Skip to comments.Tanzania Predictions
Posted on 02/06/2007 6:56:10 PM PST by sionnsar
One of the most interesting parts of the Blogger's Roundtable was to hear my fellow blogger's predictions of what will happen at the primates meeting of Tanzania, and to hear everyone's fun reactions to those predictions. I was struck by how, unexpectedly, a community has been formed through this blog -- I first really took note of it at the roundtable in Charleston.
Perhaps Greg and Matt will post their predictions; here are mine, briefly, slightly embellished with some additions.
1) The key players will act as they have done in the past, short of a miracle. This includes Rowan Williams. When I look at his past behavior, I see a bias towards non-action [other than writing letters and other communications] and delay. I do not think that this will change.
Some of my beliefs about this have to do with basic personality. It is not reasonable to expect people to behave differently from the way they have in the past, and in contradiction to their personality. And people do not usually change radically from their past behavior, unless something equally radical has occurred in their hearts and minds. When I observe Rowan William's behavior, I see an academic, a deeply thoughtful, introspective and introverted person. I see someone who probably, when it comes to decision making, is more inclined to "freeze" in contemplation of the many paths one might take, than actually to take an action, see what happens, respond quickly, and make adjustments "on the fly", rather like military unit leaders might do.
Please understand that I do not mean what I say as a harsh, judgemental statement. There is nothing inherently immoral about being contemplative, or introverted, or less inclined to action. We've all known hot-tempered, quick-on-the-draw people who make terrible and sudden decisions, wreaking havoc in their wake. I think that Rowan Williams probably falls on the very opposite end of the spectrum from that sort of decisive, action oriented person.
He is what he is, a creature made in the image of God, with all the strengths, weaknesses, and charms of a unique personality. We cannot make him be what he is not. We can only pray that somehow the Spirit of the Living God falls upon him and helps him in some way to do the Lord's will. And of course, whether we agree with him or not -- and even should every person reading this blog leave the Anglican Communion in the aftermath -- we must love Rowan and feel some empathy for him.
Love for a person who does what we want is not love, but simply a reward for good behavior. Loving and praying for someone when they do not perform to our hopes and expectations -- that is the way Jesus loves us, though we disappoint Him often.
2) Rowan Williams will seek further delay, prior to taking any action.
When I look back on the pattern of behavior over the past three years, I see a man who won a *major* battle with the brokering in of the Windsor Report. You may recall that he managed to appoint a committee to create the Windsor Report -- a process that took about a year -- which staved off action until the close of 2004. There then needed to be another primates meeting at Dromantine in order to "receive" the Windsor Report and at that Dromantine meeting, the case was made to allow ECUSA time to respond to the report at their highest legislative body, which was General Convention 2006.
True to form, after the convention, there arose a "committee" to "study the response" of ECUSA at the convention.
All of this is, frankly, is a masterly use of process in order to delay any ultimate decision making.
Look for Rowan Williams to urge delay of action until the Lambeth Meeting -- and then look for him to heavily consider, as the time for Lambeth approaches, going so far as to delay the Lambeth Meeting itself.
3) In order to achieve delay of discipline, certain things will happen and be offered to the "reasserting" group of Anglicans within the Communion.
Again, look at the very recent past. How many of us recall the sadness and gnashing of reasserters when we realized that Bishop Jefferts-Schori would be going to the primates meeting as a participant and Primate. But in short order -- almost 24 hours later -- the very positive decision of the Panel of Reference was revealed regarding Fort Worth, and then we learned that other ECUSA bishops would be attending the "pre-meeting", along with Bishop Jefferts-Schori.
We accepted those offerings, and quickly recovered from our initial disappointment.
Friends, do not think that this is an accidental "confluence of events". It wasn't. It was, as I've said before, masterful use of timing, and process.
