Monday, January 07, 2013
Thus Sounds The Death Knell For The Anglican Communion
In 2003, Vicky Gene Robinson was elected as the first openly homosexual bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA), a branch of the world-wide Anglican Communion, which has the Church of England as its primatial see. Orthodox Episcopalians who upheld the two thousand year old traditions of Christ were faced with a dilemma. How does one remain part of the Anglican Communion, while at the same time rejecting the heterodox downslide of ECUSA? A fascinating charade was worked out, whereby the Episcopalians who did not agree with the leadership of ECUSA would be under the jurisdiction of an Anglican Ordinary from Africa or South America, where traditional Christianity was upheld, allowing them to remain in America without being under the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA, and at the same time still in union with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.
On paper, this is a nice little trick, but in reality ECUSA and the traditional Episcopalians who became the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) are still in the same communion because they both are in union with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and thus are, by default, in union with each other. So long as the Church of England was on the level, so the sentiment went, all is well. Well, with the most recent ruling by the House of Bishops in the Church of England allowing homosexual bishops, all is not well.
Now, the safeguard that allowed the ACNA to be able to split from ECUSA and yet remain Anglican has been eliminated. The Church of England has turned its back on the orthodox Anglicans in its communion and left them with the choice to violate their consciences or cease being Anglicans. There is no way around it this time. No amount of slight of hand or misdirection will hide the reality that the orthodox Anglican is no longer welcomed in the Anglican Communion. The House of Bishops wishes to assuage any fears by stating that only those homosexuals who are in a partnership and vow to be celibate will be admitted to the episcopacy. Yet, if they are to be celibate, why the partnership in the first place? Do they think that the people are so naïve as to think that they will truly remain celibate while at the same time living in a homosexual partnership? One priest of the Church of England has already stated that the celibacy requirement is a let down. Might we not reasonably expect this to be the sentiment of most, if not all, those lobbying for homosexual partnered bishops?
At the end of the day, the choice for ACNA members who wish not to violate their consciences is clear; either they move to a different Protestant denomination, where they will most likely encounter similar battles, or join the Roman Catholic Church through the Anglican Ordinariate and thereby retain their Anglican heritage while simultaneously being part of the one communion that has upheld, and will continue to uphold, traditional Christianity from the beginning.