Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Just when it looked like the Anglican church (at least in the West) was becoming the mother of all vacillating churches and the father of many schismatic splinters, and thus losing the quest for global church domination, a stumble by the leading contender has occurred.
Just taking two items on ADU's sidebar this morning, I notice the following:
1. An Irish Catholic lesbian pundit, Ursula Halligan has a crack in the Tablet at Roman theology of sexuality. Time for a change, she says, without drawing pause for breathe to check whether some larger issue is at stake. See below.
2. Andrew Comiskey, once a well known Protestant teacher and leader of ministries aimed to support gay and lesbian Christians becoming and remaining chaste if not changing through the power of God is now a Roman Catholic teacher and leader of the same. Secure in the strength of the one true church, Andrew is a feisty and forthright exponent of gospel values undergirded by Catholic catechetical assurances. But in today's post he is disappointed by the Pope's lack of response to the Irish referendum. The gist of his disappointment is 'Papa, you are letting me down.'
What is going on here? Between Ursula and Andrew, representing opposite poles of the Catholic spectrum on sexuality, we have the emergence of a truly Anglican spirit of ecclesiology. This spirit, historically, questioned the power of the papacy and was and is willing to reconsider all matters of doctrine via synods in which laity have a vote!
OK, tongue out of cheek. There is no actual quest for global church domination ...
But what is interesting about these two posts is that homosexuality is now exposing publicly for the Roman hierarchy what has been a very publicly difficult question for Anglican hierarchies around the Communion: how to fit ancient Christian teaching with modern realities of human sexuality?
I would go so far as to say, recalling other posts in recent weeks to which I have drawn attention here, that the greatest possibility for the Roman church of the 21st century fracturing now lies on exactly the same faultline as the fracturing of the Communion is taking place.