The Communion significance of Canterbury’s power of invitation is what makes Archbishop Welby’s invitation to Archbishop Beach, though not an invitation to the actual meeting itself, a potential game changer.
The GAFCON primates had previously determined not to attend any Communion meeting that included representatives of TEC and/or the ACC and that did not formally include leaders of the ACNA. But Archbishop Welby’s personal appeal to attend the January Primates Meeting and his willingness to invite Archbishop Beach prompted them to reconsider and, subsequently, agree to attend.
It may be that Archbishop Welby hopes to weaken the resolve of the GAFCON primates by acceding to one of their demands. Inviting the primate of the ACNA to attend a sub-meeting while also inviting TEC and the ACC primates to the full meeting may serve, he perhaps hopes, to ameliorate both parties. And should all parties remain throughout the meeting, even if there is no breakthrough, it will reinforce his much touted but false philosophy of “reconciliation” and “peace making”, his belief that parties holding two mutually exclusive versions of the Christian faith might recognize one another’s “Christian integrity” and remain institutionally bound together in one Communion.
But if this is his hope, the GAFCON primates seem to have a different perception. They believe this meeting must be definitive and decisive.