14 July 2006

Is The Anglican Communion Worth The Bother?

Two friends engage the question.
Fr. Chris Findley, Vicar of St. Francis' Mission in Goodlettesville, TN offers "What is the Anglican Communion? Why Does it Matter?":
Some have said that we don’t have to go through Canterbury to get to Jesus. That is indeed a true statement. The Anglican Communion is not an essential part of the Christian faith. But I think it is an immensely beneficial one –a privilege I share as an Anglican / Episcopal priest. Other people have disdainfully remarked to me that, “The Bishops of Anglican Communion should just leave us alone. Who cares what they say?”
That’s an incredibly arrogant statement. I hope we care. They are our brothers and sisters. Maybe the Holy Spirit wants to speak through them. In any case, before we throw off the shackles of the Communion we should remember a point made a half century ago by Archbishop Michael Ramsey, “There is no Christian community mentioned in the New Testament which has not behind it some authority responsible to a larger whole.” (Ramsey, 46)
Fr. John Parker, formerly an Episcopal priest in South Carolina and now an Orthodox priest, responds with "What is Communion and Why Does it Matter?":
Now more than ever, with the advent of high-speed transportation and higher-speed communication, Anglicanism—more specifically the ‘faithful remnant’ of ECUSA might consider asking a new question. Instead of “How do we fight for our rightful place in the Anglican Communion?” rather, “Why constantly defend our connection to England, and instead find our way back into communion with the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church?” Communion is not first and foremost a group of people with a common episkopos (or now episkopisa). Rather, communion is the reception together of the Holy Body and Precious Blood of our Lord and God, and Savior, Jesus Christ—the sign of our commonly shared fullness of faith (not four pieces, but the whole thing). This communion is the sign of unity, and NOT the maker of it.

Be sure to read the whole things.


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