Thinking Anglicans

General Synod – ACNA motion

Next month’s meeting of General Synod will be debating this private member’s motion, proposed by Lorna Ashworth, on Wednesday 10 February:

“That this Synod express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with
the Anglican Church in North America”.

Here are the papers for this debate.

GS 1764A Background paper by Lorna Ashworth available here as a PDF, and also here as a web page

GS 1764B Background note from the Secretary General available here as a PDF, and also here as a web page

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Malcolm+Father Ron SmithCynthia GilliattLois KeenNom de Plume Recent comment authors
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Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

I have read the web version of this woman’s background statement. In Virginia, the churches that left all engaged in a process of 40 days of discernment, following an outline which would make the outcome of a parish vote inevitably to leave. They all held parish meetings, voted to leave, and filed identical lawsuits the next morning trying to steal TEC’s property. Without their suits, there would be no litigation. The Diocese of Virginia and TEC would have violated their fiduciary duty by not contesting these suits. Remember – it was the ACNA churches that filed first. I hope that… Read more »

Josh Indiana
Guest

The appropriate response to Mrs. Ashworth’s declaration of war on The Episcopal Church is silence.

Tobias Haller
Guest

Adoption of this motion will begin the formal Balkanization of the Anglican Communion, if non-geographical Balkanization is possible. A patchwork of affinity groups, some of them not in communion with others, all claiming to be in communion with a central hub? Is that a Communion? It sounds like less than we have at present, messy as it is, not more. There are three Anglican Churches in North America: one in Canada, one in the US (which also includes some non-US dioceses as relics of its missionary history), and one in Mexico. We do not need a third “non-geographical” province to… Read more »

EmilyH
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EmilyH

Regarding the statement above about the action of the Virginia congregations. Technically, they did not file suit. What they did was to immediately file the required legal papers declaring their ownership of the properties. If the Diocese and TEC did not respond, the properties would have been awarded to the ACNA congregations by default. Hence, they sued. The congregations often tout their innocence in all this, …as the persecuted, which the PMM’s resolution notes. Those who understand the U.S. (and more specifically, that of the Commonwealth of Va.) find that risible. In similar manner, the deposed Bishop of Pittsburgh was… Read more »

Emily H
Guest
Emily H

Point 2. Tobias Haller is correct. If the CofE adopts this, they will be contributing to Balkanization based on the theology of the moment. It will be establishing a precedent of which, ironically, it itself may be a victim of unintended consequences. Ironically, although the primates expressed mixed reviews of TEC’s moratoria on ordinations and same sex blessings, as some may recall, their response to the border crossings as reported by ++Cantuar was unanimous disapproval. Because ACNA could not be successful in its internal strategy, it adopted an external one, for the most part, appointed its own bishops in a… Read more »

Bill Moorhead
Guest

Tobias Haller has a longer statement on his blog that I think is very much worth reading:
http://jintoku.blogspot.com/2010/01/mrs-ashworth-is-misinformed.html
I am not at all sure what to make of Ms. Ashworth’s intent here. She seems to be arguing that the folks who now identify themselves as ACNA were driven out of TEC. An interesting perspective. “Interesting,” however, does not imply anything anywhere close to “true.”

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

The Secretary General’s note does not recommend adoption of this motion, but does say that adoption of the motion would initiate, not conclude a process. Overall, I read the Secretary General as quite favorable to Mrs. Ashworth’s motion, and I think we can expect that it will be adopted by General Synod.

The usual chorus of voices will tell us it doesn’t matter to TEC if the motion is adopted, but of course it does matter. I could wish that it would be defeated but I do not at all expect that it will be.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Regarding the ACNA Motion; it cannot be forgotten that ACNA’s constituent membership – from various dissenting sodalities of former-Anglicans – have already disassociated themselves from the Anglican Communion in their schismatic departure. Why on earth would the Founding Church of the Anglican Communion (The Church of England) want to malign the prophetic mission of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, by diverting their hold on the ‘Anglican’ franchise and offering it, willy-nilly, to a bunch of intentional GAFCON-motivated schismatics? As Tobias Haller has already suggested, such a contingency would fragment the Anglican Communion even more than it seems to… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

We learned two things about this at the press briefing on Monday.

