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A series of essays in the Episcopal Church


An Open Letter to Those Who Call Trhemselves Anglicans,

An Open Letter to Those Who Call Trhemselves Anglicans,

By Jack H. Taylor, Jr.

The discussion these past days on the primates' communique, our PB's position, faithfulness, modernity, cohesion and division, touched with a blend of intractability, intransigence and hypocrisy, have often been interesting, sometimes insightful and always stimulating. A thread seems to run through much of the commentary here and elsewhere from those with more conservative or unyielding views such as Tony, Milton, Kew+, Fox+, Roseberry+, +Duncan, +Stanton, +Iker and ++Akinola which got me to thinking in terms of the broader questions about the cohesion of the Anglican Communion.

Many talk grandly of their desire for a unified, cohesive communion -- but oddly only on terms they dictate. My question is simple: Are demands for conform to another's view truly Anglican? I have concluded they are not. And I invite those of you who claim to be more Anglican than the rest of us to explain why you really shouldn't be considered the most unAnglican of all.

I won't repeat the history of Anglicanism or its theology, since most of you are well versed in both. But I will try to focus -- perhaps where many of you have not, or have worn blinders. To me the essence of Anglicanism is its synthesis, its attempt at via media, or a gentle balancing of various factors through compromise and mutual concession. I am reminded of the writings of Dr. Alex Vidle, the Anglican priest who apparently studied and thought so hard it gave him a spiritual headache that turned into agnosticism. I wonder if some of you are developing the same kind of spiritual headache that is turning into something like Anglofanaticism. As Vidler once noted:

"Anglican theology is true to its genius when it is seeking to reconcile opposed systems, rejecting them as exclusive systems, but showing that the principle for which each stands has its place within the total order of Christian truth, and in the long run is secure only within that orbit...when it is held in tension with other apparently opposed, but really complementary principles." (Essays in Liberality)

Where in the demands of some primates that ECUSA conform to their dictates is the balance, compromise, concession, the synthesis -- the real essence of Anglicanism?

Blessings from Dallas,

Jack Taylor


You are welcome to submit your essays for consideration for this series. Send them to lcrew@newark.rutgers.edu Identify yourself by name, snail address, parish, and other connections to the Episcopal Church. Please encourage others to do the same.

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