Thinking Anglicans

Church Times on AGI

The Church Times has a lengthy report, Revealed: conservative plans to set up global network of ‘authentic’ Anglicans. This report says in part:

It is hard to see how the Anglican Global Initiative could exist within the existing Anglican Communion, even though the articles state that members should be “respectful of the historical role and authority entrusted to the Archbishop of Canterbury; the Primates’ Meeting, and the Lambeth Conference”. No mention is made anywhere of the other instrument of unity, the ACC.

The document proposes affiliating with other traditionalist organisations in North America and the United Kingdom, “as an authentic expression of the worldwide Anglican Communion”.

None of these others is named, but the document does refer to the Anglican Relief and Development Fund, which was established last autumn to channel aid from traditionalist parishes in the US ( News, 1 October). The Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes and the Anglican Communion Network were involved in its setting up.

The Church Times also republishes the full text of the AGI document here, and the Global South draft of the press release here.

The Church Times editorial is also about this, see Planning for a band of the like-minded. An extract from this:

We are disturbed, however, by the upsurge of organisations that define themselves as representing the only true spirit of Anglicanism, or, for that matter, of Christianity. We are relieved that the proposed Anglican Global Initiative is quiescent for the present; but the implications of a body of this kind are grave. It is, of course, laudable that its promoters wish to “hold to the centrality and authority of holy scripture”, to “propagate the historic faith and order”, and to “pursue the apostolic mission of the Church to a troubled and fallen world”. We concur with their desire to “alleviate human need and to provide an effective means to spread the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, while promoting unity through common action within the Anglican Communion”.

The problem is that, while everyone else in the Anglican Communion would also concur with these statements, it is clear that the framers of the articles have only a select band of parishes and dioceses in mind. The rest of the Church, by implication, has “schismatically separated itself from the fellowship of most members of the Anglican Communion”. Where and how the numbers divide is anyone’s guess. Moreover, there is always a good chance that if you are accusing others of schism, you may be schismatic yourself.

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dmitri
dmitri
16 years ago

The Church Times analysis is helpful. The conservatives have spent altogether too much time and effort examining other peoples’ consciences and deciding who belongs to their narrowly defined
band of the Orthodox. It is dangerous for their own spiritual health and disastrous for the mission of the Communion.

DGus
DGus
16 years ago

Dmitri: How would you describe “the mission of the Communion”?

dmitri
dmitri
16 years ago

DGus
Good Question. Without meaning anything polemical I would say the mission of the Communion (the church in general) is to:

Celebrate the mass together; pray together; preach the good news that the Kingdom of heaven has drawn very near; heal the sick; feed the hungry; clothe the naked; shelter the homeless;
visit those in prison; bury the dead; educate the ignorant; Be instruments of peace; love one another as God has loved us.

How would you define it?

Dave
Dave
16 years ago

I liked this quote from Bishop Michael Ingham of New Westminster: “The existence of this constitution is scandalous. It suggests there is no willingness to engage in the conversations or the listening process called for by the primates of the Northern Ireland meeting.” Shome Mishtake shurely! Mr Ingham has actually gone directly against the resolutions of the Lambeth Conference 1998, and the ABoC and Primates, by instigating “blessings” of homosexual partnerships. And is attacking dissenting churches and priests in his diocese. Yet he calls “scandalous” something that was at most a proposal, maybe only a discussion document, and may in… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
16 years ago

So if you don’twish to engage in any sort of listening process, Dave, do you wish there to be an immediate split?

I really wish there could be a bit more straightforwardness and honesty sometimes. On both sides. The ‘stay together at all costs’ tendency still appears to have something of an upper hand , though.

DGus
DGus
16 years ago

Dmitri: Your description leaves out something very important, and I think the omission illuminates your complaint against the “conservatives”. No one could quarrel with any of the wholesome items on your list, but they seem to be a selective grab-bag of good things Christians should do, rather than a mission statement. I would have thought that you’d say that the “mission” of the Church is Jesus’ “Great Commission”, rendered in Matthew 28:19-20 as “make disciples … baptizing them … teaching them to observe all that I commanded you”, and more tersely in Mark 16:15 as “preach the gospel to all… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
16 years ago

Of course we are called to repentance, but why is it that only Liberals are judged, by Conservatives, to need repentance? Some would argue that by promoting an abstinence only policy with regard to sex in places like Uganda, the Church there is guilty of innumerable deaths and should repent. Where are the calls for repentance from Peter Akinola for his hate filled words against gay people? Where is the call for repentance from Peter Jensen in Sydney for his attempts to deny the validity of the sacrament of orders? (if lay presidency is not an abandonment of the sacrament… Read more »

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