Ever-closer to a two-track Anglican Communion
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams today issued a lengthy "reflection" on the recent moves in the Episcopal Church, USA, to continue to ordain partnered gay and lesbian people as bishops (opening the orders of ministry to all members regardless of gender, sexual orientation,and so fort) and to bless same-sex unions in public liturgies. Though Williams seemed to write with some regret, his comments indicate that a rethinking of the Communion is going to be forthcoming.
The rethink is probably going to include some kind of doctrinal and disciplinary "covenant," but one wonders what other points of controversy might arise. The issue with the Episcopal Church has not only been the inclusion of gay and lesbian people but the ordination of women as bishops as well; other provinces have also ordained women as bishops, and England itself will do so in a few years. Some provinces do not ordain women at all, and that issue will surely be a sticking point when the time comes to figure out what is in the "covenant."
Whatever the outcome, "visible" Christian unity will take another blow, most likely, which is always a tragedy.