Monday, February 01, 2016

TEC & the Anglican Communion

Several people have asked me to comment on the recent Primates' Meeting and what they had to say about The Episcopal Church's participation in the Anglican Communion.

I have to be honest and begin by saying that following my 15 and 17-year old nephews in Avoca Tiger's sports is far more important to me these days than what a bunch of self-important and self-empowered bishops have to say about anything (even if they do call themselves by the ridiculous name of "primates."

Nevertheless, I think that only two things important came out of this meeting.

1. TEC is still part of the Anglican Communion, and at this point a full and equal partner no matter the suggestions made by the Primates.  The Primates have no legal or canonical standing to decide anything.  The legal and canonical body is the Anglican Consultative Council, which meets in April, and at which three members of TEC will be present. This body only, of the four "Instruments of Communion" (another ridiculous name), can act.  It is not at all clear, however, how they can act on the Primates' proposals, since they are unprecedented.

2.  Our new Presiding Bishop Michael Curry emerges as a significant player on the Anglican world stage.  All reports are that he not only handled himself well, he threw some confusion into the mix because he earnestly loves Jesus and is convinced that the actions the General Convention have taken over the years in regard to lgbt issues or not only right, but scripturally and theologically based.  Cudos as well to the President of the House of Deputies, the Rev. Gay Jennings, who has made it clear we are not going backwards even while we stay vitally connected to the rest of the Communion.

The Rev. Winnie Varghese had the best comment about this whole mess:  "Only in the Anglican Communion would curtailing attendance at committee meetings be thought of as a punishment."  No one has suggested that companion dioceses relationships end (alas, my diocese has none at the present time), nor the good work of Episcopal Relief & Development throughout the world (always done through the local diocese) be temporarily suspended.  Those are the places where the real work of the Anglican Communion happen.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program:  Go Tigers!

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