The American Anglican Council has issued a press release: A Statement from the President of the American Anglican Council Congratulating Archbishop Akinola on Formation of CANA:
The American Anglican Council offers its congratulations and gratitude to the Church of Nigeria and its Primate, Archbishop Peter Akinola, in the establishment of CANA as Convocation for Anglicans in North America and the consecration of Canon Martyn Minns, as its first Missionary Bishop.
These are difficult times for faithful Anglicans and the AAC is especially thankful for the creative and timely response of many of the Global South primates in recognizing the danger that the Episcopal Church in the United States posed for the Anglican Communion and the offer of safe harbor that was and has been extended to congregations in the United States looking for orthodox episcopal and primatial oversight. Additionally the AAC is deeply appreciative of the clear and prophetic voice of Global South primates who have spoken up, at great cost personally and for their provinces, and called the Anglican Communion to a holy and orthodox faith consonant with the historic teachings of both Christianity and Anglicanism.
We take note of the vision and heart that the Global South has for evangelism, and in expanding the Anglican Church family, and note in particular efforts by the Global South Steering Committee members in reaching out to parts of mainland Asia and seeking closer ties and understanding. It is leadership such as this that combines pastoral concern for those churches in the United States that are under persecution by their own province, for adherence to orthodoxy of the faith, and for vision to reach fields still ripe for the harvest that marks Christian leadership that others can model their lives on.
Some of you may remember that originally CANA stood for Convocation of Anglican Nigerian Churches in America, see as evidence this statement (last April) from the official Nigerian provincial website:
After much prayer and careful discernment with appropriate colleagues and advisors over the last two years, and in full consultation with the Nigerian congregations in America, together with the enthusiastic endorsement of the Episcopal Synod and the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) we announce the formation of the Convocation of Anglican Nigerian Churches in America.
This Convocation will function as a ministry of the Church of Nigeria in America. Our intention is not to challenge or intervene in the churches of ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada but rather to provide safe harbour for those who can no longer find their spiritual home in those churches. While it will initially operate under our Constitution and Canons, it will have its own legal and ecclesial structure and local suffragan episcopate. I will be asking the next General Synod of the Church of Nigeria, which will meet in September 2005, to make the necessary constitutional amendments.
Then in September 2005, it became Convocation of Anglican Nigerians in Americas (CANA).
As the December review of 2005 explained:
A carefully worded statement by the Primate of Nigeria announced the formation of Convocation of Anglican Nigerians in America. (CANA)
In a pastoral letter announcing the convocation, the Primate said the ministry of Church of Nigeria in the US will provide a safe harbour for worshippers who feel estranged because of the revisionist agenda of some North American Churches.
In the same month of April, the Primate published a letter to members of the Church intimating them about the recent developments of the Anglican Communion particularly the outcome of the Primates’ February meeting in Northern Ireland. He talked about the intransigence of the North American Churches on the issue of homosexuality. He dismissed it as unfounded the alleged influence of external forces on some Primates in their decision to suspend the North American Churches.
The Church of Nigeria announced a covenant with the Reformed Episcopal Church and the Anglican Province of America, signaling the implementation of the amended constitution. Chapter 1 Section 3 of the constitution states that “The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) hereinafter called “The Church of Nigeria” or “This Church” shall be in full communion with all Anglican Churches Dioceses and Provinces that hold and maintain the Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacrament and Discipline of the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church as the Lord has commanded in His holy word and as the same are received as taught in the Book of Common Prayer and the ordinal of 1662 and in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion.” With a name change, they now become part of CANA, The Convocation for Anglicans in North America.
And, in case you forgot, the Primates at Dromantine said in February 2005 (emphasis added):
15. In order to protect the integrity and legitimate needs of groups in serious theological dispute with their diocesan bishop, or dioceses in dispute with their Provinces, we recommend that the Archbishop of Canterbury appoint, as a matter of urgency, a panel of reference to supervise the adequacy of pastoral provisions made by any churches for such members in line with the recommendation in the Primates’ Statement of October 2003. Equally, during this period we commit ourselves neither to encourage nor to initiate cross-boundary interventions.
Earlier, the Windsor Report had recommended:
155. We call upon those bishops who believe it is their conscientious duty to intervene in provinces, dioceses and parishes other than their own:
- to express regret for the consequences of their actions
- to affirm their desire to remain in the Communion, and
- to effect a moratorium on any further interventions.
We also call upon these archbishops and bishops to seek an accommodation with the bishops of the dioceses whose parishes they have taken into their own care.