Skip to comments.End of the Line? [Anglican Church of Canada]
Posted on 03/24/2005 1:31:43 PM PST by sionnsar
The lovely and talented Leanne Larmondin, editrix of Canada's Anglican Journal, sounds like she's just about out of patience:
Members of the Council of General Synod have some critical decisions ahead of them at their regular meeting next month. This will be only their second meeting together since they were elected at last years triennial meeting of General Synod. They will truly be put to the test when they are called on to vote on the request from the primates of the Anglican Communion that the Canadian church voluntarily withdraw its members from the Anglican Consultative Council. They will also consider whether or not to continue funding the Council in the event that the Canadian church does pull out of the international body.
Something I would have no objection to. Canada can't spare the jack what with being 500 gr in the hole. And not to go financial Donatist or anything but I suppose that most orthodox Christians would rather do without apostate money. Larmondin would apparently prefer to keep that scratch at Church House rather than spend it on such closed-minded people as she's forced to share a tradition with.
Make no mistake the die was cast long before the Canadian and U.S. primates boarded their flights to Northern Ireland. Although the Canadian primate arrived with an awareness of the depth of diversity in his churchs opinions of the Windsor Report, sadly, he did not find a receptive audience for the Canadian perspective. It was noted by the head of the church in southern Africa, Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, that many of his colleagues had arrived at the Northern Ireland meeting with their minds made up on homosexuality and the meaning of the Windsor Report; their positions entrenched and irreconcilable.
It's called the Word of God, Double L. Many of us just don't think it's a good idea to edit God unless there's a pillar of cloud and/or fire nearby telling us it's okay. We're funny that way. But since Larmondin can't bring herself to say what she wants to say, that Third Worlders are bigots, she's forced to strap on her tinfoil miter and do the whole chicken dinner, conservative American foundation money song-and-dance once again:
Many of his fellow primates from the so-called Global South Asia, South America and in particular, the church provinces of Nigeria, the Southern Cone (based in Argentina) and Central Africa turned up wanting blood from Canada and the U.S. and would settle for nothing less. Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola who is said to represent 17 million Anglicans in a country whose majority Muslim population reportedly objects to churches softening their stances on sexuality is the one of the most vociferous opponents of the acceptance of homosexuality in the Anglican Communion. It was widely reported that wealthy American conservatives were in constant contact with many of these primates, who later reportedly held a celebration dinner to toast the disciplining of the Western churches. While such stories sometimes take on a life of their own, enough quotes emerged from within and outside the meeting that many conservatives (both among the primates and in the wider church) feel they scored a win. Their glee has been undisguised.
Undisguised, maybe, but not exactly glee, Double L. A lot of us wanted the primates to drop the hammer immediately and send Hutch and the Grizz home as soon as they got there. ECUSA and ACC have had more last chances than Larry King has had wives and we felt that enough was enough. We got a little, Double L, but we didn't get what we wanted.
It is distressing that the disagreement over the role of gays and lesbians in the church has been turned into a blood sport between provinces. Once, observers of the early church were said to have exclaimed, See how these Christians love one another. Reasonable onlookers today would find that love sadly lacking in this situation.
Maybe so if you think that "love" means giving your kids candy any time they ask for it or referring to their smoking, heavy drinking, drug use and sleeping around as "life choices" that you need to "affirm."
As many observers have noted, there is some irony inherent in the North American churches having been asked to withdraw or dis-unite from what is commonly understood to be an instrument of unity the Anglican Consultative Council. It is ironic, too, that the body making the request, the primates meeting, is also a so-called instrument of unity.
It's even more ironic that some North American liberal Anglicans don't seem to realize that their Anglican standing is hanging by an unraveling thread and that the Newry primates statement was a nice way of telling them that.
The primates themselves know that they have no right to make demands of either the Council or of individual provinces nor should the church grant such power to the 38 men who lead the worlds 70 million Anglicans.
Actually, the primates are only making demands of no more than three million or so of the world's 70 million Anglicans, Double L. You guys, the Americans and your liberal European supporters are the only ones in the Communion who are rewriting the Bible.
Put simply, if CoGS members vote to withdraw the Canadian representatives from the Anglican Consultative Council, then, for better or for worse, the conversation continues (or ceases) without us.
As the engineers say, "That's not a bug, that's a feature."
What would pulling out of the Anglican Consultative Council mean?
It would mean that you would not be allowed to attend its meetings until you were invited back.
Would it give the other provinces and the Communion some breathing space, as some of the primates suggested in an attempt to put a not-so-awful spin on the meeting?
Would it be a chance for the North Americans to pull back from their decisions on gay clergy and same-sex blessings, in order to preserve unity?
Yes, although ECUSA and ACC won't take that chance since that would require them to admit that they were wrong and their respective secular cultures would never forgive them.
Or would it be one of those marriage separations that amounts to dead time, awaiting the final divorce decree?
Will three years apart be just enough time for the churches of the Global South to discover that they have more in common with each other than with the Western world?
I would think so although I would add Canadian and American conservative parishes and dioceses to this question since many of these have more in common with the churches of the Global South than they do with churches of the liberal western world. Look how many of them fervently desire African bishops.
Would three years apart result in the North American churches discovering that perhaps their differences with their counterparts render the idea of a worldwide Anglican Communion a quaint anachronism?
You're getting there.
Would ceasing to fund the Council be seen to be petulant, or simply a reasonable stewardship decision? Why would Canadian money be acceptable when its members are not?
See above. Just tell Church House to keep its cash home, Double L. We know the ACC needs it and the Anglican Consultative Council isn't going out of business any time soon.
And, finally, if the North American churches decide, instead, that the primates request is invalid and they continue to try to meet as a worldwide body with their fellow Council members, will their presence so distress others that they find themselves at a half-empty table?
It is often repeated that Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the former archbishop of Cape Town, said that the glue that kept the Anglican Communion together is that, We meet. Once, when the former Canadian primate Archbishop Michael Peers retold that anecdote, someone commented wryly, Pretty thin glue. Archbishop Peers responded, But what if someone says, I wont meet? That is the end.
Pray for the members of the Council of General Synod, since the end might be near.
You may be right, Double L. For the ACC and ECUSA anyway.
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