Thursday, 16 April 2009

GAFCON Fission Mission

So GAFCON has delivered a Communiqué from somewhere near Heathrow Airport. Lots of low flying metal and sparks, with the sound of screeching brakes, then.

Here are some near misses, starting with GAFCON's role (notice the plural tense):

The GAFCON Primates' Council has the responsibility of recognizing and authenticating orthodox Anglicans especially those who are alienated by their original Provinces.

Who says? This self-serving select group takes it upon itself to recognise and authenticate Anglicans presumably in new provinces if alienated by existing ones.

Calling itself the GAFCON/ FCA Primates Council, it clearly envisages the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans as a form of Communion itself, for either a takeover or a purer Communion:

We are also called to promote the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) in its stand against false teaching and as a rallying point for orthodoxy. It is our aim to ensure that the unity of the Anglican Communion is centered on Biblical teaching rather than mere institutional loyalty.

It will have:

regional chapters and networks of Anglicans who will strengthen and support each other.

One will be in the UK from July. Again, this is a form of Communion and will have an Advisory Board of bishops, clergy, and laity.

What a surprise: the Anglican Church in North America is recognised, so presumably it would help if it becomes more organised like a Church. When other Churches (provinces) recognise ACNA then the need for cross border interventions will end - in other words, this Church becomes seen as native rather than full of cross border oversight.

The Religious Intelligence report says more than the Communiqué:

if the liberal leaders of the North American churches sign up to the proposed Anglican Covenant 'in good conscience', it will be meaningless.

And this point is underlined in that report:

A recent reworking of the proposed Covenant also failed to impress. Although the Gafcon leaders stressed that it was too early to comment on that draft, they said: "While we support the concept of an Anglican Covenant, we understand that its adequacy depends on the willingness to address the crisis that has ‘torn the fabric’ of the Communion. If those who have left the standards of the Bible are able to enter the Covenant with a good conscience, it seems to be of little use."

So is it useless then? And if some can sign up it doesn't mean they will. The formal Communiqué seems a little more luke warm:

While we support the concept of an Anglican Covenant, we understand that its adequacy depends on the willingness to address the crisis that has "torn the fabric" of the Communion. We welcome the Ridley Cambridge Draft Covenant and call for principled response from the Provinces.

The issue now is whether the broader Communion is going to allow this redefinition of the Communion itself from the side. This self-appointed Council says the border crossers will cease to be border crossers when others recognise that they are native. Well that doesn't stop border crossers being border crossers. It seems the the FCA is a trojan horse to turn the Communion from an institutional relationship based on a set of documents and inheritances into a fellowship on a narrow basis of belief.

Some strange babies that don't get strangled at birth keep growing until they get their claws around their hosts' throats.

1 comment:

Doorman-Priest said...

Who invited them here?