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Comments on Rome’s opening the gates to disaffected Anglicans, by Fr. David Bailey

22 October 2009

[Elder’s Note:  In case you haven’t heard, Rome is making some provisions for disaffected Anglicans.  Many Anglican leaders are rushing to say, “Isn’t that sweet.. maybe later?”  Canon Kendall Harmon over at T19 has an interesting ‘take’ on the offer, which you can catch over at his site.  Our roving reporter, Fr. David Bailey, had some comments on T19 that he has given me permission to share…

Be sure to check it out.  StandFirm has tons more on the story, too.  ]

As I have written elsewhere, global Anglicanism appears to be trifurcating into three major approaches to authority:

1) Magisterial authority, as seen in Benedict’s proposal for Anglicanism to be a rite within the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope is the final authority.

2) Conciliar authority, as seen in the movements of GAFCON and ACNA, where a council of bishops is the final authority.

3) Town Hall Meeting authority, as seen in TEC. Here everyone has an equal voice (regardless of theological groundings), and majority vote is the final authority. 

Sadly, the Archbishop of Canterbury is not essential (or even that important) in any of these three versions, which means that the four Instruments of Unity – and the Covenant – will be dead in the water.

I would probably nuance Kendall’s point #1 to say that this is a huge indictment of those of us who had put our hope in the leadership of the ABC.

David Bailey

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