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The Unopened Gift

Jeffrey Steenson

Recent decisions of its American and Canadian provinces on homosexuality have provoked a tumultuous crisis within the Anglican Communion but also a remarkable opportunity. The proponents hope that significant doctrinal developments are well underway in the area of moral theology, but it is a new Anglican Communion ecclesiology that may be the enduring legacy of these times. The Windsor Report raises important questions about the limits of provincial autonomy and the primacy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and in these discussions the defects in the ecclesiological self-understanding of the Episcopal Church have become apparent. For some time now various inter-Anglican bodies have called for an enhanced role for the Archbishop of Canterbury within the Communion, and the Windsor Report moves this forward. There are striking parallels to the statements on authority by the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission worthy of further reflection.

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