Monday, 11 January 2016
Primates gathering: various perspectives
Some articles that attempt to analyse what is happening.
Bowman Walton High Stakes, Three Facts
Andrew Goddard The Anglican Communion: Consensus, Conundrum, Consequences, Conversation and Confession
Colin Coward The Primates’ meeting - a busted flush?
Economist Why the Anglicans’ meeting matters
BBC Caroline Wyatt Anglican communion’s ‘bitter divide’ over gay rights
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Monday, 11 January 2016 at 8:16am GMT
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I'm incredibly surprised to find myself largely agreeing with both the Fulcrum articles. This gives me considerable hope.
Well Bowman Walton seems to be advocating 'Unity in Diversity' which in my view is the only way to go.
Union is in Christ, it is not in uniformity of dogma. There will never be uniformity in dogma, but there can be grace to disagree, yet still share faith in Christ, in a diversity of lives and a diversity of expressions.
We need to back off - all of us - from the drive to dominate other people's views and other people's consciences.
We need a Church of England where different churches and different priests can hold diverse - even conflicting - views.
This where 'The Covenant' and 'The Bishops Pastoral Letter' went down exactly the wrong road.
The desire to dominate doctrine, and ride roughshod over other people's consciences, leads inexorably to schism and sectarianism.
Unity in Diversity demonstrates the eternal reality that our union and communion is only, ever, in Christ alone... not in an enforced uniformity of dogmatic rectitude.
The real test is not a test of uniform dogma, but a test of grace, and love, even love of those with whom we disagree in many ways.
On that basis, I am happy to say, that I find considerable grounds for agreement with Bowman Walton.
Let our unity be in Christ alone.
And let us love one another.
I think some things are reasonably clear.
1. Gafcon cannot request 'repentance' in any meaningful way from TEC, because +Curry will simply respond that GC has acted and TEC has a polity that prevents any such thing. And of course TEC would not 'repent' in any event. This is a hallmark of TEC's identity.
2. Whether in fact that is what Gafcon wants isn't genuinely clear. Perhaps, e.g., they want ACNA recognized and TEC put on some kind of differentiated status.
3. +Curry has yet to indicate whether he will retain the litigation team which worked for his predecessor, and press ahead with more litigation. He could forebear and use this as a bargaining chip. But for what?
4. The GS (non-Gafcon) group, headed by +Middle East and +Indian Ocean, will likely want an outcome that indicates asymmetry between TEC/ACoC and the rest of the Communion. If they were to achieve this, others would likely rally to TEC's side (SEC, NZ, et al). It is difficult to believe that +Welby has this in view as the outcome, but that is what the meeting is for.
5. If the GS bloc faces an outcome in which there is a loosened federation of some kind, or in which TEC and ACoC remain positively received Provinces, it will be concluded by +Mouneer and other GS leaders that their desire to have Dar es Salaam and Lambeth 1.10 made central to Communion life has not succeeded.
6. The question for the GS provinces will be whether it is time to associate more robustly with Gafcon, perhaps seek to introduce a more catholic polity, and sit loosely to Canterbury and the now federated model which emphasizes independence.
7. If, then, there are two rough-and-ready groupings, and a less central Canterbury See, the Communion will have devolved. At question will be how each group decides to order its larger life in association with other Provinces. An associated Gafcon-GS bloc would be quite large.
8. The Church of England would remain poised between these two groupings in its internal affairs. It is hard to know how this would play out on the ground within that geographical region.
"From their extremes, Martyn Percy and Peter Jensen want the meeting to choose between The Episcopal Church (TEC) and GAFCON, and fear that the Primates will find some centrist way to evade the dilemma."
Bunk. For the meeting to DENOUNCE HOMOPHOBIA (as Percy requests), is hardly to "choose...TEC".