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DAR2007: Three American bishops come and go with "no comment"

DAR2007: Three American bishops come and go with "no comment"

By David W. Virtue in Dar es Salaam

DAR ES SALAAM---There was no press conference by the three American Episcopal bishops meeting with Mrs. Jefferts Schori and the Archbishop of Canterbury today, disappointing a handful of media hoping for news that might signify a shift in the direction of the Anglican Communion.

"We were asked to say nothing by the Archbishop of Canterbury till after the conference of Primates has ended", Pittsburgh Bishop Bob Duncan told VirtueOnline, "then we'll talk".

The three bishops, two conservative and one liberal had been invited by the Primates to address the state of The Episcopal Church as they see it.

The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan is the moderator of the Anglican Communion Network and is bishop of the largely orthodox Diocese of Pittsburgh. The other two bishops are the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana, president of the Presiding Bishop's Council of Advice, and the Rt. Rev. C. Christopher Epting, the Presiding Bishop's deputy for ecumenical and interfaith relations, the most liberal of the three bishops.

They left the White Sands Hotel friendly, smiling but seemingly exhausted, perhaps more from the heat of the day than the heat of the discussion. There was no basis for decision or quarrel, it seemed.

All were scheduled to respond to the Windsor Report made by the 2006, 75th General Convention.

Security remains high, access to the primates virtually impossible. Uniformed security personnel, some equipped with police batons have cordoned off an entire wing of the White Sands Hotel, where a small contingent of the press including VOL is holed up. Red security badges have been issued by officials of the Anglican Consultative Council. No primate is permitted to leave the secure area without a minder or a staff member employed by the Anglican Consultative Council.

BUT SPECULATION is running rife that compromises are being worked out with one bishop telling VOL that the archbishops are taking "the long view" perhaps code for compromise.

What remains a major sticking point is the failure of The Episcopal Church to live up to the demands of the Windsor Report, the call to "walk apart' and how that is being played by hardliners like Peter Akinola Archbishop of Nigeria. Will he be able to garnish support from the 14 new Primates meeting here or not? These are questions of which a roomful of reporters are waiting impatiently for a sign.


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