26. März 2007

Zwischenstand einer Kirchenspaltung

Kein Grund zur Schadenfreude, sondern zum Gebet für die Anglikanische Gemeinschaft (und für die eigene Kirche).

Aus der Analyse von Jordan Hylden bei First Things:

So, in effect, while the Episcopal bishops may yet decide to do just enough to postpone their expulsion from Anglican councils for the time being, it is difficult to see how, should they remain on the autonomous course they have set, a schism could possibly be avoided. As most rebellious teenagers and philandering spouses eventually learn, autonomy can be fun for a time, but in the end it does not work well as a way of life together in a family. At last month’s primates’ meeting, most Anglicans decided that sacrificing a bit of their autonomy for the good of the family was what it took to live together as a church. Sadly, so far, it looks as if the Episcopal Church has chosen autonomy and individualism over community and fellowship.

Ephraim Radner sadly gave his conclusion: “There is clearly no place left for conservative Christians within the Episcopal Church’s official structures,” he wrote. Last week’s meeting, he continued, “made clear that the alienation between the Episcopal Church’s leadership and the Anglican Communion . . . has become currently unbridgeable.” “It now appears,” concurred Jeffrey Steenson, bishop of the Rio Grande, “that a divorce may be inevitable . . . the opportunity for moving forward together is getting very slim.” Paul Zahl, dean of a prominent conservative Episcopal seminary, went even further: “It is time for all of us to give up,” he said, “and give up unconditionally.”

Not all conservatives have reached the point of giving up. But there is no way to escape from the conclusion that it will not be long before they will have no other choice. The recent actions of the Episcopal bishops have made the prospect of a conservative exodus—possibly numbering in the hundreds of thousands—more likely than ever. Schism, which so many had hoped to avoid, is today closer than it has ever been. And it does not appear that anything will be done to stop it.

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