Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Was PB Schori's Lambeth Press Conference Setting Us Up For a Bait and Switch, Perhaps?

The conservative Anglican blogs have responded to PB Schori's press conference discussing the plans for Lambeth. +Schori emphasized that no legislation would be passed at Lambeth. Baby Blue asks:
The question is - why is 815 holding a press conference anyway? Obviously they are trying to solve a problem, like perhaps big-time litigation damage control? Mutiny in the ranks? Puffing up a bunch of bad news? Deflection from another event next week? Lambeth 1.10 will stand unchanged for another ten years?

Well, I wondered if this might be a case that would fits with Sarah Hey's recent discussion of last Friday on what I think of as the bait and swtich:
A few months ago I was speaking to a person on a major committee in a diocese out West. He explained to me breezily that they were going to have a meeting, but that a certain issue about which he had been concerned was -- thankfully -- not going to come up since "it was not on the agenda."

"But six months ago, remember," I said, bleatingly, "the minority on that committee mounted a surprise attack and brought up xyz at that meeting, despite the fact that it was not on the agenda, taking advantage of the fact that many of you were gone for the summer."

"Yes," my friend assured me, "but that was six months ago, and we expressed our dissatisfaction with that at the time. We've changed and they won't do that again."

"But," I continued bleating, "despite your expressing dissatisfaction with going off-agenda on that particular item, they went ahead and voted, completely over-running you. Why would they not do that again?"

"Well, they just wouldn't," said my friend, somewhat less confidently. "We're a different committee now."

"But it worked the last time, despite your complains and the anger of that meeting. Consider. They are in the minority on that particular committee. The only time that they will enforce the rule on 'no-off-agenda items' will be, friend, when they are in the majority, in order to prevent topics of discussion from coming up that they do not wish to discuss. I beg you -- please understand that there is no reason not to try the same thing again, since it worked so well the last time. Your being angry or having a heated meeting -- but losing the vote -- is not a big deal to them. That's a small price to pay for winning at the vote."

Several weeks later, he called me back.

Yes, they had gone off-agenda again and attempted to force another vote.

My friend had been prepared for it that time -- because of my loud and vociferous warning cries -- and had grudgingly and with much complaining done his homework for that "implausible contingency."

It is possible that they put on this show to reinforce the GS bishops decision not to come to Lambeth, that there is no need to come to Lambeth. Obviously, at Lambeth, if they count and see that they have the majority, they will go ahead and enact legislation. You know that is how they operate. I do hope the conservative Anglican bishops will do "their homework" for that "implausible contingency."

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