Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra estate

Primatial elections in Canada . . . ACC General Synod votes on SSBs . . . who and who is not invited to Lambeth . . .

It all seems a world away. And in fact, it is. I’ve been in Italy with only intermittent (and often expensive) internet access for several weeks now. Until a few days ago, I was headquartered in Montepulciano in the heart of Tuscany, and this was the view from my window of the Val d’Orcia as I drank my morning espresso:

With such a view, is it any wonder that, say, the natterings of Giles Fraser or the votes of the General Synod of the Anglican Church in Canada take on a different perspective? It’s almost enough to make one believe that, if General Convention had just been held in, say, Pienza instead of Columbus, the outcome might have been completely different, and Jack Iker+ would be Presiding Bishop. I can no longer (if I ever did) begrudge ++Rowan Cantuar his sabbatical. He should join me here in Tuscany. Or perhaps we could have a drink at Harry’s Bar in Venice, and together we’ll solve all the Anglican Communion’s problems. Heck, I’ll buy.

As previously noted, I have spent the past few weeks dragging, er, leading students around Florence, Rome, and the bay of Naples and am presently spending a few weeks in Florence for some library work. Now, after five weeks of Internet-Semi-Starvation, I find that my hotel has a wireless network that allows me to check in when and as I choose.

So what do I find as I slowly re-enter cyberspace on a more regular (and less costly) basis? To give but one example, there is a double-thread on the “ordination” of women over on StandFirm (see here and here) that has reached, as of now, a combined total of 671 comments! Soooooooooo tempting . . .

But nope, I’m just not gonna go there. For now, that is. It is to Matt+ Kennedy’s credit that he has opened a discussion on such a contentious subject on such a popular site and managed to keep it pretty civil for so long. It is also to the credit of so many who have commented on those threads that, as best as I can tell from skimming, the true Catholic position has been upheld pretty well without any help from me. It is easy, when either running a blog or commenting on another, to believe that the Fate of the Universe or the Great Cause of Truth will be Betrayed or Lost for a Generation if one’s voice is not heard in loud opposition each and every time someone else publicly supports the insupportable. But that is a dangerous illusion, and I didn’t come (and I certainly didn’t get paid to come) all the way to Tuscany to launch myself into yet another cyber-war, however politely the contenders are duking it out over on StandFirm.

So for now I’ll content myself with recharging my batteries from a combination of gelato and such sights as the mosaics in the Baptistery of St John (when I’m not tearing my hair out over interpreting the equivalent of a doctor’s handwriting in a dead language in an obscure institute’s library, that is). Perhaps I’ll get around to Matt+ Kennedy’s dangerously deficient ecclesiology and seriously misguided hermeneutics some other day in the not too distant future. For now, though, I can only wish him and his fellow disputants on StandFirm well and remind them: Delta is ready when you are . . .

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