There's a fascinating interview with Terry Mattingly about Anglicanism and Eastern Orthodoxy - and the current predicament of The Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church - up at the Conciliar Press website.
To be sure, Mattingly's Eastern Orthodox perspective is conservative. But regardless of one's theological views, he makes some important observations that are worth reading and taking seriously.
Here are a few teasers:
[Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey] was a very Anglo-Catholic, very conservative, traditional Anglican. He said that the mission of Anglicanism was to become Orthodoxy in the West and seek union with the Church of the East. Now I had always heard ecumenism in an Anglican context discussed in terms of ecumenical work with Rome. That was the first time I ever knew that there was a stage when ecumenical ties with Orthodoxy were actually much greater.
The heart of the Anglican compromise boils down to putting St. John Chrysostom and John Calvin in the same pew. But neither one of those men want to be there. There are things on which they do not agree with each other, and they would not compromise. And yet the Anglican compromise tried to have both sides of a Protestant and ancient equation be equal. You simply can’t pull that off.
Anglicans are highly skilled and genuinely talented in compromise. When you say that Anglicanism is the church of the via media—the middle way—that implies a kind of compromise position between two camps that often don’t want to compromise. And on moral and social issues, what you have ended up with is a never-ending march to the left—because you’re constantly compromising on the church traditions of the ages. This steadily, slowly but surely, pulls you to the theological left on critical issues.
Right now, what we have is two groups of true believers who don’t want to compromise. It’s so interesting that sexuality ended up being the line in the sand, when it could have been—and I argued it should have been—the Resurrection. Why when Anglican bishops began to deny historic doctrines related to the Incarnation and Resurrection and salvation through Christ alone, and other critical doctrines, why didn’t the war break out then? Whereas now it has broken out over sexuality.
... sexuality gets covered in the media, whereas a doctrine about theological language is harder for the press to cover. The other thing frankly is that the theological left has learned how to state its beliefs about Resurrection and Incarnation in a way that sounds OK. And, they’re very hard to pin down. In other words, you could talk about the hope of the Resurrection, but you’ve redefined what all the words mean. You need to understand that Anglicanism defines itself as being united by certain liturgical texts—but you don’t have to all agree on what the words mean.
Read it all.