The Rt Rev John Chane, the Bishop of Washington, has criticised Dr Rowan Williams's handling of the crisis over gay clergy in the Church.Hmmm, I guess, in the Church, it’s not good to talk!
In a letter to his clergy, he claims that the archbishop has encouraged conservatives who are determined to destroy the Anglican Church by listening to their demands for a breakaway province.
Dr Williams last week met with the primates of Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, who boycotted this summer's Lambeth Conference and instead held their own conference, called Gafcon, which proposed the creation of a rival global network of traditionalists.Well, if you join an organisation steeped in history and well-grounded rules for behaviour, and it then steadily begins to erode away all the features you joined it for in favour of new ideas, it’s not so surprising, is it?
They have supported moves to set up a new Church in America opposed to gay clergy and led by the deposed bishop of Pittsburgh, Bob Duncan.
"It would be folly for the Archbishop to even consider recognising a non-geographical province because it would unleash chaos in the Communion, with theological minorities in every jurisdiction seeking to affiliate with likeminded Anglicans in other provinces," said Bishop Chane.What should he have done, then…? Let them form a breakaway church? I’m struggling to see how that might have helped, but admittedly, I don’t have a dog in this fight…
"Unfortunately, the Archbishop has contributed to the confusion and anxiety the leaders of the proposed province have sought to foster by meeting on numerous occasions with [Bob] Duncan and his allies.
"These meetings have bestowed an unwarranted sense of legitimacy on those who seek to deconstruct the Anglican Communion."
The bishop, who is one of the leading figures in the US Church and conducted the funeral of Ronald Reagan, said that the plan to create a 39th province was an attempt to undermine the current leadership.So, what does Bishop Chane view his letter as, if not an ‘attempt to undermine the current leadership’..?
He added: [It] is a rejection of the respectful diversity and generous orthodoxy that defines the Communion. It flies in the very face of what it truly means to be an Anglican."
You know, I’m sure there’s something in the Bible about motes and beams….