Friday, August 29, 2008

Straight Talk from the GAFCON Primates’ Council

There wasn’t much attention paid to it, but the GAFCON Primates’ Council met in London earlier this month. Now, a communiqué from said council is out.

The straight talk of the communiqué is refreshing. And the Primates exhibit a great degree of clarity in evaluating the current situation:

We maintain that three new facts of the Anglican Communion must be faced. We are past the time when they can be reversed.

First, some Anglicans have sanctified sinful practices and will continue to do so whatever others may think. Second, churches and even dioceses affected by this disobedience have rightly withdrawn fellowship while wishing to remain authentic Anglicans. So-called 'border-crossing' is another way of describing the provision of recognition and care for those who have been faithful to the teachings of Holy Scripture. Third, there is widespread impaired and broken sacramental communion amongst Anglicans with far-reaching global implications. The hope that we may somehow return to the state of affairs before 2003 is an illusion.

Any sound strategy must accommodate itself to these facts.

They see the urgency of providing for faithful distressed Anglicans in North America:

. . . the Council and its Advisory Board will seek to deal with the problems of those who have confessed the biblical faith in the face of hostility and found the need on grounds of conscience and in matters of great significance to break the normal bonds of fellowship in the name of the gospel. For the sake of the Anglican Communion this is an effort to bring order out of the chaos of the present time and to make sure as far as possible that some of the most faithful Anglican Christians are not lost to the Communion. It is expected that priority will be given to the possible formation of a province in North America for the Common Cause Partnership.

The contrast with the current Archbishop of Canterbury is striking. He seems to care little that Anglicanism is losing orthodox faithful by the droves. And instead of providing for the orthodox, he strings them along. The Primates themselves recognize this policy of delay (though they, being more polite than me, don’t directly accuse ++Rowan of it):

Indeed, delay itself seems to be a strategy employed by some in order to resolve the issue through weariness.

Thanks be to God that the GAFCON Primates have the backbone to be done with such delay and to move forward.

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