Saturday, July 19, 2008

Indaba to the rescue

About 3/4 of the world's Anglican bishops are meeting in Lambeth (England) this week for their decennial state-of-the-church confab. The elephant in the living room this time is the 1/4 of the world's Anglican bishops who are pointedly staying away, having already met in Jerusalem to complain about the direction the Western church is heading.

Reporter Douglas LeBlanc explains how the Lambeth bishops hope to keep the peace: "Instead of meeting in plenary session, bishops will gather in 'indaba' groups (this Zulu word, the conference website explains, 'refers to a small group that gathers, without time pressures and constraints, to 'chew over' important issues')."

As the sun sets on the British empire, perhaps the bishops should note that Indaba is also the name of a South African winery. If the Church of England isn't one's cup of tea, one need only recall that "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, / There's music and laughter and good red wine . . . "

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