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DUBLIN: The Spin of Anglican Communion General Secretary Kenneth Kearon

DUBLIN: The Spin of Anglican Communion General Secretary Kenneth Kearon

Canon Kearon was recently interviewed on BBC's Sunday Sequence with William Crawley on the upcoming Anglican Primates' Meeting in Dublin, Ireland.

VOL believes that Kearon is spinning this primatial gabfest, failing to tell BBC's listeners the true nature of the primatial absences and the depth of the crisis in the Anglican Communion.

By David W. Virtue in Dublin
www.virtueonline.org
January 26, 2011

BBC SUNDAY SEQUENCE HOST WILLIAM CRAWLEY: When you hear the word "Anglican Communion" you now expect that phrase to be followed by the words "embattled", "crisis" or "schism". This week, in fact, the leaders of the Anglican Communion -- the Primates heading the Communion's provinces across the world -- will be meeting in [Dublin] Ireland for what is bound to be described as a "Crisis Summit".

Canon Kenneth Kearon is the Secretary General of The Communion, joins me now from our [BBC] studios in Dublin. Good morning to you.

CANON KEARON: Good Morning.

BBC: Is that an appropriated description: "Crisis Summit"?

CANON KEARON: I don't think that it is. It's going to be an important summit and it is going to try to face some of the very difficult issues facing The Communion today. But there will be, I think, a variety or responses as to actually what are the "big issues" facing The Communion today.

VOL: No it won't. Archbishop Mouneer Anis (Middle East) says the meeting has been "cooked and precooked" with no outcome that is not already a forgone conclusion. Decisions made at previous primates' meetings will not be acted upon and orthodox primates will no longer allow Dr. Rowan Williams to play shuttle diplomacy between the two groups, both of whom have very different gospels. If the "big issues" are faced they will quickly swept under the carpet as there will be no one to oppose Rowan Williams or the liberal Primates present especially Katharine Jefferts Schori.

BBC: How many primates will be coming?

CANON KEARON: There are 39 Primates in the Anglican Communion, which includes the Archbishop of York [John Sentamu] who comes specifically to represent the voice of the Church of England at these meetings. At any one of those meetings there are a number of Primates who can't come for a variety of reasons. For example: health or other diary commitments or whatever. What I think you are referring to is the fact that some Primates have indicated that they don't intend to attend this particular.

VOL: In fact, only 23 have turned up. Some 12 have not, saying they reject the basis of this gathering. Three are not attending for reasons of visa and health.

BBC: They are deliberately staying away?

CANON KEARON: They are, because of the presence of the primate of The Episcopal Church [Katharine Jefferts Schori] and recent developments in The Episcopal Church.

VOL: True. They are staying away because they believe she has "another gospel", not the one cited by the apostle Paul. (See Gal. 1:5)

BBC: How many signified that they will be staying away deliberately?

CANON KEARON: I'm saying that seven, or possibly eight, have written to me directly to say that is reason they cannot come. I think two are stay -- can't come -- because of health reasons. And there is a few, for whom we're not certain, whether they are coming or not. For example: The Archbishop of Sudan [Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul Yak] given the Referendum and political changes, the huge upheaval happening in that country. I think he is going to leave his decision, whether or not he can come, unto the last minute. The same probably applies to the Primate of Australia [Archbishop Phillip Aspinall]. He's the Archbishop of Brisbane, and because of the flooding in Australia, I think he will leave the decision unto fairly late also. There's always a few people like that.

VOL: The greatest number of absentees are those who have DELIBERATELY stayed away citing TEC's theological theological and moral innovations some 12.

BBC: Well, does this reduced number, though, including those who are deliberately staying away, does this reveal the true size and shape now of the Anglican Communion in the world?

CANON KEARON: Oh, I don't think so. That wouldn't follow at all. I think those who said they're not coming -- as part of an objection to The Episcopal Church and other developments -- have reiterated their commitment to The Communion and to the Archbishop of Canterbury, in their writing to me certainly.

VOL: They are committed to the historic See of Canterbury, not the present incumbent in Lambeth Palace. Furthermore, a parallel movement known as GAFCON has produced the Jerusalem Declaration, not a Covenant that has fallen on hard times. There is no two-tier communion, just a parallel one that represents nearly 80% of the communion.

BBC: What's on the agenda?

CANON KEARON: The agenda is in the hands of the Primates, themselves. They've been asked to examine the "big issues" facing The Communion, and that in itself, follows a request from a number of them, after the last Primates' Meeting [2009 in Alexandria, Egypt] that we actually devote a meeting concerned with looks at what the "big issues" are. I think there will be a variety of answers to that question: "What is the 'big issue' facing The Communion?" Some will say of course, it is the same sex issue, this is where your language of "crisis" comes in. Other people will answer in terms of mission -- the church's response to relief and development questions. Still others will talk about things like human rights and so on as being the "big issue" facing The Communion and the churches today.

