Jordan Hylden: The Anglicans at GAFCON: What Happened in Jerusalem
Monday, July 7, 2008
Even before it began, the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON, as its organizers called it) was dismissed as a failed attempt at schism—and hailed as a triumphant new beginning—for the long-troubled Anglican Communion.
In fact, however, it’s too soon to tell which it will be, even now that the conference has finished. A meeting of over one thousand conservative Anglicans held this June in Jerusalem, GAFCON stopped short of enacting schism with Canterbury. Instead, the final statement declared itself to be the charter of a new global “fellowship of confessing Anglicans.” As such, GAFCON was welcomed by Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, as “positive and encouraging”—a sentiment shared by many and fully justified by the conference’s theological substance and irenic tone.
But questions and grounds for concern remain, and whether or not the movement represented by GAFCON will wind up serving the faith and unity of historic Anglicanism or lead to further fragmentation and schism still remains to be seen. the rest