The Anglican Church is an ancient tradition. Its roots go much farther back than the Reformation. The See of Canterbury was founded by St. Augustine—not the famous one from North Africa, but the one commissioned by Pope Gregory to evangelize the English. He was the first in an unbroken line of Archbishops of Canterbury since 597. Many call the English Reformation the Via Media, not the mid-way between Rome and Protestantism, but the middle path between Luther and Calvin, with the curiosity of the Elizabethan settlement preserving the candles, incense, kneelers, and lace that give Anglicanism its antiquated—some might say fusty—aesthetic. Not being able to agree on very many things, but worshiping together anyway is, nevertheless, one source of its current malady. The way between conformity to doctrine and practice on one side and letting everyone have their own conscience on the other meant that progressivism found its way into the Anglican world a lot more quickly than in other denominations.

In Kigali, Rwanda, in April 2024 representatives of over 85% of the world’s Anglicans came together and agreed that the question of homosexuality that has so divided the church for 25 years is an essential issue and that those churches—including the very heart of the Church, the See of Canterbury itself—that deny the Scripture’s teaching on human sexuality have ceased to hold their place and position in the Communion. The Kigali Commitment produced at that conference rearticulates the doctrine of scripture that has shaped Anglican worship for more than 500 years. Most of all, however, it redefines Anglican Identity and definitively classifies the question of sexuality as a first-order, Communion-dividing heresy.

This Postmodern Realities episode is a conversation with JOURNAL author Anne Kennedy about her online article, “To All Who Truly Turn to Him: Despair and Hope in the Anglican Communion”.

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