Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Yes, the Anglican World (Still) Turns

It does seem to have been pretty quiet on the "Anglican Front" ... and that is (in my mind) a good thing. My hope is that the "lull" indicates that the various churches that make up the Communion are spending more time going about the business of being the Body of Christ in the world in their part of the world than they are worrying about how other churches are living out the Gospel in theirs. Meanwhile, we come together -- as we should -- through the "bonds of affection" that unite us as members of the same Anglican family when an earthquake strikes New Zealand or diaster strikes Japan. (And if you haven't yet donated to Episcopal Relief & Development you can do that here.)

There was one bit of Anglican news I thought worth passing on this morning ... and that's this bit from the letter the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Primates posted to the Anglican Communion Office website last week:
The recent Primates’ Meeting in Dublin did not set out to offer a solution to the ongoing challenges of mutual understanding and of the limits of our diversity in the Communion. But it is important to note carefully what it did set out to do and what it achieved. In recent years, many have appealed to the Primates to resolve the problems of the Communion by taking decisive action to enforce discipline on this or that Province. In approaching the Dublin Meeting, we believed that it was essential to clarify how the Primates themselves understood the nature of their office and authority.

It has always been clear that not all have the same view – not because of different theological convictions alone, but also because of the different legal and canonical roles they occupy as Primates. Some have a good deal of individual authority; others have their powers very closely limited by their own canons. It would therefore be difficult if the Meeting collectively gave powers to Primates that were greater than their own canons allowed them individually, as was noted at the 2008 Lambeth Conference (Lambeth Indaba 2008 #151).
You can read the rest here ... but I for one was gratified to see that there seems to be a genuine and articulated move away from attributing to the Primates more power than would be either wise or helpful. And now, back to your regularly scheduled Lent.

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