Skip to comments.Conservative Anglicans' church plan revealed [Anglican Global Initiative]
Posted on 06/15/2005 8:19:15 AM PDT by sionnsar
click here to read article
Whether there is an official plan or not, I'm sure that all sorts of alternatives have been discussed by American & other conservatives along with the primates of the Global South. Why should the Guardian be surprised at this?
What this article is NOT doing, though, is presenting the situation as it will really be if such a split occurs-- the conservative parts of the American & other embattled churches will align with the rest of the Anglican communion, leaving the liberal ECUSA & other liberal national groups marooned as splinter islands apart from the main. It will be VERY clear where majority opinion lies, something that hasn't been at all clear so far.
I don't know how much credence to give this Stephen Bates story in the Guardian but if it is true, conservative Anglicans around the world may finally be ready to take the next step:
Conservative Anglicans have drawn up detailed plans to set up their own church within a church, with their own constitution and decision-making synods, according to a document seen by the Guardian.
The move, days before representatives from the churchs 38 provinces meet in Nottingham to discuss the state of Anglicanism, appears to be the latest stage in the 77 million-strong communions widening split over homosexuality within the priesthood.
What seems to be in view here is a global conservative Anglican network.
The draft organising constitution for a group to be called the Anglican Global Initiative envisages that it would operate within the Anglican communion. The document proposes that it should be headed by two conservative primate archbishops from the developing world "to affiliate and unite in love, holiness and true godly fellowship through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Anglicans in [the] global south with Anglicans in North America and the United Kingdom".
The AGI would form an umbrella body to represent American Episcopalians, Canadian Anglicans and English conservative Evangelicals who have vociferously defended the churchs traditional opposition to homosexual practice and castigated bishops who have taken a more liberal line on the issue.
Although Dr. Williams would still be recognized as Anglican head.
The constitution proposes that the group should organise its own synods and triennial convocations, that its leading bishops should hold regular teleconferencing meetings and says that it will promote unity through common action. It will still respect the historical role and authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who heads the communion.
Bates gets a bit conspiratorial.
Contextual evidence suggests the document was drawn up this year, before the churchs primates met in Northern Ireland and agreed to suspend the US and Canadian churches from meetings for three years.
A "suspension" both have evaded. Expect the liberals to shriek even louder about schismatic conservatives, co-opted Africans and right-wing foundation money.
Bishop Michael Ingham, of the Canadian diocese of New Westminster whose decision to authorise a service for same-sex blessings has led to his condemnation by conservatives, said: "The existence of this constitution is scandalous. It suggests there is no willingness to engage in the conversations or the listening process called for by the primates at the Northern Ireland meeting."
The primates also called for you to stop same-sex marriages, Mikey. So I guess your refusal to stop them is also pretty scandalous. And if this story is true, it suggests that conservatives finally realize that "the conversations or the listening process" means we keep yakking until conservatives adopt the liberal position chasuble, stole and surplice.
Assuming AGI is pulled off, will anything come of this plan? I'm not sure. Conservative Anglicans have nothing left to say to ECUSA or the Anglican Church of Canada so the longer a split is delayed, the tougher it will be to preserve the orthodox Anglican tradition in the United States and Canada. As impressive as this sounds(and as scared as the liberals seem to be of it), AGI seems, on its face, to be yet another tentative step when a bold step is needed.
But on the plus side, the fact that AGI will be headed by developing world bishops is an excellent move. The prospect that bishops of the caliber of Henry Orombi or Peter Akinola will have an even higher profile in the Anglican world than they already do is encouraging and suggests that the developers of this plan may be thinking beyond the formation of a mere international conservative Anglican network.
If, at one of its synods or convocations, AGI votes to demand that ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada be given an ultimatum, it seems to be that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for Dr. Williams to stall with yet another study commission. And if the Anglican Communion continues to allow ECUSA and the Canadians to rewrite the Bible with impunity and the Africans and western conservatives finally decide that they've had enough, there will be a structure in place to continue the international orthodox Anglican tradition without Canterbury.
So this may be an attempt by Anglican conservatives to ratchet up the pressure on the Anglican Communion. Whether AGI will achieve what so many of us would like it to achieve, orthodox divorce from ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada, remains to be seen.
Maybe not a complete answer, but see post #5.
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