February 13, 2008
Has the Anglican Split Begun?
Uganda's Anglicans to Boycott Lambeth over "Crisis of Identity and Authority."
Events in the global Anglican Communion are going from bad to worse. On Feb. 12, an official governing body of the Anglican Province of Uganda announced that they will not be attending the once-per-decade Lambeth gathering of Anglican bishops from around the world. (Nigeria and Rwanda have also indicated they will not attend. Kenya will decide in April.)
Ugandan Anglicans place the blame at the feet of revisionist and "unrepentant" American Episcopal Bishops and a compromised, ineffective Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, saying:
This decision has been made to protest the invitations extended by the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Rowan Williams, to TEC Bishops whose stand and unrepentant actions created the current crisis of identity and authority in the Anglican Communion.
Look here for the full statement released late on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Meanwhile, in the western suburbs of Chicago, I attended a Wednesday lunch meeting with a senior American Anglican leader who said in essence that the time may soon come for orthodox Anglicans to create some kind of new global structure because of repeated failures of ABC Williams to hold "revisionists" accountable for proceeding with gay ordinations and same-sex rites and for advocating a host of other non-orthodox revisionist teachings.
This leader who spoke at an invitation-only event anticipates creation of a new Anglican Province in North America that orthdox Anglican leaders would recognize. These leaders would then create some kind of new global entity.
Recent hopes that the Anglican Covenant would provide a means to hold revisionists accountable, he said, have been diminished severely because the redraft of the covenant, released in the last 10 days. "Everyone can sign it," he said. Which is a problem since conservatives viewed the drafting of an Anglican Covenant as an acceptable means to create a coherent orthodox majority within the global Anglican Communion anchored around orthodox/reformed theology.
Of course, there has been much speculation for months, if not years, about creation of a new global Anglican body. Now there is more than speculation among conservative Anglicans. They are beginning to strategize what it would look like to have global Anglicanism apart from Canterbury. It seems like those conservatives who have pursued the "inside strategy" of working within TEC and exisiting Anglican procedures (such as the Windsor process) are now reconsidering their strategy.
Finally, the statement from Uganda indicates that conservative Anglicans increasingly see the June event GAFCON, currently slated for Jerusalem, as the focal point for conservative action prior to the Lambeth gathering, starting in mid-July.