04 May 2007

Drama builds around +Martyn installation

I've been resisting posting on the Martyn Minns saga, for the most part. I figure there are other blogs covering that ground. But things are getting really interesting now.

For those of you who might have been away from Planet Anglicana, there are plans formally to install +Martyn Minns as the head of CANA here in the US. The service is set to take place in Virginia tomorrow.

Word of these plans leaked some time ago, and earlier this week, +Katharine Jefferts Schori wrote to +Peter Akinola, asking him to cancel his plans.
First, such action would violate the ancient customs of the church which limits the episcopal activity of a bishop to only the jurisdiction to which the bishop has been entrusted, unless canonical permission has been given. Second, such action would not help the efforts of reconciliation that are taking place in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion as a whole. Third, such action would display to the world division and disunity that are not part of the mind of Christ, which we must strive to display to all.
In a day or so, Peter wrote back:
Sadly, this proved to be true as many provinces did proceed to declare broken or impaired communion with the Episcopal Church. Since that time the Primates have established task forces, held numerous meetings and issued a variety of statements and communiqués but the brokenness remains, our Provinces are divided, and so the usual protocol and permissions are no longer applicable.
Peter also claimed (without much basis in fact) that the Communiqué supports a separate CANA, which is simply not factually true. So, in other words, Peter is saying, "you're heretical, so anything I do is A-OK."

Now, today, comes the reason for this (very long, as it turns out) posting. +Rowan Williams has written to Peter, asking him to cancel his plans. This is newsworthy principally because Rowan has rarely spoken against the so-called Global South bishops and their agenda of schism. The full text of Rowan's letter is not available, but this is what Canon James Rosenthal of the ACO had to say: "
Many people have noted that such an action would exacerbate a situation that is already tense, especially as we look forward to the September 30 deadline outlined by the Primates at their meeting in Tanzania and the Archbishop of Canterbury's planned visit to the House of Bishops."

Will Peter stay home? That seems unlikely, but it begins to appear possible that it is the Akinolites who are out of step with the Communion, and not (just) ECUSA. Watch carefully tomorrow for word from Virginia. We should learn quite a bit from the way things are carried out and what is said from the pulpit.

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