Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Lambeth Reflections- Or Matthew Gets Really Cynical

The final Lambeth communique has been sent.

Let's see. The preselected Indaba groups meet and choose a spokesbishop. This spokesbishop forms with other spokesbishop a mini synod (minisynod). This minisynod will hold four open venting sessions. The rest of its sessions are therefore presumably closed. The minisynod will compose a 'reflections document' to capture the mind of the Lambeth bishops. This document will circulate through the conference by means of the indaba groups. All bishops get to speak, but only the minisynod decides, and only the minisynod has editing privileges.

If the groups are selected honestly and the listening process is genuinely responsive, it could work a treat. But the choke point is the minisynod. If the indaba groups which choose the spokesbishops are gerrymandered, then the process will be corrupt.

Who selects the indaba groups and what are the real criteria? Will the group memberships be published?

The advantage of a parliamentary system is that everything is out in the open. With the new process, there are certain critical chokepoints for information flow and decision making. I realize my opinion matters not at all to those organising the conference, but I have no trust in their good will.

Addendum: Perpetua reminded me that I had a prior post on gerrymandering.


.....CLIFFORD said...

>> I have no trust in their good will. <<

Me, either.

Perpetua said...

It is important for the conservative bishops be ready and willing to create an Alternative Report that disputes the "Reflections Document" if they disagree with the "Reflections Document". They must plan to meet multiple times during the conference to confer as a group.

P.S. You might want to supply the link to your Jerrymandering post.

Matthew said...

Good point. Now I have to find it!

I think if I were a reasserting bishop who is going to Lambeth, my watch word would be accountability. Put names to the points of view articulated and see to it that the Faith does not get lost in the smog. Especially make sure that those with whom I am in agreement get our message out.

Perpetua said...

"Put names to the points of view articulated"??
Would you please give us a few examples of what you are thinking?

Matthew said...

Yeah, that was poorly phrased.

Part of my concern with teh rporting process is that it will be rendered as "some participants felt that A is not emphasized enough. Others felt B was a greater priority."

If A is coffee and B is tea, that is perfectly adequate reporting. But if A is Jesus as the Only Way' and B is the Millennium Development Goals, then it would be good to know who is a Christian and who is a UN representative.

One of the advantages of parliamenatry voting is that the votes can be put on record. One of the things I have seen from this type of process is the glossing over of how strong the positions are.

Perpetua said...

Well, our bishops have a tendency to use baffling language, so if you could create some examples with the actual language you would recommend, it might actually be useful.

Zana said...

Heck, I would settle for a list of which bishops are involved in each group. That in and of itself would let us know how many might be tea drinkers (koolaid, maybe?) and how many are coffee lovers.

But we won't get that, because it would expose their gerrymandering. And they Have To Know that many, many people are watching. Closely. So they'll couch everything in that really annoying feel-good-about-ourselves language and we'll get piffle in the end. ::sigh::