We mentioned on Friday that GAFCON Primates had complained about the construction of the agenda for the upcoming primates' meeting in Dublin, January 25-30: they said they'd not been properly consulted, that "there was hardly any timely and intentional prior consultation and collegial engagement of all concerned."
Asked about the construction of the agenda of the meeting, Anglican Communion Secretary General Canon Kenneth Kearon said it was “in the hands of the Primates’ themselves.” That's what he told William Crawley, host of BBC Radio's "Sunday Sequence." (The interview begins at 2:38 and lasts about eight minutes.) According to Kearon, objecting Primates
have reiterated their commitment to the Communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury in their writing
... which seems like pretty thin gruel, though apparently sufficient to satisfy the happy-news requirement of the ACO's headline writer.
Mouneer Anis, Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East and the Diocese of Egypt, was blunt at a recent gathering.
With the regard of the upcoming Primate’s meeting, (Dublin, Ireland Jan 25-30, 2011) we are not boycotting. Many have said that we are boycotting this meeting. We however are not attending.
Why? Because we did ask the Archbishop of Canterbury to follow up on the recommendations of the previous meeting (Dar es Salaam, 2006; no meeting was held in 2008 because of the Lambeth Conference). At that meeting we discussed, decided and recommended actions. This was never done. It is time for decisions after comprehensive discussion.
For this meeting, we received an invitation to sit in 2 separate rooms: the revisionists in one and the Global South in another. This is a joke. We were not given a chance to affect the process and have some ownership of the meeting. When we are given that opportunity, we will attend.
Seems like forceful language, but hold the phone: is this about The Episcopal Church, or is it about Dar es Salaam, or is it about not being consulted in the making of an agenda?
Moreover, what's the real long-term use of staying out of the conversation, and do folks like Anis really figure that absence of bodies and voices can be nearly as persuasive as presence and wisdom? (Other bishops have pleaded with them all to attend the meeting and represent their Province.)
Seems all involved could use some prayer.
Archbishop Makgoba of Cape Town and Archbishop Aspinall of Australia have written prayers for the meeting.
Prayer for the Primates' Meeting, from the Most Revd Dr Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town.
Lord Jesus Christ, you washed your disciples' feet,
and called them to follow your example.
Bless the leaders of our churches as they gather at the Primates' Meeting.
As they take counsel together, give them grace to grow in prayer and fellowship,
so they may bear one anothers' burdens and share one anothers' joys,
and find mutual support in their heavy responsibilities of servant leadership.
Refresh and encourage them as they meet,
and empower them to lead your people
in lives of faithful worship, witness and service,
that bring your redemptive gospel to this broken and needy world.
Prayer for the Primates' Meeting from the Most Revd Phillip Aspinall, Archbishop of Australia
in your Son Jesus Christ
you reveal the fullness of your truth and life
and reconcile us to you and to each other.
Grant that that this meeting
of the Primates of the Anglican Communion may
follow more closely your way,
know more deeply your truth, and
live more clearly your life.
Give the Primates grace
to speak the truth in love,
to listen to the voice of your Spirit
and to live and proclaim your good news of reconciliation and peace for all the world.
We ask this through the same Jesus Christ our Lord
who is the way, the truth and the life
and who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.