. You have a very novel understanding of what “schism” means. And nobody—not myself, nor any of the faithful Anglican clergy in the US, is denying the “invisible church.” In fact, it is because of that emphasis that the status quo in the Church is often on the wrong side of history, as the example of Arius shows us. Your attempts to creatively re-interpret and re-cast the facts on the ground over here are weak sauce, and have traction only with the quislings.

                    • James Byron

                      OK, let’s make this simple: are you claiming that the “deposed” clergy made no move to leave the Episcopal Church, set up “alternative oversight,” renounce the authority of their bishops, or the rest? That they were, out the blue, “deposed” for expressing theological opinions?

                      If so, let’s see the evidence.

                    • wyclif

                      You’ve claimed the schism is all on the side of the orthodox. I’m saying that interpretation has zero credibility and is patently ridiculous. The TEC leadership has left behind Christianity and has become a Church of Cosmic Vibrations in fancy dress. Setting fire to the house and then saying to those who ran for the doors in order to get oxygen, “you left! you left!” doesn’t justify the heinous deeds TEC has done to ordinary believers and lower clergy, nor does it justify their repudiation of the faith once delivered.

                      But I’m sure Madame Schori is expected to receive another D.D. degree honoris causa: http://accurmudgeon.blogspot.com/2014/02/presiding-bishop-to-receive-another-dd.html

                    • James Byron

                      Are you acknowledging, then, that TEC has only “deposed” those who renounced its authority? Allowed those who wanted to walk to do so.

                      “Heinous deeds”? TEC abolished discrimination against gay people. That’s it, that’s what prompted the schism.

                      If affirming gay people makes TEC the “butt of every ecclesiastical joke,” it says a heckuva lot more about the tellers than the target.

                    • Tony Seel

                      btw, pecusa is out of communion or in impaired communion with the majority of provinces of the Anglican Communion while the ACNA is in communion with those same provinces.

  • TJ McMahon

    Peter,
    As I have posted something on Stand Firm, I thought it only
    fair to post it here as well. What bothers me most about your
    supposition that ++Welby is being misrepresented by some member of his
    PR staff is this:

    Are we honestly to believe that Oxford grants
    DDs to foreign bishops of the Anglican Communion without consulting and
    gaining the approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury?

    • Possibly, but if they did, who is Justin to say no?

      The egregiousness of the situation is that the press release is so sycophantic and has obvious content supplied by 815. It was probably put in front of Justin when he was very tired, just back from Africa. He missed how egregious it was.

      • TJ McMahon

        Then Peter, perhaps to make up, he could implement the Dromentine and
        Dar es Salaam decisions, and publicly call for KJS and Ian Douglas to
        resign from the Standing Committee as required, and set up some sort of
        recognition for the 700 clergy who were deposed, as also required under
        the second of those agreements.

        And let me point out that a great
        many of the depositions had nothing whatsoever to do with property.
        Like the several 80+ year old retired Anglo Catholic clergy in Quincy
        who were deposed because they were Anglo Catholic, and refused to take
        what amounted to a loyalty oath to the unconstitutionally imposed
        bishop. Or your own Bishop Scriven, who never took any property, and
        indeed looked after the remaining Episcopalians after the diocese of
        Pittsburgh left TEC.

        Peter, while I value this discussion,
        it takes the better part of 15 minutes to log in, and for some reason,
        it requires me to log in for each and every post. And plants no less
        than 15 separate trackers on my computer (18 at the moment), which I
        must allow in order to be able to post at all. I don’t like this Discus
        app one bit.

        • Tony Seel

          Welby has shown no interest or inclination to enforce the decisions of the primates. All indications thus far are that he is content to muddle along with the current situation.

          • James Byron

            Yup, a true HBT man. ;-)

          • Anna055

            I don’t think he has the power to enforce anything much (influence maybe, but that gets done in private) – even within the UK it’s the joint decision of the house of bishops that counts isn’t it?? (somebody tell me if I’m wrong about this).

      • wyclif

        I’m not finding the theory that the content of the press release was supplied by 815 very likely at all. For one thing, if you know anything about Madame Schori and 815, you know how annoyed they get if her style and title is not communicated correctly. And yet (!) Schori’s name is misspelled in the release! Not something very likely to be done by 815.

        Nope. This is Lambeth, I’ll wager. So I’ll wait until I see some reporting and investigation on who really was responsible for this inside Lambeth Palace.

    • SeekTruthFromFacts

      First, note that this is an honorary DD, not an earned one based on research.

      Both you and Catharine have asked whether Oxford would do this with consulting the ABC. I don’t have any inside info, but I doubt it would cross their minds. This must have been pushed by a member of Congregation (=faculty) at Oxford who takes the PB’s line in the Anglican/Episcopal divide; that is the only area in which Schori has made an impact. That member of staff may or may not be on the honorary degrees committee; they may or may not be in the Theology Faculty. But I imagine the thought process of (the rest of?) the committee was something like ‘we need a woman to balance the list, here is a woman who has pushed for feminism and LGBT ‘rights’ in a bastion of prejudice, so let’s give her a boost’.

      Although I do not like the intemperate language Mr Mann uses, the headline here is right:
      http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=18576#.UvaqK4WUX1A
      This is the world rewarding by the world’s standards, not a church honour.

  • catherine

    how do you know that this degree from Oxford was not sponsored by Welby? Are the Div people at Oxford likely to have suggested this without the University of Oxford consulting with the ABC? Just asking.

    • I don’t know. Ask them. But this question is not relevant to the issue as to whether Lambeth Palace just used an 815 biog that is politically insensitive.

      • catherine

        frankly, I think that ‘politically insensitive’ is the least of our worries here if you get my drift

        • I don’t get your drift. Care to expand the point?

          • catherine

            my drift is the reliableness of the ABC

    • Guglielmo Marinaro

      “the *Div* people at Oxford”

      Did you use that expression advisedly?

  • Harry

    Peter, fascinating analysis, but this is 2014. A CEO doesn’t have to be in his office/home to review/approve a simple statement. Even if email/internet is not available while on the road, a text or phone call summarizing the statement is all that’s needed to get a sign off.

  • Anna055

    Aren’t most of us politer to people we fundamentally disagree with but would like to make peace with?

  • David Baker

    Who is the “815” referred to at the top of these comments please?

    • The HQ of the Episcopal Church in the USA

    • jillfromharrow

      David, it’s the address of the Episcopal Church in the USA – 815 Second Avenue, New York, Prop: The Rt Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori.

      • Trevor Crichton

        Put correctly, it’s “The Most Reverend,” regardless of the incumbent’s sexual gender.

        • jillfromharrow

          I do beg her pardon!

          • Trevor Crichton

            No matter. The office has been vacant for nearly nine years now.

  • Peter Ratcliff

    Did he write this C of E press release then??

    Archbishops Congratulate Vincent Nichols on Honour for Church and Country

    Archbishops of Canterbury and York issue messages of congratulations to leader of Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales

    The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued statements congratulating the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster following the announcement by Pope Francis that Vincnet Nichols is to be made a cardinal.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: “I am absolutely delighted by this well deserved appointment. Archbishop Nichols has demonstrated clear leadership, personal holiness and immense generosity. This strengthens the church in this country.”

    The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, said: ” “This is wonderful news both for Archbishop Vincent personally and for the Roman Catholic Church in England & Wales. During my time serving alongside Archbishop Vincent in Birmingham I was able to witness first hand his passion and commitment for the Church and I am delighted to see that both of these have been recognised in today’s announcement. It is also good to see that as a passionate fan of Liverpool FC Archbishop Vincent will be getting a red hat to go with his precious red shirt !”