Archbishop Cranmer Blog on Archbp Justin Welby's Proposed Gathering of Primates

They’ll be discussing what unites them and what divides them; whether the Communion ought to continue as it is presently modelled, and whether the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury needs to change. There will be no ”˜Continuing Indaba”˜ for the pursuit of “cultural models of consensus”, and no meditation on the mission of “mutual creative action”. The days of fudge, patch and hedge are over ”“ unless, of course, all the gathered Archbishops, Presiding Bishops and Chief Pastors determine to ignore the pleas and prayers of the Primus inter Pares.

But (and it’s a very, very interesting ”˜but’), Justin Welby has not only invited the 37 recognised primates of the Wordwide Anglican Communion: according to Lambeth Palace (..and here’s the Guardian headline..) he has also written a letter to Foley Beach. That isn’t a cruise-ship resort in sunny Florida: The Most Rev’d Dr Foley Beach is Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which split from The Episcopal Church (TEC) when The Most Rev’d Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori set her face against social conservatism and theological orthodoxy on matters relating to gender and sexuality. The letter of invitation to Archbishop Foley is significant because ACNA is not a recognised member of the Worldwide Anglican Communion (according to the traditional instruments of communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury).

Yet what credible discussions may take place if he is snubbed, since ACNA is affirmed and recognised by other Anglican provinces, in particular those belonging to GAFCON?

There are clearly provincial fractures and parallel churches already operating throughout the Communion.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Christology, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

2 comments on “Archbishop Cranmer Blog on Archbp Justin Welby's Proposed Gathering of Primates

  1. BlueOntario says:

    At the end of the Second World War Britain spent much energy, time, and treasure to maintain its seat in the places of world influence and power, even as the empire dissolved. This piece fine example of a post-colonial Britain (through the Archbishop of Canterbury), where it retrenches and feels powerless in the greater world. I’m not sure which Britain (or Archbishop of Canterbury) was or is the better or the more truthful.

  2. MichaelA says:

    The Global South has taken the position that TEC and ACoC must repent of their apostasy before they are re-admitted into the full life of the Communion. Justin Welby’s real aim in this meeting is to overcome that position.

    He wants to get at least some of the GS Primates to acknowledge that TEC and ACoC can be full participants in the Anglican Communion, without the need for any repentance.

    This is vital, because at present the AC cannot function: If the ABC calls a Lambeth conference and invites TEC, many bishops will refuse to attend, perhaps more than refused last time; If he calls a Primates Meeting and invites TEC, many of the Primates will refuse to attend. Under those circumstances, the liberals cannot silence opposition by pointing to “decisions of the whole communion”.

    And note: ++Welby cannot afford to disinvite TEC: The CofE is going down the same road as TEC, and if he concedes that TEC should be disciplined, he invites the same discipline onto his own church at some point in the next 12 months or so.

    Inviting Foley Beach was an easy thing to do: Welby has already stated that ACNA is not in the Communion (in his opinion), so inviting ++Beach is no different to inviting someone from the Orthodox Churches to observe.