2/12/2007

Resurrection First, Death Second.

The reports are coming in: Stephen Bates writes under the title, "Archbishop battles to ward off final Anglican split on homosexuality." He confirms the pre-meeting strategy session, now in Dar rather than in Kenya as previously reported by The Living Church. Bates says, "Conservative archbishops, mainly from the developing world, have gathered in Dar es Salaam for a separate two-day conference in advance of a formal meeting on Wednesday to plot tactics and agree a strategy before Rowan Williams arrives tomorrow."

Jonathan Petre has posted an article titled, "Archbishop's peace talks threatened." He expands on the report from Bates and writes,

"Even before his plane touches down the event has become mired in unprecedented levels of politicking that have challenged his moral authority as "first among equals".

To the consternation of officials, the conservative primates have set up their own headquarters in the neighbouring Beachcomber hotel, at which they will determine their collective strategy, and they are threatening to snub Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the liberal leader of the Episcopal Church, the American branch of Anglicanism.

A number of them are furious that Dr Williams did not consult before inviting Presiding Bishop Schori, a supporter of gay clergy and same-sex blessings who was elected as Anglicanism's first woman primate last summer.



If they refuse to deal with her, aides fear that she may leave the meeting, derailing Dr Williams' peace proposals before they start. Alternatively, the archbishop could be reduced to shuttling between rival groups in different rooms, an extraordinary prospect for the Church."

Perhaps it is time to reflect on the reality that if we believe in resurrection the time to talk about it is now. The Anglican Communion, as a fellowship within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, may be doomed. Fellowships often are. The question is, is that it? Does the end of the organization of the Anglican Communion spell the end of the activity of the Anglican Communion? Will it, like the grain of wheat, die and yield increase beyond everything we could hope for?

I am hopeful in the midst of reports of hopelessness. What is good about the Anglican Communion – the relationships, the mutual care and regard, the engagement in common mission, will remain. What is merely of human flesh and desire will die.

I'm with Katharine, our Presiding Bishop, who said, ""Life is too short to get too flustered."




2 comments:

  1. Amen to that hope and the words of our PB- and here's to hoping that the global nature of our relationships within the AC will continue even if the body itself disintegrates. Grace and peace.

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  2. christopher+12/2/07 10:02 AM

    "What is good about the Anglican Communion – the relationships, the mutual care and regard, the engagement in common mission, will remain."

    Absolutely, Mark! If some are unwilling to remain in fellowship with those with whom they disagree on what Archbishop Ndungane of South Africa recently called "second-order issues," other forms of Anglican fellowship will emerge one way or the other, as they have in the past - and perhaps then everyone will be happy. Certainly, we would all lose something in terms of broad dialogue, but we would not lose what Archbishop Ndungane called the "marks of our church": "grace, tolerance and living with difference."

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