Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Bedford Communique

As mentioned here, the Anglican Communion Network Council met in Bedford last week. They issued a strong communiqué. I found the following paragraph especially encouraging:

We express our urgent desire that the Anglican Communion Network continue to work diligently to build formal relationships with Anglican jurisdictions not currently in communion with Canterbury, to solidify those relationships, and to work for structural unity with them.

This is nothing that new. There are been a number of contacts between the Network and Continuing Anglican bodies like the Reformed Episcopal Church. Network head Bishop Duncan has taken some grief for those.

But I cannot recall the Network’s intent to work to include those bodies ever being stated in such strong and clear language. As a member of the REC who wants stronger links to other orthodox Anglicans, I’m encouraged!

With links to the Network and links to Primates Akinola, Gomez, and Venables, the REC and other orthodox non-ECUSA Anglicans in North America could find themselves a part of an orthodox Anglican Communion before too many years. We could be more connected to the Anglican Communion than the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada.

Wouldn’t that be sweet irony.

Another paragraph from the communiqué I find interesting:

The primates of the Anglican Communion at their meeting in Newry called “as a matter of urgency” for a panel of reference (paragraph 15), and yet as of this date, the panel has not been organized. We implore the Archbishop of Canterbury to organize this panel immediately to help ensure the protection of beleaguered parishes and clergy of the Episcopal Church.

Sounds like some polite but public impatience to me.

I, too, am wondering why the Panel of Reference hasn’t been yet formed. With situations in Connecticut, Brazil, and elsewhere, the need is urgent, and the Primates were right to say so. I realize there are probably procedures to follow, consultations to make, etc. But I’m scratching my head about the delay.

My impatience has been proved mistaken before. So I’ll say no more . . . for now.

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