Monday, 17 November 2014

Beyond repair?

'Anglican Communion may be beyond repair, says Welby'

From the Archbishop of Canterbury's address to the Church of England's General Synod:

Despite the headline, it seems from the text of his address that the Archbishop doesn't really think so; or, if he does believe the Communion's divisions are irreparable,  he dare not say so ..... not in that forum, or perhaps nowhere beyond the confines of confidential discussions.
What he does say is that our divisions may be 'too much to manage' - now, that has clearly been the case for some time, although one might think the use of that rather ambiguous word 'manage' is itself neither particularly appropriate nor helpful ....  
Successive Archbishops of Canterbury have been trying to 'manage' the situation for almost as long as we can remember - the only serious attempt to address the divisions, the ill-fated Anglican Covenant, foundered on the deep-seated (and well-founded) suspicions of the Global South and the arrogance and irresponsibility of those who have risen so effortlessly (with a little help from their friends ...) to positions of leadership in the liberal 'West.'
"...We live in a community that exists, that is deeply engaged with its world almost everywhere, that is diverse and argumentative and fractured, but yet shows in so many places both known and unknown the power and love of Christ through His Spirit at work in our world. We live in a Communion which merits celebration and thanksgiving as well as prayer and repentance.
A flourishing Communion but also a divided Communion.
I do not want to sound triumphalist. There are enormous problems. We have deep divisions in many areas, not only sexuality. There are areas of corruption, other areas where the power of the surrounding culture seems to overwhelm almost everyone at one point or another.
Our divisions may be too much to manage.
In many parts of the Communion, including here, there is a belief that opponents are either faithless to the tradition, or by contrast that they are cruel, judgemental, inhuman. 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 some serious fractures.
In an age of near instant communication, because the Communion exists, and is full of life, vigour and growth, of faith and trust in Jesus Christ, and love for him, everything that one Province does echoes around the world. Every sermon or speech here is heard within minutes and analysed half to death. Every careless phrase in an interview is seen as a considered policy statement. And what is true of all Provinces is ten times more so for us, and especially us in this Synod. We never speak only to each other, and the weight of that responsibility, if we love each other and the world  as we should, must affect our actions and our words..."
Read it all here - our thanks to Anglican Ink for the report 

1 comment:

  1. Justsin.

    Don't bother with "synod" -- shoot something instead.


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