Anglican Archbishop foresees disintegration
In the wake of the continuing crisis rocking the Anglican Church worldwide on issues such as gay rights, gay clergy? and women ordination, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned that the church is “tottering on the brink of disintegration amid disputes between liberals and traditionalists”.?
The Archbishop of Canterbury has issued a dramatic warning that the worldwide Anglican church is tottering on the brink of complete disintegration amid bitter disputes between liberals and traditionalists.
In his most stark comments yet about divisions over issues such as homosexuality, the Most Rev Justin Welby said the Church is coming perilously close to plunging into a ?ravine of intolerance?.
He even drew parallels between the crisis afflicting the 77 million-strong network of Anglican churches and the atmosphere during the English Civil War.
And he likened the collective behaviour of the church to a ?drunk man? staggering ever closer to edge of a cliff.
Yet he added that many of the issues over which different factions in the church are fighting are simply ?incomprehensible? to people outside it.
His comments came during a recent sermon in Monterrey, Mexico, which he was visited as part of a plan to travel to every province of the Anglican Communion at the start of his ministry.
The Archbishop, who took office in February, inherited a church deeply divided at home and abroad.
At home he has been attempting to resolve the seemingly intractable disagreements within the Church of England over women bishops.
But the worldwide Anglican Church has also been split between liberal provinces, particularly in North America, and more conservative regions for several years after the US church consecrated its first openly gay bishop.
The Archbishop said the Church had to steer a course between, on one hand, compromising so much that it abandoned its ?core beliefs? and, on the other, becoming so intolerant that it fractured completely.
Addressing a service in the Hotel Quinta Real in Monterrey, he spoke about the life of Jeremy Taylor, the former chaplain to Charles I who was imprisoned under Cromwell.
?I sometimes worry that as Anglicans we are drifting back in that direction,? he said.
?Not consciously, of course, but in an unconscious way that is more dangerous.
?Like a drunk man walking near the edge of a cliff, we trip and totter and slip and wander, ever nearer to the edge of the precipice.
?It is a dangerous place, a narrow path we walk as Anglicans at present.
?On one side is the steep fall into an absence of any core beliefs, a chasm where we lose touch with God, and thus we rely only on ourselves and our own message.
?On the other side there is a vast fall into a ravine of intolerance and cruel exclusion.
?It is for those who claim all truth, and exclude any who question.?
He went on: ?When we fall into this place, we lose touch with human beings and create a small church, or rather many small churches ? divided, ineffective in serving the poor, the hungry and the suffering, incapable of living with each other, and incomprehensible to those outside the church.
?We struggle with each other at a time when the Anglican Communion’s great vocation as bridge builder is more needed than ever.?
The Daily Telegraph