As Archbishop Rowan has said, our present ‘instruments of Communion’ were not designed to meet this kind of problem, and we badly need to find new ways forward. I, with others, have given a lot of time and energy to work on all this, and the Archbishop’s statement that the forthcoming Lambeth Conference will take Windsor and the Covenant as its basic road-map were very heartening...
But for that reason it is all the more strange to reflect on what the proposed ‘Primates’ Council’ is all about. What authority will it have, and how will that work? Who is to ‘police’ the boundaries of this new body – not least to declare which Anglicans are ‘upholding orthodox faith and practice’ (Article 11 of the ‘Jerusalem Declaration’), and who have denied it (Article 13)? Who will be able to decide (as in Article 12) which matters are ‘secondary’ and which are primary, and by what means? (What, for instance, about Eucharistic vestments and practices? What about women priests and bishops?) Who will elucidate the relationship between the 39 Articles and the Book of Common Prayer, on the one hand, and the 14 Articles of GAFCON on the other, and by what means? It is precisely questions like these, within the larger Anglican world, which have proved so problematic in the last five years, and the ‘Declaration’ is actually a strange document which doesn’t help us address them.
(N.T Wright, After GAFCON)
Applaud, people, applaud.