A reader writes:
As a cradle Episcopalian, I share the belief that that the Anglican Communion should be dissolved. The present divide is distracting the churches of the Communion from the core principles of Christianity and fostering greater repression in countries like Nigeria by creating a "burning issue" where none should exist.
For those of us old enough to remember it, this dispute really started with the ordination of women, an issue still not fully resolved. Repression of women in the "southern communions" is as integral a part of their defense of alleged doctrinal purity as repression of gay people. Much of this arises directly from the evangelical competition between Christianity and Islam in parts of Africa and Indonesia especially. In Nigeria, this competition has direct political and tribal implications as the Christian tribal elite in the south tries to maintain its dominance over the Isamic north. The Anglicans have decided to out-Herod Herod and meet the Islamic challenge by imposing a sort of Sharia that will, supposedly, allow them to share the moral "high ground" with their competitors.
In the US, many parishes within ECUSA split long ago over the issue of the role of women. We have been here before. In my view, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America is better for having let those voices of repression depart. I say, "Good riddance." While I would never refuse to take the Eucharist with a declared homophobe or misogynist and I continue to pray that we all become more tolerant of one another, the day of reckoning is upon us, and it is better that, as organized churches, we part company and, in the words of St Paul, work out our own salvations.