Thursday, January 14, 2016


The primates meeting at Canterbury released an official statement, today January 14 ( ). It makes it official that the Episcopal Church has been put into a half-way house of the Anglican Communion. The statement has eight points. #7: "requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity."

This is a historic step. No province of the Anglican Communion has ever been subjected to this kind of treatment.

Why three years? Presumably this gives TEC time to make amends during its next General Convention (2018). The implication I see in the statement is that TEC is in error and must correct this in order to remain in the Anglican Communion. The error would be ordination of open homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions. There is no chance the Episcopal Church will revoke these any more than Lincoln would have revoked the Emancipation Proclamation. Once given, it must not be taken back. So it remains to be seen just what the Anglican Communion would do after three years.

The GAFCON stalwarts, particularly Uganda, did not get their demand to expel TEC from the AC. So, what we have here is a "compromise" where TEC gets to stay in the game but has to sit on the bench being lectured by the A-team. This makes as much sense as the Confederates lecturing Lincoln on race.

The way this came about is that the Archbishop of Canterbury decided to settle questions by majority vote of the thirty eight primates. There are thirty-eight provinces, the big majority in the Third World. Global South counts well more than half of the thirty eight provinces. The voting was not proportional. Some of the provinces are tiny in membership, yet got a full vote. Using this system, the Third World will control the Anglican Communion from now on and the time-honored nature of Anglicanism: toleration, comprehensiveness, and collegiality will be replaced by rigid ideology and exclusion.

Classical Anglicanism, one of the great religious traditions of modern history, is in mortal danger of becoming a casualty in the contemporary war between western secular democracy and Third World fundamentalism. I believe the original Anglicanism will live on, even if mother England and her loving children are the only ones left keeping the faith.

I will have more reflections on this historic event later.