Thoughts on CANA
This was extraordinary. Anglican bishops are not permitted to install bishops outside their own territory. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church requested that this not be done, as did the Archbishop of Canterbury. Archbishop Akinola went ahead anyway.
What does this mean. Mad Priest thinks that this forces a choice on the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Anglican Communion:
Archbishop Rowan Williams now has to make a choice. Does he wish to continue to placate, at any cost, the man who wishes to rule the Anglican Communion in a way that Rowan knows he must not do himself, because he does not have that authority and because he is a Christian man? Or will Rowan choose to now move closer to those who may have, in exasperation, grumbled about him, but who have never once thought of blackmailing the Church or attacking it's structure and integrity?
If Rowan does not choose the second option, and quickly, then TEC must, of their own accord, move away from both Williams and Akinola. In fact, if Katharine was to announce the split tomorrow, whilst everyone is looking at the photographs of a foreign man insulting their presiding bishop and dictating the policy of the American Church, I don't think the numbers that would leave would be that high.
Today, the schismatics are celebrating.
It is unclear how this will all play out. There may be more churches--and perhaps a handful of dioceses--that leave the Episcopal Church, but the divisions within these churches makes unlikely that all will join CANA. In the end, I suspect that the Episcopal Church largely remains intact. The real schism will be worldwide--and in the Church of England in particular. The Church of England is much more divided on the relevant issues than the Episcopal church, and by forcing the Archbishop of Canterbury to make a choice, Akinola may well force difficult decision throughout the Church of England.