It’s just gone 8am on Day 4. What can I tell you?
To be honest, not much. The reality is that our sources in Canterbury have dried up. They’re still there, they’re still happy to talk, but they have next to nothing to say to us. Which tells us one thing – if we thought that it was tense yesterday, today will be almost unbearable.
What we do know is that disquiet is bleeding out over the processes that have been involved. The UK Telegraph have reported that there was an attempt to use a Delphi Method in the discussions which did not go down well.
Clerics are understood to have been asked to hand in mobile phones for much of the time during the talks, overseen by two trained “facilitators” specialising in “reconciliation” tactics.
One said that the traditionalists had been so effectively segregated that some had even resorted to holding snatched meetings in each other’s rooms in their accommodation at night.
“They have been treated like children,” the source added.
“The whole process has been rigged from the start.”
He branded the talks a “weasel” process which could not ultimately prevent a permanent schism in Anglicanism.
Another added: “There has been a combination of deference and manipulation.
“They have not been allowed to speak to each other
“They are honourable men and if you are part of the process you have to stay in the process.”
From the conservative camp outside the meetings there has been some disquiet about the continued presence of the conservative Primates. Despite their clear words prior to the gathering that they would insist upon discipline they remain at the table, whatever that table looks like. Others have argued that the Primates still know what they are doing. If the conservatives do not leave, then attention will begin to turn to a final communiqué. What will it say and will it get unanimous consent? Even if the conservatives are there on Friday evening, will they be able to speak as one voice with those who they wish to be disciplined?
And what are they still doing there in the first place? Is it part of a clever strategy to play out the process? Are there sacrifices being made for a better final result? Just what is their gambit?
The reality is that we simply don’t know – no-one is speaking. So we’ll try and find out what we can and ask you to continue to pray.
Which brings me to one last comment of my own.
To pray simply for “God’s will to be done” where God’s Scriptures are silent on a particular issue is the pinnacle of faith.
To pray only for “God’s will to be done” where God’s Scriptures are clear (such as the question of how false teaching should be dealt with) is in danger of looking like unbelief. Where God has spoken, He has spoken and true piety prays for God’s enscripturated will to be done.