From the Living Church:
In a 2,800-word reflection on The Episcopal Church’s relationship to the broader Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury on Monday again emphasized that the Communion may follow a two-track model in its future structure.
Archbishop Rowan Williams twice described the blessing of same-sex couples as involving a chosen lifestyle, and mentioned blessings’ possible ill effects on ecumenical relations, or decreased involvement in such dialogues.
In the archbishop’s description, one Communion track favors the proposed Anglican Covenant as a way of uniting Anglicans, while a second track may decide that local autonomy must prevail.
“If those who elect this model do not take official roles in the ecumenical interchanges and processes in which the ‘covenanted’ body participates, this is simply because within these processes there has to be clarity about who has the authority to speak for whom,” the archbishop wrote.
For those Anglicans who do not favor a covenant, “there is no threat of being cast into outer darkness—existing relationships will not be destroyed that easily,” he wrote. “But it means that there is at least the possibility of a twofold ecclesial reality in view in the middle distance: that is, a ‘covenanted’ Anglican global body, fully sharing certain aspects of a vision of how the church should be and behave, able to take part as a body in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue; and, related to this body, but in less formal ways with fewer formal expectations, there may be associated local churches in various kinds of mutual partnership and solidarity with one another and with ‘covenanted’ provinces.”
Archbishop Williams renewed his often-expressed hope that all provinces of the Anglican Communion ultimately will support the covenant, which faces a new round of possible revision.
The entire paper can be found here.
I’ll be leading a summary discussion on General Convention and the Archbishop’s paper at the adult forum at Holy Comforter this coming Sunday (11:15).