Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I’ve said it before and I’ll say again that I would like to see a split in the Anglican world.  All of us Anglicans should be honest with ourselves and stop pretending that we’re still one church or even one religion.  But since I’m not likely to see a formal break any time soon, I should take whatever victories come my way.  Like this resolution which will be voted on at South Carolina’s upcoming convention:

Recognizing the generosity of spirit and the faithful concern for the Anglican Communion represented by the Global South Primates Steering Committee in offering a means for bodies such as the Diocese of South Carolina to have a formal ecclesiastical connection to the larger Communion and the consequent pastoral relationship,

Be it resolved that the Diocese of South Carolina accept the offer of the newly created Global South Primatial Oversight Council for pastoral oversight of our ministry as a diocese during the temporary period of our discernment of our final provincial affiliation and,

Be it further resolved that in this period of fluidity in the Anglican Communion we reserve the right to revisit this decision, as a convention, should it be necessary duringthis temporary discernment period, however long it may last.

About which, Mark Lawrence had this to say:

I want you to know, also, that I have been in conversation with Archbishop Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) regarding this resolution.  It is my hope that should the Diocese of South Carolina affirm this offer from the Global South Primates’ Steering Committee for Provisional Primatial Oversight that it will not be interpreted, either by those within the Diocese or across the wider Anglican Communion, as a step away from ACNA or any other more permanent provincial affiliation. What it does offer us, and those who may be in similar circumstances, is an ecclesial way of recognizing the relationships we have in the Holy Spirit, through the bonds of affection, and in the mission and gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Therefore, as we continue in this ongoing process of discernment, this Provisional Primatial Oversight, if by God’s grace established, will give us what some might term an extra-provincial diocesan status with an ecclesial body of the larger Anglican family. It should also be noted in this regard; this Provisional Primatial Oversight, while bringing a mutual responsibility in the Gospel, commits us to neither a hasty affiliation nor alleviates our need to continue the work of ongoing discernment for a more permanent provincial relationship.

I’m not now and have never been anyone who ever cared about concepts like “primatial oversight” or “provincial relationship.”  South Carolina basically began North American Anglicanism and should be its own Anglican province; Charleston ought to be handing out “primatial oversight” and “provincial relationship” rather than seeking it.

That said, the fact that the Global South primates are taking this step suggests that the phrase “Anglican Communion” has become meaningless and irrelevant.  Nobody gives a crap any longer who’s “officially” Anglican, what Lambeth Palace decides or what the See of Canterbury thinks about much of anything.

No comments: