Here is the correspondence between Bishop of Fort Worth, Jack Iker and presiding Bishop-ette Mrs Schori. Tough talk from both sides as yet another Episcopal Diocese plans to pull out of the ECUSA. I like this line from Bishop Iker: “I must remind you that 25 years ago this month, the newly formed Diocese of Fort Worth voluntarily voted to enter into union with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. If circumstances warrant it, we can likewise, by voluntary vote, terminate that relationship. Your aggressive, dictatorial posturing has no place in that decision.”
What we are witnessing is the disintegration of the Anglican Communion. I predict that the alternative conservative global Anglican federation will never materialize. If it does it will not hold together for long. This is because among Anglicans there is no agreed central authority figure, governing structure or even agreed set of theological and liturgical principles.
It is all well and good that the conservative Anglicans want to separate from the increasingly non-Christian liberal ECUSA, but to whom shall they go? They are sheep without a shepherd. New alliances will doubtless be forged, but why should an Archbishop in Africa necessarily be the one to lead such a federation? How will he be chosen?
Anglicans need to ask the big authority questions. Where is an authority that is both historical and yet adaptable for the modern world? Where is an authority that is both universal and local? Where is an authority that is congruent with both Scripture and the 2000 year tradition of the Church? Where is an authority that is both intellectually satisfying yet accessible to the illiterate? Where is an authority that speaks with uncompromising candor yet is compassionate to the sinner? Where is an authority that transcends all national, historical and contemporary ideologies yet gathers the truth from them all into a new synthesis?
Anglicanism in its various national allegiances, ideologies, theologies, liturgies and spiritualities can never do this.
Catholicism can. Build on the Rock.
UPDATE: here’s a good article on the meltdown of liberal Christianity.