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. Fox]

 

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 present disarray?
 
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 is done.
 
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?
 
WANTLAND: Correct.
 
VIRTUOSITY: Thank you Bishop Wantland.

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