If I had the time and energy I might actually count up all the times over the last few years that I have read a missive or document or article claiming that the Church has split or that the Anglican Communion is dead. However today, with this statement from ACI about the Primates meeting in Dublin it looks a little more likely that the Global South / GAFCON are going to final make formal the split and finally going to stop threatening and walk out.
Watching the events in the Anglican Communion unfold has become more and more to me a spectator sport, one from which I feel rather distant and detached. So, I am afraid my reaction to the strong hints that they are leaving and setting up on their own are along the lines of "about time too" and "close the door after you, please." My second thoughts are, "Oh good, the Anglican Covenant looks less likely now", or if it is adopted less likely to be used as a weapon to hold others to ransom - yes, I am most concerned about the impact of all of this on the Church of England.
Things don't really bode that well for the schismatics, the lawsuits in America have, I believe, come down largely in favour of TEC. Moreover, it is in the nature of those who throw a hissy fit over the inability of others to think and act exactly as they want them to to be a little on - shall we say- the uncompromising side. I think the members of a rival "Anglican Communion" would be in a fairly weak position and would in time face their own divisions and conflicts. There are also undoubtedly vested interests at play, and some do see within new structures a power base for their own ambitions.
There is also, among those who have already left, a mindset which is, to put it bluntly, delusional. You only have to look at some of the crazed suggestions and statements that "Bishop" David Anderson has already made to know that we are not dealing with someone who is capable of measured or rational thought or action. His latest pronouncement is that Rowan Williams was chosen by Tony Blair as part of a secret pro-gay agenda.
"Williams was chosen by Prime Minister Tony Blair to assist in Blair’s task of blending church and state agendas to the gay agenda."
David Anderson also described Williams as "the heart of dysfunction" a "manipulative prelate" and "the Emperor with no clothes"- I am just surprised he did not utter the word "Anti-Christ."
Compare with this the calm that reigned at the Primates meeting, the way that those present were at least prepared to listen and work together and not obsessed with you-know-what.
There is no doubt that the Anglican Communion has fractured and is suffering drift, but then things do need to change to grow. I hope and believe we will see growth, there will be and is pain and a fair few whimpers, but it certainly isn't the end of the world.