The Anglican world turns its attention from the primates meeting to the Church of England General Synod. The navel gazing continues. Andrew Brown and Giles Fraser think that's not Christian.
Andrew Brown wonders if Anglicanism is capable of schism:
Can the church of England, or even the Anglican Communion, ever split? Or is it simply too disorganised to lose a unity which it never actually had?He wonders is this "a good way of being Christian, or even a stable one"? Read it all.
This sounds like a cruel question. But it is one that any outside observer must ask....
The leaders can meet and talk, but they do so only on the basis of agreeing to disagree about all sorts of fundamental matters. They may agree that unity is desirable, and necessary. But they are none of them going to compromise their positions to attain it, except perhaps for Dr Williams, and no one can explain what his position is. So they agree to hire professional mediators to work out how they can continue to talk to each other. If that counts as unity, the Anglican Communion can never break up.
But isn't the same true about the Church of England?
Also wondering about the state of the
church eclesial community is Giles Fraser:
This is the church putting its worst foot forward. Question time [at General Synod] allows petty doctrinal point-scoring or score-settling. Other speakers are so bound up with procedural obscurantism that they make the question of angels dancing on a pin look like a model of practicality and relevance. The only thing that keeps me from falling asleep is my anger at the wastefulness of the whole thing. So I trudge home in the rain deeply miserable about the state of my church.Read it all.
I predict that General Synod will produce terrible headlines for my church all week. And it probably deserves the lot of them. But this is not the true church. They are sat in the back trying to make a difference. And that church I will love forever.
Speaking of division, Ruth Gledhill reports on what Marilyn McCord Adams had to say in yesterday's General Synod debate on ecumenism:
The Reformation was not the unfortunate thing that so many seemed to imagine, she suggested. 'Perhaps the last 500 years of division have been turned by God into a good thing.' Shouldn't the Church be asking itself instead what it might have gained by that division? 'Might it not be a deeper appreciation of the riches of the authority of Holy Scripture which our most celebrated ordinal says contains all things necessary for salvation?' An appreciation of subsidiarity was another. 'Might it not be the fact that we have learned the value of giving a wider place to lay ministry and not having a clericalism that makes all the decisions at the top?'What would Tobias Haller say?