(Anglican Ink) George Conger on the Lambeth Palace Media Muff-up and Muddle this week

After the news broke last week (on Anglican Ink) that Archbishop Welby was not going to Gafcon, a torrent of negative comments from the right and rejoicing from the left washed through the Anglican blogosphere. Others gave the archbishop the benefit of the doubt. And the vast majority paid it no mind at all.

On Anglican Unscripted I said that the excuse of having to baptize Prince George was the best get-out-of-a-social-obligation-free card I had ever heard. I gave the archbishop high praise for finding a way to finesse a sticky situation. And now we have this extraordinary volte face — and this pitiable explanation.

So, what is going on? Wheels within wheels? Or incompetence? From what I have been able to divine, Archbishop Welby is breaking free from the shackles of the Church of England’s bureaucracy. His predecessor, Rowan Williams, was Anglicanism’s Jimmy Carter (or for our English readers its Harold Wilson). The smartest man in the room — but clueless as to how to use his authority and office. Justin Welby started off well as archbishop, but has also fired some distress rockets that worry the Global South. While they like him and are encouraged by his sincere faith ”“ will the office overwhelm the man as it had Rowan Williams?

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

3 comments on “(Anglican Ink) George Conger on the Lambeth Palace Media Muff-up and Muddle this week

  1. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Brilliant. I suspect George Conger has nailed it. I loved the Mark Twain and [i]Casablanca[/i] quotes that enlivened the piece.

    I hope ++Welby’s new PR team gets up to speed soon. A few more horrendous and ludicrous gaffe’s like the lame rationale for going to Nairobti will only hurt ++Welby’s own credibility.

    David Handy+

  2. Capt. Father Warren says:

    David+, do you really think it is +++Webly’s PR team that has people giving him the “10 foot pole treatment”?

    I would propose that the best PR people in the world can’t heal a rift torn by things like:

    -reconciliation, used as a term that really means capitulation for Orthodox Anglicans

    -homosexual unions “strengthen us” ……really?

    And despite the claim of +++Welby breaking free of the bureaucracy, it seems more like the bureaucracy doesn’t pay him any mind. It goes on pushing things like women bishops, celibate gay bishops [wink, wink, nod], and all the other unscriptural nonsense.

  3. MichaelA says:

    This seems to be the most bitingly accurate content in the article: “It is not known why the archbishop decided to go to Nairobi.” George Conger clearly does not know (which is not meant to be a jibe at him as a journalist, because I don’t think anyone else does either).

    Mr Conger also writes:
    [blockquote] “The political currents in the Church of England do not favor Archbishop Welby’s public embrace of the Gafcon movement. At the 2008 Gafcon meeting in Jerusalem, Bishops Michael Nazir Ali and Wallace Benn of the Church of England were among the leaders of the gathering. While there will be a large number of English participants at Gafcon, I do not believe there will be any bishops.” [/blockquote]
    Interesting. Gafcon I in 2008 was an invitation-only meeting. Is this the same? If so, then that begs the question whether any CofE bishops (apart from the ABC) were invited.

    There is likely to be a lot of discussion of the situation in England, there will be many CofE clergy and laity there (I know George just says “English participants” but its easy to guess who at least some of them will be) and yet no CofE bishops allowed to be part of the discussions.

    Well, whatever is discussed, I expect the CofE bishops will find out eventually, one way or another.