Think Negotiation strategy: So the Primatial Vicar proposal is an olive branch: what good is it to offer a 'compromise' that looks like a real compromise on the outside but studiously avoids giving in to your negotiation partner's priorities? This strategy has two possible purposes that I see:
1. it's a good-faith offer, the first step in a series of offers meant to express your side's priorities. You expect it to be refused, and you expect the other side to offer a similar 'compromise'. You judge by each offer what the priorities are, and work to incorporate both sets of priorities into the final version.
2. it's merely rhetorical posturing, a slick bit of PR to say, "we tried, we really did" (when we didn't) "and those extremists just won't compromise."
If the Primatial Vicar proposal really is #1, we should EXPECT it to be refused by the orthodox, and a good-faith offer to come from that side, equally problematic to the revisionists. This offer and counter-offer, refusal and counter-refusal should get us closer to agreement over time. If this kind of negotiation is really what's going on, perhaps there's hope for reconciliation after all.
If we don't see some give and take going on, speaking and listening, or any good faith, we're left with the conclusion that the Primatial Vicar proposal is merely posturing, a power play, or some slick PR by the PB, perhaps to influence San Joaquin's convention.
I have a hunch that all the negotiation was done at the September meeting between PB's old and new and the APO bishops. From +Iker's letter it appears the negotiations weren't successful, and the Primatial Vicar Proposal was made public without having been agreed to by the APO bishops. This puts PB Schori firmly in category #2, and it calls into question the status of the proposal. ENS reports:
"The response drafted at the New York November 27th meeting is provisional in nature, beginning January 1, 2007 and continuing for three years. The New York group asked the Presiding Bishop to monitor its efficacy, and to consult with the House of Bishops and the Executive Council regarding the arrangement and possible future developments.
The response has been submitted to the Archbishop of Canterbury and to the bishops of the petitioning dioceses."
Does this mean the proposal IS or ISN'T in effect yet? On the one hand, it's been 'submitted' to the APO bishops and the ABC -- can they refuse to ratify it? On the other hand, it's supposed to start up immediately and it doesn't seem to have any connection to any duly formed legislative body of TEC. Is this simply an 'executive order', such that PB Schori can go right ahead with it regardless of objections? That sounds like her bull in a china shop style. I suppose if she's approaching the whole thing as an issue of delegated authority, she can choose to delegate her own authority whenver she likes. But that sidesteps the issue that some of the APO bishops care most about: women's ordination. Those who accept Women's ordination might be able to accept a primatial vicar. Those who don't, not. Is this a slick move to divide and conquer, to hit the orthodox where we're most divided?