Theological Reflections: Commitments of the Mind and Heart: Will the Centre Hold?

By Sumner, George R. | Anglican Journal, September 2008 | Go to article overview

Theological Reflections: Commitments of the Mind and Heart: Will the Centre Hold?


Sumner, George R., Anglican Journal


WHEN A FAMILY is in conflict, avoidance isn't a good idea, though it may be wise first to improve communication, find better settings to meet, and share confidence-building projects.

If the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams ever supposed that the crisis over same-sex unions could be finessed, surely the boycott of 250 or more evangelical bishops, representing more than half of the Anglicans in the world because of Communion inaction toward dioceses performing same sex unions would have disabused him of that notion. But he rightly perceived that the Communion and its bishops were not in a good position to deal with the crisis itself.

So Lambeth 2008 was designed in large measure to address those prior tasks as conditions for the possibility of successful resolution. To replace distrust and rancour with candour and empathy was a goal of the much ballyhooed indaba groups, and many found them effective. Bishops found common ground around pressing social issues, being moved by the witness of their colleagues in places where faith has a tangible cost, and seeing anew the precious and fragile richness of Anglican global diversity.

As any spiritual director will tell you, feelings of communion are fine, but the real question is whether they translate into commitments of mind and heart. What will a feeling for communion in our bishops mean once their bags are unpacked? Are we ready to pay the cost of communion, whose coin here is constraint on blessing same-sex unions? …

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