Thinking Anglicans

CANA on the web

Updated Tuesday

The Convocation for Anglicans in North America which is “an Anglican missionary effort in the US sponsored by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)” now has a website. There’s a video which features the Primate of Nigeria and others.

The website also includes forms, one for clergy and one for congregations, that desire to affiliate with CANA. As the forms state:

The Convocation for Anglicans in North America (CANA) meets the needs of Anglicans who have been disenfranchised by the divisive actions of the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA). CANA offers congregations and clergy an authentic connection to the Anglican Communion. CANA welcomes all who want to share in the apostolic faith and life of orthodox Christianity in the Anglican tradition.

Two of the questions asked on both forms are these:

Please explain why you are seeking to register with CANA (500 words or less). Include any reservations you may have about the uniqueness of Jesus the Messiah, about the authority of the Bible in our lives, about the fact that CANA is a mission of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), about working with people of diverse backgrounds, and about episcopal pastoral care and authority.

Please explain why you think your affiliation with CANA will or will not result in a dispute with your current bishop (100 words or less).

There is also a press release, on the Nigerian provincial website, about the consecration on the 20th.

(Hat tip to Mark Harris who has commented on the claims made by CANA.)

Update Bishop Peter Lee issued a letter on the weekend, which was referenced at the bottom of this earlier article. As it still has not appeared on the Virginia diocesan website, I reproduce it in full below the fold. Now also available here.

Update The Living Church has also reported on this letter: Bishop Lee, Bishop-Elect Minns Seek Solution.

Date: Sun 13 Aug 07:45:00 EDT 2006
From: “Patrick Getlein” Subject: A Message from Bishop Lee
To:
A Letter to the Diocese of Virginia from the Bishop
Dear Friends:
As most of you know, the Rev. Martyn Minns, rector of Truro Church, Fairfax, was elected by the Nigerian House of Bishops to be a bishop of the Church of Nigeria serving in the United States. Many of you also know that Truro Church had launched a search for a successor rector to Martyn prior to that election, though he has not yet announced any firm date of resignation. While this situation presents many complex issues of governance and polity, the situation is made more complicated by the desire of the Truro Vestry to have Martyn continue as rector until his successor has been identified.

Martyn and I met yesterday, Saturday, Aug. 12 in Fredericksburg. Also present was Russ Palmore, diocesan chancellor, and Tom Yates, Truro parishioner. While we have not yet reached an understanding of how this matter will be resolved, it was agreed that a joint statement would be prepared and released before the end of August that would respond to the various jurisdictional and pastoral challenges that are presented by this development.

I ask your prayers in the coming days and weeks that Martyn, the Truro Vestry, the diocesan Standing Committee and I might receive God’s grace at this time to discern a way forward that glorifies God and honors our Church.
Faithfully,
Peter James Lee
Bishop of Virginia
Message sent by:
Patrick N. Getlein
Secretary of the Diocese
110 W Franklin St.
Richmond VA 23220
1-800-DIOCESE x30
www.thediocese.net

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Scott Rollins
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Scott Rollins

Unless the site has been updated since you looked at it, the press release is clearly dated August 12th. And the consecration date is listed as the 20th.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Yes, Scott it has been updated since earlier, when the dateline read:
Abuja, August 20, 2006, …..
But you are entirely right about the consecration date. I should have had coffee first.

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

In every place and in all our years of ministry, my wife Angela and I have attempted to lead and build communities of faith where the radical message of Galatians 3:28 is lived out: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” CANA will be no different. It will be a place where people of diverse backgrounds show the world that true unity is possible when we are connected by “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). Your brother in Christ, Martyn Minns Bishop-elect I love the… Read more »

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

What need is there for “reticence or sensitivity” about a Christian minister being married? It is precisely the exemplary ministry which is described in 1 Tim.3.

