NewsTue May 23, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
Anglican Pope, Dual Magisterium - Anything to Save the Comm-Union
By Peter Smith
LONDON, May 23, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In desperation, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has developed a “covenant” to secure the fragile unity of the 77 million member Anglican Communion threatened by the liberal churches’ embrace of homosexuality. The measure is an attempt to stave off a complete schism between the conservative, but more populous “global south” of the Communion, and the liberal, but wealthier developed nations. The “covenant” is Dr. Williams’ measure to hold together a communion that has its African and Asian primates demanding that the American churches “repent” their 2003 ordination of the openly homosexual bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, and blessing of homosexual unions.Â
According to the UK’s Daily Telegraph, Dr. Williams has come up with what it calls “a two track Church”, to keep the liberals and conservatives happy in one fragile organization, which lately has been only able to agree on the name of Anglican. The “covenant” will be presented to the 37 Primates of the worldwide Anglican Communion for their approval at the 2008 Lambeth Conference.
The Archbishop’s plan amounts to the churches agreeing to be ruled by a dual magisterium facilitating the liberal Anglican Church in Canada and the United States to pursue its progressively degenerate teachings, while the conservative Anglican Church in the “Global South” and elsewhere, gets to coexist by preserving its own tradition without needing to bring up such divisive issues such as morality. The immediate focus of the plan is to preserve unity, and mitigate further disruptions by primates who have their hearts more in doctrinal integrity, than political unity.
The real sticking point in the Archbishop’s plan is to place some measure of centralized authority either in the Archbishop of Canterbury, or some executive body, to prevent further breakup among the provinces acting on their own authority. Ever since the US Episcopal Conference ordained the homosexual Roberts as bishop of New Hampshire, conservative bishops have rushed to offer alternative jurisdiction to conservative parishes and priests, who are tired of the homosexual agenda of the liberal Church, creating a cross-stitch pattern of jurisdiction over many Anglican dioceses.
The proposal may mean something of an Anglican Pope, an idea to which conservatives might not assent, being impatient with Canterbury’s refusal to actively defend basic Christian doctrine and morals. Nor might liberals, who fear that eventually it could mean a conservative takeover of the communion, and the end of progressive degeneracy since their own church numbers are on the decline unlike the conservatives.
Unfortunately, the Anglican Communion may find that no covenant of symbolic unity, can overcome the ever widening chasms of division among its 37 autonomous churches. The African and Asian bishops, who claim 50 million of the 77 million-member Communion, have refused to back down and tacitly permit the Anglican Communion to abandon the most fundamental teachings of Christianity on behavior that Sacred Scripture calls an “abomination”.
On the other side, despite calls for unity, the liberal faction of the church has aggressively pushed its homosexual agenda. Disregarding the 2004 Windsor Report, which called for a moratorium on the consecration of homosexual bishops and blessings for same-sex “marriages” the diocese of California had 3 homosexuals among 7 candidates for bishop including a lesbian, Bonnie Perry, whose previous pastoral skills according to the Telegraph included lectures such as, “How Body Piercing Can Enhance Your Congregation: Creative Liturgies to Reach Generation X”. Although, a married man, the liberal pro-homosexual, Mark Andrus, was elected instead.
The Telegraph quotes Canon Chris Sudgen, the executive secretary of Anglican Mainstream International as saying: It’s very clear that there is a group of people in power in the highest echelons of the Episcopalian Church in America for whom this [the homosexual agenda] is a very deliberate crusade.”
The real test of whether or not the Church can avoid schism will be the US Episcopal General Convention in Columbus, Ohio on June 13th, where it shall choose to “repent” its agenda, or throw everything to the wind and move forward. If there is no repentance by June, Canterbury may have to forbid the American bishops from attending the Lambeth conference in 2008, one of the few symbols of unity in the Anglican Communion.
Related Coverage from the Telegraph: