Comments: opinion

I appreciate what Malcolm French, The Anglican communion Hasn't Failed, is trying to say, but I think it is Giles Fraser, quoted by French, "the fiction that is the Anglican Communion", who is the more accurate. The now romantic notion of The Communion as autonomous provinces in communion with one another,an assertion supported with a reference to the 39 Articles of all things, is contested by current events in international Anglicanism. It is naive to think that The Communion, as it was assumed to be say around the time of the Anglican Congress, still exists.

The Anglican Communion as we had known it up until recent times, was really a Victorian era institution. Indeed, according to Perry Butler ( The Study of Anglicanism, Sykes and booty eds.) the term was first appeared in 1851.

I would agree with French that The Communion has not failed; but it does appear to be in the process, as one of the last colonial era institutions, of being replaced with something else. After all,what could be more of a fiction than a "Communion" in which communion is seriously impaired

Posted by Rod Gillis at Sunday, 23 March 2014 at 1:39am GMT

Malcolm French writes with a genuine warmth and obvious love for the Communion, his hopes are tender and praiseworthy but his analysis is mistaken, and it deeply saddens me to say so.

There can be no doubt now that the Global South will go their own way. No, they have already left. They only remain in touch to secure as great an advantage as they can. No doubt either that they are not planning a clean break. We can be absolutely confident that they plan to cause as much trouble within other provinces as they possibly can.

So, I don't think the Communion has survived nor can we just wave goodbye and get on with business a usual - I think they will do great harm and continue to be a distraction from core mission.

In my book, this has been a 60% success for the Sydney's Jensen. He has been pressing for this for well over a decade, and the only bright spot is I think he would have had a 75-80% success if he had moved as Williams was leaving Canterbury.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Sunday, 23 March 2014 at 2:31am GMT

I think Fr. Malcom French has the right idea, in that he wants the Communion to survive the present stand-off by GAFCON and the Global South Primates. I really think that's what most of us liberals would really like.

However, the belligerence of the Sola-Scriptura Provincial Primates - because of the much-vaunted numbers game - will possibly seek to high-jack the Anglican provenance, under the highly questionable theory of claiming to represent 'Orthodox Anglicanism' as if there is an agreed-to confessional Magisterium within the Via Media of Anglicanism.

What the more moderate Provinces need to do, is just wait for the Gafcon/G.S.Primates to make their schismatic breakaway. In this way, our Unity in Diversity ethos can remain intact - without surrendering to the forces of homophobia and misogyny, which seems to be the motivating force for the sabotage of the Anglican Genius.

Despite the seeming discouragement that some of our Western Provincial Churches have encountered from our Mother Church of England in the past, I think there is still enough goodwill for the rest of us to want to maintain our filial connection - but not at the price of being forced to bow to the fundamentalism that is militating against efforts made towards the outlawing of homophobia & sexism.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 23 March 2014 at 9:07am GMT

Amusing interview with Nigerian primate: http://www.codewit.com/nigeria-news/17475-failure-of-national-confab-will-have-grave-consequences-okoh-primate-of-anglican-church

(a) makes the gay thing a black vs white people thing: "You just commended President Jonathan for signing the anti-gay law, but the developed world was against that, and the criticism has been very strong against Nigeria. What is the Church doing in Nigeria to convince the world that Jonathan was right? >> It is not the President that started this. It is the Church. The President is only being democratic in the sense that he is listening to the people who put him in power. What baffles me is the attitude of the white people."

(b) This was cute, says it's not worth talking about the corruption in Nigeria: "Are you not worried about the level of corruption in this country? >> I stopped talking about it because it appears that the more we talk about it, the more we get immune to it. "

(c) note that in his view, it was worth the church doing something about the gay thing, but not the rampant corruption for which the country is now a world wide laughing stock.

Posted by Randal Oulton at Sunday, 23 March 2014 at 6:01pm GMT
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