Thursday, June 15, 2006

our mole, father thorpus, on day 2

Here are my thougts on day two (yesterday):

Daily Eucharist: When it came time to pass the peace,
I turned around to shake hands, and there was PB
Griswold.  So I shook his hand.

In the morning I sat in on the HoB.  Much more
exciting than the HoDep, just because there's more
real debate and they can actually vote without having
to spend an hour and a half getting instructions for
their electronic keypads like the Deputies do. 

The bishops took up debate on several resolutions, the
most significant of which was one removing the right
to vote in that house from retired bishops.  There was
long debate over this, and finally it was sent back to

A youth deputy was allowed to address the bishops.  He
spoke of how great it would be if we could all be
blind to theological differences.  Dang those
theological differences!  If only we could forget
theology, how happy we could all be, living in a
yellow submarine and all.  He also said the church's
mission was to 'spread peace, love, and happiness.'
Is this what our youth are learning about
Christianity?  I heard another youth delegate address
Special Committee 26, and he asserted with all
vehemence that there had never been a central
authority in the Anglican Communion, that responding
to Windsor as to an authority was completely out of
line.  I guess he hasn't studied the reign of Good
King Charles, or Elizabeth, or Henry, or really any of
Anglican history.  The Youth delegates, so far,
haven't added a single constructive thing.  All we're
teaching them is to have zeal without knowledge, to
speak with vehement ingnorance in the presence of
their betters, and to think they're more important
than they are.  Oh yes, and to interrupt the HoB to
tell stories from camp.

The HoB voted to adopt the Revised Common Lectionary.
The best question asked, I thought, was "who, then,
are we giving control of our bible to?"  The
resolution said we would start in 2007 printing BCP's
with the new lectionary, and whoever opposes this
change would have until 2010 to get in line.  Tell me
this: a parish has 100 BCP's, and needs 50 new ones.
These new ones have the new lectionary, while the old
ones don't.  Isn't that going to be confusing?  And do
you who have your own prayer books want to go out and
buy a new one?  Completely aside from the question of
whether to adopt the Revised Common Lectionary (which
I could go either way on), there's the question of HOW
to adopt it.  This resolution was impractical, and
we'll see if those concerns come up in the HoDep.
What the bishops should have done, if they wanted to
do this, is to direct whatever Committee will be in
charge of the next BCP revision to be sure it contains
the new Lectionary. 

The AAC lunchtime briefing was good.  Jack Iker
reported on the HoB.  Maryn Minns is on Committee 26
and reported on its work.  NT Wright's paper showed up
and everybody read it right there. 

After lunch the HoB had some secret ballots, and the
Deputies still couldn't figure out their voting
machines, so I left early after visiting the exhibits.
 I asked the Via Media booth whether they had daily
publications and analyses: they looked at me blankly,
then said, No, but hey, that's a great idea.  It is a
great idea -- it's what the AAC is doing.  Clearly the
orthodox groups are more organized here, between these
daily digests, their own offsite masses in the
morning, the lunchtime briefings, and their ability to
disseminate information like NT Wright's paper.  Via
Media's head is spinning, and it'll be interesting to
see if they try to catch up.  but lest anyone think
this disparity is evidence of a vast right wing
conspiracy, let me say that the opposition being set
up here is not between the AAC and Via Media, or
Integrity; but between the AAC and its affiliates and
the ECUSA administration.  The liberals are, in fact,
well organized and in control of convention processes
including committee work, and it's this monolithic
force that the AAC and it affiliates are working to
bust up. 

Can't get a read on the new president of the HoDep.
She's doing a good job with procedure, though, despite
having to fight the confusion around the whole keypad
thing.  Imagine having to explain your own cell phone
to 830 people and get them to use it correctly. 

That's it for day two.  I'll try to send thoughts on
day three tomorrow.
. . . .

In the evening I attended Special Committee 26's
hearing.  This is the committee charged with crafting
the resolutions responding to Windsor.  There were
1500 seats -- all full, plus more in the balcony (I
got the absolutely last one), plus standing room,
full, plus a line outside in the lobby listenin to an
audio feed.  I recorded 58 of the probably 65
statments to the committee: 8 liked the resolutions as
they stand ('duplicitous' according to NT  Wright); 24
wanted full compliance with Windsor (the conservatives
had their talking points from Wright's paper); 21
wanted clearer language stating that we have nothing
to repent for, that what we did in 03 was good and
right and we're going forward; and 5 were 'other'.
Bob Duncan and Gene Robinson spoke back to back, by
pure coincidence.  Robinson's statement got on TV this
morning, of course.  Duncan quoted Wright's paper and
said he believed it was impossible to hold the
progressive and othrodox parties together in one
church.  His Grace the Archbishop of York made an
unscheduled appearence and was hustled to the front of
the line: he agreed with Wright that the resolutions
as they stand are inadequate to meet Windsor's
demands.  Susan Russell, president of Integrity, and
the Director of Changing Attitudes UK both spoke, both
said Windsor is not monolithic but is open to
interpretation.  Those bishops present who had wide
experience in other parts of the Communion were of the
opposite opinion.

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