Friday, 25 June 2010

It is still not too late: the evangelical option

[...] The omens are not good, and we may have to look for viable alternatives. The Roman Catholic Ordinariate, so generously offered by Pope Benedict, may provide a welcome home for some, but I suspect that many others will not be able to bring themselves to deny the validity of their previous ministries by submitting themselves to reordination at the hands of a Church that has serious problems of its own to face. In addition, many Catholics will not want to be part of a Church that inevitably rules out a place for Evangelicals.

Evangelical umbrella

However, there is now another show in town that may commend itself more naturally to many of us. The GAFCON bishops, who represent a majority of the world’s Anglicans, as well as its most rapidly growing provinces, have a goodly number of Catholics as well as Evangelicals among their number. The Ghanaian bench spring readily to mind. Most GAFCON bishops do not ordain women to the priesthood and even among those who do, there is no appetite for consecrating women as bishops.

An understanding with GAFCON could provide us with an unambiguously Anglican future, but it would also link us organically to fellow Christians notable for their faith, orthodoxy, bravery and optimism. For us here in Britain, both Catholic and Evangelical, GAFCON could also reunite us in the Book of Common Prayer, which has been placed at the heart of this new global movement.

This would provide us with a genuine opportunity to flourish together in a Church that has renewed its focus on Word and Sacrament, which is, at it has always been, Anglicanism at its very best.

It is high time for us to place the GAFCON option alongside the Roman Ordinariate, and give each of them the careful and detailed consideration that they deserve. Read more

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