This week's news

The House of Bishops meets this week with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council in New Orleans. Information is likely to be scarce and anxiety high. In such situations, the significance of whatever little information is available is frequently blown out of proportion, so reader beware.

Be wary of leaks that purport to be news, but are actually the interpretation of a single (possibly unnamed) participant. Remember that because a certain piece of information is leaked does not in and of itself make that information significant.

Be wary too of people who claim to know what Rowan Williams is thinking, or understand what he must do.

If this event is similar to previous gatherings, conservative Web sites and publications may have news earlier than those on the left as bishops on the right have a better understanding of the importance of using sympathetic media outlets to a) maintain an atmosphere of crisis, and b) set the agenda for the mainstream press.

Toward the end of the week keep an eye on the activities of Archbishops Akinola of Nigeria and Orombi of Uganda, both of whom just happen to be in the country this week.

Finally, don't forget that simply because people would really like something significant to happen in New Orleans doesn't mean that something will. (Or, if something significant does happen, we may not know about it until the archbishop and the joint standing committee make a statement of as yet unknown content at some as yet unknown time.)

That last bit of advice may be hard to hold on to. There are a lot of reporters heading to New Orleans later this week. They all have to justify their travel by producing stories that suggest that the trip was worth it. But the truth is that none of them and none of us know whether it will be. So if after all of this is over and you read for the umpteenth time that the "rift" has "widened" don't believe it unless there are identifiable new developments.

Comments (3)

Nicely stated, Jim.

We should all be wearing this statement on our arms and foreheads.


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