What Communion?

Archbishop Robin Eames, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland spoke at Virginia Theological Seminary (that finishing school down south -hehe) concerning his interpretations of how the world-wide Church has conducted itself since the Windsor Report was published.
Here is the text of his address. I think it is important and encouraging as we move forward. I don’t think some of the “conservatives” will agree with his interepretations, but that’s the way things are.
Yesterday in my first lecture I tried to suggest that there is a relationship between the historic growth of the Anglican Communion and the emergence of difficult issues which threaten our common life. I also suggested that it is possible to turn crisis into opportunity.
In this second lecture I want to say something about Anglican understanding of what ‘communion’ means, the implications of the relationship we call ‘being in communion’ and then to look ahead into the future of the Anglican Communion.
I am concerned that the full implications of the Windsor Report and the process it involves returns to the centre of our thinking as a Communion, As I said in the Introduction to that Report, Windsor must be seen as part of a process. Windsor did not seek to address the rights and wrongs of the sexuality question. That was not the task given to the Lambeth Commission. It was a Report on how Anglicanism could address deep differences, deep divisions on principle and it is about methodology. It is my own conviction that in the history of the Anglican Communion the value or otherwise of Windsor must be judged by the process of which it is part — but only a part. Windsor was not just born out of controversy. It was, I believe an honest attempt by a diverse group of Anglican scholars and leaders to address how bonds of affection, autonomy and diversity could face up to divisive issues — and such issues will I am convinced continue to arise in the years to come. As we prepared the Report I often asked myself the question — how much does Anglicanism really want to overcome obstacles to corporate communion when there is such diversity on the nature of that ‘communion’ itself?

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