I’ve arrived a bit early for the morning press briefing. There is a superior wifi connection in the briefing room, while the press room seems to be cased in lead. So, we’re going to attempt to live blog the morning press briefing.
Started off the morning with Eucharist at the place where I’m staying – a wonderful way to begin the day. Caught a lift up the hill with a couple of bishops an enjoyed the conversation on the way up the hill to Kent University where the Lambeth Conference continues into its third week.
More and more press are filling up the seats – there’s a lot of media here – most are from England, the US and some parts of Europe. The Lambeth People are showing us an unannounced video about the Covenant and the Church.
My laptop clock says it’s 4:47 a.m. in DC – most of America is still asleep. Here the temperature is cooler and less humid than yesterday, there are puffy white clouds mixed in with the stormy gray clouds floating by.
Paul, from the Anglican Church of Canada, is the media briefer. Today the bishops are dealing with the Covenant and the “Windsor Process.” The term “Windsor Process” was first introduced at the Episcopal Church General Convention and replaced the reality that Windsor was a report to the Primates. Do they think we’ve forgotten? So TEC’s reimagining of the Windsor Report into a “process” is now the mode of operi here at Lambeth.
Today Drexel Gomez will be speaking at the Press Briefing along with another bishop from a country I can’t spell – I’ll add it later and the wife of a bishop.
What is the glue that makes the Anglican Communion? A covenant is supposed to express that – in one short document (how they will write a short document when the reflections document was reportedly up to 20 pages all ready is rather doubtful).
Now Cameron wants to make three points.
Our inheritance of faith: Something that holds us together (section 1.1. of the Covenant of the contours of the Anglican faith).
Anglican Mission: what is it the the Anglican churches do together and bind them into future? Section 2.1 of the Covenant.
Interdependence: what are the mechanisms that hold the Communion together – Four Instruments of “Communion” – the ABC, the Lambeth Conference, the ACC, the Primates Meeting. Section 3.2.
The covenant begins by affirming the faith we’ve received (as above) and in the second section, what are the commitments that need to be make by the churches to keep it alive and fresh.
The St. Andrew’s Draft added an appendix to handle the disputes. The Appendix is a first draft of ways in which ones might solve a problem. It was written by canon lawyers – it needs to follow the laws of natural justice. Covenant should be about relationships.
The Draft has been with the Province. The bishops are not to vote on the Covenant, but to add “reflections” on the “process” and on the “text” which will be forwarded to the Covenant Design Group meeting in September in Singapore.
Kenneth Kearon is going to write to all the bishops who didn’t come to Lambeth to ask them for their Covenant reflections.
The Provinces are driving the revisions of the covenant – and the bishops are advising the provinces.
What will happen to a province that doesn’t sign up? More papers were written – one by a working group and one by Rowan that say that if a church doesn’t sign up it won’t cease being Anglican but will work in a different relationship than the ones that did.
The first question with the provinces – is your province willing to give an in-principle idea to the covenant without binding oneself to a particular text.
The Covenant Design Group should be between the Churches of the Anglican Communion, the Provinces, an the others. What if a proince didn’t sign in but a diocese wished to – at the moment they are playing a ball game to win provincial approval.
Timeline: St. Andrew’s Draft in the provinces and at Lambeth. Bishops will write a commentary, the 600+ here and the 200 not here. Provinces will also produce their reports. The ACC meets next year will receive it all. What will the provinces do to sign up?
You know, this is such an exercise in futility. It is based on an assumption that these provinces are even speaking, which isn’t the case in the United States where the Episcopal Church is dividing.
Well, here is Cameron saying – when asked about how would a Covenant work when a province is deposing clergy with a charge of abandonment of communion in the US is a sign of people resulting to legal efforts rather than relational efforts to solve their problems.
Th Anglican understanding of the church is that the church is embodied in ecclesiastical bodies – 38-44 bodies living in relationship. The only people who can decide are the provinces.
Cameron does not see the covenant changing the nature of Anglicanism, just make what was implicitly explicit in our lives.
Cameron says that at General Convention speaker after speaker said that they did not know what the Anglican Communion is and the covenant speaks to that.
Quoting Orombi – the instruments of communion have failed us.
Cameron keeps saying that it will work if the provinces buy into it.
Cameron says that if they become legalistic and punitive that they cease to be Anglican. Not a narrow straight jacket.
Again, how can there be a “covenant’ when bishops are being deposed – no rules, just relationship? The blinking at reality is simply astonishing. It’s as though there is a code here and in order to understand what is going on, one must break the code. Words don’t mean what they should mean – relationships means not making waves, being a good sport, make it home in time for tea.
So with that in mind, we offer another spin of the Lambeth Tunes, a classic.