Posted on: November 7th, 2007 Global Anglican Communion

My dad (a parishioner at the Falls Church) was in Austin with us a few days ago.

The impetus for my thinking about these things was a conversation he & I had, in which he sort of represented TFC’s perspective on how things are shaking out globally in the Anglican Communion.

So, Bishop Robert Duncan is actually, as of the last week or so, formally leading the Diocese of Pittsburgh out of the Episcopal Church. That is truly a new and unique development of historical proportions, especially since he is one of the “Camp Allen Bishops,” together with the Bishop of Texas, Don Wimberly.

Meanwhile, the Global South Primates have denounced what the House of Bishops said (based on the report given by the Communion Sub-group of the Joint Standing Committee to the Archbishop of Canterbury) in New Orleans in late September.

So we await the Primates’ response to New Orleans.

Based solely on the constitution / polity of ECUSA, ought they to submit to the Primates? Maybe not.

But do the bonds of peace outweigh the constitutional stuff? Yes. All sides would agree, I would hope.

The real question, putting it charitably is: “To the extent that ECUSA really believes that it needs to prophetically minister to gays & lesbians, will that commitment outweigh its commitment to global unity?”

My default position in all of this is that the Windsor Report is spot on, and that the Episcopal Church should submit fully to it, as the Camp Allen bishops say.

However, if the Episcopal House of Bishops were to argue in a unified way that this is an unacceptable encroachment on their independence and autonomy, I think that would then open up a quite intriguing conversation about the way we conceive of the church in the USA.

In other words, this whole debate, the impetus (“presenting issue” is the language of the Windsor report) of which was issues related to human sexuality, might be about the practice of “American religion” as much as it is about anything else.

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