Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Dublin and the Art of Dishonest Conversation

The Dublin Primates’ meeting marks one more step along the road which is slowly but surely seeing the Anglican Communion evolve into two distinct groupings. As A. S. Haley observes ‘The takeover of the Instruments of Communion by ECUSA, aided and abetted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, is now complete’ . For instance, in sharp contrast to the ultimatum issued by the Primates after their meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007, no word of censure or rebuke was evident in the ‘statement of purpose’ issued by the Primates on Sunday Despite the fact that just weeks before this meeting, two senior female clergy of the Episcopal Church were ‘married’ in a ceremony at Boston Cathedral.

So if the official Lambeth institutions are no longer worth fighting for, should orthodox Anglicans now simply let history take its course, get on with evangelism where they can and hope for the best? I believe not, because the Dublin meeting makes explicit a theological shift which is even more significant than the predictable institutional changes made to enhance Lambeth’s control, such as the establishment of a Primates’ Standing Committee. The essential common interest of Rowan Williams and ECUSA/TEC becomes clear, whatever their differences over the pace of change, in the closing paragraph of the Dublin Primates’ statement where they affirm that ‘In our common life in Christ we are passionately committed to journeying together in honest conversation’. Read more

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