News for Week Ending 8/26/2013
Welby: Anglicans in dangerous placeArchbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby preached a sermon in Monterrey, Mexico, on August 13, 2013, in which is declared, “ It is a dangerous place, a narrow path we walk as Anglicans at present.” He spoke of “an absence of any core beliefs”—presumably alluding to churches such as The Episcopal Church—one one hand, and “intolerance and cruel exclusion”—presumably characterizing the detractors of Western churches—on the other. His prescription for curing the present problems of the Anglican Communion: “walk in the light” with God, with each other, and with the wider world. “There must not be politics in dark corners, but love expressed in the light, even love expressing difference.”
Welby’s sermon received increased attention after the The Telegraph published a story on the sermon August 22 titled “‘On the edge of a precipice’—Welby’s doomsday warning to feuding Church.” Of particular interest is a blog post from the Very Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland. Holdsworth declared the sermon unhelpful and “quite offensive.” On the other hand, Communion Partner bishops—the Communion Partners Web site is here—issued a letter August 26 seemingly accepting the analysis of the Archbishop of Canterbury and noting that six Communion Partner bishops had met with him “last week.”
Coincidentally, The Living Church, two days before Welby’s sermon, published a reflection about the Toronto Anglican Congress that was held 50 years ago this month. In it, Jesse Zink suggests that the approach of “Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence in the Body of Christ,” the document prepared for the gathering, offers a better path to Anglican unity than does the emphasis on the Trinity seen in the Anglican Covenant and the reports that preceded it.