Restructuring the Anglican Communion

The folks from GAFCON (FCA, FoCA), or if you’re confused by the alphabet soup, the “real” Anglicans (Nigeria, Uganda, Bob Duncan and friends) are at it again. They met in London this week and offered their proposals for restructuring the Anglican Communion.

Yup, you guessed it–more power to the primates, and none whatsoever to the laity. They propose reducing the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who serves as chair of the Primates Council, to simply one of membership, with the chair elected from that body. Such moves would lead inevitably to increased centralization, with the primates becoming the functional equivalent of a curia determining doctrine, membership and everything else for the new Anglican Communion. But where would the curia build its palaces?

This is the latest development in a lengthy process that included many bishops boycotting the 2010 Lambeth Conference and attending an alternative meeting in Jerusalem. The end goal seems to be the creation of an alternative Anglican Communion. They have already begun alternative structures in England, similar to what has become the Anglican Church in North America on this side of the pond.

One possible complication ahead–the next Archbishop of Canterbury. Rumor has it that Archbishop Sentamu of York has thrown his miter into the ring. Originally from Uganda, conservative theologically, tending toward evangelicalism, he would be a logical ally in the effort to reshape Anglicanism after Williams and the failed Anglican Covenant. It would be interesting to see how he would respond to this attempted power grab.

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