I’ve been reading and trying to understand the material which has come from the Primates’ Meeting in Tanzania. It looks as if the Primates may have come to the conclusion that to allow the division within the Episcopal Church in the US to widen in an uncontrolled way – intervention by Bishops and Primates from without/expensive and bitterly fought litigation within – in itself threatens the life of the Communion. Therefore the priority becomes that of trying to find a way of managing that division so that its power to damage the rest of the Communion is limited. Only time will tell whether that will be enough or not – and whether the liberal part of the Episcopal Church will be able to find it acceptable.
And, inasmuch as the divisions within the Episcopal Church are also present within each of our churches as well as between provinces, we all find ourselves facing the same questions. And it certainly has a familiar feel to me – much of what ministry in Ireland was about was the task of managing division over issues which could not be resolved – managing so that their power to destroy was limited and the hurts caused were mitigated.