Working Hard to Go Backwards
February 20, 2007
It seems to me as if the Primates have worked hard to go backwards, back towards using a central authority to make decisions about which differences are “good” and “bad” rather than using authority to set up a system where differences can be celebrated and cherished, where all can be open to looking for the Christ that exists in the “other” in hopsitality instead of judging differences in Scriptural interpretation, culture, and doctrine as a lack of Christ’s presence.
An article published in the Times today, entitled Churches Back Plan to Unite Under Pope, certainly reinforces that idea:
“Radical proposals to reunite Anglicans with the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of the Pope are to be published this year, The Times has learnt.”
Now I have no idea who exactly is behind the plan, nor any other details, but the language in the communique from Tanzania and the “recommendations” which do not recommend but require action certainly indicate an un-Anglican desire to return to a centralized form of doctrine. The question is whether the Episcopal Church will go along quietly, or act with courage with its conscience, and let the Primates decide whether or not they can live with that.
I particularly like Fr. Jake’s post on the whole primate deal today. The thing that is most prominent to me in the whole mess is this, as Jake notes:
“There is much concern expressed for “those groups alienated,” which is clearly intended to be a reference to the extreme conservatives, yet not one note of concern for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters or the Via Media parishes trapped in extremist dioceses.”
There is still so much to ingest here.
What is most striking to me is that +++Rowan certainly got what he wanted, at least for now. He preserved unity in a very utilitarian way. The needs of the majority outweigh the needs of the marginalized, at least that is what it looks like for now.
Of course there are many days ahead, and we really haven’t heard ++Katharine’s side of the story yet. Let’s pray she has some “magic silver bullet” which will make this all look like a very bad dream.