One moment I am looking at my Twitter feed seeing nothing in particular about #Primates2016, "nek minit", 99% of Tweets concern breaking news from the Primates Meeting in Canterbury.
The key, vital and authoritative statement is on the Primates' site itself: here.
(Note that it is produced now because of a leakage* so some of what you read today on other sites needs discernment as to whether it is discussing the leaked statement (and other misinformation?) or the full and final statement. *It is a blot on the Anglican landscape that not even at the level of primates meeting together do we have integrity about NOT releasing that which is not for releasing. WHO was the leaker????)
Clearly TEC won't be over the moon about this (neither will ACCan and it is a either a stumbling block or a speed-bump for some in our own church), but it is also a problem for ++Ngatali of Uganda (here). It is not clear as I first write this whether any other GAFCON Primates have left the meeting early.
OK, to the statement itself: here is a framework for interpreting the statement:
(1) A Communion holds things in common.
(2) A majority of the Communion hold that marriage doctrine is and should be among those things held in common.
(3) It is not for a minority of the Communion to endlessly attempt to impose on the majority its view of what things do not need to be held in common.
(4) There are consequences when a Communion fails to hold its common things in common.
(5) Two possible consequences are that the Communion fractures (i.e. fails to be a Communion, other than in name only) or the Communion disciplines those who dispute the common things held by the majority of the Communion (i.e. the majority acts to uphold the majority view).
(6) You can work out whether the statement goes with the former or the latter!
Reading the comments on this Thinking Anglican report, I wonder if anyone there understands what a "Communion" is!
ADDED BITS AND PIECES AS THEY COME TO HAND
I am awarding "Top of the Class" for care and consideration in analysis to Ian Paul at Psephizo.
Our own Taonga report is here.
Archbishop Mouneer is happy.
This report says that Archbishop Foley was given a voice and a vote for the meeting but refused to vote on the statement as that would have been "improper."
Important Episcopal news/views report/reaction here.
A fascinating Changing Attitudes Scotland response here i.e. finding the half-full glass.
Some may be asking the question "Why not Canada also?" The answer is in here.
For some ACANZP reaction via fast and furious Tweeting involving me, you may be interested to follow up on my tweets this morning at @petercarrell .
The GAFCON Primates have spoken, with a statement which needs unpacking ...
David Ould posts here making an important point via Kendall Harmon that not much is actually new in the sanctions re TEC since something similar came up a few years back. There is also the important observation that the meeting may represent a small but significant shift of weighting of "authority" in the Communion towards GAFCON rather than away from it. (My own view on that, if it is so, is that it would not have happened if GAFCON primates walked out early!)
David Ould also posts an insider insight on some of the dynamics of the meeting which is well worth a look.
Incidentally, with reference to Ould's report mentioning what galvanised the meeting, and distinguished TEC from ACCan, and in shameless self-promotion, in two posts last year, I pointed out the problematic nature of TEC's decision, here and there. However, I would also like to point out that my previous call that the Communion is becoming a Federation is - for the time being - quite wrong. I believe we remain a Communion! Though I would like to know if all the Primates this week actually gathered around the one Lord's Table ...
Susan Russell has a superbly eye-catching headline at Huffington Post, "On Becoming Second-Class Anglicans for Treating LGBT as First-Class Christians." What I do not think she reckons with is this. Let us suppose she is completely correct in her understanding of the gospel and its obligations and (crucially) its understandings and applications. Then that understanding is out of kilter with what the majority of Primates have determined the majority of provinces in the Communion understand. In which case there is a case, an argument for not just discipline but for division, so that each understanding may go its own way.
Giles Fraser, not unexpectedly, has something to say in the Guardian. Again, let us suppose with Giles that the CofE has another stage or three to go in its ongoing reformation. That direction is at odds with the majority of the Communion and would mean, in the long run, that the CofE must walk apart from the Communion because it is impossible to see the majority of provinces agreeing that they too must keep reforming in that direction.
In other words both Fraser and Russell, logically, would be happy, along with some conservative commentators, if there had been a division this week which irrevocably distinguished and separated one lot of Anglicans from the other lot!
Lionel Deimel has a considered point by point analysis and some interesting things to say re a possible future American Anglican Communion (see also Bowman Walton's comments below).
Anglican Curmudgeon is curmudgeonly bleak but sees an evolving Communion which will include ACNA.
Zachary Guiliano at the Living Church is commendably hopeful in "Rumors of Communion's Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated." He makes the point that we really should wait till the Friday afternoon final press conference and announcements (UK time).
Some further thoughts from me (reading extensively on Twitter and on blogs through this first twelve hours or so of response and reaction):
1. People are upset with the primates, from both liberal and conservative perspectives, but a lot of the upset amounts to "I disagree" or "My province disagrees". What is difficult to understand about a global Communion across 38 provinces trying to reach agreement? The blunt alternative to (disagreeable) agreement is the end of the Communion and each province doing its thing its way (and even each Anglican going her or his own way). What do we Anglicans want?
2. Very few people are picking up on the possibilities here. There is no sanction of Canada because they have not formally changed their provincial canons on marriage. Doesn't that mean quite a bit of room is left for (say) blessing of same sex partnerships which do not canonically change doctrine of marriage? If this line holds - and, of course, in the cold light of day back in GAFCON provinces, it may not - surely this is a new step for the Communion as a whole?
3. Of course 2 is very unsatisfactory for Anglicans who are committed to "equal marriage." Nevertheless I find it extraordinary that from the perspective of equal marriage the Primates statement is being harshly judged (excluding and casting out LGBT people etc). Where is the gracious "moment" or "pause" for theological and biblical reflection here where we ask ourselves, even as Western Anglicans driven by winds of social change,
Is equal marriage in fact an obligation of the gospel to pursue or a value of the kingdom, as taught by Jesus?
Yes, I am conservative and biased in that direction re such a question, but I am really struggling to understand why an affirmative answer to that question is so obvious that those who (with theological and biblical reflection) do not arrive at an affirmative answer are to be so dismissed as the moderate and conservative primates behind today's statement are being dismissed.