What has been exercising the minds of Anglicans in recent years, as the culture wars over human sexuality have raged, is the relationship of Unity and Truth. How to reconcile radically divergent opinions in a single communion?
Some have put a premium on Truth ”“ and so have been prepared to take unilateral action or to cross ecclesial boundaries in order to uphold it. Others have openly preferred Unity. Heresy, as one American bishop tersely put it, is to be preferred to schism.
And there has been no respite. No sooner had the crisis over women in the episcopate subsided than another conflict took its place ”“ over the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of practising homosexuals….
The Windsor Report (2004), instead of addressing this pressing issue head on, chose by procedural sleight of hand to avoid it:
”˜The mandate of this Commission has been to examine, and make recommendations in relation to, the formal results, in terms of our Communion one with another within Anglicanism, of the recent events which have been described. We repeat that we have not been invited, and are not intending, to comment or make recommendations on the theological andethical mailers concerning the practice of same sex relations and the “blessing or ordination or consecration of those who engage in them [italics theirs].
Having outlined the problems, and sketched the deeper symptoms we believe to lie beneath them, it is time to examine more fully, in this Section, the nature of the Communion we share, the bonds which hold it together, the ways in which all this can be threatened and how such threats might be met.’
Read it all.