A.S. Haley: Consolation on the Loss of Communion
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, the meeting starting in Canterbury tomorrow is not a meeting of the Anglican Communion. It is not even a meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, because it includes the Most Rev. Foley Beach, primate of the Anglican Church in North America -- and ACNA is not a constituent member of the Anglican Communion.
But it will be a milestone in the demise of that Communion.
In a sense, the times have passed the Anglican Communion by. It is no longer equipped with structures that are able to deal with the circumstances facing Protestant churches in the twenty-first century. The Primates' Meeting, as we see, is being bypassed in favor of a gathering of primates; whether another Lambeth Conference will be called is doubtful; and no one particularly cares whether or not the Anglican Consultative Council continues to meet, because it has lost its constituencies in the debacle over the Anglican Covenant.
In short, the fabric of the Anglican Communion is torn, exactly as predicted by the primates in 2003 before ECUSA took the step which the Communion asked it not to take, and consecrated V. Gene Robinson to the episcopacy. It is useless dreaming to hope that the fabric will ever be mended. The real question is: what, if anything, will succeed the Anglican Communion?
To begin with, it is entirely safe to say that birds of a feather will flock together. ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada are joined by apostasy, and will never repent or confess error. Even while being instrumental in its death, they will continue to trumpet their membership in "the Anglican Communion."
Likewise, the GAFCON primates are united by their traditional orthodoxy. ACNA is part of GAFCON, and will continue to be. They, along with a majority of the 38 provinces of the former Anglican Communion, may organize under a different name, but one which still has the descriptor "Anglican" in it. Or they may continue to meet, without either the apostate provinces or the Archbishop of Canterbury, and still consider themselves the true "Anglican Communion." Only time will tell. the rest