We consider this to be a very significant, thoughtful, in-depth, report with vital recommendations which could hold the Anglican Communion together.
Clearly, it has teeth and is not a fudge. It is a much more conservative than liberal document. It is against excessive provincial autonomy, and the 'pre-emptive strikes' of the dioceses of New Hampshire, in ECUSA, and of New Westminster, in Canada. It also regrets trans-communion interventions.
The recommendations of a new Council of Advice and binding Anglican Covenant are particularly powerful. The concept is one of 'opt in' not 'throw out': it leaves the onus on provinces in that if they choose not to opt in then they will not be in.
It reflects the core concerns of Fulcrum's own submission:
- Stress on interdependence (para 66 has Robert Runcie's quotation from Lambeth 1988)
- Stress on mission and the limits to inculturation without wider Anglican consensus (para 85)
- Against setting up parallel jurisdictions (para 154)
- Implies that Gene Robinson should not be invited to Lambeth 2008 (para 133)
- Moratorium on consecration of people living in a same gender union (para 134)
- Moratorium on blessing of same sex unions (para 144)
There is an emphasis on regret for the past, putting into place some key new ways of staying together which will lead to healing and reconciliation.
The long ecclesiological section at the heart of the report is the key part - most will go straight to the recommendations, but the doctrine of the Church, and the Anglican Communion in particular, as part of God's world wide Church, is crucial.
End. Monday 18 October 2004