The Admiral of Morality has posted a comment so well-argued (and contrary to my own gloomier assessment of yesterday’s developments) that I thought it deserved greater visibility. It would be nice if it he’s right and I am wrong:
Take it away Admiral:
With one stroke the Archbishop of Canterbury has reduced the realignment to rubble.
Actions based on statements that Canterbury or the Communion countenance schism or isolation of the Episcopal Church can now clearly be viewed as nonsense.
For years we have been hearing how the Windsor Report (it is now “the Windsor Process” on the communion website) is the only way forward.
Just last week, Tom Wright was yelling at anyone still in the room that Windsor is “of course” the same as Scripture and it is the only way to go and all must be compliant.
The panel charged with discerning the Episcopal Church’s response finds our response positive, faithful, and sufficient. If Windsor is the only way forward, then the Episcopal church is on the path forward by showing its commitment to Communion-wide unity.
Because what other church has been asked to so strongly comply with Windsor as ours?
Answer: not a one.
What other church has debated Windsor as thoroughly and struggled with it at the highest levels, besides ours?
Answer: not a one.
And we know why. Because the hopes of the schismatics was to pin their schism on findings and statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury, that the Episcopal Church was not a “Windsor church.”
This has now been rejected by the Archbishop of Canterbury and his panel.
The Archbishop’s panel is authoritative. In fact we may consider it to be the final authority on this matter. It is a group of the joint committee bringing together 3 Instruments of Unity–the Archbishop himself, primates (some of whom by the way spoke out regularly against the Episcopal Church) and laity. It is a group of the same committee that is working on the Anglican Covenant.
This panel’s findings are going to be very difficult to lay aside, because laying aside the findings means laying aside Windsor.
This panel or another like it, should now direct its discernment to the other elements hinted in the recent findings–uninvited and unwanted episcopal intrusions and the failure of national churches to actively engage in the required listening process.