One was that the House of Bishops discussed this forthcoming motion recently and decided it would propose an amendment to this motion. The text is not yet available, but should be soon.

The other was that in relation to the first, the HoB had not consulted either the Canadian or the American provinces of the Anglican Communion.

karen macqueen+
Guest
karen macqueen+

I am left wondering how it would be “in order” for the Synod of the Church of England to debate a resolution calling for the CofE to begin a process towards recognizing and including the ACNA in a more direct relationship to the ABC and, I am sure they hope, including them in the Anglican Communion. How is it “in order” to debate seriously the recognition and inclusion of a Church formed by Primates establishing parishes and dioceses in the jurisdiction of another province of the Anglican Communion, and whose episcopacy is composed largely of deposed priests and bishops from… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Simon, your news is deeply discouraging. The C of E House of Bishops saw no reason to consult TEC or Canada! I am afraid this shows that in the Church of England at large, it is the ACNA story that is believed. That is why the tragedy is coming; why, in my view, TEC is already out of the Communion and should plan accordingly. Why is ACNA’s the story the Church of England believes? Some of the responsibility has to fall on TEC, of course — for too long, TEC did little or nothing to get its own story out.… Read more »

Scott Gunn
Guest

I hope Inclusive Church or someone else is working on additional briefing papers. Ms. Ashworth’s paper is full of errors and omits much of the picture.

Is there any chance Synod would ask someone from ECUSA to provide background information or even speak to this motion? If I read only the background papers, with no other information, I’d be inclined to support the PMM. Knowing more, I find it highly problematic.

I hope General Synod will not make an uninformed decision.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“One was that the House of Bishops discussed this forthcoming motion recently and decided it would propose an amendment to this motion. The text is not yet available, but should be soon.

“The other was that in relation to the first, the HoB had not consulted either the Canadian or the American provinces of the Anglican Communion.”

Well isn’t that just special!

I’m trying to come up with an analogy, from somewhere this side of reason.

Maybe we should consult with Terry Pratchett.

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

At the moment I am deep into Doris Kearns Goodwin’s wonderful book about Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Although Lincoln was against slavery, his deepest concern was the Union, and he felt, rightly so history says, that if any state could simply secede any time a majority of its citizens disagreed with any policy advocated by the majority of US citizens, then there could be no Republic and the Revolutionary War had been in vain and the founding fathers (and mothers) completely misguided. The same principal holds in TEC I believe, if any diocese or even any parish can simply… Read more »

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Calm down, people. Just as whether to ordain Gene Robinson was an internal TEC matter, so too is whether to recognize ACNA an internal C of E matter. Just because there are international repercussions does not mean that a church should not decide such an issue autonomously. Indeed, the debate on this PMM will be quite useful. It will be an acid test of where the C of E actually stands on the issues that truly divide the Anglican family. Surely clarity in the C of E’s position will be helpful for all sides. No more waffling! In this regard,… Read more »

Ian Montgomery
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Ian Montgomery

It is my hope and prayer that this motion – as amended – will initiate a process whereby the orders and ministries of those ordained under ACNA will be accepted by the C of E. Certainly the C of E seems unwilling to recognize the depositions that have taken place, especially Bishop Henry Scriven and The Rev. Dr. J.I.I.Packer. This seems to me to be more about recognition and acceptance of orders than formal acceptance of a new province and that this is what the secretary general has said in his piece. On my part I am all in favor… Read more »

Lois Keen
Guest
Lois Keen

I will not calm down.

God willing, the bishops’ amendment will indeed be unfriendly to the PMM.

