March 29, 2011

It’s Our Church, Too

I was delighted this morning to learn via The Lead that the Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith, Bishop of Arizona, was tweeting from the House of Bishops meeting. The bishops were discussing the Anglican Covenant, and I was quite interested in learning that the Bishop of Atlanta, as well as visiting archbishops from Congo, Canada, and Korea had expressed serious reservations about the Covenant.

I was just as surprised when Episcopal News Service moved a story on the House of Bishops session that included virtually nothing of reservations about the Covenant. The anonymous ENS account included only the following:
The panelists spoke frankly about the covenant and their provincial context. Each expressed their commitment to continued conversation internally and externally on the topic of the covenant. Everyone affirmed their relationship with the House of Bishops as friends and fellow Anglicans.
Perhaps “frankly” is really a code word, but Bishop Smith was rather more straightforward in this tweets. Here is a sample:
Archbishop of Korea: The Covenant is "colonialist" document. It does not free the Asia church but keeps it controlled by English church.
The Lead is now reporting that there will be no more real-time tweets from the House of Bishops meeting. Ann Fontain has noted that “there are concerns about confidentiality.”

Why are ordinary Episcopalians (and, for that matter, the larger public) not allowed to know what goes on in House of Bishops meetings? Why, in fact, are these meetings not simply open to the press? If truly confidential matters need to be discussed, the House can go into executive session.

I am an Episcopalian, and I have a right to know, and if ENS is not simply a propaganda machine, it should report news that is freely available on the Internet.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Lionel,

    Thanks for this. I think we're going to find this question of real-time tweet/text broadcasting to affect more and more organizations. Last year Dylan Breuer posted Tweets from the Executive Council, and I suspect there will be similar efforts at General Convention in 2012. And perhaps from our Vestry meetings. The question I suppose is whether, how, this will impact the free flow of conversation in these meetings.

    On the content of this conversation about the Covenant, Tony Clavier has a nice eyebrow-raise at the notion of the clients of the current global colonial power (the United States) accusing the historic colonial power (Great Britain) of "colonialism." Pot, Kettle. Etc.



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