As fuel consumers the world over know, the real oil comes from the Middle East (sorry, USA!). And it is from the Middle East that the real oil on the Primates' Meeting comes. Archbishop Mouneer Anis has posted a personal blogpost on what happened (H/T Bowman Walton). (Curiously he gets a vote count different from another primate, so we need to remember that personal reports of meetings are not guaranteed infallibility!)
The post is available here.
These are the money paragraphs, in my judgment, since they tell us about the consistency and continuity of the Communion, upheld by the centre:
"The Primates have seen that the “change in their [TEC’s] Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage”. The standard teaching of the Anglican Communion on human sexuality and marriage is found in Lambeth 1.10 in its entirety. This was affirmed by two Lambeth Conferences, several Primates’ Meetings, the Windsor Report, and the Windsor Continuation Group.
In the middle, however, there are Primates who are aware that within TEC and Canada, there are people who hold the standard and acceptable teaching of the Anglican Communion in regard to the issue of human sexuality. Any kind of complete exclusion will affect these people. These Primates in the middle believe in diversity, but not unlimited diversity: diversity on the non-essentials and unity on the essentials of faith like the authority of the scripture."
Fascinatingly, and wonderfully, ++Mouneer attributes a decisive moment to an intervention by one of the ACANZP primates, ++Winston Halapua:
"The turning point of the discussions came when Archbishop Winston Halapua of Polynesia asked the question, “how can we bless each other even if we walk in different directions?” In response to this question, I asked the presiding bishop of TEC and the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada to sit together with me for lunch. The Archbishop of York joined as well as the Archbishop of Uganda.
When we shared this with the rest of the Primates, they wanted to know the nature of this distance. As a result, the Archbishop of Canterbury appointed a balanced working group to work out a proposal, which you can now see in the Communiqué."
Note carefully in the above paragraphs the theologically crucial word, "and"! (I have emboldened it.)
++Mouneer makes a useful point in response to those who question the authority of the primates when they meet together:
"I am aware of those who challenge the authority of the Primates to make decisions. I would say that the decisions of the Primates’ Meeting as they appeared in the Communiqué, are not new, they are “consistent with previous statements” from the different Instruments of Communion."
Incidentally, if you are wondering how much change is in the air of the Holy Spirit moving across the waters of the globe at the moment, check out Liturgy's latest post!