Tuesday, 11 February 2014
General Synod: Questions about ACNA
The Revd Canon Giles Goddard (Southwark) to ask the Chair of the House of Bishops:
Q. Has an assessment been made of any implications of the appointment of the Revd Tory Baucum as one of Canterbury Cathedral’s Six Preachers from the point of view of the relationship between the Church of England and ACNA (with which the Church of England is not currently in communion)?
The Archbishop of Canterbury to reply as Chair of the House of Bishops:
A. Careful thought and assessment has certainly been given to the appointment of Dr Tory Baucum from the point of view of the relationship between the Church of England and ACNA and also the relationship with The Episcopal Church of course with which the Church of England is in communion, and for that matter with the relationship with the Anglican Church of Canada who feel implicated in this, and also by a number of other churches around the Communion, particularly in the group known as the Global South. An invitation to be a Six Preacher is a personal appointment of the Archbishop and has no implications in itself as to ecclesial relationships. However this particular appointment is of a person who has a distinguished ministry in reconciliation, which he exercises carefully in his context. There was consultation with a number of people and the appointment has been enthusiastically welcomed by the local bishop of The Episcopal Church, bishop, Shannon Johnston, the Bishop of Virginia.
Supplementary question from Canon Goddard:
… Could you just say what steps have been taken to ensure that this appointment is not taken to mean that clergy ordained in this country by overseas bishops, without the permission of the diocesan, are nevertheless recognised in the Church of England.
A. Thank you. I’m straying slightly onto thin ice here. It is true that permission would need to be given under the 1967 Measure, which is presumably what you are thinking about, in order for Tory to preach here. But it will not be breaking new ground, because Tory having been ordained in The Episcopal Church, the permission can be given under Section 1 of the Measure. That is, on the basis that he has been ordained by a bishop of a church in communion with the Church of England. It will not therefore be based upon the recognition and acceptance of the orders conferred by the ACNA.
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 at 10:43pm GMT
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I'm not sure this matters much. If the Anglican Communion continues its move towards conservatism, I can see the ACNA replacing TEC before too long anyway.
In the meantime, why not recognize their orders? Metaphysics aside, orders are just a legal and social construct. Recognizing orders doesn't imply agreement.
"Tory having been ordained in The Episcopal Church, the permission can be given under Section 1 of the Measure. That is, on the basis that he has been ordained by a bishop of a church in communion with the Church of England. It will not therefore be based upon the recognition and acceptance of the orders conferred by the ACNA."
With all due respect, the first 2 sentences of this reply seem to stray into the area of legerdemain. Tony Baucum's ordination into TEC has been, surely, side-stepped - by his repudiation of his ministry with that Church? How, then, does this qualify him as being 'in communion' with the
Church of England - as he is now a minister of a schismatic organisation. This seems to be a naive acceptance of Mr. Baucum's credentials in ACNA.
The seeming assurance that Mr. Baucum's acceptance as as preacher in the Mother Church of Anglicanism in no way implies a recognition of ACNA appears unconvincing - at least to those of us in the Anglican Communion who have difficulty in seeing how his preaching could help TEC to ward off the prospect of further attacks from ACNA's friends in the GAFCON camp.
Was Mr Baucum deposed by TEC when he left and affiliated with CANA and then ACNA? If so, that would seem to me to supersede any TEC ordination. No?
Last month, Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh (PEP) wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury to complain about the appointment of the Rev. Dr. Baucum—see letter at http://progressiveepiscopalians.org/html/2014-01-23_abc-letter.pdf . That letter said, in part, “We urge you to rescind the appointment of Dr. Baucum as one of the Six Preachers of Canterbury Cathedral or, barring that, to clarify that the appointment is of a personal nature unrelated to the church (or churches) in which the honoree is a priest.” Whereas PEP probably cannot take credit for the reported statement from Dr. Welby regarding the nature of the appointment, we are nonetheless gratified by it.
The archbishop’s answer to the second question, however, is pure nonsense. Whereas the Rev. Dr. Baucum was once a priest of The Episcopal Church, he most certainly is not now, nor does that former association give him a direct connection to the Anglican Communion. Of course, he can claim a connection to the Communion via CANA and the transgressive boundary-crossing of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion.)
I consider the appointment an affront to The Episcopal Church.
The camel's nose is under the tent.
Granted that ACNA has a large number of supporters in the CofE, the Church of England has consistently sided with good order, discipline, and stability, and not given the benefit of recognition to dissenters from The Episcopal Church.
If the CofE changes this policy and recognizes dissidents like the ACNA as part of the Anglican Communion, then chaos has come again.
We can expect there to be alternative "Churches of England" springing up in the UK over any number of issues. One knows what is on offer -- the property disputes should make the current situation in the Diocese of South Carolina pale by comparison.
The Bishop of Virginia is the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston. With a "T." If you're to invoke his name, at least get it right!
Editor: CORRECTED thank you.
This does appear to be a wonderfully chewy piece of Anglican Fudge, allowing someone to be simultaneously in communion and out of communion.
Why doesn't the ABC appoint someone from the 'Traditional Anglican Church of Britain' as one of the 6 preachers at Canterbury Cathedral? How would ya'll like that?
Personally, Sara MacVane, I wouldn't care much either way. Others who place more stock in orders will of course differ.
It's an offensive appointment. Not that anyone in TEC expects much out of any ABC.
I understand from my sources that Archbishop Welby may not have consulted quite as thoroughly as he implies on this one. I have also heard in person from TEC bishops that they were taken aback and shocked by what Justin Welby did in making the appointment.
It does seem to have been an exercise in well meant but naive thinking that supposed that this is how 'reconciliation' is achieved when the opposite is true.
Let's imagine that a large conservative Evangelical parish in say the Diocese of London splits away over something or other and that its incumbent is then made a prebendary of St Paul's cathedral. Or that a small diocese declares unilateral independence from the Church of England because of its (the C of E's) wicked ways and then the Bishop is given the KCVO in the Queens honours list 'for services to the Church'.
That's what it feels like in the Episcopal Church at the moment.
We've waited some time for him to show his hand but Justin Welby is on the cusp of becoming a bit of a maverick ... of course he wouldn't be the first.