4) The primates meeting itself will be very tense. I suspect that there will be tears and raised voices. The communications describing this meeting afterwards will acknowledge "frank discussions". ; > )
5) Slight positive movement will occur toward realignment and distinguishing those reasserters within ECUSA from the national leadership of ECUSA. It probably won't be enough for some, but I liken such positive movement -- which has occurred at every major meeting or event in the past three years -- to a door that is gently, slowly, and steadily closing. It won't be a door that "slams shut" but rather a door that slowly moves, the angle narrowing, until it finally shuts with a quiet click.
6) Communications from ENS and the chief ECUSA leaders concerning the primates meeting will be generally upbeat and cheery, although with an undercurrrent of "victim" language. It will be a hard decision for those at 815 -- do we maintain the official denial of anything particularly troubling happening and downplay "how badly we are being treated"? Or do we strike the victim's pose and freely acknowledge just how bad things were at the meeting and how much on a knife's edge our status is within the Anglican Communion? I think they will strike the former tone, only with a slightly grieved, closed-lipped smile, similar to that of the expression of a harrassed mother in a grocery store, surrounded by bad children.
Some reasserters will be taken in by this "see, everything is just fine, we are loved and admired by any Province with any sense in the Anglican Communion, many fruitful, quiet conversations were had with those many dozens of primates who secretly support us, though they are too scared to say anything aloud or publicly" language of ENS and refuse to see anything positive that comes from the meeting.
7) Communications from the various "non-insider" second tier level of ECUSA revisionist activists will be bitter, denunciatory, and outraged. Victim language will abound, only with a sort of "whiplash" effect between announcements that "our brave female Primate was terribly marginalized and abused by the patriarchal Africans " and pronouncements of "just how little we care anyway" about the Anglican Communion.
8) Various reasserting/reforming entities that have hung their hopes on disciplinary action of ECUSA at this meeting will need to somehow communicate that people should be Very Happy with what minor positive actions were actually taken. A number of clusters of parishes within various dioceses will announce their departure from the Episcopal church, and the reforming entities will wonder aloud why on earth people are making this decision now, when it is only nine more months before the Lambeth invitations go out.
9) Should ECUSA, by some miracle akin to God pouring down fire on the soaked burnt offering of the altars of Elijah before the prophets of Baal, be disciplined by the Anglican Communion, such that most ECUSA bishops are not invited to Lambeth, ECUSA will merely announce that they remain members of the Anglican Communion, despite their not being invited to Lambeth, the later primates Meetings, or any other councils of the Communion as participants.
Later on, ECUSA will announce a "cooperative oversight" agreement with the Province of South Africa, and announce that this communion with an Anglican Province and its Primate makes them full members of the Anglican Communion, just in case anyone wondered. By virtue of their being in communion with South Africa and closely connected with it through their "cooperative oversight" agreement, they are therefore "within the Anglican Communion".
The full irony of this action will not be lost on those reasserting Anglican groups in the US who have done the same thing.
10) In the meantime, Matt Kennedy will never admit that I have been right all along.
Well, probably a breast-beating contest to decide who rules the band, followed by ferocious tussle over the bananas. ;)
Main Entry: pri'mate
Etymology: Middle English primat, from Old French, from Medieval Latin primat-, primas archbishop, from Latin, leader, from primus
Date: 13th century
1 often capitalized : a bishop who has precedence in a province, group of provinces, or a nation
2 archaic : one first in authority or rank : LEADER
3 [New Latin Primates, from Latin, plural of primat-, primas] : any of an order (Primates) of mammals comprising humans, apes, monkeys, and related forms (as lemurs and tarsiers)
-pri'mate-ship \-*ship\ noun
--pri-ma'tial \pr*-*m*-sh*l\ adjective
Now you can expand your vocabulary, no matter what was on the picture that doesn't display on my system. (All I see is "Image Hosted By Tripod.")
Big yawn. Ignorance is sometimes funny, but not when you see the same thing repeated ad nauseum and beyond.
But hey, nice effort at being cute, Mr. Jeeves.
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