Friday, March 30, 2012

Deepening the bonds of affection

 The Archbishop of Capetown has written to the Archbishop of York (the two dioceses are in a companion relationship). From quite a long letter engaging with all that is good about Communion life and all the greater good which the Covenant offers to that life, I excerpt one paragraph which is particularly in tune with some themes in recent posts here:

"Allowing secular legal norms to define us in our separate identities, without counterbalancing commitments of mutual interdependence, and the drifting apart that has followed, are, it seems to me, what have particularly allowed such sharp bitterness in handling our differences. The disunity over sexuality merely reflects this deeper malaise within our common life. As I have said elsewhere, I feel we have failed to take seriously the commitments to ‘Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence in the Body of Christ’ made at the 1963 Toronto Congress. We said then ‘our unity in Christ, expressed in our full communion, is the most profound bond among us, in all our political and racial and cultural diversity’ and in consequence, ‘our need is … to understand how God has led us, through the sometimes painful history of our time, to see the gifts of freedom and communion in their great terms, and to live up to them.’ The Congress warned ‘if we are not responsible stewards of what Christ has given us, we will lose even what we have.’ But it appears we have not been responsible, taking one another for granted, being content to do our own thing, allowing ourselves to be preoccupied with our own concerns, so that when differences arose we had lost our ability to connect and work through them in love together."

The whole letter is here.

More and more I feel I am in a Western bloc of the Communion which loves the thought of "living together" and fights like anything not to take the next step of entering into marriage. An odd position to be in for those who claim to be Christian!

1 comment:

Father Ron Smith said...

"when differences arose we had lost our ability to connect and work through them in love together."
- Archbishop Thabo Makgoba -

And this is precisely what happened when GAFCON and ACNA walked apart! The Love od christ was missing.

See, below the Archbishop's statement from his web-site:

"The Anglican community in Southern Africa seeks to be: Anchored in the love of Christ, Committed to God's Mission, Transformed by the Holy Spirit. "

'Anchored in the Love of Christ' is the clue to Communion & Community.