In his Pentecost Letterii the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, while recognizing the serious nature of our divisions, sees them simply as conflicting truth claims held by equally sincere groups within the Communion. He makes no appeal to the revealed truth of Scripture, the historic teaching of the Church or the recognized views of the vast majority of Christians throughout the world and throughout all the ages. Instead he writes, “We have not fully received the Pentecostal gift of mutual understanding for common mission!” and proposes more and more meetings for mutual exploration. This prescription seems doomed to failure.
He did, however, suggest modest sanctions towards those Provinces that have formally violated the Windsor moratoria. These sanctions are that their representatives should not be participants in the ecumenical dialogues in which the Communion is formally engaged or serve as full members of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order. In truth, depending upon how one interprets the phrase “formally violated”, this actually affects only a handful of people.
The reaction of TEC leadership, however, has been one of outrage, disbelief and much hand wringing on the Internet! But more insidious they have redoubled their efforts to look for support and spread their revisionist views around the Communion. They are using a variety of means including their considerable financial clout to seduce and divide the orthodox Provinces. Some African bishops have been offered hundreds of thousands of dollars for much needed projects if they will deny their convictions and embrace the TEC viewpoint. Most stand firm but some give way. It is an agonizing time for so many of our sisters and brothers and yet the leadership of the Communion seems unable or unwilling to act in any substantive way.