Horatio

Horatio
[Photo by Jacquelyn Griffin)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Declaration of Independence

Today, the Primates of the Anglican Communion issued a statement, that, after some pious maundering, listed seven points of agreement:
1. We gathered as Anglican Primates to pray and consider how we may preserve our unity in Christ given the ongoing deep differences that exist among us concerning our understanding of marriage.

2. Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other Provinces could further exacerbate this situation.

3. All of us acknowledge that these developments have caused further deep pain throughout our Communion.

4. The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.

5. In keeping with the consistent position of previous Primates’ meetings such unilateral actions on a matter of doctrine without Catholic unity is considered by many of us as a departure from the mutual accountability and interdependence implied through being in relationship with each other in the Anglican Communion.

6. Such actions further impair our communion and create a deeper mistrust between us. This results in significant distance between us and places huge strains on the functioning of the Instruments of Communion and the ways in which we express our historic and ongoing relationships.

7. It is our unanimous desire to walk together. However given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.

8. We have asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint a Task Group to maintain conversation among ourselves with the intention of restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace of Christ.
Never mind the facts that the Church of Uganda supported passage on a draconian anti-gay criminal law, as did the Church of Nigeria, even boasting about the fact in its response to the farcical "Listening Process"on homosexuality the Anglican Communion went through in 2007. Such patent victimization through secular law of a minority group with the Anglican church of the province cheering? A-OK with Canterbury and the other Primates. Likewise the never-addressed, let alone redressed, territorial incursions into the United States by the same churches, violating a moratorium that only TEC observed. Again, no problem.

But our treating gays and lesbians as people formed in the Imago Dei causes their oppressors pain, and we have torn the Communion?

The Archbishop of Uganda apparently wanted more swift and condign punishment than that which was delivered. He walked out of the meeting, declaring in a statement that "I have left the meeting in Canterbury, but I want to make it clear that we are not leaving the Anglican Communion. Together with our fellow GAFCON Provinces and others in the Global South, we are the Anglican Communion; the future is bright." (His italics, my emetics.) They're making a play to hijack the Anglican brand, which Welby is furthering.

So now we are supposed to play the repentant Magdalene?

No.

Just--no. No more of this Game of Mitres. No more of our money (we are the second largest contributor after England itself, and one of the two only givers in 6 figures, while Uganda and Nigeria give no money) fueling the great machinery that allows these ecclesiastical gangsters to cloak their embrace of human rights violators in the robes of the Church. No Dane Geld.

It's Independence Day again.

I for one am no longer interested in reconciliation at the expense of our brothers and sisters, but in freedom for the oppressed.

The Communion is dying.

Let it die.

Maybe--just maybe--it can then rise.