“The need has never been greater for real and personal communication, conducted in a Godly and transparent way.”
True Union in the Body
The Anglican Consultative Council called for a process of mutual listening. We recognise that responses to human sexuality have threatened to split our Communion.
The Anglican Communion is a diverse body which exists and flourishes in a huge variety of cultures. It claims to be both Catholic and Reformed. It is led by bishops, but governed by synods. It is not surprising that there are tensions which emerge and develop.
Of course there are significant differences of opinion within our Provinces as well as between them. Mutual listening is required in these contexts also.
We live in a world where internet and email have brought us together in instant communication, but we are often separated by hasty remarks. The worlds news media is always quick to report on splits and tensions.
The only way we can move forwards together is to listen to one another in love.
'You and I both know that we are right in our thinking of what the church should do regarding all the questions about homosexuality. I wonder if we have the same conviction to admit that we could be wrong. How far are we prepared to risk our understanding of the truth? How open are we to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to us? Too few of us are prepared to risk. We think our goal is victory, when it must be the pursuit of truth.'
The process of mutual listening can come through the publication of reports from each of the Provinces of the Communion and through allowing significant leaders to speak to one another.
The process of mutual listening hopes to allow us to see beyond cardboard cut-out figures and meet as fellow followers of Jesus Christ.
Tradition is ‘the living mind, the nerve centre of the church’ and while it depends upon the how God has lived with us in the past, it is always open to new horizons. For all of us society has changed and the expression of our tradition will change even as we remain faithful to scripture. The process of mutual listening is about discovering how one another remains faithful to scripture in evolving contexts.
1. Virginia Report Being Anglican in the Third Millennium Page 244