Why the Anglican Communion's days could be numbered
Conservative Anglican leaders set up an alternate power bloc in the worldwide Anglican Communion, said Father Raymond de Souza in Canada
What happenedConservative Anglican Communion leaders concluded a summit in Jerusalem by creating a new power bloc outside the church's traditional lines of authority. Conference participants, brought together by African church leaders, said the Archbishop of Canterbury, the titular head of the Communion, had not done enough to condemn the U.S. (Episcopal) and Canadian churches for their liberal views on homosexuality. (The Christian Science Monitor)
What the commentators saidThe formal steps haven’t been taken, said Father Raymond de Souza in Canada’s National Post, but it's clear the Anglican Communion is splitting apart. The differing views on homosexuality, among other fundamentals of the Christian tradition, are "a gap that cannot be bridged.”
If dissident conservatives won't even sit down with the rest of the church, said Britain’s The Guardian in an editorial, “what is the point of keeping the Communion together any longer?” Anglicanism used to be “a big tent of mutual tolerance and respect,” but, if it's not “a faith that is loving enough to treat gay people as equals,” unity might be overrated.
The breakdown isn't only about homosexuality, said Charles Moore in the London Daily Telegraph. The problem is that, even though there are more Anglicans in conservative developing countries, the Archbishop of Canterbury in the liberal U.K. is still "the boss of everything."
That won't be enough reason to break up the church, said David Van Biema in Time. Anglicans are “incrementalists,” not radicals, and some of the harsh rhetoric from conservative leader Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria has made allies uncomfortable. And there's no reason to expect the issue of homosexuality to blow up this summer, which “is good news for the survival of the Communion and bad news for the resolution of its tensions.”