15 February 2007

Evening press briefing: actual news, sort of

The briefing finished an hour ago, which is the time it takes to make one blog posting here. Sigh. In any case, the big news is that when we walked into the room, we were handed the Report of the Communion Sub-group of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates' Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council. This was the report that basically judged whether ECUSA had met the terms of the Windsor Report. More later, because I want to get this sent before the power cuts again.

The short answer is that ECUSA made two out of three benchmarks. On the subject of the moratorium on consecration of gay & lesbian persons as bishops, ECUSA passed. There was reservation (and implication of failure) on the subject of public rites of same-sex blessings. Finally, the "expression of regret" passed at GC in Columbus last summer was judged to have passed muster.

Generally speaking, I was astonished at the overall positive tone of the report, which is available here in full text. Of course, this is somewhat expected given the moderate make-up of the group who wrote the report. More on all this later. So, for now at least, it seems that schism might be avoided, at least based on this one public indicator. I should hasten to emphasize that this was just a report, and the primates could do anything they want with it.

Other news: Katharine was seated all day, and so was John Sentamu, Archbishop of York. The place of both had been questioned in some quarters, but they were in the meeting all day. Also, the primates prayed the Great Litany together at lunchtime instead of Eucharist. My recollection (possibly clouded by heat and hunger) is that we were told there would be Eucharist today. Not sure what significance to attache to this. We are told they'll celebrate Eucharist every day for the remainder of the meeting. It will be interesting to see who attends and who does not.

The day was described as a day of "intense listening" characterized by "graciousness and patience." So they were civil, I guess. At least I can confirm that no gunshots were heard emanating from the primates' compound.

The four American bishops (+Katharine plus the theological buffet of three invited bishops) made presentations today, but no details were provided. The three guests are reported to be on their way home. I believe that includes +Bob Duncan, though I'll check that one at the dinner table in a few minutes.

Tomorrow afternoon there will be a discussion of the Covenant proposal. We shall see what that brings. We should know something tomorrow night.

When asked if a proposal had been discussed for a second (parallel) province in the US, Archbishop Aspinall simply said that the four American presenting bishops today had given a number of potential solutions to the issue at hand. He would not elaborate, but I take that as a "yes."

One more tidbit. It was noted that "unwanted interventions" "sometimes cause difficulty," but apparently no substantial discussion was held about those encroachments in the US.

Photos coming soon, but in the meantime, there are some photos on the ACNS site.

UPDATE: Here are some notes from an anonymous person who was at the briefing. I can't fathom why they wish to remain nameless, but there it is.


Peter said...

Are you going to bring me back a toy? Or a kitchen magnet?

Archdeacon Puney said...

Thank you so much for keeping us up to date. Your work is very important.

3n1-1n3 Rector said...

Thank you for your good work. You are doing the Church a very great service!

Saint Pat said...

I second Archdeacon Puney. Thanks for this report.

Alan Gates said...

• The last bit is what burns my biscuits. Windsor was not a one sided directive and to those who aggressively trespass with their reckless oversight: what would their report card look like? 1. express regret for the consequences of their actions: Nope. 2. To affirm their desire to remain in the Communion: Nope. 3. And to effect a moratorium on any further interventions: Nope.