Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Archbishop of Canterbury: Two tracks of Anglicanism possible

This came across the transom early this morning, and it is already the subject of instant commentaries on the web: A letter from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams reacting to our recent General Convention. 

In the letter, the Archbishop thanks the Episcopal Church for showing respect for and commitment to the Anglican Communion. However, he goes onto suggest that we may be headed for a "two-track" communion, one that is in a covenant with like-minded churches, and one that is innovative (guess which one we fall into). There is much to digest in this letter, many nuances (++Rowan is always nuanced), and it will take some effort to interpret his full meaning. 

I've posted other bishop's letters elsewhere on this blog, so it only fair to post this one (and do read the others when you get a chance; it is also worth reading the commentaries by other diocesan bishops which you can access under "Bloggin' Bishops" on the left side of this blog).

My suggestion is that you take the time to read this, and we will add it to our conversation at a forum on Sunday at 11:30 am. Here is the start of ++Rowan's letter followed by a link to the full text.
No-one could be in any doubt about the eagerness of the Bishops and Deputies of the Episcopal Church at the General Convention to affirm their concern about the wider Anglican Communion. Their generous welcome to guests from elsewhere, including myself, the manifest engagement with the crushing problems of the developing world and even the wording of one of the more controversial resolutions all make plain the fact that the Episcopal Church does not wish to cut its moorings from other parts of the Anglican family. There has been an insistence at the highest level that the two most strongly debated resolutions (DO25 and CO56) do not have the automatic effect of overturning the requested moratoria, if the wording is studied carefully. There is a clear commitment to seek counsel from elsewhere in the Communion about certain issues and an eloquent resolution in support of the 'Covenant for a Communion in Mission' as commended by ACC13. All of this merits grateful acknowledgement. The relationship between the Episcopal Church and the wider Communion is a reality which needs continued engagement and encouragement.
To read the rest of the letter, click HERE. The photo is of the Archbishop as he preached at General Convention in Anaheim.

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