The final statement from the Global Anglican Future Conference is now out and about. The text, along with preamble, can be read in its entirety here. The statement is self-titled the Jerusalem Declaration. Here's a snippet from the intro to the statement:
A Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans
We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, are a fellowship of confessing Anglicans for the benefit of the Church and the furtherance of its mission. We are a fellowship of people united in the communion (koinonia) of the one Spirit and committed to work and pray together in the common mission of Christ. It is a confessing fellowship in that its members confess the faith of Christ crucified, stand firm for the gospel in the global and Anglican context, and affirm a contemporary rule, the Jerusalem Declaration, to guide the movement for the future. We are a fellowship of Anglicans, including provinces, dioceses, churches, missionary jurisdictions, para-church organisations and individual Anglican Christians whose goal is to reform, heal and revitalise the Anglican Communion and expand its mission to the world.
Our fellowship is not breaking away from the Anglican Communion. We, together with many other faithful Anglicans throughout the world, believe the doctrinal foundation of Anglicanism, which defines our core identity as Anglicans, is expressed in these words: The doctrine of the Church is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular, such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. We intend to remain faithful to this standard, and we call on others in the Communion to reaffirm and return to it. While acknowledging the nature of Canterbury as an historic see, we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Building on the above doctrinal foundation of Anglican identity, we hereby publish the Jerusalem Declaration as the basis of our fellowship.
That second to last line is one of the more direct messages to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has released his own comments on the Jerusalem Declaration. Here is a selection, and it as well is worth reading in its entirety:
The Final Statement from the GAFCON meeting in Jordan and Jerusalem contains much that is positive and encouraging about the priorities of those who met for prayer and pilgrimage in the last week. The ‘tenets of orthodoxy’ spelled out in the document will be acceptable to and shared by the vast majority of Anglicans in every province, even if there may be differences of emphasis and perspective on some issues. I agree that the Communion needs to be united in its commitments on these matters, and I have no doubt that the Lambeth Conference will wish to affirm all these positive aspects of GAFCON’s deliberations. Despite the claims of some, the conviction of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as Lord and God and the absolute imperative of evangelism are not in dispute in the common life of the Communion.
However, GAFCON’s proposals for the way ahead are problematic in all sorts of ways, and I urge those who have outlined these to think very carefully about the risks entailed...
...It is not enough to dismiss the existing structures of the Communion. If they are not working effectively, the challenge is to renew them rather than to improvise solutions that may seem to be effective for some in the short term but will continue to create more problems than they solve. This challenge is one of the most significant focuses for the forthcoming Lambeth Conference. One of its major stated aims is to restore and deepen confidence in our Anglican identity. And this task will require all who care as deeply as the authors of the statement say they do about the future of Anglicanism to play their part...If those who speak for GAFCON are willing to share in a genuine renewal of all our patterns of reflection and decision-making in the Communion, they are welcome, especially in the shaping of an effective Covenant for our future together.
The Archbishop also had some comments, set in a different context, and directed to a different audience, which might as well shed some light on the matter for those who are interested in such things:
Anglicans have failed to think through primacy with any theological seriousness and so have become habituated to a not very coherent or effective international structure that lacks canonical seriousness and produces insupportable pluralism in more than one area of the church's practice.
Note [A]: Primate Hiltz' response can be seen here. A bit of it quoted below:
The GAFCON statement is based on a premise that there is "acceptance and promotion within the provinces of the Anglican Communion of a different gospel which is contrary to the apostolic gospel." The statement specifically accuses Anglican churches in the Canada and the United States of proclaiming this "false gospel that has paralysed the Communion." I challenge and repudiate this charge.
Note [B]: Just in case you don't have enough reading to do over the summer, peruse the Niagara Anglican June edition. Dean Wall has a very good summary of why we should try combining services in "multi-congregation" parishes every once in a while. "Many of our parish communities have very distinct ‘early’ and ‘late’ congregations, many of whom don’t know each other very well." We did a joint service recently at St Tim's and got great feedback from the congregation - it was great to be able to worship together as a whole parish.
On the other hand, perhaps the Gafcon people are thinking of things like the statement made by the editor of the Niagara Anglican (Christopher Grabiec) , in an article in the same edition:
Let’s be honest for a moment. Who knows who was right in the Christological arguments of the 3rd century? We know who won, but who really knows who was right? More to the point, does it really matter?
Just to refresh your memory, the "Christological arguments" centered around things like: Jesus is God/ Jesus is not God. Jesus is co-eternal with the Father/ Jesus is a created being in a Neoplatonic chain, sort of like a man, but with a bit more pizazz.
So what then is our Church's answer to the questions: who knows who was right? And does it matter? If you see anyone with authority in the ACoC, ask them.
In the sense of being creedal...