Some dubious talk here from the Anglican Communion Institute, an official sounding body which, as I have pointed out before, is actually self styled and self appointed. It also manages to be rather worse than self righteous in this charming little missive which might be seen as a nasty attack upon Rowan Williams and his authority,
"Whatever one’s view of the matter, there is one perspective that is particularly disturbing in its implications. It argues that the Archbishop of Canterbury and his fellow administrators – or in some versions, the Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopal Church — are conniving and manipulative, perhaps even heretical, and that the meeting is a sham." (My emphasis)
Although the ACI does not directly claim this perspective is their own, the ideas are given a certain credence in this piece. It continues,
"The Archbishop of Canterbury is held to be an immovable force, impregnable and beyond challenge. The effect of this is to give him an authority virtually beyond the scale of the Bishop of Rome."
The parallel between a challenge to William's power and a challenge to the Papacy is particularly resonant given that our current problems have already been likened to the English Reformation which split the Church in the 16th century. The attacks seem unpleasant and uncalled for when they are against an Archbishop who, at the least, has tried to deal with implacable extremes with gentleness, ironically appeasing traditionalists so much more than liberals.
The piece continues with a suggestion that those primates who are considering not attending should set up their own meeting, perhaps rather as GAFCON was staged just before the Lambeth Conference,
"If one does not attend the Dublin gathering, it remains the case that the Primates as individual leaders and as a body must propose and resolve how they will gather and do their work. "
For all its bluster, the piece ends on a weaker note, expressing frustration that the power of the ABC is seen by some (clearly not themselves!) as "infinite", but with a tacit recognition perhaps that the number who will absent themselves is small and that other conservative voices calling for full attendance, talking and listening may well be heeded more than their own.