It was announced yesterday that the Archbishop of Canterbury has invited the Primates of the Anglican Communion to Canterbury in January 2016 to discuss the (futures) of their relationships and organisation.
Note that he has 'invited' them. This has been translated into media-speak as 'summonsed'. First, he cannot summons them or demand that they come. He is not a pope. So, the translation from invitation to summons is either lazy journalese or deliberate obfuscation.
Secondly, contrary to much reporting, he has not decided on these futures, but has put everyhting on the table in order that the Primates together can discuss and decide on their future shape.
What is so hard to understand about this?
It seems to me that the Archbishop of Canterbury has shown some clear leadership here by (a) insisting that the continuing and debilitating Communion issues now be confronted and addressed and resolved, and (b) that the Primates now take responsibility for the consequences of the positions they take. No more posturing or game-playing. The need for clarity is paramount and the time has come.
I am writing this sitting on a plane waiting to leave for New York for a conference on religious violence and persecution. That is the context in which some of the internal preoccupations of the Communion find their place. Our energies need in future to go into the big issues that affect the world. (I'll write more when I get the time…)