Robert Munday on the 2016 Primates Gathering–Anglican Communion Acts–18 Years Late

The most significant outcome of that first GAFCON meeting was the invitation extended to conservative Anglicans in North America to form an alternative province: the Anglican Church in North America. The rending of the Communion through the disobedience of Communion liberals had occurred, and the final steps envisioned in To Mend the Net–the suspension of communion and the establishment of a new, alternative province–had become a reality.

In retrospect, the tragedy of this history can more clearly be seen: the painful departure of thousands of North American Anglicans from their church homes, countless millions of dollars spent in litigation. All of this might have been avoided if the three Archbishops of Canterbury under whose watches all this has occurred had provided faithful, godly, unequivocal leadership.

But there is an even greater tragedy: “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (1 Corinthians 14:8). Of the three great streams of apostolic Christianity–Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Anglicanism–two stand unequivocally for historic Christian faith and morals. Only Anglicanism has equivocated at the highest level.
The churches of formerly mainline Protestantism have embraced the zeitgeist. Too many Anglican leaders have chosen the path of mainline Protestantism rather than biblical, apostolic, and catholic faithfulness. And damage has been done to countless souls through the ambiguous or downright immoral witness of these Anglican leaders and church bodies.

Many count it a sign of God’s grace that, in this week’s meeting of the primates in Canterbury, the GAFCON and Global South primates have finally taken an effective stand to restore godly order and discipline to the Anglican Communion. This is a first step–a baby step–that, though it goes in the right direction, does not go nearly far enough. Will this first step ultimately lead to the restoration of the Anglican Communion to historic Christian faith and morals? For that to happen a lot of hearts will have to be changed.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, --Justin Welby, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

2 comments on “Robert Munday on the 2016 Primates Gathering–Anglican Communion Acts–18 Years Late

  1. moheb says:

    Thank you, Fr. Munday, for this excellent article.

    What grieved me most is that the Primates’ Communique focused on the results not the root cause of the brokenness in communion. The same-sex marriage approved by TEC’s General Convention, the focus of the Primates Communique, is the result of a theology that has challenged: the authority of Scripture, the nature of Christ, the existence of sin,the way to salvation, and the definition of Love. A communion that does not hold a common theology is no communion – it is an organization. Addressing the symptom does not cure the underlying desease.

    On the other hand, had the Primates focussed on the cause of the brokenness and achieved unity, that would have take care of the “results” as well. The cost of that unity would have been much higher – loss of members of the Body. But Jesus had anticipated this by advising that to enter the Kingdom one may need to sacrifice members of the body that cause stumbling [Matt. 18:8,9; Mark 9:43-47]; and He warned of the cost and consequences of keeping those members so that the body can remain intact.

    I pray that over the next three years the root cause of the tear in the fabric of the Communion will be addressed.

  2. MichaelA says:

    Great to hear from Canon Munday again.

    The lesson from all of this is that the main focus for the orthodox must remain what it always has been – the positive *building* of congregations, dioceses and provincial communication.

    I do not mean constructing buildings, but building up the real church from the ground up.

    The primary reason that this meeting happened in the way that it did is because ACNA has been a success. That has forced even the liberals and the establishment types to take notice. The strength of the orthodox lies in church planting, diocese creation and province creation, and that’s where they have to focus their main effort.