Friday, 20 June 2008

Auntie Notices

Anglican troubles at last make the mainstream news. The 'gay binding' that followed chunks of the 1662 wedding liturgy did make the television news, but now GAFCON was reported upon andhad Robert Piggott on the BBC main One O'Clock News talking about the "pessimistic" document The Way The Truth and The Life and that this whole gathering gives conservatives a different focus and such impact would come to England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. He gave no reference to those who might have gone to GAFCON but did not (Chew, Anis) and that it could also split Southern Anglicanism. The news report featured Henry Orombi being interviewed and the assumption throughout the news piece was that Westerners had altered the Bible. In fact it was assumptions assumptions everywhere.

William Crawley (BBC Northern Ireland) writes about The Way, the Truth and the Life in a similar fashion to Piggott and says, of this official study material:

...the document reads more like a Declaration of Independence.

He repeats himself a bit in his listing of its focii but comes to the view that:

In essence, the document describes two very different faith communities: the so-called Anglican Communion, which it regards as little more than a Canterbury Communion that has lost its way, and the real Anglican Communion, which is an emerging union of Anglican bishops, clergy, laity, parishes, dioceses, and whole provinces, who are prepared to walk apart from Canterbury in order to maintain the values and principles of what they regard as historic orthodoxy.

Later (his English is a bit chewed up; some journalists ought to slow down and do less):

I've lost count of how many times I have, as a journalist, asked commentators of one new schismatic development or another represents the beginning of the end for the Anglican Communion. But this document is stunningly finalistic...


And it is very doubtful that the upcoming Lambeth Conference can do anything to stop the formation of this breakaway Communion...

That sounds like Episcopalian Endgame to me. To remove any remaining doubts about that, the document asserts: "There is no longer any hope, therefore, for a unified Communion".

In my view, it still isn't so that they are going to set up an alternative Communion. It may well be to the effect: Luther did not intend another branch of Christianity and Wesley never intended a Methodist Church (nor saw it). A response from within the Canterbury Communion to defend against what the Global Anglicans will try to do could well be the means to exclude them. It takes an act of reciprocal exclusion to make the schism. Such may be the right thing to do in order to preserve and indeed reinforce the Anglican diversity that is theological as well as such worship diversity that these Conservative Evangelicals themselves have to accept (never mind the Anglo-Catholic traditionalists on board and their ritual acts - for the present).

They have to set up alternative structural arrangements, which are episcopal and international, and have to act like what could be seen as a parasite on the main body, taking its life in order to build its own. Instead of being part of the larger organism and perhaps feeding into it, its condemnation of the perceived laxities of the main body put it into opposition and create an adversary rather than a friend. It does intend to weaken the main body.

The mistake people make is that it intends to attack the liberals. It actually wants to leave the liberals to fend for themselves. It wishes to be free of them. So it has to attack the Evangelicals: those that stay outside of Global Anglicanism. It is other Evangelicals, whether in the West or the South, that are letting the side down. All this is a little too subtle for BBC News reports that deal in grand-sweep explanations.

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