Anglican engagement.

Author:Richmond, Donald P.
Position:Correspondence - Letter to the Editor

Douglas Farrow's analysis of the state of Anglicanism after the Windsor Report ("Anglicanism Runs Aground," January) was thorough, insightful, and moderately compelling. Having asked similar questions about Anglicanism myself, I am moderately inclined towards at least one of his conclusions: the Worldwide Anglican Communion is, in some ways, being "theologically and ecumenically irresponsible." However, I am not sure if I understand Dr. Farrow's suggestion that we should "put in at the nearest Roman harbor ... and prepare to talk honestly about the situation." Is he simply suggesting a conversation to see if unity with the Roman Catholic Church is possible? Or, along with thousands of other Anglicans (the "Anglican Continuum" included), is he suggesting that we should abandon ship and submit to Rome? If he is suggesting the former, I heartily agree. If he is suggesting the latter, I militantly disagree.

Honest and loving dialogue between churches is a biblical and evangelical imperative. And far more conversation is required. Nevertheless, Rome is not the only viable answer. While I appreciate the implications of Pope John Paul II's encyclical on ecumenism--Ut Unum Sint (That They May Be One)--I am not sure that it provides adequate answers to our present debacle. While we Anglicans may fail by providing an atmosphere of compromise and tolerance that (in application) far exceeds what either Holy Scripture or the sixteenth-century Reformers intended, Rome fails by providing structures that are far too restrictive. Let us remember, in spite of the many fine points of Ut Unum Sint, that its arguments and conclusions are essentially Roman and not ecumenical (i.e., catholic). That is, it...

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