26 July 2008

US Bishops accused of arriving with an agenda

Yesterday Riazata Butt reported that an unnamed U.S. Bishop accused the rest of our bishops of manipulating the Lambeth summit by “providing its 125 representatives with briefing notes explaining how to promote liberal attitudes towards gay clergy.”

What the bishop is implying, of course, is that the U.S. bishops are the only people who came with an agenda and a plan to get the agenda accepted.

Keith Ackerman (Ordinary of Quincy) weighed in on the subject by calling this unseen document “Embarrassing.” Ackerman calling anything “embarrassing” is a travesty. His actions for years have been an embarrassment to the word “Christian.”

He went on to say,

We should come to Lambeth spiritually prepared, not tactically prepared. It is a clear attempt to dominate the debates we are having and push them in a certain direction.

The Episcopal Church is attempting to manipulate this conference hoping to convince the rest of e Anglican Communion that its innovations should be incorporated and respected.

I’m afraid with the Puritan track record it is going to take an angel from heaven to convince me that the Donatists were not well prepared for this conference. The wee archbishop of Sudan didn’t just happen to mention he would be talking, if the press wanted to show up; he didn’t accidentally lob his live grenade to the press. That was all planned. And more is planned, we can bet on that.

Today, there is news that at least some Nigerian bishops are in Lambeth but no one will say which bishops. A press conference by the Nigerian bishop(s) was scheduled for 10 a.m. but a fax was received stating that the bishop(s) would not be available until about 3 p.m. I absolutely remember Peter Akinola stating that neither he nor any bishop in his province would be at Lambeth.

But our friend Mark Harris quotes from Bishop Howe’s blog – dated Wednesday

Tonight I have just come from a meeting of seven of the "Global South" Primates, several of the British Bishops, and 14 of our American Bishops, some involved in "Common Cause" and some in "Communion Partners." The point was again made that CP is an "inside" strategy, and CC an "outside" one, but that both are needed; and we want to do the best we can to support each other. The Primates were very clear in repeating several times their promise of solidarity with both efforts.

Now, keep in mind that there are only seven Global South Primates. At least official GS press releases have only seven signatories. This means that Akinola is there. And they have a strategy. That sounds like they came prepared. More duplicity and deceit.

The U.S. and Canadian bishops are not trying to take over this conference. They have held no press conferences to spread an agenda. What most of our bishops are trying to do is promote understanding of both the issue and our polity. That is not true of the Donatist Curia; they are trying to force their innovated agenda on the communion.

To do this, the über-conservatives are forcing the indaba groups to take votes on the incompatibility of homosexuality and the bible. Ackerman said

I am putting my hand up in my group. I invite my brothers and sisters to do the same thing when they get the opportunity.

It is a way to take the temperature, to remind people that we do not all think the same. It is a bit like a festering wound. It is not going away and we will not let it.

What a Christian attitude. Let’s not try to apply healing balm of Christian love. That won’t help us win. And believe me, this is about winning - at any cost.

By bringing the matter to repeated votes, the Puritans hope to seize control of the middle ground and eradicate the “progressive agendas espoused by churches in the U.S. and Canada.”

For at least five years, the malcontents have plotted and planned a coup of the Communion. Now, we are expected to believe they came un-briefed and un-prepared at least to attempt to hijack the conference. I’m sorry, but I just don’t by that propaganda.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the duplicity of the Donatists--well, that and their unmitigated hubris.