THE new general secretary of the Anglican Communion, the Rt Revd Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has said that the problems within the Anglican Communion are caused by those on the extremes trying to impose their views on the 70 per cent of Anglicans in the middle.
In an address to the Church in Wales Governing Body, Dr Idowu-Fearon said that “there are differences, and there will always be differences. We must learn not only to understand but to respect our differences.” He called on the Communion to recover “an Anglican understanding of the Church”.
Early Anglican theologians, he said, such as Richard Hooker, spoke of the visible Church, and the invisible Church. “To summarise: in the visible Church, to which we all belong, . . . there will always be liars. There will always be hypocrites. And only God can decide who is in the invisible Church.
“What I hear, what I see within our Communion today, is that, even within the visible Church, we are beginning to decide who is qualified to be in the invisible Church. Anglicans must look back to our ecclesiology for the theology of the Church.”
In 2003, Dr Idowu-Fearon was appointed to the Lambeth Commission on Communion, the group that drew up the Windsor report. He said that, at the start of the process, members of the group debated whom they were writing the report for, and concluded that they “were actually writing for Anglicans that are in the middle: 70-plus per cent of the entire population of Anglicans.”
He said: “The way I perceive the problems within our Communion today is that those on the right want to impose on those at the centre. Those on the left want to impose on those on the centre. . . Those on the right and those on the centre must learn to live together.”