Resolution IV.11 'Continuing' Churches
a. believes that important questions are posed by the emergence of groups who call themselves 'continuing Anglican Churches' which have separated from the Anglican Communion in recent years; and
b. asks the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates' Meeting to consider how best to initiate and maintain dialogue with such groups with a view to the reconciliation of all who own the Anglican tradition.
In may ways I can't blame them too much. I know that I have been very critical of what the Anglican Communion does - if they wish to be critical of us, then they have every right. I suppose I try to make sense of what they are doing and yet run up against the same inconsistencies. Yet, I do feel that I have some right to be critical for the Church of England is The Established Church and part of my taxes go to support that church. I do have a right therefore to worry about what this body is putting forward to be the Christian Faith. Admittedly, I do criticise the Roman Church, but mainly in reaction to those former Anglicans who have been vociferous in their hatred for the church they have left and seek to justify their departure by trying to bring down the whole aedifice.
I repeat that I do not wish either the Anglican Communion or the Roman Church any ill at all. Indeed, I wish that we could be better related and better disposed towards each other. I wish that we could see ways f working together against the common Foe and for the common Lord. As I said below, if we have the same intention then we cannot fail to be united. However, the resolutions above need to be dealt with.
So what would a rapprochement between the Anglican Communion and the Continuing Anglicans achieve?
Admittedly, unless there is a change, the impediments to communion will remain. Dialogue is one thing, but to what end? The ACC has its statement of unity and the other Continuing Anglicans will have theirs. We cannot walk with the Anglican Communion while the sacraments are in such disrepair and the influence of the Secular world so great in matters sacred. The ends of good dialogue are for us to understand each other and to envisage how we can work together for a common good. This look hard, and there will be hard admissions to make, but we must both be willing to do this.
If it's any consolation to the Anglican Communion, they will find the Anglican Catholic Diocese of the United Kingdom to possess a sense of humour. Perhaps then, we can learn to laugh together. We do recognise that that we have the perception of being an "angry church". Yes, there are still wounds caused by the way some members of the ACC were forced to leave the CofE, but we must all seek healing and wholeness.
Hopefully, the CofE will see that, actually, we are a passionate church which does not set itself up as The One True Church, but rather sees itself as part of a bigger picture.Firmly we believe and truly, and they must know that they will not shake that desire for the original faith from us. We may come across as Kripkean, but they must realise that a Faith that has been tested and tried in the previous twenty centuries is not something that can simply be interpreted as differently as modernity demands. We hear the arguments, we weight them and we do consider them, but they are flawed because they seek to change what is an Eternal truth.
That doesn't mean, however, that we cannot at least consider the mission of Christianity together. Humanity has many questions for its Maker and we, the Church, are that interface, that royal priesthood that presents the world to God and God to the world. We Anglican Catholics have our own way of thinking. It may not be to everyone else's cup of tea, but it is valid, based on a sure method and desirous for truth.
The fact of the matter is that we exist and are alive, much to Prof. Maccullough's disgust, I'm sure. We also seek Christ, and that first and foremost too. I think we are ready, willing an capable of good, robust and good-humoured dialogue. Is the CofE?