This editorial falls far short--as is alas becoming all too common with this publication--of seeing a way for Lambeth 2008 to make any kind of meaningful contribution toward enabling the current huge mess in the Anglican Communion to become any better. True, it is a matter of working together, and I have long been insisting it will involve sacrifice on all sides.
However, any meaningful step in a constructive direction must include the North American church's cessation of the practice which is precisely at issue in debate. Christians have heretofore considered what Anglicans are currently debating as impermissible and immoral. We cannot have a debate about whether to do something which the American church in particular with ever increasing speed is continuing to do. The way in which the American church has gone about this has been a fiasco for those advocating for this change . The global debate by TEC's actions has been set back many more years than most dare to understand.
Amidst all the pleading to work together and to have conversation and on and on must be understood that without a total cessation of the practice--which is what the Windsor Report pleaded for--no meaningful progress is really possible. And what is about to happen at Lambeth 2008 if there is no cessation is that the de facto situation in the entire Anglican Communion will be one of reception on the matter of blessing non-celibate same sex unions. Perceptive readers of the Windsor Report will know that on this matter 'reception' is not the Anglican Communion's collective discernment of how to handle this question. But if nothing is done then whether there is a claim to work together or talk more or not, the tear at the deepest level on the Anglican Communion will get worse. This reality is what the Episcopal Church of the Sudan was rightly getting at.
If this tragedy occurs, the responsibility will lie in manifold places, but it will fall primarily--as it does increasingly--at Archbishop Rowan Williams' feet--KSH.