Monday, October 10, 2005

Anglican Primate of Ireland calls for more centralized Church control

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According to an article on Yahoo! News, the Right Reverend Robin Eames, Archbishop of Ireland is calling for more centralized Church authority as the Anglican Communion finds itself very close to schism over the issue of homosexuality, marriage for same-sex couples and the acceptance of LGBT persons into the full life of the Church. The Rt. Rev. R. Eames wants more power to be vested in the Chair of Saint Augustine (currently, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan D. Williams). According to the article:
Archbishop Robin Eames, head of a task force that tried to bridge the gap between Third World conservatives and North American liberals, said the 77 million strong Anglican Communion had to create a stronger central authority to mediate disputes. Traditionalist Anglican provinces, mostly in Africa, have cut off ties with their liberal western brethren amid condemnations so strong they come close to declaring a schism. Led by Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, provinces from the so-called Global South will meet in Egypt later this month but Akinola has said the session will not discuss breaking away from the Anglican Communion led by the Archbishop of Canterbury. "There needs to be much greater understanding of the long-term consequences of developments which could turn the diverse voice of the Anglican Communion into a divided family that other traditions of the Christian Church would find it hard to take seriously," Eames said on Wednesday. Eames, who is primate of Ireland, called for more authority for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and added: "We can no longer live with the danger of major crisis such as at present." The Anglican Communion has been tearing itself apart since 2003, when the U.S. Episcopal Church ordained a gay man a bishop and Canadian Anglicans began blessing same-sex couples. The traditionalists condemn homosexuality as a sin and a scandal. In a lecture at an Episcopal seminary outside Washington, the text of which was distributed by the Anglican Communion, Eames noted the Windsor Report he presented in October 2004 concluded that Anglican provinces should give up some of their autonomy in the interest of keeping their Communion together. It recommended that the traditionally autonomous member churches should adopt a covenant of agreed belief and resolve future disputes by referring them to the Archbishop of Canterbury and a panel of advisers. But he stressed this would not create so much central authority that the Communion could issue a blanket condemnation of a member church if it tried "to accommodate the reality of faithful Christians who happen to be homosexually oriented. "To do otherwise is to court schism," he declared.
===== I have said this before... someone does, indeed, need to speak up and take a greater centralized authority. The Chair of Saint Augustine must be given more authority and control in order to keep the Church as one. The various provinces of the Anglican Communion will not like it but in order to stay together as one, the Church needs it. Sometimes it is better to give up some freedoms rather than give into chaos and disorder (which would ultimately result if the Anglican Church experience a schism).