I’ve written many times over recent months over the increasing contortions that parts of the Anglican Communion are going through in order to remain Anglican, but exclude another group in the Church that they think aren’t Anglicans. The Global South grouping of Churches within the Anglican Communion has recently had a meeting, which produced a communiquÃ© detailing the results of the meeting. Interestingly the document as a whole is carefully phrased and in a number newspaper reports has been incorrectly described as being backed by all twenty of the provinces represented. As with previous letters it has transpired that the communiquÃ© has not received unanimous support at the meeting, indeed the South African primate has already released a statement distancing himself from the document.
Not surprisingly the document relates back to the same ongoing issue over the actions of the Episcopal Church in the US, specifically the fact that they didn’t boot out Gene Robinson at their recent convention (not that they could). Of course the other issue is that the Episcopal Church also elected Katharine Jefferts Schori as their primate, so another part of the communiquÃ© requests that somebody else be sent to the next primates meeting from the Episcopal Church to represent those parts of the church that don’t agree with her election.
The document also proposes what is effectively a church within a church in the USA having a ‘traditional’ Anglican Church under the umbrella of the Global South provinces, but one that is still within the Anglican Communion. The key part of this proposal being that ‘traditional’ churches in the US will join the traditional church This again goes back to the fact that the traditionalists cannot break with Canterbury because to many to be an Anglican requires being in communion with the Archbishop, and will result in this ludicrous arrangement whereby the two parts of the Episcopal Church will both regard themselves as being in communion with Canterbury, but not with each other. The irony in all of the mud slinging over the Episcopal Church not having responded to the Windsor Report is that another part of the same report explicity speaks against just the sort of meddling in other provinces that the Global South are proposing.
As I’ve said before, the increasing contortions that various groups are going through not to leave are just getting more and more tedious, and if it wasn’t for the fact that the ripples from this are bound to rock the Church of England too – in this case because there will be Churches in the Church of England who will decide to join the ‘traditional’ Anglican Church.