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

The American address for CANA is the same as Truro Church. I am told that their – Truro’s – web site barely manages to mention that it is an Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia. Nobody is holding their breath about what the result of Truro’s ’40 days of discernment’ will be. It seems to me – and I am no canon lawyer – that when Martyn is consecrated for CANA he will have abandoned his orders in TEC and will no longer be rector of Truro. But I have no track record at all in predicting things like… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

The Truro website as yet contains no mention of the Nigerian matter, but it does say:
We are a church that finds its identity within the worldwide Anglican Communion and are presently constituent members of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

“It seems to me – and I am no canon lawyer – that when Martyn is consecrated for CANA he will have abandoned his orders in TEC” An interesting comment. Do you consider that the holy orders exercised in ECUSA are not the same as those elsewhere in the Anglican Communion? Are clergy ordained by ECUSA bishops solely as ECUSA clergy, or are they ordained for ministry in the church of God? Does ordination as a bishop somehow invalidate, in ECUSA, the orders of deacon and priest, if bishops from another province carry out the consecration? And even more interesting,… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Well, one guess is that we used to handle international church life in bonds of affection, and welcoming traveling folks from other provinces (including bishops/archbishops) was certainly part of that affection. Now perhaps we will be asked to do via Anglican purity/orthodoxy litmus tests, however those may be implemented, what cannot any longer be done via bonds of affection. Conservatives have made it quite clear their affections are limited, if not toxed out altogether. I believe they have made it almost crystal clear that they do not and cannot ever, under any circumstances, trust anybody who doesn’t believe exactly as… Read more »

Charlotte Pressler
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Charlotte Pressler

Red herrings, Alan Marsh, every one.

Paul Davison
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Paul Davison

While I AM a lawyer, I’d hesitate to say I am a “canon lawyer.” But here goes anyway. Assuming that CANA is merely a part of the Province of Nigeria (and not something separate), the question arises whether TEC is in communion with Nigeria. I’m not sure that Archbishop Akinola would say that we are. There is a set of canons in Title III that make distinctions between churches in communion with TEC and those who are not. For the most part, we readily accept priests from the Church of England, for example. A more practical point: If someone is… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

Alan: Do I recollect correctly from your postings to other questions that you are in the Church of England? I don’t imagine you intend to present an imperial response to the colonials, but your questions about orders could be read that way. All too often in recent discussions some voices are all too ready to confuse ecclesiological and institutional issues. To answer your question about orders, and with specific response to Fr. Minns, he is a priest now of the Diocese of Virginia of the Episcopal Church. He was ordained a priest in the Church of England, and his orders… Read more »

Ian Montgomery
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Ian Montgomery

Alan Marsh makes some fascinating comments. As I understand the canons of ECUSA if one becomes a bishop in another province that simply ends ones canonical membership in ECUSA. Historically one could and still can in most circumstances simply transfer from one place in the AC to another. it is ECUSA that seems to require letters dimissory as it has the canonical concept of canonical residence which does not occur in other provinces (certainly not in the C of E). This is one of the reasons why clergy can simply be accepted from ECUSA into other provinces without letters dimissory.… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

My comment about Martyn’s possible consecration in CANA and his orders in our church is prompted by analogy with what happened to two former clergy in our diocese who declared themselves under the wings of African dioceses. They were deemed to have forsaken their orders in TEC. As I noted, I/m not deeply versed in these arcana. Perhaps someone out there can clarify. I don’t think you can be in two different dioceses and under two different bishops at the same time. In TEC, you can only be canonically resident in one diocese at a time. If you are ordained… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
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J. C. Fisher

It seems to me, Alan, that you’re asking a lot of rhetorical questions here. There are *well-established procedures*, by which clergy (and occasionally bishops) from one province in the AC, serve in another. And—as I am sure you are aware—neither Minns+ nor his consecrators in Nigeria are abiding by these, vis-a-vis Minns continuing to exercise ministry within the (geographically-defined) boundaries of TEC. It is the disregard for these long-established procedures (and not the nationality/province-of-origin of the bishop-elect, per se), which is the *innovation* here. By what authority, do Minns and Nigeria justify these innovations? (And will the AC—including the ABC—put… Read more »

