Ephraim Radner, post Global South Singapore (of which he makes a very interesting observation, italicised by me), post AMiA pulling apart from ACNA, post Glasspool consecration amidst curiously syncretistic service, offers what we might call a Dickensian pessimism about the state of global Anglican life. The whole article is published at Anglican Communion Institute. Here is an excerpt:
"The Lambeth Conference, of course, needed only one meeting in 2008 to demonstrate its marginalization in leadership: talking without decision, boycotted by a quarter of its most dissatisfied members, the great gathering of Anglican episcopal leaders became an inward looking and reflexive publicity opportunity for program coordinators. It was astonishing to see how thoroughly and quickly one of the most august meetings in the Christian Church had lost its way.
And the Anglican Consultative Council? A May, 2009 self-combustion over simple voting procedures left this “most representative” gathering of the Communion without credibility as anything but an arena for political posturing and finagling. The national church model that, primarily, lies behind the provincial ordering of the ACC, has instead poisoned the search for shared hope and mutual subjection among the council’s members, a subversion led by the most nationalistically aggressive of the all the provinces, the Episcopal Church. Current attempts by TEC to manipulate its position on the ACC’s Standing Committee, seemingly abetted by the Anglican Communion Office, only underscores this sorry state of affairs.
Why mince words here? For some years now – since even before the Virginia Report of the late 1990’s — it has been stated formally over and over again that the structures of the Anglican Communion needed redefinition and rebuilding, so as to be able to function fruitfully. Key efforts were made to give direction to such reconstruction. A decade of failure, however, has simply borne out an already established and publicly stated fear.
But trying to set up alternative structures has not fared much better. If the recent Singapore meeting exposed a ten-year lapse in credibility for existing Communion structures, it also put the lie to any attractive claim for alternative structures that, in the past 10 years, some portions of the Communion have so assiduously been at work to erect: new provinces in North America; special “primatial councils” for common confessors; extra-jurisdictional missionary fiefdoms; episcopal netwoks of alternative oversight. Instead, the gathering proved to be what every other Anglican gathering has been in the past decade: in addition to faithful witness and counsel, also a time for political maneuver, secretive changing of agendas at the last moment, North Americans coming in and grabbing the microphones and running meetings, disagreements over this and that strategy and doctrine. That a common communiqué emerged at all was cause for surprise by the end; that it expressed little tangible except a shared dislike for Communion structures and for TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada was probably the most one could have predicted, which isn’t very much, let alone particularly edifying."
NB Please read Tim Harris' comments below concerning the italicised words. Tim was at the Singapore event; whereas Ephraim Radner was not.