Leander S. Harding: Thoughts on Alexandria

The Anglican Communion is in a state of grave crisis and is broken in a way that is very resistant to reconciliation. The church is broken de facto both within provinces and between provinces. There is a sense of the bizarre and of unreality about discussions that view schism as something that approaches but has not yet come. (The next General Convention of The Episcopal Church may clarify this reality in a stunning way.) The church at all levels is torn and the question now is what degree of reconciliation is possible and what will the de jure structures of a reconciled communion look like. It is a positive development that there is a growing recognition that the current instruments of communion are not adequate to maintain the faith, order and unity of a world-wide church. The emphasis on autonomy by the local provinces across the theological spectrum is hard to square with mutual submission in the Body of Christ especially when issues arise that scandalize large portions of the faithful….

All of the suggestions for pastoral care of the alienated orthodox in North America have been too little and too late. The main defect of these proposals is that they are developed without consulting the very people they are supposed to help and are promulgated without a clear signal that those to whom they are supposed to offer relief, see their needs adequately met.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, Windsor Report / Process

2 comments on “Leander S. Harding: Thoughts on Alexandria

  1. seitz says:

    “The suggestion for professionally assisted mediation between the ACNA and other orthodox entities such as The Communion Partners churches and dioceses is poignant but necessary.”

    I did not read the documents in question as proposing ‘mediation’ with CP churches, but with ACNA. The idea of a pastoral visitation mechanism, developed by the ABC, was mooted. Our understanding is that this might work in conjunction with CP, but that is going to have to be hammered out in the days to come. ACNA is on a different footing altogether, not least because of the legal battles and because of its larger aims. ‘Mediation’ is meant to address this. Will it work? Hard to say. But the documents we have seen coming out of the Primates and the WCG do not conflate CP and ACNA, nor for a wide variety of reasons should they (many ACNA supporters roundly condemn CP and mock its insider approach; so Matt Kennedy, et al). So this bit of Leander’s account puzzled me. Perhaps we can find out more about what is being suggested under the rubric of ‘mediation’ and how this is to be related to pastoral visitation notions being considered at the larger communion level.

  2. Laura R. says:

    [blockquote] There is an irony here when much is made of the role of the laity in Anglican polity and the reality of the laity voting with their feet is dismissed and marginalized. There continues to appear to be a lack of understanding of the grass roots nature of what is happening in North America among many of the leaders of the communion. [/blockquote]

    Ironic indeed. Evidently 815 is only concerned with one sort of laity and not the rest of us.