Tuesday, 9 February 2010

ACNA: some other views

The Church of England Newspaper reports that one episcopal signer of the original resolution has had new thoughts. In Controversial American vote defused by House of Bishops it is reported that:

The Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, said: “My name is on the original motion of Lorna Ashworth’s, and I’m happy that it was and is, but I realise that it is more practical to ask the Synod to do something that it really is in a position to do. “It is not in fact the role of the Church of England to make these kind of decisions, nor is it for Synod to make these kind of decisions. Therefore, to enable the archbishops and the bishops and others to vote positively, there needs to be an amendment like that which the Bishop of Bristol will be bringing.

“It does two things. It brings the motion in line with the constitutional role and the canonical realities as to who actually makes these decisions. At the same time it is a clear and positive affirmation of the character and intentions and standpoint of the ACNA.

Somebody who left the Church of England quite a while ago, Charles Raven, now a major force in the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans says this, in a piece published on Anglican Mainstream titled The English General Synod: The Centre Cannot Hold:

…it is as much about the English Church as the Church in North America.

She poses precisely the sort of question that the Church of England’s leadership wants to avoid because the ACNA represents a choice which must be made between two incompatible forms of religion – historic biblical Anglicanism and that pseudo- Anglicanism being promoted by TEC and its allies which derives its energy from the spirit of the age rather than the Spirit of Christ.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 9 February 2010 at 7:29am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | ECUSA
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"She poses precisely the sort of question that the Church of England’s leadership wants to avoid because the ACNA represents a choice which must be made between two incompatible forms of religion – historic biblical Anglicanism and that pseudo- Anglicanism being promoted by TEC and its allies which derives its energy from the spirit of the age rather than the Spirit of Christ."

I am always amazed at people who think they know absolutely and without question that the "spirit of the age" and the "Spirit of Christ" (whatever that is, I always thought the only spirit involved was the Holy Spirit) are not the same.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Tuesday, 9 February 2010 at 11:02am GMT

it is suggested that the bishop's amendment defuses the motion and makes it something that could pass. For those disposed to vote favorably, do they know what indeed they are affirming? Regarding the word, "affirm" , what is meant? Is it simply that the bishops "affirm" [i.e.acknowledge] the desire of these folks to be in communion with the CofE? Well that is certainly true. By contrast, and this is where the twist is coming, does it mean something more? Does it mean that the CofE affirms ACNA's character in both its desires and methods? It could certainly be interpreted in that way, and, if passed, by ACNA proponents in the US will certainly be interpreted in that way. When one considers ACNA, there is more than just its theological views, it is how it became ACNA and the way it does business. If the CofE "affirms" ACNA, what exactly does that "affirmation" mean? Is it writing a similar note of "affirmation" for those in England similarly disposed to think and ACT in the same way? May I suggest the word "acknowledge" as a substitute for "affirm"? This word might truly "defuse" the situation

Posted by: EmilyH on Tuesday, 9 February 2010 at 12:50pm GMT

"which derive its energy from the spirit of the age rather than the Spirit of Christ" . . . these are, plainly and simply, hurtful words and quite untrue of TEC. Whatever image Mr. Raven may prefer to cherish of us, the truth is that our love for Jesus Christ remains at the center of who we are and what we do. We may honestly disagree about what faithfulness requires in any given situation; but we do what we do because it is what faithfulness to Jesus requires of us. It seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us.

Posted by: Joseph Farber on Tuesday, 9 February 2010 at 1:15pm GMT

This is the same Charles Raven who has a Congregational break away church in kidderminster.

He runs a website called spread advocating Reformed Anglicanism.

Yet he calls ACNA biblical when it includes those who hold Anglo-Catholic views, which he believes the Cof E rejected at the Reformation.

Total hypocrisy

Toatl confusion.

strangely a namesake of his was a leading liberal in 1930s Church of England advocation womens ordination/

Posted by: Robert Ian williams on Tuesday, 9 February 2010 at 10:27pm GMT

I have agonized over whether to say this, but I will err on the side of speaking where I shouldn't rather than staying silent. I preface my remarks by stating that these represent personal views, and should not be construed in any way to represent the Anglican Church of Canada, its General Synod, or any other organization or division within that Church. I also want to say that I speak as one who is fundamentally committed to the Anglican Communion, and with the greatest respect to the Church of England and its General Synod.

