In August the Standing Committee of The Anglican Communion met and decided that they did not have the authority to discipline The Episcopal Church (TEC) for violating the moratoria passed by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC). They deferred that conversation and decision to the next meetings of the Primates and the ACC. This was likely the most favorable decision TEC could hope for. It kept TEC formally within the Anglican Communion. I say formally because TEC is actually out of communion with most Anglicans around the world. They remain in communion with a majority of provinces but a minority of people. Its a mess.
It is now up to the Primate’s Meeting and probably the next ACC meeting to sort things out. This is where things get messier. A significant number of Primates have said they will not attend the Primate’s Meeting if the Presiding Bishop of TEC is invited. If they do not attend it is doubtful whether TEC will be censored in any way. If that happens, the Anglican Communion will enter a prolonged period of chaos as the Instruments of Communion (The Archbishop of Canterbury, Primates Meeting, ACC, and Lambeth Conference) will have all failed to maintain communion. I am sure that there are lots of conversations going on amongst the Primates these days. I hope all the Primates turn up in Ireland for the Meeting and finally address the torn and fraying fabric of the Anglican Communion.
I am not an Episcopalian. I am an Anglican and a member of the Anglican Church in North America. Some might rightly ask why I care what happens with TEC. There are several answers to that question.
I care because I have friends still within TEC and I am saddened by the grief they have over their wayward church.
I care because I am an Anglican and TEC has unilaterally torn and frayed the fabric of the Anglican Communion and to this day has demonstrated no remorse for doing so.
I care because I am a Christian, and TEC’s actions and continuing behavior harms the Christian witness.
The Primates will next meet at the Emmaus Retreat & Conference Centre in Dublin, Ireland. The Meeting will take place between the 25th and 31st January, 2011.