There continue to be interesting responses to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s letter and the disinvitation of Episcopal participants in ecumenical dialogues. Inclusive Church, a movement within the Church of England has spoken sharply against the ABC’s actions. They did it in an earlier letter, but now have responded forcefully to this week’s developments. Most criticism has focused on the unequal treatment of the different moratoria breakers–the Episcopal Church is sanctioned, but those who “crossed borders” have not been punished.
But there’s another important issue raised in the Inclusive Church letter and in the blogosphere as well. That is the matter of inculturation. In other words, in our contexts, it seems to many to be a gospel mandate to be inclusive, to open our churches fully to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
There is also growing resentment of the Church of England’s hypocrisy, which I’ve mentioned before. With animosity growing toward British Petroleum in the States, there seems to be something of a snowball effect among progressives.
Coincidentally, both the Anglican Church of Canada and the Scottish Episcopal Church were meeting this week. Presiding Bishop Jefforts Schori attended and spoke at both, and ironically, Kenneth Kearon, General Secretary of the Anglican Communion spoke to the Canadian Church on the very day that his letter was made public.
The Canadian church debated the Anglican Covenant as well as issues of sexuality. The primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church offered a thoughtful discussion of the covenant.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of the State of Virginia decided in favor of the Diocese in a long-running property case with dissident parishes.
It’s early in the game yet (strange to say, since we’ve been arguing over this stuff for over a decade), but I think we are beginning to see real fracture in the communion. My sense is the Episcopal Church is beginning to make its peace with the future, and seek alliances with like-minded folk across the communion, whatever the ABC may say.