I feel like I am endlessly trying to understand the Anglican Communion and failing. You see, I imagined that Primates meetings were a bit like 'Chapter meetings' whereby the clergy and lay ministers in an area meet together and the prime focus seems to be sharing stories and supporting each other. Sometimes we organise things, but that is pretty much it. That is not to say it is of no worth - I think it is tremendously worthwhile.
I am beginning to think that Primate's meetings are different to this, especially since I have been trying to understand why some of the Primates are refusing to attend the meeting in Dublin. They say it is because the decisions of the previous meetings have not been actioned:
Unless and until there is unequivocal commitment to honour the agreed basis of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 and implement the decisions of previous Primates’ Meetings (2005, 2007, 2009) expressed in the respective Communiqués, especially that of Dar es Salem 2007, it will only lead to further erosion of the credibility of the Primates’ Meeting and accentuate our failure to honour the work already done by them.
I must say Dar es Salem 2007 makes depressing reading, it fells like all the woes are due to The Episcopal Church (TEC) and even incursions from other Anglican Churches into America are downplayed because they were serving a pastoral need that was caused by the bad behaviour of TEC.
Another thing I am confused about - we are synodically governed in the Church of England, having three houses that vote - laity, clergy and bishops. Now Lambeth 1.10, which rejects homosexual practice, was created under very dubious circumstances by a group of Bishops without any input from clergy and laity. So I don't understand what authority it has. If we are a grassroots church then I don't see why we don't just ignore it. By all means discuss homosexuality in the synods and come to a view, but surely Lambeth 1.10, at best, only tells us what the mind of a group of international Bishops is. It can't tell us what the 'Anglican view of Homosexuality' is - can it? Moreover it surely can't be wielded against TEC can it?
Genuine questions.. I would love someone to explain it to me.