I’ve done my very best over the past month to talk to as many people in the know as I can and I think the very best outline of events I can give you is this:
1.the GAFCON Primates will hold the line on discipline. I have this from a source very close to senior GAFCON leadership. I would be very surprised if more than a handful of GAFCON Primates don’t join in this very clear stand.
2. the same source advises me that a number of the non-GAFCON Global South (GS) Primates will also be taking this same stand.
3. Justin Welby will invite TEC and the ACC to consider their position, acting as mediator not enforcer. This is now my gut speaking. I can’t see Welby execute discipline himself. He is far too rooted into his “reconciliation” scheme to actually take the lead that he needs to. He also has the unity of the Church of England to consider. If it were known that he was the one who clearly told TEC/ACC that if nothing changed they were no longer welcome, nor at the upcoming Lambeth Conference, then he might very well face an open revolt just the other side of the Lambeth Palace walls.
4. TEC/ACC would ask for more time. Perhaps a night to sleep on it, perhaps another appeal to “not being able to speak on behalf of the General Convention” (which was the way Griswold and then Schori avoided the issue before). They then might come back with a proposal that would be simply unacceptable to GAFCON. They will also effectively be calling Welby’s bluff to do something, daring him to be the one to enforce the will of the majority GAFCON group (and, no doubt, portraying that will as bullying).
5.Welby tries to broker an agreement rather than taking the lead.
6. GAFCON/GS partners walk. We never get to the Gathering – the meeting has failed because Welby has failed to lead at the moment where he should. I first made this prediction back in September when the meeting was originally announced.