Schori to sit at Primates’ meeting?

Stand Firm are reporting the latest message from Lambeth Palace under the headline “Schori to sit at Primates’ meeting“.

Here’s the key bit…

…I have decided not to withhold an invitation to Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as the elected Primate of the Episcopal Church to attend the forthcoming meeting. I believe it is important that she be given a chance both to hear and to speak and to discuss face to face the problems we are confronting together. We are far too prone to talk about these matters from a distance, without ever having to face the human reality of those from whom we differ. However, given the acute dissension in the Episcopal Church at this point, and the very widespread effects of this in the Communion, I am also proposing to invite two or three other contributors from that Province for a session to take place before the rest of our formal business, in which the situation may be reviewed, and I am currently consulting as to how this is best organised.

Now, frankly, that’s not going to sit well with the Global South Primates, but I think there is a way out. If I call it right, Schori will be invited to the “pre-meeting” with other parties (I assume Duncan and key players like Akinola) in order to “review the situation”. That situation is that the Global South won’t sit with Schori. Plus, they’ve already asked for Duncan to attend.

Ultimately, there’s a couple of different things that might be going on here:

  1. Williams is playing a game. He’s calling the bluff of the Global South Primates and will try and force them to the table. That would be incredibly stupid. I don’t think Williams is stupid, therefore:
  2. Williams is doing what I outline above – he’s aware that this is a key meeting and he’s also very aware that, although official decisions haven’t been taken, the question of Schori’s place at the table is already decided. The structure he’s provided allows this to be crystallised.

Either way, if Schori thinks that she’s going to be sitting at the Primates’ table with the other Primates then she’s deluded.

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