Comments: Archbishop Justin's presidential address to the General Synod

"I have to say that we are in a state so delicate that without prayer and repentance it is hard to see how we can avoid serious fracture."
When repentance is required then there has inevitably been wrong doing. The question is what have we done wrong to bring us to such a delicate state which may well lead to the possibility of serious fracture.

Posted by Father David at Monday, 17 November 2014 at 5:14pm GMT

I believe it was the movement towards greater unity that has brought the Communion to disarray.

As the gatherings of Anglicanism were being made into "instruments" designed to build a Church the radical spirit of the diocese of Sydney was focused on undoing the style of conciliarity that in its view had already permitted the false teaching of women's admission to the presbyterate and episcopate.

Their motive was driven by their earnest desire to see true doctrine preserved and their hope is the structures they have put in place as an alternative to those identified by the Virginia Report will reverse past mistakes and support the Anglican identity beloved of Jensen and his allies.

It is difficult to see how this process can now be stopped and reversed. For the time being the diocese of Sydney has succeeded in persuading the majority of Anglicans worldwide to support their coup, it remains to be seen if what they have wrought will endure.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Monday, 17 November 2014 at 9:12pm GMT

Thanks for the link to the video of the Archbishop's address. As a kind of plea for sober perspective, it is something well worth hearing. Although, good old fashioned Christian guilt as a fall back motivator for behavioral change is something of a subtext at points.

Archbishop Welby's remarks about the Primates
(about 18 minutes in or beginning at the fifth paragraph from the end in the text version), references to collegiality in leadership (among primates one presumes), and setting of an agenda for a meeting by the primates, ought to be very disconcerting to those concerned about hierarchy creep. Collegiality among the primates as one of the so called instruments of communion signals something potentially very different from a conference called by the ABC as first among equals and by invitation with non-binding results. More importantly, no mention is made of the Anglican Consultative Council or anything like it with regard to the future of a church which, Welby says, will look very different. Indeed it may.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Tuesday, 18 November 2014 at 3:00am GMT

The notion of unity as a deal among leaders rather than a gift from God, and growing power of the primates, have already done much harm in the Anglican Communion.

Posted by Savi Hensman at Tuesday, 18 November 2014 at 12:22pm GMT

I listened to the address live online and, much though I wish I could be more positive about it, it only reinforced my fear that the ABC may be going to break the C of E on the wheel of trying to satisfy the Gafcon primates. I can't forget that, at the very moment that the appallingly hurtful Bishops' Statement about same-sex marriages for clergy was published, ++Welby was abroad meeting the Gafcon primates. I hope and pray that I am wrong, but that for me said it all.

Posted by Malcolm Dixon at Tuesday, 18 November 2014 at 5:36pm GMT

In view of the fact that the GAFCON Provincial Primates have already exercised their particular 'power' influence by meeting together regularly - in contrast with the A.C. Meetings at Lambeth - it would seem that gafcon, at least, would consider Lambeth not to their taste, and therefore irrelevant for them. It would be a great pity if the ABC were to gather a Lambeth Conference at their request with their specific agenda as a ruling qualification.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Tuesday, 18 November 2014 at 8:17pm GMT

"The notion of unity as a deal among leaders rather than a gift from God, and growing power of the primates, have already done much harm in the Anglican Communion."

From your computer to the ABC's eyes, I hope.

The notion of unity as an instrument of injustice is hardly compatible with the Good News…

Posted by Cynthia at Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at 3:59am GMT

"The question is what have we ALL (in the Anglican Communion) done wrong to bring us to such a delicate state which may well lead to the possibility of serious fracture."

Father David, fixed it for you (us).

Posted by JCF at Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at 6:53am GMT

Re "what we ALL have done wrong..", it is important to note that some of the conflict in The Communion is the result of what some of us have been doing right. Advocating that the church do justice within its own walls, that it be held accountable for poor decision making and that it develop just policies is a good. The notion that as a result of conflict we all require repentance, without consideration of the roots of conflict, is simplistic. It also let church politicians off the hook.

Posted by Rod Gillis at Wednesday, 19 November 2014 at 1:39pm GMT
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