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

“As I understand the canons of ECUSA if one becomes a bishop in another province that simply ends ones canonical membership in ECUSA.” This answer seems to me to sum things up pretty accurately. There is a world of difference between “ending one’s canonical membership” and “abandoning one’s orders in TEC”. But it is this confusion which is at the heart of the abuse of the abandonment canon. When an Anglican priest is ordained as an Anglican bishop (or serves in another province of the AC) he/she has not abandoned their orders. But a canon designed to deal with clergy… Read more »

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

JCF, I think Lambeth Palace has already issued a strongly disapproving statement. Surely it is open to the TEC to make a formal complaint via the Primates’ meeting or via the ACC? Has it done so?

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

What Lambeth said:

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace told The Church of England Newspaper the Minns’ election was “not a welcome development. It is neither timely nor constructive as it further complicates an already complex situation.”

What Rowan Williams said to synod:

There has also been an announcement from Nigeria of the election by the Nigerian House of Bishops of an American cleric as a bishop to serve the Convocation of Nigerian Anglican congregations in the US. I have publicly stated my concern about this and some other cross-provincial activities.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

JC Fisher asked

‘By what authority, do Minns and Nigeria justify these innovations ?’

Answer :

They “saw something nasty in the woodshed.”

(with ‘apologies’ to Stella Gibbons & ‘Cold Comfort Farm’, both film and novel!)

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

With so many assumptions flying around here, most of us ‘should be’ well placed to enjoy today-our own speshal day ! — Seriously, enjoy !

I still love the Cenacle image & verse from the Acts and the image us continuing together in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus… we may be surprised yet! …..

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Allan, In light of St. Paul’s clear statement that celibacy is the ideal and marriage only for those who are unable to control themselves, I would think Timothy is merely stating that clergy, if they are to marry at all, should not be polygamous, and should make sure the family that will almost inevitably arise out of such a union not draw condemnation on the believers. St. Paul, and I infer Timothy, would hardly have thought that marriage was something to be bragged about. For Paul, you would essentially be bragging about being weak-willed and unable to follow the better… Read more »

Alan Marsh
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Alan Marsh

FE, there is nothing scandalous about Christian marriage for a Christian minister, such that it need be regarded as a matter for “reticence or sensitivity”, unless you belong to a perfectionist strand of Christianity which insists absolutely on clerical celibacy. St Paul does not, which is why he writes as he does in 1 Tim 3.

We know that St Peter was married, a fact which I have yet to see advocates of strict clerical celibacy deal with convincingly…

But I am glad that you acknowledge celibacy as the only alternative to Christian marriage.

Jim Pratt
Guest
Jim Pratt

Alan, As to abandonment of communion, is there really much difference between a priest crossing over to Rome and a priest crossing over to CANA? Fr. Minnns is leaving TEC for ministry in the C of N, which by its own official statements is NOT in communion with TEC. This is abandonment of communion with the Diocese of Virginia and with TEC, to the same extent as crossing over to Rome. The fallacy (which has unfortunately been promoted by a good many conservatives in the US and Canada) is that we (individually) are Anglicans by being in communion with Canterbury.… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

AM, don’t think that I hold marriage in some high esteem. To me, Paul sees it as a sop to people who can’t control their animal urges. It is certainly not proscribed in Scripture, but I don’t see the New Testament promoting it as some exalted state. If people must do it, so be it, but it is second best, “better to marry than burn” is hardly a ringing endorsement. Jesus sees it as irrelevant to the Kingdom, where we “neither marry nor are given in marriage”. It is not shameful in itself, but in so far as it acknowledges… Read more »

Merseymike
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Merseymike

Does he?

I thought he was talking about Paul’s opinions, not necessarily his view.

I certainly don’t base my life on the opinions of someone with as many personal hangups and prejudices as Paul!

