Rather than fragmenting, the Anglican communion may be reconfiguring itself as a more interdependent and global structure after its recent meeting in Tanzania. The Tablet of London (Feb. 23) reports that there were widespread rumors and fears that world Anglican leaders would cut their ties with the Episcopal Church in the U.S. because of its support of electing a gay bishop, leading to further schisms and realignments. But the primates meeting in Tanzania issued a communique mandating that the American bishops must enact a moratorium on gay bishops and not authorize official same-sex unions.
“If the House of Bishops cannot provide the reassurances requested, the US church could be reduced to second-tier status or even be expelled by failing to abide by the global Church’s resolutions,” writes R. William Franklin. Such an approach “moves the provinces of the [Anglican] communion towards a greater interdependence than would have been imagined even a decade ago… So instead of a long-predicted schism, the Tanzania meeting helped create a different kind of Anglicanism of the first decade of the twenty-first century. The developing world is coming to the fore as a mature power within the Communion in this decade,” Franklin concludes.
(The Tablet, 1 King Cloisters, Clifton Walk, London W6 0QZ UK)