The proposed amendment does not defuse the motion, in my view.

The motion violates Principle 13(2) of the Principles of Canon Law Common to the Churches of the Anglican Communion, which states that "each church and its individual members should respect a legislative, executive, judicial or other decision or action duly authorised under the law of another church." By calling into question the legitimacy of the processes by which ex-clergy have been deposed (in TEC) or have (in Canada) voluntarily relinquished their ministry or been found, mostly unchallenged, to have abandoned their ministry, the background paper directly goes against this principle. And the motion cannot be separated from the context of the background paper, no matter what happens to the motion in the course of debate.

This calls into question the fundamental basis of communion between the Church of England and the North American Provinces. A key component of communion is the mutual recognition of orders. That is, that each church recognizes the legitimacy of the canonical, administrative and liturgical processes by which orders are conferred. A corollary of this recognition is the recognition of the canonical processes by which orders might be relinquished, abandoned or deposed from. By calling into question the legitimacy of voluntary relinquishments, findings of abandonment, and (in TEC) depositions from orders, the background paper is challenging the basis for communion.

(And this, incidentally, is why the Essentials rebuttal to my earlier comments is wrong.)

The motion, resting as it does on such a misinformed background, is improper in my view. And quite frankly I think the background paper is an embarrassment to the General Synod as much as it is an insult to the Anglican Church of Canada and TEC. Its claims to having been carefully researched do not bear much scrutiny, as has been amply demonstrated.

The proposed amendment is really not much better, however well-intentioned. For one thing, I think it treats the original motion with an undue degree of seriousness. For another, it does nothing to distance the General Synod from the background paper.

In my view, the motion should not have come forward to the agenda. But given that it has, I think the best course of action would be to defeat it soundly. Amending it as proposed simply changes the type of fuel being added to the fire to a somewhat less combustible one. So, were I a General Synod member, I would argue for defeating the amendment and then defeating the motion.

Posted by: Alan T Perry on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 at 1:31am GMT

"“It is not in fact the role of the Church of England to make these kind of decisions, nor is it for Synod to make these kind of decisions. Therefore, to enable the archbishops and the bishops and others to vote positively, there needs to be an amendment like that which the Bishop of Bristol will be bringing." +Winchester

What? Even though +Winchester's friends in ACNA have made their own decisions about which parts of the Communion they will and will not relate to?

Having, himself, put his imprimatur on the original PMM, Plus-Winchester now realises his fundamental mistake and here gives a back-handed apology for mis-use of a process he admits as untoward. Perhaps he and Ms.Ashworth, Reform, Robert Duncan and the Archbishops of Rwanda, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya (and, oh yes, Southern Cone) ought to go back to the drawing-board and produce something a little less controversial. I don't think though the C.of E. General Synod will be taken in by the duplicity. Not if it respects the integrity of the rest of the Communion.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 at 2:43am GMT

As the General Synod adopted the amended motion, I think the TEC and the ACC should seriously consider reviewing relations with the Church of England immediately with a view to reconsidering their recognition of the same as the mother Church of what was once the Anglican Communion.

Posted by: Ren Aguila on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 at 9:26pm GMT

"As the General Synod adopted the amended motion, I think the TEC and the ACC should seriously consider reviewing relations with the Church of England...."

I'm disappointed by this turn of events, too, but I disagree. It may be appropriate to express some concern about the way this motion came about, and certainly about the background paper that was circulated to members of the General Synod, but it is not a time for anything that might be construed as creating or increasing tension. "Reviewing relations" carries with it an implication that we might want to change the nature of our relationship, and in my view we are nowhere near that. Rather, we need to talk as partners about what recognition of ACNA by the C of E would mean to the North American Provinces.

Posted by: Alan T Perry on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 at 10:56pm GMT
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