However, internal matter or not, if lies are all that are told at Synod, then the only clarity will be that the C of E cares nothing for truth.

So far we have no assurance that anything but the lies will be told. Will no one stand up in Synod and refute the lies supporting this PMM?

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“Just as whether to ordain Gene Robinson was an internal TEC matter, so too is whether to recognize ACNA an internal C of E matter. Just because there are international repercussions does not mean that a church should not decide such an issue autonomously.” Quite true. But I hope the discussion is bassed on more than the often erroneous and often misleading material presented to the group. For a thorough study of what lies behind the situation TEC is in may be found on the web site of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington DC. It is by Jim Naughton and… Read more »

Emily H
Guest
Emily H

Jeremy, my inclination is to agree with you except for the fact that, as pointed out above, what is at stake is the franchise, and the owner of the franchise, at least in the perception of the pew sitter, is not the “Communion”, it is the Church of England. If the CofE gives ACNA its seal of approval, that is the guarantee of the connection with Canterbury. By contrast, Nigerian ACNA members in the US would be discouraged to learn that the Church of Nigeria has removed any connection to Canterbury in its constitution. Again, at the departure of San… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

You’ve gotta hand it to Ms. Ashworth–few people can pack so many lies into such a small space. She has a genuine–if ugly–talent.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

“God willing, the bishops’ amendment will indeed be unfriendly to the PMM. However, internal matter or not, if lies are all that are told at Synod, then the only clarity will be that the C of E cares nothing for truth. So far we have no assurance that anything but the lies will be told. Will no one stand up in Synod and refute the lies supporting this PMM? – Lois Keen I very much agree with Lois Keen, and cannot even begin to understand how a body which purports to represent what is good in this world and the… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

“if one reads through the material and comments made by Fr. Dan Martin, in the discussion of San Joaquin’s secession to Southern Cone, what the people of San Joaquin cared about was assurance of their connection to Canterbury” Posted by: Emily H on Wednesday, 20 January 2010 at 2:07pm GMT Assurances that the San Joaquin leadership knew they could not deliver on. It is the continued stream of lies and deceptions that have come from so many that is so disheartening to those who love the Church. It infected so many bishops and culminated (for me) in the doctrine of… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“You’ve gotta hand it to Ms. Ashworth–few people can pack so many lies into such a small space.”

I obviously don’t know her. Those in ACNA have a track record of lying and distortion. I she listens only to them, she may not KNOW they are lies and half truths. My hope and prayer is that in discussing this, ACNA’s is not the only version of the story put forth. The facts are available.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

“The facts are available” — yes, Cynthia, but our friends in the Church of England have not brought these facts to the attention of the General Synod, so the facts can do us no good. Or should I write “friends”? It seems to me that some who claim to be supporters of TEC might have been more active than they have been on our behalf. As it is, the slurs and slanders against TEC disseminated by Mrs. Ashworth and her supporters among the bishops have circulated as truth and are now accepted as truth. Even Gregory Cameron now appears to… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Please, Martin, this is not just about “gay Christian people and their families,” nor just about female clergy and their families, but about a breadth of deceit and deception which have been carefully orchestrated. This is indeed about pretending fiction are facts, included among which are issues related to homosexuals in the Church, clergy and lay, and also women in the clergy, but those are convenient rallying cries for the fundamentalist neo-Puritans and their troops. Their goal is to make the Anglican Communion, beginning with TEC and ACofC, into a new Baptist High Church in the guise of Anglicanism. When… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Charlotte said, “The Archbishop of Canterbury wants absolutely nothing to do with us and will not even set foot inside an Episcopal Church.”

In fairness to His Fuzziness, the Archbishop of Canterbury will be visiting Trinity Wall Street soon as part of the Trinity Institute.

He’s probably being well paid for his services. But still.

