Friday, 23 April 2010

Together on the road


First of all, apologies to any of you who would be quite happy if you never came across the words “Anglican Communion” or “Anglican Covenant” again, but I felt I had to comment (briefly) on the statement from the Global South meeting which has been taking place in Singapore this week.
In this document, the leaders of the Global South speak of “the mind of the Communion” and a “shared understanding of our common faith” and of how the “peace of our Communion has been deeply wounded by those who claim the name Anglican but who pursue an agenda of their own desire.”
It is patently ridiculous to claim that the Communion has a single “mind” on the issues that this document addresses. The Communion has within it a diverse range of opinions and practices on this matter, from the liberal acceptance of homosexuality in TEC to its condemnation as a disorientation in the Church of Uganda. Our own Church of England sees a range of opinion, and practice on the ground is at variance with any “official” line. In the light of this, how can it possibly be meaningful to speak of the “mind of the Communion” – unless by Communion you mean those who agree only with the leaders of the Global South?
And this is precisely what they do mean and what this document is all about! Those who do not agree must be excluded; they are not brothers and sisters in Christ. A pre-requisite for joining the Covenant, they suggest, is that all joining must be “compliant with Lambeth 1:10” and there is “a need to review the entire Anglican Communion structure.”
In contrast, Colin Coward writes in the Changing Attitude blog , “those gathered in Singapore are Anglicans, Christians on the road with us, and however uncomfortable they make life for us, they are still, like it or not, in communion with us. Neither side particularly likes this state of affairs, but I don’t believe we have the option (which they take to themselves) to say we are not in communion.”

Which is the Christian path, to walk with those with whom we disagree or to refuse to do so?

5 comments:

  1. Another great post, it is ironic and sad that a faith built on reconcilliation, solidarity & grace is so prone to fissure, conflict & hostility!

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  2. Thank you for your reflection. I think the call to hold diversity together in unity is (was?) part of the Anglican charism, grounded in the Gospel and the Trinity and the nature of the universe. I do not know if you read my reflections from http://www.liturgy.co.nz/blog/anglican-covenant-2/2312
    Blessings

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  3. I have just read that post, Bosco, and found it very interesting. I don't know how I managed to miss it when it was first posted as I do read your wonderful blog regularly.

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  4. Good, Suem - if you place a link to my site from here can you email that to me so I'm sure to put a link back. Blessings.

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