Archbishop’s new Director of 'Reconciliation'â„¢

“His initial focus will be on supporting creative ways for renewing conversations and relationships around deeply held differences within the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

26 comments on “Archbishop’s new Director of 'Reconciliation'â„¢

  1. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    Will he be waging reconciliation?

  2. Ralph says:

    The new Archbishop has a reputation for being intelligent and thoughtful.

    However, I would think that the time for conversations is long gone.

    I’ll speculate that the Global South primates will give him one chance.

  3. Brian from T19 says:

    It’s an interesting position. We’ll see what comes of it. I don’t envy him.

  4. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Houston, we appear to have a problem. Thanks to some digging by ‘Paradoxymoron’ here

    Canon David Porter on women in the episcopacy:
    [blockquote]I became increasingly dismayed. It actually was the service at Westminster Abbey that did it. Apart from the exception of a female Abbey Canon, Rev Canon Jane Hedges, the cameras revealed an overwhelming facade of male bishops and clergy. And this is where we have to say that the church – both Anglican and Catholic – doesn’t get it. Before anything is said, whether prayers, sermons or words of worship, the picture has said everything. And that everything not only puts the church in a place of cultural irrelevance, as it fails to honour and promote women in leadership of the body of Christ, it more significantly presents a distorted witness of God’s self and the nature of the human community for which Christ died.[/blockquote]
    and on ‘full inclusion’
    [blockquote]for Paul when it comes to the fundamental question of human personhood, then there is no room for accommodation, and certainly not compromise. Paul is insistent and willing to argue strongly with Peter, that whatever cultural or liturgical limitations he may take on for the sake of others, he will not back down on one fundamental issue. No one will be considered second class in the company of those who seek to faithfully follow Jesus because of who they are as a person.[/blockquote]

    It is a fundamental principle of being a judge, arbitrator or mediator, that the appointment is conditional upon the person being able to act impartially and with no conflict of interest in their personal interests and views.

    I think Archbishop Justin has some questions to answer about this on the face of it thoroughly biased and dishonest appointment to ‘facilitate’ conversations in the Church of England on women bishops legislation and “around deeply held differences within the … Anglican Communion”.

    Canon Porter has no credibility. It stinks.

  5. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Do you know the other thing which has struck me having thought about it, is that all these decisions and actions by Justin Welby have been made off his own bat with no attempt at consultation or even provision of information to the other provinces and primates of the Anglican Communion.

    Just the same old arrogant high-handedness as his hero Rowan Williams displayed. No difference in policy at all it appears. It is how we lost an empire.

    There are plenty of faithful and capable Anglicans who deal with mediation and reconciliation all round the Communion – look at Rwanda and the latest efforts by the African provinces in relation to AMiA. But no, with no reference to anybody among his fellow primates Justin parachutes in a compromised Ulster anabaptist into a key Communion position he has just thought up.

    Just like David Cameron and George Osborne – short term partizan decision-making without reference to anybody else – because they are absolutely certain they are right and won’t listen to anybody else. It must be an Etonian thing.

  6. dwstroudmd+ says:

    PM, your information is appreciated. Inadaba-da-voodoo-hoodoo and the Delphi Technique are alive and well in the post-Rowan era (error)! I wondered what this chap’s qualifications were and I believe you have revealed them: pro-Zeitgest and full-steam ahead, damn the Tradition of 2000 years!

    No doubt he will be WAGING RECONCILIATION in true Schori style soon.

  7. Katherine says:

    An attempt at “reconciliation” led by a partisan without any effort to address with respect the underlying principles will fail.

  8. Sarah1 says:

    *Love* the “TM” after the word “Reconciliation.”

    ; > )

  9. Cennydd13 says:

    I will withold my evaluation of Archbishop Welby until I see what he’s all about; how he will treat those Anglicans outside of the Communion, and whether or not he will listen to and interact with them, and specifically the Anglican Church in North America. He’s been disturbingly silent in that regard.

  10. Ralph says:

    #9, we will know soon enough when we see who is not invited to his enthronement. Not to invite ABp Duncan, the ACNA bishops, and Bp Lawrence would speak loudly. It would also end the disturbing silence if Mary Glasspool, Gene Robinson, and Katherine Jefferts-Schori were invited.

    I suspect the Global South primates, and GAFCON-FCA would then have reason to boycott the enthronement.

    So much for reconciliation.

  11. Ad Orientem says:

    We have reconciliation directors too, but we use a different term. We call them priest confessors.

