September 27, 2006

That's My Church!


In a Pastoral Letter to the Primates and presideing bishops of the Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury starts off with a reminder that I find quite comforting:

In our uncertainties and explorations in the Communion, my prayers are not only for those who, like ourselves, have the responsibility of leadership in our Provinces, but most especially for all those ordinary people of God, in the Episcopal Church and elsewhere, who are puzzled, wearied, or disoriented by our present controversies. So many say they simply do not want to take up an extreme or divisive position and want to be faithful to Scripture and the common life. They want to preserve an Anglican identity that they treasure and love passionately but face continuing uncertainty about its future.

I'm glad Dr. Williams said this. It is very refreshing compared to the "get over yourselves and deal with it" attitude which seems to permeate so much of the rhetoric I've heard coming down from the suits in the Episcopal Church itself.

Dr. Williams goes on to give a kind of half-time analysis of the situation as it stands. From his letter, it seems pretty clear a) that the general consensus is the Episcopal Church has not complied with all of its obligations under the Windsor Report and b) that something has to be done about this. He also mentions progress in setting up a group to devise an Anglican Covenant, a document of core beliefs, practices and values to which the various Churches of the Communion would be expected to sign on in order to retain full status within the Communion.

Recently, Dr. Williams had floated the idea of devising some kind of second-tier "associate" status for Churches that wish to remain affiliated with the Communion but that do not wish to pledge to the Covenant. I continue to believe that something like this eventually will occur. I also continue to believe that the Episcopal Church will split into two parts, one opting for full Covenant status, the other for "associate" status within the Communion. The split will no doubt occur on a parish by parish basis. That's when the real fun will begin.

Posted by Robert at September 27, 2006 08:06 AM | TrackBack