Some may look upon the attempt of Archbishop Robin Eames and his Commission that produced the Windsor Report as an attempt of the impossible. How indeed can the Anglican Communion, that bridges so many diverse cultures and traditions, hold together?
It seems an especially impossible task when one realizes what the Anglican Communion actually is - a group of self-governing national Churches, held together by a common origin (the Church of England), a common prayer book (however revised), and what the report calls the "bonds of affection."
One solution would be to make the Communion more centralized. The Archbishop of Canterbury could become a sort of Anglican Pope. That solution is not in the cards, and the Windsor report admits as much.
So what the report said has to be done is to make the `bonds of affection' real - to really listen to each other - and to accept that each other may have theological understandings that all cannot accept.
This means that the Diocese of New Westminster might have consulted more widely internationally before the authorization of same sex unions. The bishop, the chancellor, and others from the diocese did go to the Anglican Consultative Council in Hong Kong in 2002, before the rite was authorized - but apparently was not enough.
It also means that when churches and dioceses believe that they are being led to make changes in pastoral practices (like the blessing), the consultation process must not insist that absolutely everyone agree. That way lies paralysis.
Our bonds of affection have held in the past, and involving that explosive issue of sexuality
Western Anglicans are very much opposed to polygamy, believing it leads inevitably to the denigration of women.But African bishops, evangelizing in a culture where polygamy was present, argued that although monogamy may be ideal, where polygamy is socially acceptable it should be allowed - especially when compelling a convert to put away one or more of his wives would cause the women to suffer.
In 1988, bishops at the Lambeth Conference, including most Western bishops, agreed. Baptism and conformation could be allowed amongst polygamists.
We Anglicans in the West are still repelled by polygamy (and this diocese has actually protested to the BC Attorney General about certain polygamist practices in this province). And we accept that African Anglicans are valued members of the Anglican Communion.
A bit of mutuality would be appreciated.