JAMAICA: FROM MY EAR TO YOURS...
By David W. Virtue in Jamaica
At this, her first ACC Meeting, it has been observed that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is continuing her practice of concentrating on embroidery during plenary sessions and presentations. Interest has been aroused as to what this embroidery might be. It has been explained that this is part of a larger more inclusive work. Such activity has not commended itself to at least one of the plenary speakers who felt that this showed a certain degree of disrespect for individual speakers and the meeting.
Two orthodox priests in the lobby of the hotel were speaking with an orthodox African lady delegate when Mrs. Jefferts Schori passed by them. Observing what she saw, she quickly got the ear of ACC secretary general Kenneth Kearon, and enlisted the physical assistant of Kearon to remove the African delegate from the priests' presence and into the welcoming inclusive arms of Jefferts Schori. Kearon laid his hand on her arm saying, I am taking her away now.
Bumped into Bishop Azad Marshall of Iran yesterday. He invited me to Iran. A truly good man. I will take him up on his offer.
Kevin Kallsen of Anglican-TV could not come immediately, but he was accredited. However, he was not able to accredit Julian Dobbs, CANA canon missioner here as a videographer for Anglican-TV in his place. Dobbs told VOL that he has a strong television record having fronted his own weekly TV program for nine years. Kallsen is expected here Thursday. When Colin Coward of CA asked ACO press officials why Kallsen's videographer was not accredited, the ACO press officials were at a loss and fumbled about searching for an appropriate response.
Have had two delightful private moments with Archbishop Drexel Gomez of the West Indies. He has retired now as Archbishop and is enjoying retirement. Bishop Errol Brooks the most senior bishop in the HOB will succeed him by the year's end. Drexel believes that the Covenant has been his single greatest achievement to hold the Anglican Communion together though he is by no means certain that it will ultimately do so unless The Episcopal Church does an about face on sexuality issues. He believes the third Ridley Cambridge Draft is as good as it good gets and hopes it will provide the glue to holding us altogether.
A whole lot of lobbying going on. The Anglican Communion Covenant is providing endless fodder for the media. So far it is going like this: Drexel Gomez, the chair of the Covenant Working Group, made a forthright appeal today that the ACC accept the Covenant because he was concerned that "the Communion is close to the point of breaking up. If we cannot state clearly and simply what holds us together, and speak clearly at this meeting, then I fear there will be clear breaks in the Communion in the period following this meeting."
Particular discussion is focusing on two issues. The first relates to the section which describes how to join the Communion under the Covenant, but what joining means and how to deal with tensions is found in a new section - number four. It is this section that The Episcopal Church is lobbying hard, especially among the Global South, to have removed. Archbishop Gomez stressed the value of Section Four in his presentation, which gives explicit reassurance that the Covenant is not intended to interfere with the Constitutions and Canons of the Provinces. In this regard, we have paid due respect to the importance of Anglican polity in any Anglican Covenant.
Secondly it opens out the Covenant, making it open-ended and allows others to join including ACNA. At the discussion of the Covenant proposal at the Lambeth Conference, the desirability of making the Covenant an open-ended process received very favorable consideration by several of the bishops.
Paragraph 4 is deliberate in opening the door to others joining the Communion under the Covenant. This particularly refers both to dioceses, (such as orthodox dioceses in TEC) and also to other entities such as the Anglican Church in North America. We could have the situation that the ACNA accepts the Covenant in a timely manner while TEC delays or denies acceptance. Ian Douglas TEC clerical delegate and missiologist is working hard behind the scenes to make sure that groups like ACNA are not included.
On the Mainline
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