Skip to comments.On The Other Hand [GC2006]
Posted on 12/31/2005 8:49:05 AM PST by sionnsar
What if the Anglican Communion Network gets rolled at GenCon? What if ECUSA comes up with yet another clear evasion of the Windsor Report, yet another attempt to play for time? What if those who will automatically respond favorably to anything ECUSA comes up with declare that they believe that ECUSA is now in compliance with the Windsor Report while others declare that it clearly is not? What if, in response to the controversy, the Network and other orthodox Anglicans around the world urge us all to "wait until Lambeth?"
I hope conservative bishops are intelligent enough to realize that that would be the worst possible response they could make. For one thing, there is no guarantee that Lambeth will even deal with the issue at all. Rowan Williams has already indicated that he intends to make Lambeth as confrontation-free as he possibly can:
Archbishop Ellison said, "We are working very hard to orient the Conference around Gods mission of transformation and reconciliation, seeing the bishops themselves as primary resources in this task. Through experiences provided in small bible study and expanded conversation groups, we expect that the bishops will encounter Gods word anew, be engaged with one another at a very deep level, and then empowered in their vocation as leaders in Gods mission. In keeping with Archbishop Rowans vision, the Conference process will be relational not confrontation in its approach with a minimum of resolutions."
If ECUSA, in convention assembled, rejects the Windsor Report next year, it will not change its mind two years later. Indeed, any ECUSA bishops at Lambeth will declare that they can't change their church's mind, that only the church meeting in convention can do that, which puts off any decision until 2009 at the earliest. All this, of course, assumes that ECUSA wants to resolve this issue on any terms other than its own which it clearly does not.
When ECUSA rejects the Windsor Report next year, in whatever form that rejection takes, conservatives will no longer be able to hide behind facile declarations like "We have not chosen to walk apart, ECUSA has." When ECUSA walks apart, orthodox Anglicans here in the United States and around the world are going to have to start acting like it. This means that orthodox primates are going to have to walk out of the next primates' meeting if the next ECUSA Presiding Bishop walks in. And if need be, they're going to have to be willing to leave Canterbury behind.
This also means that Network bishops are going to have to start taking risks. They're going to have to be willing to provide alternate oversight to orthodox parishes in liberal dioceses, regardless of what the local bishop says or does. They're going to have to be willing to perform confirmations and other episcopal duties if asked. And they're going to have to risk presentment charges. And when the time comes, they're going to have to leave ECUSA to its apostasy and begin the job of rebuilding American Anglicanism.
But we have to wait and see what the Canadians do at General Synod in 2007. No we don't. When ECUSA rejects the Windsor Report, American conservatives have to proceed as if the split has happened and pray that Canadian conservatives are wise enough to do the same thing when the Anglican Church of Canada rejects it as well. We can't put this off any longer, for any reason.
Time is a luxury Anglican conservatives no longer have. There have been too many trumped-up inhibitiions of too many orthodox priests and too many orthodox congregations turned out of too many meeting houses. ECUSA has had three years to repent of GenCon 2003. If another rejection is met with yet another delay, many of us will throw up our hands and get on with our lives. Why should we continue to fight for a church and a tradition that others refuse to fight for?
I've said this at other times during the Current Unpleasantness but I think this really is it. 2006 is orthodox Anglicanism's last chance.
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