Out of Africa

Jonathan Petrie of London’s Daily Telegraph explains what’s going on as the world’s Anglican primates meet in Tanzania. Basically, the bishops of the developing world are still hoping mad over the ordination of Vicki Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, and the Episcopal Church’s refusal to stop ordaining homosexuals. The don’t much like presiding ‘bishop’ Kate Schori, and have set up an alternative conference in a neighboring hotel.

One of the many problems in worldwide Anglicanism is that the bishops of the developing world (who represent the majority of Anglicans) don’t have the same urbane, “let’s us compromise all things to retain the appearance of unity” mentality that English Anglicans get just by being middle class Anglicans. These are people with a different worldview and a different voltage running through their circuits. They do all sorts of ‘distasteful’ things like healings, exorcisms, growing big churches and believing the Christian gospel. No wonder Kate Schori and the other mainstream liberal Anglican bishops are having conniptions.

But hey, let’s pray something good comes out of the mess.

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  • I’m not sure what to think about this.Part of me wonders what would happen if the Anglican Communion does break. Those Catholic-leaning parts could explore their catholicity, whilst those who are Protestant in nature can go join the Protestants!Mind you that’s just one possibility. If it sticks together, and becomes even more of a ‘third way’, what then? Like I said, I don’t know what to think…

  • Let us pray indeed. However smug the Roman community may feel, the cause of Christianity in the world will not be served by the (very likely)break up of the Anglican Communion. At the very least, Roman Catholics need to come to terms with the fact that many of those opposing the liberal position prevalent in the Global North, a position I must presume they would support, are behaving with a conspicuous lack of Christian charity. After all Our Lord commands us to ‘love your enemies. Do good to those that hate you . . .’ There’s precious little of these sentiments in evidence at the moment.

  • Was that a Freudian slip, my writing ‘hoping’ mad rather than ‘hopping’ mad?I’m not sure Catholics are being all that smug. Most of the commentary I read from Catholics is bemused curiosity over what’s happening in Anglicanism.If we are smug, we shouldn’t be, and if I have been, I’m sorry.