Sunday, May 25, 2008

Anglican Communion sits on keg of gun-powder

From Tope Olukole at the Saturday Tribune (Nigeria) [boldface mine]:

ANGLICAN Communion worldwide has been on this journey for ten long years. It has been costly and debilitating for all concerned as most recently demonstrated by the tepid response to the invitations to the proposed Lambeth Conference 2008.

At a time when the church should be able to gather together and celebrate remarkable stories of growth there is little enthusiasm towards the meeting.

There are continual cries for patience and understanding; and yet the record shows that those who hold to the “faith once and for all delivered to the saints” have shown remarkable forebearance while their pleas have been ignored, leaders have been demonised, and advocates marginalised.

In 1998, the Anglican Communion made a deliberate decision with regard to matters of human sexuality; it was supported by an overwhelming majority of the Bishops of the Communion. It reflected traditional teaching interpreted with pastoral sensitivity.

And yet it has been ignored and those who uphold it were derided for their stubbornness. However, the church continued to meet and pray and struggle to find ways to maintain the spirit of unity.

The journey started in February 1997 in Kuala Lumpur. It was there, during the 2nd Encounter of the Global South Anglican Communion, that a statement was issued in which concern was expressed about the apparent setting aside of the Biblical teaching by some Provinces and Dioceses. The statement pleaded for dialogue in a spirit of true unity before any part of the communion embarks on radical changes to church discipline and moral teachings.

Sadly, this plea and several similar warnings have been ignored and ten years later, in February, 2007, the Primates of the Anglican Communion met in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and experienced an agonising time trying to repair the communion that has been so badly broken. Their earlier prediction at the Primates’ Meeting at Lambeth palace in 2003, that rejection of the faith committed to the church would tear “the fabric of our communion at its deepest level,” has proven to be accurate.

In Dar es Salaam, the Primates proposed, as one last attempt to restore unity, a period of seven months for those who have brought the communion to the brink of destruction to reconsider their actions and put a stop to the harmful actions that have so polarised the church. . .

Read it all.
H/t to Anglicans United.

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