Saturday, July 05, 2008

Local reflections on GAFCON

Reflections from Fr. Larry Bausch, rector of Holy Trinity San Diego (Southern Cone) and member of Forward in Faith, on his GAFCON experience, posted on [boldface mine]:

It has been quite interesting to read some of the many email opinions both here and at other sites concerning GAFCON. As one who was blessed to attend the Conference, I can say that I have not been surprised to see that many who were not there have had time to reflect on what happened in advance of some of us who were. This is in part the consequence of the full schedule which allowed virtually no time for reflection. Between speakers, workshops, networking and conversations while eating meals or sitting on busses, there wasn't much time left. Taking the earliest bus back to my hotel each evening, I arrived about 9:15 pm at the earliest or 11:00 pm at the latest, with mornings starting usually with the Eucharist at 6:30, breakfast, and time to board the bus at 7:30 am.

Now, having had a couple of days to do a bit of reflection, I'd like to offer the following comments: First, I was stunned with the comprehensiveness and strength of the Statement. It covered more territory than I had thought possible, considering the gravity of our concerns, the diversity of the local circumstances of the pilgrims, and the very strong personalities in leadership. Second, I was particularly pleased with the clear acknowledgement of the utter failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury to fulfill the expressed will of the 1998 Lambeth Conference and subsequent Primates' Meetings in using his authority to withhold invitations from those bishops who have violated this will from Lambeth 2008. In this same vein, the Statement is quite clear that GAFCON had become necessary precisely because of this failure. Third, I rejoice in the endorsement of the creation of a new orthodox Province for North America, using the work of the Common Cause Partnership to help bring this about.

I do agree with many who have written that the Statement is imperfect, and that it leaves many strategic concerns unaddressed. . .

Read it all.

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