Now, just for fun, compare and contrast +Schofield's letter with one just sent off to Cantuar by the Presiding Bishop and her friends in which they make a proposal for (would you believe it?) Alternative Primatial Oversight. Yep, of all things! You get the feeling those New Religionists over at 815 have finally realized there just may be a touch of unrest among a segment of Episcopalians over the wholesale makeover of ritual and theology these past thirty years. Well, that does show a certain sensitivity and I suppose we should be grateful. But gee whiz, after slogging through the turgid prose in the letter (these innovators are astonishingly bad writers, nearly as bad as the educationists in our public schools), it's hard to get excited about this proposal.
It starts of promisingly enough, with a statement that appeals for APO are being taken "seriously," but quickly goes downhill when we learn in paragraph 2 APO takes the shape of a "Primatial Vicar" appointed by none other than the Presiding Bishop herself (in "consultation" with Canterbury, we're assured). We learn further this Primatial Vicar "would be accountable to the Presiding Bishop" and, of course, a committee (what would 815 be without committees?). But what really brings this turkey crashing to earth is paragraph 3.
This arrangement for a Primatial Vicar does not affect the administrative or other canonical duties of the Presiding Bishop except to the degree that the Presiding Bishop may wish to delegate, when appropriate, some of those duties to the Primatial Vicar. The Primatial Vicar and the Advisory Panel shall function in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.
I read the above as TEC saying, "you can have your silly old APO but only when it suits us and only if it doesn't conflict with any of our essential and urgently needed innovations, both existing and to come." The position of Primatial Vicar is clearly one of a toothless and functionary hack and will in no way assuage reasserters here nor effect any healing of impaired communion abroad. What this clunker of a proposal does indicate, however, is the dawning awareness of TEC leadership they have serious problem on their hands, one much more serious than they realized. This cobbled together proposal is their panicked attempt to deal with it. Forget it: The movie sucks and the people are headed for the exits; the management is trying to lure them back with an offer of a small popcorn (without even butter-product!). It won't work.
(Thanks to titusonenine, that indispensible resource in the Anglican Blogosphere.)