Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Expectation and Necessity of Real Action at the Primates Meeting

Matt Kennedy has posted an article at Stand Firm about expectations for the Primates Meeting. He notes recent attempts to lower expectations for it, but insists that people are right to expect real action and discipline from the Primates Meeting. And he’s right.

First, there are the past statements of the Primates themselves, which he goes though. Second is the necessity for action.

General Convention ’06 was a disaster. And the Episcopal Church had been told any number of times that an adequate response to Windsor/Dromantine was needed from that convention. And the Presiding Bishop that convention elected has been far more assertive in heresy and in persecuting the faithful than any of her predessessors.

If GC06 and its sorry aftermath doesn’t convince the Primates that discipline is necessary, what the heck will? If the --Schori sponsored persecution of orthodox priests and parishes and the difficulty in getting consents for the election of a strong orthodox Bishop of South Carolina doesn’t convince the Primates that “a separate ecclesiastical structure of the Anglican Communion in the USA” called for at Kigali is necessary, what will?

If the Primates Meeting fails to take strong action in these two areas, then many orthodox will rightly conclude that a church that doesn’t care enough about truth to discipline doesn’t care enough about truth. And that a church that doesn’t care enough about the faithful to act to provide a safe place for them doesn’t care enough about the faithful. And they will see the Anglican Communion as such a church and leave.

As Matt Kennedy puts it:

If the leaders of the Anglican communion fail to discipline the Episcopal Church not only for “breaking the bonds of affection” but, more importantly, for defying the Word of the living God, then you will see Windsor and Network dioceses begin to crumble as many of the strongest parishes realize that the Communion is toothless and that the Windsor “process” is just that…an endless process leading nowhere…and depart.

For the new Covenant to mean anything at all; for the Anglican Communion as it is currently bound together to retain any integrity, the primates at Tanzania must act in accordance with their words and in accordance with the processes they themselves have established and recognize that the Episcopal Church has chosen to walk away and, at the very least, take concrete steps to establish/recognize/legitimize some form of separate structure.

Otherwise, words, promises, and exhortations to patience will, rightly, be recognized as groundless, baseless and untrustworthy.

Now I am actually cautiously optimistic about the upcoming meeting for a number of reasons I may go into in a later post.

But this is it. Pushing matters to the next meeting won’t do.

Windsor/Dromantine gave the Episcopal Church three years to respond. And the Episcopal Church has made quite clear where it stands – against the minimal requests made by Windsor/Dromantine, against the faithful and, yes, by the election of a heretic as Presiding Bishop, against the faith.

What reason is there to see more before acting? The only reason for further delay is an unwillingness to do what is right, catholic, and biblical. The time for discipline and forming a replacement province is NOW.

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