Monday, February 19, 2007

But Communion, and my Communion?

Two items, via Father Jake:

1) Looks like the merger of the Anglican Communion and the Church of Rome isn't going to happen without a very serious schism that leaves the Primates behind:

So far from being excluded from the Primates' Meeting in Dar es Salaam, I can break the news that TEC Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has been elected onto the all-important policy-making Standing Committee. 'Next thing you know, Benedict will be reversing Apostolicae Curae,' said one observer. There will be much speculation about how this came about. (Schori's election that is.) It is obviously interesting to note that the administration of the Anglican Communion Office depends on funds from TEC. Balancing the books without TEC would not be possible. It is equally likely that Rowan Williams respects her, and that many of the Primates wanted to make a particular gesture of support after the opposition that has been expressed to her.
(This is Gledhill's blog, so she's entitled to be as snarky as she wants. She also provides links to other blogs which are "picking up on the story." By which she means, linking to her blog. So all of this may be as accurate as the other Times story du jour (which is already being repudiated as an exaggeration of something that's been underway for 35 years, but doesn't resemble what the Times article reported, at all).

2) The Primates are reportedly deciding on language which will give them some authority to decide these issues, rather than leave them washing up at the feet of the Archbishop of Canterbury, or sloshing around among Archbishops who think they get to speak for the Communion. Father Jake has the language in question. My first reaction to it was: "This is fairly sound ecclesiology," if only because it sounds quite familiar to me. "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, diversity; in all things, charity." As I've mentioned before (even though some have corrected the minutiae of my historical knowledge!), the Evangelical German Church in this country came out of Prussia, formed by the King of Prussia when he forced the Reformed and Lutheran churches to reconcile over their doctrines of communion (a reconciliation that wasn't effected in most of the rest of Protestantism until the next century, or about 500 years after the Reformation.) The statement, so far as I can trace it down (not that I have been diligent in my efforts) seems to come out of that effort. It is certainly an excellent statement of ecclesiology in one sentence. And it seems to be the guiding principle of the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

Evidence of the patient working of the Spirit abounds.

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