Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Here’s the future as I see it. The ACO will continue, for many years hence, to organize splendid get-togethers for the Primates. Liberals and moderates will attend and have a very nice time sharing and caring and issuing various gaseous statements about climate change and world peace.
Lambeth will go forward as scheduled in 2016 with even fewer global south participants as will the various ACC gatherings.
The Covenant will remain as unacceptable to conservatives as it is now and probably get worse. If it is ever actually successful at joining provinces together, it will be a motley crew bound by watery promises.
At the same time the conservative primates will also continue to meet. And there may be a gathering of orthodox bishops and Primates somewhere at some point in the future and if so, it will mark the beginning of new initiatives and missions and ministries.
The two sides will go about their own business without much engagement across theological lines.
Since the conservatives will not go to many Communion meetings, the official face and voice of the Communion will become more and more bizarre and will be increasingly ignored by serious people…in much the same fashion serious people ignore the Episcopal Church in the United States. But that will bother the conservative primates and bishops less and less as they, like everyone else, go about their business paying little heed to the circus music wafting from Canterbury.
This will not be “the end of the Anglican Communion.” It will not even be the beginning of the end. Don’t expect any dramatic provincial breaks with Canterbury or any calls for a new official Communion center. Do expect the theological and relational ditch presently separating the conservative provinces from Canterbury, the Communion Instruments, and the liberal/moderate provinces to steadily widen to a chasm, a gulf, a deep dark ravine of healthy differentiation. But think of it as a separation rather than a divorce. the rest