One of the most significant questions that the actions of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention raises is, what will the Mother Church do? The Church of England presumably wants to keep the Anglican Communion together, and now faces a brazen slap in the face from TEC in the form of resolution D025. So what’s the future hold? Bishop of Durham N.T. Wright, perhaps the world’s premier Anglican biblical scholar and theologian, gives a hint, and it won’t make Episcopalians happy:
Both the bishops and deputies (lay and clergy) of TEC knew exactly what they were doing. They were telling the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other “instruments of communion” that they were ignoring their plea for a moratorium on consecrating practising homosexuals as bishops. They were rejecting the two things the Archbishop of Canterbury has named as the pathway to the future — the Windsor Report (2004) and the proposed Covenant (whose aim is to provide a modus operandi for the Anglican Communion). They were formalising the schism they initiated six years ago when they consecrated as bishop a divorced man in an active same-sex relationship, against the Primates’ unanimous statement that this would “tear the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level”. In Windsor’s language, they have chosen to “walk apart”.
Granted, the TEC resolution indicates a strong willingness to remain within the Anglican Communion. But saying “we want to stay in, but we insist on rewriting the rules” is cynical double-think. We should not be fooled.
Well, that will leave a mark. So much for the line being peddled by some (Bishop Stacy Sauls of Kentucky, for instance) that D025 is just a description of current reality rather than a basis for future action that will violate the pledge TEC made in 2006. People who can read plain English–in which, admittedly, at least some of those who voted for D025 didn’t think the resolution was written–know better.