Thursday, October 27, 2005

Status Quondam

There's some Anglican blogosphere traffic now about a proposal from Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG as to a more formalized Anglican polity-- that is, respecting the communion as a whole.

I have to agree with J. C. Fisher's assessment: this is nothing more than a condification of the liberal understanding of the current state. And in practice, it will fail for the reason that Thomas Bushnell points out: Akinola et al. insist that what is being done now does affect everyone.

And Akinola does have a point there, and I think the smoke screen about sex vs. theology isn't going to conceal it. As to the latter: it's clear that, for simple theological statements, the Status Quo is utterly disfunctional. No liberal church is going to do anything about a Pike or a Spong, no matter how outrageous their statements. As far as theology is concerned, the communion is now latitudinarian.

But in a "communion", one would tend to understand that sacramental unity is central to the point of what political unity there is. And therefore (for instance) consecration of someone like Robinson does affect everyone, and rites of homosexual marriage or non-marital unions do effect everyone. Besides, the connection between the unitive aspect of sex and the unitve aspect of communion is right there in scripture.

And furthermore, it is apparent that decisions about what actions affect everyone are themselves actions which affect everyone. And indeed, in the status quo we are seeing this being worked out in the current conflict. The American problem is that Robinson's proponents don't like the answer that is being worked out.

The status quo only worked, it appeared, if there weren't any serious issues to disturb it. Now, one way or another, it will fail, and it appears that the communion, and with it, its churches, are headed for formal division.

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