Thinking Anglicans

ACNA comments on bishops in civil partnerships

The Anglican Church in North America included this comment in its latest Communique:

We noted the communication of the House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) concerning the recent decision of the House of Bishops in the Church of England to allow those in civil partnerships to be eligible to serve as bishops. This impacts both the doctrine of marriage and that of episcopacy. The Nigerian bishops wrote:

When the Church of England failed to exercise its legal and moral right to opt out of the civil partnerships legislation in 2005 warnings were given in England and around the Anglican Communion that this was a first step towards the recognition and institutionalization of behaviour contrary to the plain teaching of scripture and reaffirmed for all Anglicans by the 1998 Lambeth Conference in its Resolution 1.10. Sadly those warnings were ignored and we now face the next step in a process that could very well shatter whatever hopes we had for healing and reconciliation within our beloved Communion….

As a House of Bishops, while we acknowledge that we all fall short of God’s call to holiness, we dare not compromise the clear teaching of our Lord on faithfulness within Holy Matrimony and chastity outside of it. Sadly we must also declare that if the Church of England continues in this contrary direction we must further separate ourselves from it and we are prepared to take the same actions as those prompted by the decisions of The Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada ten years ago.

The College agreed with the principle articulated in the Windsor Report that “what affects the communion of all should be decided by all.” The experience in North America has been that that the theological departures from historic Anglican norms have brought devastating consequences. The admonishment from the Nigerian Bishops will, if heeded, avoid further anguish.

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Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

ACNA:

Save the Anglican last dance/chance hookup for me.

Cynthia
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Cynthia

“The admonishment from the Nigerian Bishops will, if heeded, avoid further anguish.”

Is that a threat?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I see ex-Bishop Nazir-Ali was a prominent speaker at the Conference of ACNA. Is he shaping up, I wonder, to take over on Archbishop Robbie’s retirement? How does his cosying up to ACNA square with his current relationship to the church of England?

Jeff Allison
Guest
Jeff Allison

I can not understand why you would post this. ACNA is not part of our communion, and should not point fingers at others for not staying within our tradition.

Commentator
Guest
Commentator

Forgive my ignorance, but haven’t these people already ‘distanced’ themselves by leaving TEC & thus the Anglican Communion? A bit like an independent Scotland and the EU?

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

The Director of the Federation of Independent Evangelicals has also waded in

http://www.john-stevens.com/2013/01/appointing-gay-bishops-is-celibacy.html

while over on Peter Ould’s site they are also “wrestling” with the problem.

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

I wonder if someone here understands the thinking that lies behind the claim here, and repeated elsewhere that the CofE had the opportunity to “opt out” of the civil partnership legislation? It gives the false impression that there was a legislative opportunity for the CofE to lawfully bar its clergy/members from becoming civilly partnered, or something similar. There is the hint of a suggestion that the CofE actually participates in civil partnership ceremonies as a consequence of it having opted in. It is the sort of disinformation that makes these people untrustworthy. What is also overlooked is the very doubtful… Read more »

Pam Smith
Guest

I’m unclear how ACNA can take any actions towards the C of E similar to those it took against TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada ten years ago.

Is it claiming to have ‘sleepers’ in the C of E ready to rise up and start a parallel church in England?

Jeremy
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Jeremy

‘The College agreed with the principle articulated in the Windsor Report that “what affects the communion of all should be decided by all.”‘

Perhaps the ACO and the House of Bishops will now abandon any notion that the Anglican Covenant might be ratified by the CofE.

Unless they really still wish to create a curial star chamber into which the Global South can haul any province–the CofE included.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

“The experience in North America has been that that the theological departures from historic Anglican norms have brought devastating consequences.” –ACNA I would not presume to comment on the situation in Africa, but I am familiar with the situation in Canada where same sex marriage is legal across the country. The weak position of the churches here on gender eqaulity, its confused stand on rights for GLBT people, the willingness be bullied by a tiny conservative minority has “devastating consequences” not of the type imagined by GAFCON. The Gospel is, in the first instance, not a text but an invitation… Read more »

Paul Theerman
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Paul Theerman

Worth a note because ACNA consider themselves the legitimate successor to TEC in the Anglican Communion, and have some support in that stance from other Anglican provinces, and as well from within the Church of England, from what I hear.

Concerned Anglican
Guest
Concerned Anglican

I almost feel sorry for them. They’re caught between a rock and a hard place, desperate to be recognised by the English Church and desperate not to lose hold of their captive (and increasingly expensive) Province of Nigeria.

