So, it turns out it wasn’t the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada forced out of the Anglican Communion by the Global South Primates, but rather the Global Primates who have walked away. And they chose to do it on the same day that the Church of England General Synod voted to send the Covenant to dioceses for discussion.
For all the criticism of the Archbishop of Canterbury, on this blog and elsewhere throughout the last weeks, criticism that continues even today, the effects of his statements and years of effort, however futile, seem to have preserved something of Anglicanism, in spite of it all. Oh, there are apparently those who are leaving, the GAFCON Primates who signed the statement yesterday that they will not attend the Primates Meeting in Ireland in January. But as others have observed, it’s never quite clear whether all the signatories of GAFCON statements have actually signed or even agree with the statement. They have also made clear that they are having nothing of the covenant. The full statement from that group is here.
Mark Harris’ comment on this development is spot on:
GAFCON is on its way to forming an alternate way to be Anglican in the world, one which the Covenant does not support and the existing unifying elements in the Anglican Communion are irrelevant.
His full commentary is here.
Here is what Tobias Haller has to say.
Oh, I have no doubt that this is not the end of efforts to keep things together. But the Covenant was the last best shot from Williams, et al, to hold things together, and with the GAFCON folks not playing along, I see no way forward. Unless something radical happens, the Primates Meeting will be a rump; the conservative Primates not attending, or forcing the ABC to disinvite our Presiding Bishop, which would also lead to others pulling out, I suspect.
Whatever they will say about the Archbishop of Canterbury down the line, they won’t be able to criticize him for not trying hard enough to keep the Anglican Communion together. In my view, the timing of the GAFCON statement was a direct attack on Rowan and on his vision for Anglicanism.