I accompanied Fr. WB and dear Wallace to the Anglican Communion Network's Conference, "Hope and a Future," over the weekend. This is a Highly Controversial Situation. If you need to catch up on what's going on between the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church USA (though I hardly suspect that's the case), please cf the continuing discussion at Whitehall; Fr. WB is a much better exponent of the relevant politics, and this blog deals with the Church’s capacity to proclaim Christ. As to this issue, Christ was certainly proclaimed at the Conference: in the first place, the Anglicans imported some of the most ardent Evangelicals going to focus the mood explicitly and en toto on our Jesus, plain and simple – Rick Warren proved to be utterly commendable, and though Anne Graham Lotz sadly failed to tailor her remarks to the sacramental understanding of her audience, saintly Joni Erikson Tada echoed the prayers of the Church beautifully throughout her message, "dont misuse your suffering" - and secondly, the entire mood, as I experienced it, was truly characterized by authentic humility and charity (and, as I understand it, this is even more important than landing on the right side of a schism).
Nontheless, the prospect of a break between the zealous Anglicans and their deviant ECUSA siblings is tragically sad. Will such a break enhance the Church's mission? I don't know. I do know that the rigorous morality which the African, Asian, and Conservative primates insist upon is the only thing that will "work" (pragmatically speaking here) in a world where Islam is, in fact, The Fastest Growing Religion. Please dont anyone try to take over North Africa with a Gospel of easygoing "inclusion," or with an attempt to present Christianity as the preferable faith because we have the questionable "charity" to endorse and tolerate the homosexual practices which so contradict the dignity of the human person. It just wont make sense to the rigorous morality of the Jihadists. And it REALLY wont make sense to the persecuted faithful who would like to win their Muslim neighbors to Christ through the purity of their lives.
Ontologically and finally, the Church needs to be rid of sin. Holy, holy, holy.