Friday, December 14, 2007

Williams Speaks

On the "Crisis" in the Anglican Communion

Ever since the Anglican Communion Office issued the Joint Standing Committee's report on the Episcopal Church (in late November), many of us have been awaiting further word from Archbishop Rowan Williams. That report did not offer any indication as to the Archbishop's thinking, but it promised he would communicate further in his Advent letter.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Advent Letter was released today. Follow that link to read it.

Many Episcopalians had hoped the Archbishop would come out with a clear, univocal statement that he was either "for" or "against" the Episcopal Church. This was not to be, of course. Episcopalians of all stripes should have learned by now to expect a careful, nuanced statement. And that is what he offered.

Episcopal Café was probably the first to note the release of the Archbishop's letter, and the comments there are thoughtful. They've also done a fine job of tracking reactions to the letter. Father Jake does his usual, fine job of analyzing the letter; read his analysis here. Mark Harris notes the inherent conflict between the Archbishop's Advent letter to the Communion and his Christmas letter (to all Christendom?). Episcopal News Service also posted a story that's well worth reading, including a preliminary reaction from Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori.

Comments are also being offered from the right side of the aisle. TitusOneNine's Kendall Harmon posted the letter; reactions from his readers can be seen here. In an unusual move, Canon Harmon posted his own analysis of the statement here; clearly, he is unhappy with Williams' failure to excoriate the Episcopal Church. The StandFirm blog posted the letter without analysis, but the 213 comments (to date) offer plenty of response. Mary Ailes offers her comments here and here; a member of Truro Church in Virginia, she is one of the influential laypeople on the right side of the aisle, and her anger is palpable.

As you read the news coverage, be aware of this: Trustworthy accounts say that the Archbishop's letter was written a few days ago and sent to the primates before being released to the public. By all accounts, his letter was written before the former leaders of the Diocese of San Joaquin voted to affiliate with the Province of the Southern Cone. [Correction, thanks to Ann Fontaine: According to this note from Father Jake, Greg Venables says: "[W]e primates received the letter this morning, 14 December, not before."]

Count on Thinking Anglicans to gather the news. We also expect the Episcopal Café to cover stories as they unfold.


Blogger Ann said...

Greg Venables sent an email to Jake -- saying that he got his letter from the ABC this morning.

12/14/2007 11:49 PM  
Blogger kendall said...

Lisa, you do yourself no favors when you misrepresent those who disagree with you. I never said I was "unhappy with Williams' failure to excoriate the Episcopal Church."

I think there needs to be truth and discipline and clarity about why.

12/16/2007 1:54 PM  

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