The burden of The Gift of Authority is the re-reception within Anglican life of the historic ministry of Peter. It is a gift that remains unopened, and one senses that the opportunity for Anglicans to open this gift as a family, qua Communion, may be slipping away. The Windsor Report may be the last reasonable hope to gather together a contentious and strong-willed family that is in imminent danger of drifting apart.
"As a family" it is already split and divided. Yet may not a part of it gather together?
I suppose I was looking at this from a somewhat chauvinistic Orthodox pov. As you know, I'm prone to think that everything is about "Orthodoxy". :)
What I find interesting about this piece are three quite distinct things. First, the glimpses I perceive here and there among Episcopaian/Anglican writers of a desire for a spiritual authority figure who transcends ethnicity and cultural values. Second, that a different understanding of the appropriate exercise of the Petrine Office than has been the case for the past 11-1200 years in Rome may well be developing in Rome itself and thus, thirdly, that the discussions presently underway among the representatives of the Pope and the Patriarchs to come to an understanding of that proper exercise of the Petrine Office is a good thing not only for Rome and Orthodoxy but also for those Anglicans who desire to be united to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
" "As a family" it is already split and divided. Yet may not a part of it gather together?"
The quick answer is, "Of course". But that's not a fair response. It will really come down to what these parts really believe. Do they believe what The Church has always and everywhere believed? The first step is to reject heresy and cut ones church off from the apostates. The second is to see where the theology of any given Anglican group is the same as and different from either that of the Roman or the Orthodox Churches. If the differences turn out to be in the way one speaks of a doctrine rather than what in fact one believes about it, then there is no problem in that area. If there are fundamental differences, unless the Anglican groups are willing to change their theology, set them aside for now. Third one needs to determine if the Anglican group or groups can accept either the Roman, or Eastern Rite Catholic or Orthodox ideas of communion with and among hierarchs. If the answer is no, there's nothing more to talk about, at least outside of purely Anglican groups. If the answer is yes, then there is the possibility that Anglican groups, probably maintaining their own hierarchies (with some modifications like celibate hierarchs) and suitably modified rites could come into communion with either Rome or Orthodoxy with a council working out the theological differences. The best way for this to happen, it would seem to me, and I think this opinion is shared by many Roman and Orthodox Christians, would be, after an agreement in principle on the appropriate exercise of the Petrine Office, for Orthodoxy, Rome and Anglicans who want in along with, I should think, various Lutheran groups, to call a Great Ecumenical Council and keep at it until the Holy Spirit directs the hierarchs in the right path.