But before getting to that, a couple of posts on the question of whether the Anglican Communion/conferences is about GAFCON or Lambeth [which is bishops only] or is there room for both?
On the Lambeth Conference, whether it was or is or could be a "synod", or otherwise lead?
Also Archbishop Moon Hing - a man I have met and admire tremendously - speaks up on the value of the Lambeth Conference.
And Kenyan Archbishop Sapit makes some subtle but important distinctions and commitments. I like what he says!
On GAFCON and the Anglican Communion New Service: fake news? fun and (stealth) games? (Though I note that ACNS has not yet linked to the Final Communique, 2 pm Saturday 23 June, as I write.)
GAFCON III Final Communique: Letter to the Churches.
Eternity (Australia) has a news report here.
Via Twitter I made the following three comments last night:
GAFCON https://t.co/XPSdTTadHA response 1/3: this is energetic, outreaching Anglicanism which cannot be ignored, sidelined or overlooked. GAFCON is now solid, large and undeterred in its mission, both of evangelism and of renewing the AC from within.— Peter Carrell ن (@petercarrell) June 22, 2018
We who were not at GAFCON must reflect deeply on what it means to be in mission as Anglicans, to evangelise as Anglicans, to envision a renewed Anglican Communion. How might we work with GAFCON, in what ways has GAFCON made working with GAFCON difficult, if not impossible (e.g. for TEC, SEC, even ACANZP)? Surely no one reading here thinks belonging to some kind of remnant Communion is a good thing? How do we form and inform ourselves with mainstream Anglicanism in the 21st century?
Nevertheless, a caveat: what does GAFCON working within the Communion ("we are not leaving") and against the Communion (disinvite these provinces, welcome ACNA, exclusion not inclusion, either/or rather than both/and) mean? Are we at a late 18th century moment when one form of Anglicanism (= Methodism) and another form (established Church of England) parted ways? Or are we at a Catholic renewal moment when (say) the Franciscans work mightily for renewal within the Catholic church?
GAFCON https://t.co/XPSdTTadHA response 2/3: this is uncompromising Anglicanism which does not seem to understand that Anglicanism works by hanging together (compromisngly!) rather than by exclusions and threats, so it is a divisive renewal not a re-uniting renewal.— Peter Carrell ن (@petercarrell) June 22, 2018
It is all very well for GAFCON to say it is not leaving the Communion and that it is working for its renewal but that staying effectively asks others to leave unless they repent. What if they want to stay also? There is no sense from GAFCON of an inclusive Anglicanism, of a willingness to live with profound disagreement, of an openness to the actual state of global Anglicanism which is that more than one view of homosexuality exists among us. GAFCON is absolutely assured that there is only the GAFCON view, that that is the genuine Anglican view, and there is no place for dissent from this view. There is an unfortunate totalitarianism in this approach to difference which seeks to exclude those holding different views. (I use the word "totalitarian" advisedly. As I have followed GAFCON this past week I have been struck by the strength of the party line on homosexuality and the lack of any sense of critique and debate about it. It is quite extraordinary in this day and age of theological enquiry that no sign has emerged from GAFCON of a responsible critical consideration of matters here, including an ecclesiology which seeks to exclude on the basis of difference of view).
GAFCON https://t.co/XPSdTTadHA response 3/3: by refusing to acknowledge the importance of listening to homosexuals' experience (1998 1.10 requires this), it loses moral ground and builds no bridges to GLBT Anglicans when it critiques provinces it says have failed to observe 1.10.— Peter Carrell ن (@petercarrell) June 22, 2018
Following on from the comment above, the Communique offers no sense of how same sex couples might exist in the renewed Communion unless repentance occurs and I can only assume this means the break up of such relationships. Nor is there any sense that "pastoral care" for homosexuals means listening to their experience. The sense rather is that homsexuals will be told what is good for them. Perhaps that is right and proper but that is out of step with what many Anglicans around the world, not only in the West, think and feel about these matters.
In the end, where will this all end? I am not sure. I am not going to make a prediction. I am hopeful! I am glad about staying and not leaving: that creates shared space for conversation, that keeps alive possible futures which are not as divisive as the present, that offers time to reflect.
In the meantime, the organisers of Lambeth 2020 will have their work cut out: to ensure maximal attendance possible and to ensure that the event does not become a pale shadow of the colourful, energetic reality of GAFCON III. (Spoiler alert: ACNA bishops, don't bother packing your bags on the basis that TEC and SEC will not be invited).