  12. Cennydd13 says:

    I think that +++Welby stands to lose more than he can afford to lose if he ignores those Anglicans outside the Communion, and I also think…..and in fact, I’m quite certain…..that GAFCON-FCA will disassociate themselves from Canterbury in a big way if he ignores us. Something’s going to have to give.

  13. Cennydd13 says:

    I would hope, too, that Archbishop Welby either reads these postings or is made aware of their content. Otherwise, he’d only be aware of Mrs Schori’s words…..which would be bad news for him and the Communion if he didn’t pay attention to other Anglican Christians.

  14. Ross says:

    #10 Ralph says:

    #9, we will know soon enough when we see who is not invited to his enthronement. Not to invite ABp Duncan, the ACNA bishops, and Bp Lawrence would speak loudly. It would also end the disturbing silence if Mary Glasspool, Gene Robinson, and Katherine Jefferts-Schori were invited.

    I don’t know about ++Duncan et al, but according to ENS, ++KJS has indeed been invited:

    Presiding bishop to attend enthronement of archbishop of Canterbury

  15. Cennydd13 says:

    She may indeed show up, but since the Church of England does not ordain women bishops, don’t bet on her being permitted to wear her mitre. She will, of course, pout and carry it as she did before if she doesn’t wear it, and if she should be permitted to wear it, that won’t sit well with most of the primates, who have indicated that they may boycott the enthronement. So I wouldn’t bet on the GAFCON-FCA primates’ being there. If this proves to be the case, then +++Welby will indeed have a [b]HUGE[/b] problem on his hands, and I wouldn’t bet on his being able to solve it.

  16. Cennydd13 says:

    Or even survive it with the Communion in its present form.

  17. CSeitz-ACI says:

    No one wears mitres at these things, except the ABC.

  18. Cennydd13 says:

    That may be, but what do you suppose might happen if Archbishop Duncan and other prelates of the ACNA showed up…..even if uninvited (the refusal to admit them which would be seen as a slap in the face by the GAFCON-FCA primates)? What would be Schori’s reaction? Would +++Welby refuse to see them? In either case, for him to react in such a way would be seen as bad form, and for him to refuse to send an invitation to them would be seen as discrimination against fellow Anglicans. What then?

  19. Cennydd13 says:

    Reconciliation cannot work unless it includes [b]ALL[/b] of the branches of Anglicanism, not just the Anglican Communion, and unless +++Welby et al fail to realize this, then they have lost before they even begin.

  20. Cennydd13 says:

    I should add that if “reconciliation” is to be the name of the game, then it must include everyone, and that means the inclusion of those Anglicans who are outside of the Communion. Otherwise, the [i]”reconciliation”[/i] they’re talking about would be absolutely useless.

  21. pendennis88 says:

    It seems to me that an important difference, which it is entirely possible is lost on many in the UK, is that Welby is not starting from the point that Williams was. Williams effectively destroyed any trust by the Global South in the so-called instruments of communion, not least in the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Welby is not likely to receive any benefit of the doubt or a “honeymoon” period. Instead, he has a narrow opportunity to start with an effectively separated and distrusting Global South and bring them back into the fold by either relegating TEC (save Lawrence and a few others) into a second tier, or moving the ACNA into the first tier. (The orthodox would prefer both, and that would be more intellectually honest, but it could be argued that either would be a positive step.) I think the remarks of the Nigerian and Kenyan bishops made that rather clear. And this is not all about the US, but the US is certainly the current flashpoint of the greater controversy.

    If Welby were to continue William’s practice of indaba and allowing TEC to manage the “instruments of communion” whilst prevaricating before the global south with colonial high-handedness, only under new emissaries, that will cause his term to be a failure from the start. One hopes he appreciates that.

  22. jamesw says:

    Let me say this about “reconciliation”. The fact of the matter is that “reconciliation” is really just a part of a political process. All of the talk about Northern Ireland is fine, but if the IRA could have bombed the Brits out of there, they would have done so. If the radical Protestants in Northern Ireland could have bombed the IRA out of existence they would have done so. Over time, however, both sides realized that violence wasn’t working and so they were willing to sit down and be “reconciled.”

    Thus, before one talks too much about “reconciliation” and what it might mean, you need to look more closely to what each side wants, and what their likelihood is of getting what they want. You want to know who is in the stronger position.

    In the Anglican civil war, the conservatives have always played from a very weak hand when it came to institutional Anglicanism. It has always been the conservatives who have demanded action, but who have been rebuffed and ignored. It was only when conservatives took concrete pro-active actions that they were noticed (i.e. taking ecclesiastical actions in liberal jurisdictions).

