David Anderson, newly elected as bishop in the Church of Nigeria and President & CEO of the American Anglican Council (AAC), has released a letter that attacks the Archbishop of Canterbury — and in doing so compares the Archbishop to the collaborationist Vichy French during World War II.
You really need to read the letter in its entirely. Here are some “highlights:”
Why has Rowan Williams overlooked the facts given him and welcomed the Episcopal Church to Lambeth anyway? The AAC provided Archbishop Williams with comprehensive documentation of the Episcopal Church’s words and actions relating to compliance with Dar es Salaam, usually in their own words, in direct quotes, with sources footnoted and internet weblinks. Did he bother to read it? Some pundits and commentators expected the Archbishop of Canterbury to actually review the facts, weigh the facts fairly and accurately, and properly discipline the current official branch of American Anglicanism, TEC.
Williams not only came to New Orleans with a closed mind to the provable facts, he came with a plan to swiftly undercut the orthodox Global South and those orthodox Americans whom they have supported. Within days, the optimistic pundits and commentators who thought that Dr. Williams cared about the morality and integrity of the Communion, cared about the Windsor Report, cared about the Dromantine and Dar es Salaam Communiques, were shown to be mistaken. What Dr. Williams cares about is holding onto American financial support, holding onto the revisionist provinces of England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and allowing the pantheistic and homosexual agendas to continue their unfolding and flourishing.
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With ears carefully turned to Lambeth, we find that Rowan Williams is determined that Lambeth 2008 will absolutely take place, and on his terms.
The AAC has been advised from trustworthy sources that Dr. Williams is already obligated for Lambeth Conference costs in Canterbury next summer, which means that if he cancels it, he is still responsible for most of the costs of the conference anyway. In order to secure their booking for the University of Kent, which is the venue for the Lambeth Conference of Bishops, one deposit of £440,000 (about $880,000 USD) was due on October 1, with a second payment for the same amount due on December 1. Did he receive the amount of money needed for the first payment in time to meet the October 1 deadline? Was this why his actions to secure a blessing for TEC were so frantic?
Perhaps he already had the down payment in hand for the October 1 installment, but he knows that the next deadline is December 1 when he will need another £440,000 (or $880,000 USD). Where will he acquire such enormous funds? If TEC is neither invited to Lambeth nor given a passing grade, the Lambeth Conference would be in as much trouble financially as a well known bank in the UK which had to be suddenly rescued. Who will rescue Lambeth and Rowan Williams? Would TEC put the envelope in the mail if they were treated favorably? The New Orleans Statement pressed for an invitation to Lambeth for Bishop Gene Robinson and offered to help the Archbishop of Canterbury achieve that. What might this help be? Stressors and motivations like these, though unseen by the public, are constant factors in the relationship between Canterbury and TEC. Sadly, that relationship is determining the direction and focus of a 77 million member church.
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Let’s watch the news carefully over the next eight weeks. Will Dr. Williams coerce a slight majority of Primates to agree favorably towards TEC? Will Dr. Williams find the £440,000 for the next installment due December 1 and save both face and the Lambeth Conference – at least until the next installment is due? Follow the money and watch for updates as answers to these questions become available. Watch for the official announcement from Dr. Williams that TEC is OK, and then later, that Gene Robinson is coming to Lambeth. Am I wrong on this analysis? I believe I am spot on, but I am willing to issue a challenge to Lambeth Palace: prove me wrong.
The Williams/Jefferts Schori theory for pacification of the Anglican troubles bears some comparison with France during the Occupation. During the Second World War, French leaders who wanted to “save” France from further German destruction used well-meaning and even heroic figures to form the Vichy government. Although it may have saved Paris from destruction, it wound up sending most of France’s Jews to the death camps. According to the Jefferts Schori plan, which is a major downgrading of the Dar es Salaam plan, a few American orthodox bishops would agree to partner with Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori and her Vichy-style accommodation, and all the churches which have left TEC would be forced back into TEC under their pastoral care. I do not believe that any parish, vestry member, clergy or diocese that has been personally sued by TEC, had their health insurance jerked out from under them, had their property confiscated, their pensions lost or frozen, and publicly deposed when they had already announced they had left, would ever forget why they left and why they can not go back. The current Episcopal Church cannot and will not repent. The AAC would caution any orthodox TEC bishops who might consider such an arrangement that they would be putting themselves on the wrong side of history. Such a plan will fail because the parishes which have left TEC will not go back to TEC, not even to a collaborationist accommodation. If forced hard enough they will leave Canterbury Anglicanism, but they will not go back. Does Rowan Williams not care?
One can easily imagine a divided Anglicanism with the revisionist provinces centered upon Dr. Williams and Canterbury, complete with those who are pantheistic and support the pro-homosexual agenda, as well as those who just want to linger on the sidelines and benefit from the financial bread that falls from the table. The other side of a divided Anglicanism might be the orthodox Anglicans from all over the world, based in the Global South, free from both Canterbury and York, and looking to the Christian essentials of what Anglicanism is really about.
Read it all here at Anglican Mainstream posted by Chris Sugden.
Thanks to Thinking Anglicans for initially drawing the letter to our attention.