Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A More Common Book of Common Prayer?

The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh and Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network is reported in the Living Church as say to advocate a "truly common Book of Common Prayer."

Later the discussion moved to the Anglican Communion. The lack of a truly common Book of Common Prayer, due to revisions in several provinces over the last quarter century, and the tradition of allowing a secular government to select the Archbishops of Canterbury, have destabilized the Communion, according to Bishop Duncan. It is remarkable, he noted, that the latter has worked as well as it has for so long, but the mechanism is inherently flawed. He predicted that future leadership of the Communion will shift to the Global South.

Maybe it was a throw-away line, picked up by the reporter...but maybe not? Since our not only our theology but our pastoral care is reflected in our liturgy, I find the idea coming from this source more than a little scary. Sure, I am interested in seeing how different provinces have adapted to local use the BCP. But what the need to make what is already very common universal? What's broken?

This urge to define "catholic" in the particular instead of in the universal tells me that for Duncan what is broken is a lack of defind, grounded, testable dogma that people can either ascent to or not.

And who would decide on this "more common" Book of Common Prayer? Why the College of Primates, of course!

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