[quote=Gerry Hunter]Yes, indeed, Lee Penn is a valuable source of insight into that group. A US Episcopal Bishop named Swing (from California, where else ?) started it, tried to get the Catholic Church to play, and got a flat “No” from Rome.
In many ways, the URI and Anglican Lambeth Conference function in much the same way. Neither has any real authority, except to say who can and who cannot come to the meetings. And in the meetings, all propositions have to be entertained and considered, on the basis that it is the opinion of one attendee.
In North America (except for the Anglican Christians who are struggling to hold on to the truth that they have) the Anglican Communion denominations have succumed to the inevitable result of “going with the flow” of the culture. They not only reflect it, but look to it for their norms. That’s what happens when a proposition is considered poertinent simply because someone has brought it up.
The Lambeth Conference can, and has, passed resolutions against revisionist trends in Anglicanism, but they are meaningless and unenforcable, and have dismissed as “advisory” by revisionists. All that could happen is that people stop getting invited to the conference. It can play no effective role in guarding those truths of the faith that Anglicans acknowledge.
How, one wonders, did Anglicanism survive so long this way? I have a theory. True, it had nothing comparable to a magisterium, but it did have the British Crown, when there was an Empire, and it and the monarch were significant forces. A royal “we are not amused” went a long way in keeping things in line. That is no more, and the chickens are coming home to roost.
In the end, they are in the process of proving a former Anglican named G.K. Chesterton right in saying, “When a man stops believing in God, he does not begin to believe in nothing. He begins to believe in anything.”
I’m an Anglican who agrees with much of what you have posted here, and I’ve said much the same myself, on occasion. I belong to one of the Continuing Anglican Churches that split off from ECUSA, over just such doctrinal enormities as females in collars, liturgical silliness, and sexual innovations. But as a long time Chesterton collector, I have to comment on one thing from your post. That quote of Chesterton’s you cite is perhaps the best known quote attributed to him. But it is sort of the Holy Grail of Chesterton quotes for us collectors. No one knows its origin. It certainly sounds like him, and is routinely listed among his wise and witty sayings. But whether he said it, and if so, was it written down, and if so, where, remain among the mysteries of life.
Again, not disagreeing with you, or the essence of the quote, just riding my hobby horse.