Day Six: House of Bishops Meeting in New Orleans

Am back in the newsroom as reporters stumble in this cloudy though humid Monday morning.

We’ve learned that the doors to the House of Bishops will remain closed. Reading what is going on is a bit like Kremlin-watching, though there are friends who share.

NPR has just walked in and Stephen Bates, who will be hanging up his hat on this beat, is here from the Guardian. I saw Patrick Getlein from the Diocese of Virginia when I walked in. “As I live and breath,” he said when he saw me. The last time I saw him was in court.

We’re still waiting for ENS to publish the statements made by members of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the ACC. The wait goes on.

Stephen Bates has written an interesting article on some of the work going on over the weekend, including work done by a rather interesting group of people. Here’s the interesting part:

The compromise being worked on over the weekend has seen the US moderate conservative bishops Charles Jenkins of Louisiana and Henry Parsley of Alabama working with liberals Jon Bruno of California and John Chane of Washington DC and Canons Kenneth Kearon and Gregory Cameron, of the Anglican communion council, on a formal statement that would keep the majority of US bishops together.

Now we have Charles Jenkins (who is the host bishop and who’s diocese is in serious, serious financial trouble) and Henry Parsley. But Jenkins and Parsley attended “Windsor Bishops” meetings at Camp Allen. Jon Bruno and John Chane are among the most progressive bishops, both have allowed liturgical blessings of same sex unions in their dioceses. Jenkins proposal, however, is not accepted by the orthodox remnant. It does not begin to deal with answering Dar Es Salaam.

But what is really interesting here is the presence of two Brits, one a Welshman and one an Irishman. Both of them are from the Anglican Consultative Council, the one “instrument of unity” that derives most of its funding from the American Episcopal Church. Kenneth Kearon is the Secretary General of the ACC, while Gregory Cameron is the Deputy Secretary General of the ACC. We know that the Secretariat “serves the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates Meeting, and the Anglican Consultative Council.” So their job is to serve not just Canterbury and the ACC, but also the Primates themselves. We also know that “funding comes from the Inter-Anglican budget, which is supported by all Member Churches according to their membership and means.” And we know what “member church” has the most “means.” It is certainly in the interest of the ACC to keep the money supply open, for to not do so might call their own existence into question.

What of the majority of the Primates interests? Are they actively calling TEC to comply with Dar Es Salaam, keeping the unity of the Anglican Communion paramount over even their own financial resources? Cameron in particular has worked closely with the primates in Dar Es Salaam and attended Camp Allen. How will both he and Kearon balance their charge to support the Primates of the Anglican Communion, while keeping their own offices solvent? We do wonder.