This morning I saw this headline and eye-catching paragraph on the Pro Ecclesia site:
The International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue Just Came to an Important Agreement on the nature of Marriage:
Continuing its focus on Christian anthropology, specifically what it means to be a human person created in the image and likeness of God, the Commission devoted significant efforts to the review of the draft of its joint theological work on the subject. Reflection on the theology of the glory of creation and the uniqueness of humanity in the created order drew the Commission into deep discussion. Further, the Commission worked at length on the specific expression of image and likeness, considering the thematic components of the subject, with particular attention to its scriptural basis. As part of the discussion of human relationships, the Commission observed that it is the teaching of all the Orthodox and Anglican churches that marriage is between a man and a woman.
The first part doesn’t surprise me as much as the last sentence: that the Anglican churches understand marriage to be between a man and woman. The Anglican communion is not known for its consistent and coherent formulation of a Christian doctrine these days. That is, they tend to be at odds with mainstream Christianity (not only Catholics, but some Lutheran, Evangelical and Baptist communities). Certainly the Anglican openness to allow for contraception and in many places gay marriage and women’s ordination raises the question of what is happening herein.
Read the entire press release here.
The desire of the joint commission which met 4-11 September 2013 at the invitation of Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej was to study the nature of man and woman being made in God’s image and likeness from a perspective of theological anthropology. This is a weighty and yet necessary conversation that needs to be investigated with a telos in mind, God’s telos, that is. Knowing particulars of what it means to a human person can’t be overlooked, dismissed or rearranged because of ideology.