A Modest Proposal
for a New Anglican Communion
[NOTE: Bishop Wantland is the retired bishop of Eau
Claire, Wisconsin, a stout conservative with a good legal mind. E.
By David W. Virtue
The following conversation took place with senior ECUSA and former
Bishop of Eau Claire, William Wantland in Bedford, Texas at the 16th
Annual Assembly of Forward in Faith North America.
VIRTUOSITY: Do you see a way forward for the Anglican Communion in its
WANTLAND: Not really. I don't think when it comes down to it, that the
Global South bishops will accept the continuing leadership of Rowan
Williams if he doesn't follow the directives of the Global South. If he
doesn't, then he will preside over the dissolution of the Anglican
Communion. In that case he will prove to be no better than Frank Griswold.
VIRTUOSITY: It seems that we are trapped. Griswold may well be
relegated to the rubbish heap of American Anglican history by the
Primates, but Williams and Griswold are a lot closer in spirit than most
people realize. Williams recently has come out with some extraordinary
declaration praising a new bible translation that renounces original
Biblical morality, he supports atheist textbooks, He's pushing for Jeffrey
John to get the Deanship at St. Albans causing an uproar among British
Evangelicals and more; so what are we going to do?
WANTLAND: Here's a scenario. The Global South bishops tell Canterbury
that enough is enough. They have said they have gotten over the British
tie because of western missionaries. Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola has
said, "We don't need to go through Canterbury to get to Jesus." That day
VIRTUOSITY: What do you suggest?
WANTLAND: If The See of Canterbury is not willing to oppose heresy then
the majority of the communion must oppose Canterbury and a new See be
recognized say in Jerusalem or Alexandria, as the focus of unity for the
orthodox Anglican Communion. After all Jerusalem has at least four
Patriarchs, I see nothing hindering an orthodox Anglican leader being set
up in Jerusalem. If Alexandria (Egypt) is chosen that puts the head of the
communion squarely on the African Continent, the pan-African CAPA bishops
will, I believe, go for it.
VIRTUOSITY: Canterbury is finished and ECUSA is finished, the Canadians
are finished by their recent acts, so are most of the Australians and most
dioceses in NZ are liberal. While there are holdouts everywhere that is
not the point. You are saying that a completely new Primus inter pares
with an ecumenical passion could lead the Communion and he would be
thoroughly orthodox in faith and morals and chosen by the Primates
themselves to lead the communion in a new location. Is that correct?
VIRTUOSITY: Thank you Bishop Wantland.
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