    I think that it is important to note that I think that there is a significant difference between the agenda of Rowan Williams and the task left to Justin Welby. Rowan Williams sought to protect the Anglican Communion’s liberal western dominated institutional structures from the influence of the Global South, and do this while appearing to be even-handed and thoughtful in his responses. Understand that Rowan Williams succeeded in this goal. Justin Welby now needs to deal with the fallout that Rowan’s agenda has caused – i.e. significant division within the Communion, that is even now, threatening to blow the Church of England apart.

    Let’s examine the interests of the various parties.
    1) TEC is very pleased with the things just as they are. They have been able to do whatever they want, with absolutely no consequences of any significance. Sure, they would like it if the official Communion structures would bless their heresies, but that would be gravy. No, TEC and the ACoC and other liberal western Provinces have what they want – control over the institutions of the Anglican Communion, which means control over the official franchise name.
    2) Anglican conservatives would obviously like the Anglican Communion to rediscover and enforce orthodox Christianity, and set appropriate boundaries within the Communion. However, they have learned in the 6-7 years following 2003 that this was not going to happen. Their every attempt at creating boundaries was shot down by Rowan Williams and the ACO.
    3) The ACNA would, apparently, very much like to be officially recognized by the Church of England and the ABC (not everyone in the ACNA does, but it seems pretty clear that this is something they crave generally). This is possible.
    4) Justin Welby would like for the divisions roiling the Anglican Communion to cease, so that the Church of England is no longer under threat of being torn asunder. This is the KEY to understanding Welby’s push for “reconciliation”.

    Now, bullet point 4 is (as I said) the key to understanding Welby’s push for reconciliation. I doubt that he is just doing this to be nice. He sees the cracks in the Church of England, and realizes that they are likely to get larger, what with state sanctioned gay “marriage”; women bishops; and Kenyan ordinations happening in Merry Old England. What this means in realpolitik is that Welby needs to somehow neutralize the Anglican Global South (I use neutralize here in a very clinical sense, and do not imply that Welby has malicious intent). I think that “reconciliation” is the tool that Welby hopes will neutralize the Global South.

    What Anglican conservatives should realize is that they do have something in this process that has value and they should not sell it cheaply.

  23. jamesw says:

    Follow-up to my post #22. I think that Rowan Williams was often personally displeased with TEC and with how it accomplished its agenda. Rowan personally liked TEC’s agenda, but the way it pursued that agenda made Rowan’s job that much more difficult. Rowan’s job was always that of protecting the power of western liberals over the Anglican Communion’s institutions, because, I think, he thought that that would ensure that the Church of England would remain in the sphere of liberalism. I don’t know that he foresaw the coming storm of what is happening domestically in England (i.e. gay marriage and the complete circus of the women bishops issue and the Ordinariate); the laughably despotic and radical actions of TEC; and the willingness of the “moderate” Global South to intervene in England. All of these factors combine to put the Church of England in far greater peril than perhaps Rowan Williams realized. I think that Welby does realize this threat and is seeking to respond to it.

  24. cseitz says:

    #21 — yet further differences. Welby is not a Welshman seeking to head up the Church of England. Welby was in the oil business in Nigeria (Elf Aquitaine) and knows people the context. He is conversant with Africa from his time at Coventry (partners with Abuja). He is in conversation with GS leaders precisely because of the lack of trust to which you point, esp following Dublin; there has been a god deal of back and forth already, in the context of his selection.
    “…prevaricating before the global south with colonial high-handedness..” — yes, this would amount to failure and would be a sign of obtuseness of the worst sort.

  25. Cennydd13 says:

    If he fails to take corrective action within three months…….the honeymoon period…….if he fails to listen to the Global South and FCA primates…….it will be all over, and the Communion as it now exists might just as well close up shop. There it is. It’s as simple as that, no matter what spin anyone will attempt to put on it. If he doesn’t listen and heed, he’s a fool.

  26. Karen B. says:

    #22 James W., if we could award a prize for the most lucid and helpful comment at T19 over the past month or recent months, I think your comment #22 would win that prize.

    I found it really helpful and thought-provoking, and a quite illuminating way of framing the issue. Thanks. I hope some of the conservatives who might be involved in the “reconciliation process” will read it and will be encouraged to think about concrete and realistic objectives, what they can gain from the process… what good might come out of even a murky and quite imperfect excercise.