Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Preview of Tanzania on Monday

Most reasserting blogs have been filled with gloom and despair in the last few days. This is as a result of the analyses carried out on various blogsites which view the sub-group report on TEC’s response to the WR as detrimental to the orthodox agenda. I have advocated on several blogs that the despair exhibited by many is unwarranted. Now, I wish to reflect on Archbishop Gomez’s statements at yesterday’s press conference. I believe when weighed, they will reveal much cause for excitement. What has the Archbishop told us?

1) There is no disciplinary action which you should expect from the AC towards TEC

The reasserting camp should understand that the Primates are unable to take any action against TEC. Archbishop Gomez notes: “[u]nfornately the Anglican Communion has no central legal authority and we have really no means of holding one another in check other than through mutual admonition and meeting and talking…” All the wishful thinking of disciplining TEC past what the AC has asked of it previously is merely that: wishful thinking. It ain’t gonna happen. Not because the Primates are cowards or have sold out. Rather, they lack the mechanism by which to carry this out.

2) An Anglican covenant has been proposed which effectively prevents TEC and/or any Communion church from taking any unilateral decision which affects the other Communion members.

Archbishop Gomez notes: “we are producing something that has merit and power for the Anglican Community.”

3) The Anglican covenant reflects orthodox teaching.

Archbishop Gomez notes: “we have produced what we consider to be a statement of classical Anglicanism…” Clearly such a covenant is not only a mechanism for hold each member accountable but also expresses a longstanding Anglican theology. There is clearly no new fangled understanding.

I believe that the expectations which the orthodox camp had with respect to TEC have been ill-founded. However, unable to respond in a desired manner, the Primates have developed a document which sets forth the means for handling any similar events in the future. The description of the document as being classically Anglican should tell us that it will be impossible for TEC to continue to express any further unilateral behavior. Should it wish to go in a different direction than the Communion route, it will effectively walk apart.

This should be grounds for rejoicing in the orthodox camp. Now we await news on a new Anglican Province in North America.

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