Wednesday, 6 February 2008

His Grace explains (a little) further...

Archbishop Peter Jensen has condescended to offer something by way of an explanation as to why he’s boycotting Lambeth. In a nutshell, it’s all the Americans’ fault: "We are not alone in this. Some of the largest Anglican communities in the world have taken the same decision." So we mustn’t blame Peter, ok? The big kids he's been playing with thought it all up, and Peter's just the little rich kid allowed to tag along because he buys everyone ice-creams after the game.

"We remain committed to the international Anglican communion." Right. Except for those people in the communion with whom we don’t agree, and we mustn’t go because they’re going. Otherwise people might think we support them. We’re committed, we just don’t want to be seen meeting anyone we don’t like. Or for our big friends to think we see any merit in talking things over with our opponents, instead of just hitting them like the tough kids do. But we’re committed to them. Honest we are. We just don’t want to show it.

"This is not a discourtesy to the Archbishop of Canterbury." Strange as it may sound, this part of the apologetic I can almost believe. Sure it may be as discourteous as you can get, but at least that it’s not intended as a discourtesy. When the Matthians want to show discourtesy they lay it on with a trowel – smears, insults and a sharpened carving-knife placed firmly in the victim’s back. No, the discourtesies have still to come, although some of the nastier Matthian bloggers are have already started warming their braziers.

The only real laugh is near the end: “... people, the media included, should not jump to wrong conclusions.” That +Jensen is used to media criticism is no surprise: but that he feels the need to qualify his statement to stress he really does include journalists within the broader category of “people” is telling. Remember, we’re not talking Fleet St or the National Enquirer here, but the country’s leading religious commentators. How honoured they must feel to know that, on this occasion at least, His Grace has deigned to consider them human. Now they’d better make damn sure they don’t view things differently to how they’ve been told to see it, or this new status could just as easily be revoked.