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Might it be possible that a Happy New Year in the Church of England might see, as this Bishop sees, an honest recognition that the differences over sexuality and underlying doctrinal and philosophical systems are so great that we need to at least talk about separating? Could it be a good thing to walk apart, rather than perpetuating the fiction that we all really believe the same things? And in doing so, could this be done peacefully, with justice, fairness and mutual respect, recognizing that there are still many areas of common interest, such as good administration of buildings insurance and clergy pensions, care for the poor and vulnerable, and the need to preserve the proclamation of the Christian story in society even though we might interpret it differently?
“Walking apart” is similar language used in the Windsor Report of 2004, in response to the global crisis of credal understanding following the consecration of Gene Robinson. Despite talk of unity being maintained through covenants and Instruments of Communion, there has been a “walking apart”; both globally, with many GAFCON-aligned Provinces unable to share fellowship with the Episcopal Church, and within Provinces, as we witnessed the formation of ACNA. In that case the separation has been bitter, with tragically wasteful legal action and unChristian bullying tactics. Could we do things in a better way here, while recognizing the irreconcileable differences?
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
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