J. C. Fisher
Guest
J. C. Fisher

“celibacy as the only alternative to Christian marriage”

Absolutely, Alan: Christian marriage, of EITHER an opposite- or same-sex couple! 🙂

[The latter type, as such, I expect will get *zero* pastoral ministry in “Bishop Minns Church” 🙁 ]

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I certainly don’t base my life on the opinions of someone with as many personal hangups and prejudices as Paul!” Mike, the above statement astounds me, honestly. I mean, I assume you consider yourself a Christian, else why would you be so worked up about the debates of the Anglican branch of the Church? Why then discount what the Spirit inspired Paul to write, especially since it makes up the bulk of the New Testament? I don’t believe the Bible is some sort of Divine dictation, I’m no Evo, but it’s hardly some collection of 2000 year old pious opinions,… Read more »

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

Jim, there are parts of the Church of England which are in impaired communion with TEC because it has women priests. Women bishops, and those ordained by them, are unable to minister in the Church of England because women can not be bishops here. When a priest in the USA joins the Church of England, does that count as “abandonment of communion”? And does it merit deposition, rather than simply removing the priest’s licence to officiate?

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Alan
What do you mean by “parts of the Church of England” ?
I know of no diocese in the CofE where women priests may not function.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

‘Women bishops, and those ordained by them, are unable to minister in the Church of England…’ Is it true that people ordained by ‘women bishops’ , are not allowed to minister in the Provinces of Canterbury & York ? If so, I’d be shocked by the sheer silliness of it. I once read an amazing document of Forward in Faith. It was all about the PROTECTION they need from 1 ‘women priests’ 2 (a) ordainers of women priests (b) licencers of women priests (c) Institution & /Inductors (Archdeacons) 3 communicants of women priests 4 colleagues of women priests 5 those… Read more »

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

There are at least 1000 parishes which have voted not to receive the ministry of women priests. At least one bishop has declared that he would re-ordain any clergy wishing to come into his diocese who were ordained by a woman bishop.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

This is tragic, but not really a surprise. It is typical deceiver manouvering – first of all you try the pyramidic overwhelming authority to squash diversity. Then if you can’t suppress diversity through the “authority” of position, you then divide and conquer to keep people isolated and confused. You then fragment and change names and mission statements to make out that you aren’t really part of a particular sect. We are already familiar from watching this with the shifting sands of the jihadists. An organisation is declared terrorists, so you dissolve that one, move your members into other organisations with… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

This has nothing to do with CANA. But those in the CofE who resist women priests make no distinction as to what country they come from. And all clergy in the CofE are bound by Canon A4 see
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/001808.html

As to the acceptance of ordinations by women bishops overseas, this is a matter for the archbishops exclusively to determine. At present, they are still not accepted.

The situation in relation to women bishops in the CofE itself is yet to be decided.

Now, could we go back to CANA please.

Alan Marsh
Guest
Alan Marsh

I thought we were discussing CANA, and its implications – one of which is the ending of interchangeability of ministries within the Anglican Communion, on both sides. ECUSA is being urged by some to depose Minns, while Nigeria is consecrating a bishop for an area that already has a province of the Anglican Communion – in effect saying that ECUSA no longer has a valid Ministry.

When it consecrates Minns for CANA, Nigeria will arguably rule itself out of the Anglican Communion by explicitly ignoring TWR, and should be invited to close down CANA if it wishes to return.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

“You will always find the Church of England in my parish.”
John Keble

“Psychoanalysis is a cure through love.”
Sigmund Freud in a letter to Carl Jung

Sorry about the four letter word.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Alan I share your frustration about what we are meant to be talking about. But the proliferation of acronyms (and the mechanisms of how and why they are occurring) makes it difficult to remain within boundaries. Especially when there is a dynamic to reclaim lost boundaries. I think what saddens me most about this is not how the Anglican Communion will look at the end (it will be different from now, that is for sure), but that there are some souls who seem simply incapable of understanding the concept of co-existence. There is no way that these souls have the… Read more »