So. The Church of England is having its General Synod (somewhat like General Convention, only annual -- am I getting that right?), and a member proposed a resolution that would recognize the Anglican Church of North America, a group led by the former bishop of Pittsburgh who decamped from the Episcopal Church, as part of the Anglican Communion, in fellowship with the Church of England. This got amended somewhat so that the final resolution, which passed handily, reads:
That this Synod, aware of the distress cause by recent divisions within the Anglican churches of the United States of America and Canada,
(a) recognise and affirm the desire of those who have formed the Anglican Church in North America to remain within the Anglican family;
(b) acknowledge that this aspiration, in respect both of relations with the Church of England and membership of the Anglican Communion, raises issues which the relevant authorities of each need to explore further; and
(c) invite the Archbishops to report further to the Synod in 2011.
[Anyone who's followed this more closely than I please feel free to correct any factual errors here.]
That all seems reasonable enough, but what I don't think the C of E understands is that these are not reasonable people. Allow me to give an example from my own experience.
There was a parishioner, let's call her Madame Flowers. At first glance, she seemed a welcome addition to the parish, well-groomed and active. Active in everything, actually. To the point where it seemed a bit weird.
To make a long story very short, Madame Flowers trespassed into all sorts of areas, would not take no for an answer to anything, accepted no boundaries or limits, and, when on one occasion was escorted by me to the office door to end a conversation, accused me of assault. In short, she was a terribly disruptive presence and the parish, I think, did a reasonable (though not perfect) job of protecting its members from substantial damage. Madame Flowers was in no way evil, in my opinion, but her behavior made it almost impossible for her to remain in the community unless she was willing to make substantial changes, which she was not.
(Let us for the moment gloss over the part where her mother was found mummified in her home while she claimed she had seen her alive just the week before.)
The thing about ACNA that I don't think the C of E understands is that I think most of us are not as concerned about their belief as about their behavior. When I heard that synod had passed this resolution, I tweeted, "Good luck, C of E. You're gonna need it." These folks, for whatever reason, think nothing of trespassing boundaries all over the place and then accusing the people who say no of assault.
Truly, I feel for you. You have no idea what you, in your desire to be reasonable, have gotten yourself into. Blessings. [Insert sign of cross here.]