There is much talk of the ‘end of Anglo Catholicism’ and the ‘end of the Anglican Communion.’ Nah.
Here’s my prediction:
1. Anglo Catholicism will endure. Some Anglican priests will still do worship in a Catholic way. They’ve been Catholic congregationalists all along anyway. They’ll just pull up the drawbridges even more. They’ll probably be allowed to keep their ‘flying bishops’ arrangement a bit longer. Even when that is withdrawn many of them will learn how to get used to female clergy. They’ve always operated within their own little ‘church within a church’. That will simply become more pronounced.
2. Evangelical Anglicanism will survive. Like the ACs, they’ve always done their own thing anyway. They’ve always had their own theological colleges, mission boards etc etc. They’ll just ally themselves with FOCA and continue to be a church within a church.
3. The Liberals will dominate the existing ruling structures of the church, but they’ll find that the only people they have to rule are themselves and their cronies. They’ll have won a Pyrrhic victory. Like winning the toss at a football game, then finding that the other team decided to take the ball and play somewhere else.
Out of all this there are two things that are certain: Large scale ecumenism with the Catholic Church is definitely over. There’s no point talking with the Anglican Communion. They spit in our face every time. Furthermore, there is no way a unified body could be identified to talk with even if we wanted to. Ecumenism will now be with individuals and smaller groups.
Finally, the other thing that is certain is that the fuss in Anglicanism will bring a good number of people to the banks of the Tiber, and for that we should rejoice and continue to pray.