Anglican Communion Faces Troubled Waters

Arch Bishop declares focusing on one or two problems will not help in resolving the divide.

Another primate, Archbishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt, launched a harsh critique of the communion leadership’s unwillingness to deal with issues. Successive archbishops of Canterbury have tried to hold the communion together, but failed to use their influence to bring cohesion to autonomous provinces, he said.

 

Primates and bishops from the Global South attending a gathering here said current proposals for a new Anglican Communion covenant don’t go far enough to heal the conflict in the communion over homosexuality.

The Wednesday (Sept. 18) gathering to mark the 50th anniversary of the Toronto Anglican Congress, suggested the worldwide Anglican Communion faces troubled waters. Anglicans from the Global South prepare to meet for their second Global Anglican Future Conference next month and the Toronto meeting showed no signs of reconciliation.

Archbishop Ian Ernest, primate of the province of the Indian Ocean, said decisions by the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada on issues involving homosexuality have torn the fabric of communion.

“These are sad events,” he said. “Things will never be the same again.”

Another primate, Archbishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt, launched a harsh critique of the communion leadership’s unwillingness to deal with issues. Successive archbishops of Canterbury have tried to hold the communion together, but failed to use their influence to bring cohesion to autonomous provinces, he said.

Anis said the recommendations of primates meetings have not been carried out. The Lambeth Conference in 2008 was characterized by what he called “divide and rule” tactics, with no decisions being made.

The Anglican Consultative Council, which facilitates the cooperative work of the churches in the Anglican Communion, is not representative of the communion, Anis said, because its members are drawn primarily from what he called “non-orthodox” voices, rather than the majority orthodox voices held by African and Asian churches.

While the Anglican Congress in Toronto put forth a manifesto calling for the communion to grow in “mutual responsibility and interdependence in the body of Christ,” Anis said recent developments in the communion have delayed work on the proposed covenant, and “watered down” its content.

 

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