[...] In advising the Church not to fear conflict, Archbishop Welby has in mind what he is calling reconciliation, but I want to flag that term, for he seems to be using it in a manner unaccustomed to many of us. He does not mean Biblical reconciliation, as between God and a sinner, nor as between two Christian brothers necessarily. He appears to have something in mind that I would have to call "Reconciliation Lite." Just as the homosexual community has taken a perfectly sound word "gay" and re-purposed it to mean a male homosexual, that same tendency to appropriate a familiar word and reuse it for something different needs to be flagged. You think initially that you know what the speaker is discussing, but then discover that the meaning of the word has been changed to suit the speaker's purpose. So it is with the new use of the word "reconciliation," and at the end of the day it won't really be reconciliation as we have formerly understood the term, but it will permanently change the usage of the word.
At a recent "Faith in Conflict" Conference at Coventry Cathedral, some people were defining the meaning of reconciliation as "assisted conversation" to help prevent disagreements from exploding or escalating to tear the fabric of the church. Unfortunately, of course, the current disagreements, with the American Episcopal Church (TEC) leading the way in innovation, have already torn the fabric of the church and are tearing it still further while TEC apparently prides itself on its status as the leader of the "progressive" movement.
Assisted conversation can be useful when you are within a community of common faith or a community bound by other relationships which are important. When you are dealing with what is truth and deeply held principles of life, any resolution that restores commonality is unlikely, but what may be achieved is a détente in hostility.
I think that the process being put forward may have some solid ground under it, but it needs a different name. It is not reconciliation, but it is, or could be, mediation. It could be a way of arriving at an Anglican Détente; to facilitate that some things need to be put on the table quickly.