February 27, 2010

Help for Chile?

I’m sitting in front of my TV watching CNN and awaiting the tsunami triggered by the substantial earthquake that took place in Chile this morning.

Chile, of course, is a diocese in the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. I would expect that Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) will offer aid to the devastated areas of Chile. Given the hostility of the Southern Cone to The Episcopal Church, it will be interesting to see if aid is accepted or rejected.

The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) still has connections to the Southern Cone. (Archbishop Robert Duncan claims, improbably, to be in both ACNA and the Southern Cone.) Moreover, its relief agency, the Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF), unlike ERD, seems to limit its work to areas that are part of “orthodox” Anglican provinces. Its Web site emphasizes that it works in the Global South. (“ARDF’s unique personal connection with many dioceses and their leaders in the Global South allows us to discover, evaluate and fund projects which can target specific people and problems, not broad segments and ideas.”) Under the circumstances, ARDF would seem to have some special obligation to help in Chile.

As I write this, the Web sites of neither church and neither relief agency has any information about the Chile earthquake.

When the establishment of ARDF was first announced, I thought it sounded rather mean-spirited, given that those responsible for putting it together were still in The Episcopal Church. I also thought that the move was another indication that Duncan and his fellow-travelers were in the process of building an independent church. (Would that more Episcopalians had seen it for what it was!) Well, now that Duncan has his church, let’s see if he, through ARDF, can do as well in Chile as ERD has done in Haiti.

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