Mark Harris thinks, so we don’t have to

The proprietor of the blog Preludium has assembled a comprehensive analysis on recent movements on the Anglican right. Sensing that the Archbishop of Catnerbury is not going to punish the North American Churches, several provinces, primarily in Africa, seem ready to break with Canterbury and form their own Communion. The question now is whether this is brinksmanship, or whether they will follow through on their threats.

Harris writes:

So long as the arguments were about whether or not TEC or the Anglican Church of Canada were to be part of the Anglican Communion as currently constituted, communion with Canterbury was seen as essential to being part of the Anglican Communion and being truly Anglican. Now that the arguments are about a reformed Communion (realignment writ large) all bets are off. Canterbury is a growing burden for this second sort of realignment.


So at the moment the question as to whether being in communion with the see of Canterbury is or is not somehow essential to Anglicanism or to a “reformed Anglican Communion” stands. It is increasingly clear that the GSSC [that is, the Global South Steering Committee – ed.] and fellow travelers are going to say “no.”

If this happens there will be at least two different sorts of worldwide Anglican entities, more if you count some of the currently international but not-in-communion bodies. There will at least be the Anglican Communion as now constituted, but smaller, and a Reformed Anglican Communion (also known as the New Improved Anglican Communion or Revised Standard Anglican Communion or whatever). It will be a hard day for all of us, but then we can get on with the Gospel, working with one another as need and concerns permit, finding in each other the deep reservoirs of prayer and thanksgiving that have always been there, exchanging with mutual regard such elements of missionary energy as seem fruitful, and so on.

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