Tuesday, July 22, 2008

UK: The Archbishop of Sharia goes tribal.

And it's a downright kum-ba-yah moment. Do you think he's a drinker? I mean, really. What else would explain the actions of this guy?

Bishops invited to sit under Church's shady tree and give tribal politics a go.

It is the African way. Tribal leaders settle their differences by sitting around a campfire for hours, and sometimes days, in a ritual exchange of ideas, following a process handed down by their forefathers.

But will it work in Kent? Yesterday the Archbishop of Canterbury invited hundreds of feuding bishops to an Anglicised version of the indaba, to talk not about stolen cattle and territorial disputes but about sexuality.

The early signs were not good. “If indaba is such a great idea, why is Africa such a mess?” one bishop is supposed to have said, although he denied it yesterday.

Dr Rowan Williams invited 650 bishops attending the ten-yearly Lambeth Conference at Canterbury to choose from one of several indaba groups, a key part of the next fortnight’s agenda. These meetings, named after a Zulu word meaning a gathering for purposeful discussion, had several themes: sexuality, heresy, Judaeo-Christian relations, ecumenicism, shared mission in Europe.

Earlier, journalists had been invited to apply to join one of these indaba groups. The Times asked to attend one yesterday but was refused – despite the session being entitled “Never say no to media”.

Some bishops opted out from the start, preferring to go shopping in Canterbury, but even among those prepared to give them a try, the muttering soon began. Indaba groups need time. Hours of it. This is not what the bishops at Lambeth have. They have clocks that have to be watched, meetings to get to, lunches to eat, sermons to preach and schisms to prevent. Indaba groups also need both sides in a dispute to be present: a quarter of Anglican bishops, overwhelmingly conservatives from the developing countries, have boycotted Lambeth.

Imagine what he'll try to do with the Muslims after they get his dhimmi "common word for the common good" Look for the tents to go up and the goats to be grazing!