I read with interest your 27 December 2007 Statement on the proposed Global Anglican Future Conference. Thank you for unpacking the background, and for your reassurance to your faithful in Sydney that the Conference “is not designed to take the place of Lambeth”. I appreciate your conviction in upholding orthodoxy. I also share you passion in standing together with those Anglicans in North America who are courageously contending for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. I hope we can work together for the good of the Communion in the time to come, to the glory of God.
Your Statement at the same time leaves me, and perhaps others in the Southern Hemisphere, unclear on several crucial points. I look to you, as an archbishop charged with huge responsibility under God, for your further clarification, that your actions can lead to the strengthening of the faithful across the worldwide Communion at this time of deep crisis and uncertainty.
1. What is the particular nature of the crisis before the Communion today? You mentioned several times in your Statement that the issue is over “biblical standards”, especially “in the biblical view of sexual ethics”. I wonder if that depiction adequately reflects the crux of the matter. After all, some other churches and congregations from different traditions have also departed from the “biblical views”. I wonder if the issue before the Anglican Communion is rather this: How do we see ourselves keeping the faith and witnessing together as part of the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church” across the ages and across the oceans? Perhaps at the heart is an ecclesiological issue. So the contention has never been simply on biblical view of sex, but on the particular issues of episcopal election of a candidate living in a committed same-sex relationship, and on the rites of blessing for same-sex unions. The process of discerning the Word and on keeping faith to what is revealed as a community go hand in hand. I suggest this interpretation may perhaps be fundamental, and determines how we respond and map the way forward.