A Mississippi article on the Archbishop of Canterbury's call for a gathering of primates

“As of now, the GAFCON primates have said that if the Anglican Church of Canada and the U.S. is at the table for the January meeting, they will not attend,” said the Rev. Paul Stephens, rector at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Tupelo, “And that’s unfortunate.”

Stephens said that worldwide, the Anglican Communion is connected, but not obligated. The Anglican church was spread through British colonization. Wherever there was a British colony, there is now an Anglican church. Globally, 38 Anglican provinces make up the Anglican Communion, the centerpiece of which is the Church of England.

“In terms of authority, the Archbishop of Canterbury isn’t like the Pope. He doesn’t have the jurisdiction to ”˜make’ me do anything, though if he did I would almost certainly acquiesce,” Stephens said. “Anglican provinces have autonomy, and make their own rulings within themselves that don’t have bearing on the others. However, there’s a saying that goes something like, ”˜If someone sneezes at an Episcopal church in Corinth, someone at an Episcopal church in Bay St. Louis will say “Bless you.”’”

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

2 comments on “A Mississippi article on the Archbishop of Canterbury's call for a gathering of primates

  1. pastorchuckie says:

    The article is partly correct.

    The “trouble” did not begin with the consecration of Bishop Robinson. But at least up until then the trouble had not caused so many of the parties to break fellowship, refuse even to talk, with each other.

    There are many Provinces in the Communion that are the result of [u]disciple-making missionaries[/u] rather than colonialism.

    There is no consensus that Provinces are “bound in spirit through the Instruments of Communion.” The credibility of the Instruments is very much open to question. The Windsor Report proposed an Anglican polity more binding than the old, informal “bonds of affection”; one that, [u]some[/u] hoped, would allow the Communion as a whole to discipline Provinces that departed from the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ “as this Church has received the same.”

    Some Provinces believe there should be a system of discipline to deal with other Provinces, but few welcome the idea of letting [u]themselves[/u] be disciplined by foreigners.

    Episcopal bishops have jurisdiction over [u]Episcopal congregations[/u] within their own Dioceses. Not over Anglicans who are no longer Episcopalians.

    I hope the Primates will attend and that there will be some real progress toward reconciliation.

    Pax Christi!

    Chuck Bradshaw+
    Mityana, Uganda

  2. MichaelA says:

    Rev Stephens is decent in the way he speaks, and I respect that, even though I think he has a number of things significantly skewed. For example, Pastorchuckie at #1 rightly points out that its quite paternalistic to say that “the Anglican church was spread through colonization”. Still, I appreciate that Rev Stephens is attempting to dialogue. However, one only has to do a quick read across articles on Episcopal Cafe to see that there are many others in TEC who are not interested in any sort of dialogue with Christians who are not extreme liberal.

    i hope that the Gafcon Primates maintain their position of not attending a meeting which includes leaders of TEC and ACoC UNLESS there is significant evidence of repenting from those bodies.

    The problem is that so far there is none – the denials of orthodox Christology by Katherine Jefferts Schori have never been repudiated; the lawsuits have not stopped; the deposed priests have not been rehabilitated; and there has been no expression of regret for consecrating practicing homosexuals to the priesthood and episcopate. Not one of those things have happened, so there is no basis for bringing together the orthodox and the liberals.