EmilyH
Guest
EmilyH

Last week I attended a funeral. It was of a man who was prominent in our community, and our church, many years ago. There were attendees who have joined the Kenyan/Anglican church down the street and family members of the secessionists who formed it returning to town for the funeral. One said to the Rector of our church who presided at the service: “That was such an Anglican service, you should be an Anglican”. His response: “I am an Anglican.” Since her information about us was filtered through our new “Anglican” colleagues, one only wonders what she had been told.… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“In fairness to His Fuzziness, the Archbishop of Canterbury will be visiting Trinity Wall Street soon …”

OMG!

Does he know that they have had at least one CLOWN MASS there?

Danger, danger!

He’d better wear his Clown Cootie Repellent!

Michael
Guest
Michael

With respect to Dr. Packer, let’s get the facts straight. He was never deposed. He was licensed for years by the Bishop of New Westminster even when he was busy denouncing the Canadian church. He decided to leave the Anglican Church of Canada, renounce his license, and accept an appointment from the Primate of the Southern Cone. All while remaining in a diocesan pulpit in Vancouver. The bishop then declared him to have abandoned his ministry in this Church, and asked him to move aside. To date, he has refused. Packer’s right to his theological position was never questioned. He… Read more »

Lois Keen
Guest
Lois Keen

The Trinity Institute program, if it includes a Eucharist, might not be part of ABC Rowan’s program. If it is, and he takes part and receives communion, well hallelujah. That would be wonderful.

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

Mrs Ashworth’s background paper is replete with errors and misinformation, to put it mildly. Is it also self-contradictory. Notwithstanding her claim to have researched the matter carefully, it is clear that she has relied solely on the self-serving propaganda of ACNA. One could do a line-by-line refutation of the document, but a blog post is not the place to do it. But I will offer a few comments from the perspective of a Canadian Anglican. Mrs Ashworth claims that “this motion is not about interfering in the polity of other Anglican provinces.” But in fact it does so in two… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

“The ACNA complainants remind one of the man convicted for murdering his parents who appealed to the court for clemency on the ground that he was an orphan.” – Nom de Plume

Oh yes, brother, you have identified their game candidly and succinctly.

But what is being done within CofE to ensure that duplicity and deceit is not allowed to stand unchallenged?

Where is the Good Samaritan who will bother crossing to the other side of the road, to bring love and the power of truth?

Scully
Guest
Scully

At the very least the General Synod of the Church of England needs to consult with the Anglican Church of CAnada and TEC about the proposed motion. The implications of even preparing for a debate without such consultation are huge.

Tobias Haller
Guest

Nom de Plume, may I also add, in light of your first point, that the intrusion on behalf of “Parishes” to retain their property is also in intrusion into US _Civil_ Law! The Dennis Canon was enacted at the request of the US Supreme Court, in an effort to provide for a more efficient settlement of such cases.

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

“The Trinity Institute program, if it includes a Eucharist, might not be part of ABC Rowan’s program. If it is, and he takes part and receives communion, well hallelujah. That would be wonderful.” – Lois Keen

I presume he will receive communion, given that he is the celebrant. I will be there.

Lois Keen
Guest
Lois Keen

Good news, Nom de Plume. Thank you.
ABC Rowan, then, does step inside an Episcopal Church and more.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“I presume he [the ABC] will receive communion, given that he is the celebrant. I will be there.”

Ah! It will be a Clown Mass after all!

I would love to be rich enough to pass out clown noses as people enter.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“On my part I am all in favor of keeping people in the family rather than expelling them. Others will disagree. (Posted by: Ian Montgomery on Wednesday, 20 January )

Then how do you feel about the people who themselves – by their actions – have already schismatically departed from the main body of the Communion. Do you want to force them to reverse their own decision? Schism is Schism, after all.

Malcolm+
Guest

If my brother refuses to come to the family dinner, that is his action. If we refuse to invite him because he refused to come last year, that is our action – whether he would have accepted or not.