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Are Anglicans Getting a Pope?
London Times reports plans to give Archbishop of Canterbury much more authority
One of the major issues involved in the Anglican Communion's debate over a gay bishop in the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) is the church's long-standing polity that leaders of one church body don't interfere with another. Last week's statement from the Anglican primates (leaders of national Anglican churches) put it this way: "bishops must respect the autonomy and territorial integrity of dioceses and provinces other than their own."
That includes the Archbishop of Canterbury, who, while spiritual head of the church, has no authority to punish ECUSA or to forbid its consecration of a gay bishop.
That's about to change, according to a report in today's London Times (not available for free to those outside the U.K., but being quoted at length on Anglican sites). "The Archbishop of Canterbury will be granted sweeping new powers under secret proposals to force rebel Anglican churches into line," the paper reports. "The planned changes in church law would give Dr Rowan Williams the power to intervene in the affairs of churches outside England for the first time since the Church was established by Henry VIII. The proposals, which would have to be agreed by the Church's separate provinces, have already aroused suspicions that they will turn the Archbishop into an Anglican version of the Pope."
The Times says this was a written proposal discussed during the primates' meeting, not something created since then in response to their call for a commission to study the Archbishop of Canterbury's role in maintaining communion.
So far, it's just one report, but it will certainly cause a stir in Anglican circles.
Also causing a stir: News from Canada that "an Anglican ...1