Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Archbishop of Canterbury 'Chaos and division' in all around we see

This beautiful image of the opening communion at the Anglican Consultative Council in Jamaica sadly belies what has followed. We've had the Archbishop of Uganda writing a pleading letter about his excluded clerical representative. And now the Archbishop of Canterbury himself has warned of the 'chaos and division' within the Anglican Communion threatening to derail the Covenant process, according to reports coming out of Jamaica this evening. Below you can read for the first time online the full text of the Windsor Continuation Group report to this meeting, and also the draft resolution of the Windsor Consultation Group to the council, a model of restraint and charity but with some potentially sharp disciplinary teeth lurking beneath the inevitable acronyms and jargon.

BabyBlue reports his words from the Covenant discussion: 'The Anglican Communion suffers from a lack of clarity of what kind of fellowship its meant to be. So long as we have that unclarity [yes, it's that word again!] we will be unclear about what we really mean by church.

'The Anglican Communion has never called itself a church. Yet as a world wide communion, it has claimed for itself that it is precisely more than just an assembly of local churches. It has tried go behave in a church like way. Do we want to be a communion behaving in a church like way with some sacraments, ministry, and doctrine, with some clarity …or do we want to operate in a way where Anglicanism is a far more dispersed family …where we no longer act like a unit in the Anglican world.'

'I am not persuaded by that case but its there. It is possible to think about an Anglican future where churches exist in a vague global cluster with no organs for acting together. That is a very significant step away from what we have regular assumed about the communion. I maintain that something more “covenantal” is needed. We are not quite sure what sort of church we believe in for ourselves. It's not as though we had a stead state of Anglican identity. Its not as though if we did nothing it would just go on. I believe our choices re between those two poles – more or less cohesiveness. I want to see a communion that is more cohesiveness and theologically self aware. That is why we’ve got these questions.'

Meanwhile, Anglican Mainstream is reporting stronger language.


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