Deacon Charlie Perrin
Guest
Deacon Charlie Perrin

My guess is that we will soon see the “Anglican Church of England.” They have stated plainly that they will do to the CofE the same thing they have tried to do with TEC. Poor Justin, Rowan has left him a mess and retreated to the ivory tower of acadamia.

jnwall
Guest
jnwall

The ACNA folks are desperate for credibility, clinging to their friends among the Global South primates.

One of their early strategies was to gain recognition from the ABC as the true embodiment of Anglicanism in the USA.

They now seem to have abandoned that strategy in favor of trying to drive a wedge between the Global South and Canterbury.

The outcome might be a world in which we have the Anglican Communion and the “Anglican Communion without the Church of England.”

Sounds like something out of a Flannery O’Conner novel.

James
Guest
James

It is, sadly, telling, that ACNA should be so quick, as has become their habit, to champion whatever the Global South’s exponents trumpet. It is not only regrettable, but a veritable scandal to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that they should be so quick to extoll the godliness of those who have no compunctions, in Nigeria, in doing what they can to ignore, at best, and denigrate, indeed imprison, or punish by death, those whose love might otherwise be rightly recognized as part of the work of God in our world.

robert ian Williams
Guest
robert ian Williams

But what about the plethora of divorced and re-married persons amongst the ACNA bishops,Clergy, laity etc?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

re Jeff Allison’s post: Perhaps it is important to publish this article about ACNA – all the better to demonstrate their unsuitability to claim membership within the Anglican Communion – from which they have already schismatically withdrawn themselves.

ACNA’s only claim to association with the Anglican Communion is through the GAFCON Provinces – which have already distanced themselves from Canterbury and the rest of the Provinces loyal to Canterbury.

This gives ACNA a very tenuous relationship to the Anglican Communion, and therefore in no position to criticise how we conduct our polity or policy.

Daniel Berry, NYC
Guest
Daniel Berry, NYC

I welcome them to–themselves.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“The experience in North America has been that that the theological departures from historic Anglican norms have brought devastating consequences.”

By which they mean LGBT acceptance, equality and, well, happiness {Quelle horror!}

Fred Garvin
Guest
Fred Garvin

Atheism looks more and more respectable every day. I am truly relieved that my last religious service was over ten years ago; why, oh why, did I waste my time on someone invisible?
Any ideas on how I go about getting a refund?

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

What Fred Garvin said.

But Fred I think you may find ‘Batteries not included’ !

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re Fred Garvin “why, oh why, did I waste my time on someone invisible?” Now Fred, black holes are invisible, we can only infer their existence (NASA).
When my dog misbehaves, he hides under the coffee table. My vet tells me that pupster believes that because he can’t see me, I can’t, therfore, see him.
Things “seen and unseen”, there is so much more to it than that, no?

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

“Theological departures from historic Anglican norms have brought devastating consequences .” The truly “devastating” consequences are the violence and sometimes deaths of LGBT people brought about by homophobia and hatred by those who claim such high moral authority over others. It is time for the next Archbishop of Canterbury to be very clear in rejecting such homophobia and perhaps even opening the door for those who devalue the LGBT communities to leave the Anglican Communion. It is time for decisive action and it is time for the Fundamentalists to depart and form their own Church, which is already half way… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

There may be no need for the new ABC to ‘open doors’ to allow the exit of homophobes, Chris. Most of them have already indicated their imminent – or previous – departure. The only problem is, they want to claim the franchise: ‘Orthodox Anglicans’. However, it will take more than homophobia and misogyny to rob the world of Anglicanism. The Gospel will survive!

Perry Butler
Guest
Perry Butler

“I wonder if someone here understands the thinking that lies behind the claim here, and repeated elsewhere that the CofE had the opportunity to “opt out” of the civil partnership legislation? It gives the false impression that there was a legislative opportunity for the CofE to lawfully bar its clergy/members from becoming civilly partnered, or something similar. There is the hint of a suggestion that the CofE actually participates in civil partnership ceremonies as a consequence of it having opted in.” No one has taken up Martin’s point,which I think is a pity…I first saw the point made on Nazir-Ali’s… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Let me try and answer Martin and Perry. Back in late 2005 Jonathan Neil-Smith who at the time was Secretary to the House of Bishops, wrote a letter which was quoted in a REFORM pamphlet. Thus: Q. But don’t the bishops have to go along with the law of the land? A. Apparently they could have chosen a different route. Jonathan Neil-Smith, the Secretary to the House of Bishops, wrote in a recent letter, “In relation to the church’s room for manoeuvre in relation to the law […] there will no doubt be denominations or faith groups who will regard… Read more »