VOL: The BIG issues, IF they are discussed, will be discussed without the orthodox primates being present. It will be the sound of one hand clapping. There will be little or no disagreement because Rowan Williams Shadow Gospel (See Charles Raven's book of the same name) will keep everybody in a state of suspended animation with no closure and continued talk of process rather than conclusion.

BBC: And on the eve of this Primates' Meeting, the American church has approved of official liturgies for same sex blessings.

CANON KEARON: I have not received a formal notification of that. So I would like to see what is happening. As I understand it, the only body that could do that is the General Convention, which doesn't meet this year. It doesn't meet for some time. But I understand some committees are working on this.

VOL: The Bishop of Massachusetts married two leading TEC lesbians in his cathedral recently. It is a done deal.

BBC: If that's the case, that really signifies the American's attitude to the [Anglican] Covenant, doesn't it?

CANON KEARON: I think I'd have to wait to see what the authorities within The Episcopal Church make as a decision. That will be a decision made by their General Convention.

VOL:The Covenant is toast. The Global South doesn't want it, the liberals hate it and the pansexual mob accuse the ABC's Covenant of being coercive and divisive. Even if TEC ratifies the Covenant and there is no guarantee it will because liberals like Bishop Jon Bruno and homosexuals like Louie Crew and lesbians like Susan Russell and Elizabeth Kaeton see it as putting a crimp on their behavior. They also hate Section 4 which is disciplinary. NO ONE is allowed to discipline sexual misbehavior in TEC unless you are an adulterer and that could get you thrown out of the church.

BBC: Changing Attitude Ireland, which as you know is a pro-gay or gay-support group within the Church of Ireland, has called on the Irish government to encourage the Primates, at this meeting, to stand strongly against theologically-sponsored homophobia or abuse of gay people across the world, particularly in the developing world. Would you respond to that call? Would you support that stand against homophobia?

CANON KEARON: The Anglican Communion is basically made up of autonomous churches, so each church relates to its own government. So the primary response to a request like that, were it to be made, would be for the Church of Ireland, not for the Anglican Communion as a whole.

VOL: They will probably make a stand against homophobia because the Irish province is as liberal as the day is long. If they do, it will only prove the orthodox primates were right in staying away. The problem is NOT about homophobia. That is a fiction. It is about acting out sexually in ways the Bible specifically says you should not.

BBC: Why was Dublin chosen for this gathering?

CANON KEARON: The Communion primates visit various part of The Communion at different times for its various meetings. The last time [2009] it was in [Alexandria] Egypt and in various parts of the world. We initially make the decision based on the invitations we receive from the Primates of the individual churches. So the Church of Ireland Primate [Archbishop Alan Harper] did invite the Primates' Meeting to come and that invitation was accepted.

VOL: The last time it was held in Ireland was 2005 at Dromantine. It has never been held in Nigeria or Kenya, thoroughly orthodox provinces.

BBC: What's likely to be decided?

CANON KEARON: That's in the hands of the Primates.

VOL: Nothing will be decided. A vague statement will be put about how the primates all got along. Any talk about sexuality issues will be kicked down the road to the next Primates' meeting where, again, nothing will be resolved as Williams delights in process, not finality.

BBC: Do they vote at this kind of gathering?

CANON KEARON: They don't usually vote. No, they seek a consensus. It's not a decision-making body in that sense of the word. It is a body which issues guidance and indicated directions. It has a lot of moral authority based on the fact it is composed of Primates. But it isn't a body that votes on resolutions or it doesn't have that procedural or constitutional nature.

VOL: There will be no consensus because 40% of the primates are absent. They represent 80% of the Communions' Anglicans and they are in the Global South, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

BBC: The Primates' Meeting is one of a number of dynamics within the Anglican Communion that bolster The Communion. It used to be described as an "Instrument of Unity" now it's described as an "Instrument of Communion". Can you explain that shift in language?

CANON KEARON: The change of language came from "The Windsor Report" which came out in 2004, as it looked at what was then called the "Instruments of Unity" it described that as a rather functional description and in fact they said the main purpose of these bodies [the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Primates' Meeting] is to enable and maintain and support "communion" within the churches of the Anglican Communion.

VOL As an Instrument of Unity, the Anglican Consultative Council has taken on powers it arrogated to itself turning itself into an Instrument of Communion equal in rank to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Rowan Williams would like to rein it in, but he can't. He would be outvoted. The orthodox Primates think all the Instruments of Unity (or communion) are flawed and do not represent their point of view.

BBC: That's very helpful. Thank you very much Canon. Canon Kenneth Kearon is the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

VOL: This will be the end of any form of unity of the communion as we know it. What will emerge is a vibrant Global South that will, in time, simply swamp the rapidly numerically diminishing Global North. Western pan-Anglican liberalism is finished. All it needs is a decent burial. Someone needs to invent a liturgy or death rite (like same-sex rites) appropriate for the occasion.

END

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