Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth responds to Wheaton

Updated Thursday evening

For reports of the event yesterday in Illinois, see here, and also here.

ENS has published Lambeth Palace responds to Common Cause Partnership announcement:

“There are clear guidelines set out in the Anglican Consultative Council Reports, notably ACC 10 in 1996 (resolution 12), detailing the steps necessary for the amendments of existing provincial constitutions and the creation of new provinces,” the spokesperson said. “Once begun, any of these processes will take years to complete. In relation to the recent announcement from the meeting of the Common Cause Partnership in Chicago, the process has not yet begun.”

Resolution 12 from ACC 10 can be found here.

The BBC World Service has a 9 minute radio segment in which Christopher Landau interviews several of the principals in this story.



Listen (9mins)
Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 December 2008, 00:41 GMT

Breakaway members of the Anglican churches in North America are announcing the formation of a new north American church. Their unilateral actions will result in two competing Anglican churches existing in North America.

Our religious affairs correspondent Christopher Landau asks: What does this mean for those trying to preserve the unity of the worldwide communion?

Thursday evening update

A further Episcopal News Service report: Communion process presents challenges for proposed province by Matthew Davies and Mary Frances Schjonberg

Church of England Newspaper New American Province looms by George Conger

The Times Archbishops hold Canterbury summit over threat of schism by Ruth Gledhill

And also, Lambeth Palace on new province as Gafcon primates fly in for summit on Ruth’s blog.


  • Jeffrey Allison says:

    The problem with these news reports is that there accuracy needs some flushing out.

    Most of the bodies that signed into this “new province” are old breakaways and other bodies calling themselves Anglican. They separated or formed for many reasons, not all of them theological. So, by the simple understanding used in the current news, we have had multiple bodies (provinces, if you will) in North America for nearly 150 years.

    I for one (as a more centrist Anglican) don’t care if they form a new province, or if it gets recognized by the ACC, Archbishop Williams or any other body politic. Just don’t try to suddenly declare that my church is not Anglican based on one theological viewpoint.

    I think we have had a relatively painless existence as a broadminded church. Don’t shut that down now.

  • Well that ought take the ¨dew off the Lillywhites.¨

  • Commentator says:

    It is clear from Resolution 12 of ACC 10 that the due process begins with the action of the appropriate Metropolitan, which in this case would be the Presiding Bishop of TEC. So Lambeth’s response is simply that if and when the Presiding Bishop makes the request the process can begin. I hardly think she will be doing that in the near future.

    If others with primatial authority take unilateral action to recognise this ecclesiastical cluster as a) an Anglican body and b) a Province then Dr Williams much vaunted moratoria will have been broken. Conscience, such as it is, reigns supreme on one side of this long running arguement. It will signal to all that Christian compromise is not to be given any credence. – Bishops may now be chosen without reference to their hetrosexuality.

  • bobinswpa says:

    So does that make them Anglicans? On so many conservative church and diocesan websites you see “Member of the (worldwide) Anglican Communion. I wonder how this will weigh in on some of the court battles?

    I surmise that before this even get’s to the ABC for finalisation this group will have already self destructed or given up on seeking the end goal. Just an opinion. Take wagers?

  • JPM says:

    By English standards, that is a fairly harsh response.

  • Walsingham says:

    Frankly ACNA is turning into a seriously bad joke from Day One. It has no chance of getting the two-thirds of primates required by ACC. It is downright heretical with its openly and unapologetically non-geographic diocese-network-convocation thingies (a pretty obvious compromise to get the bits of the so-called Anglican Continuum on board). Its very organization is a recipe for yet more schism, which is just why the conciliar Church Catholic always insisted on territorial dioceses with one bishop having jurisdiction, ever since Chalcedon.

    I am forced to think of the Constitution of the Confederate States of America, which was more or less a copy and paste of the US Constitution — but had changes that led to it being essentially dysfunctional. Jefferson Davis once said, regarding states’ rights enshrined in the CSA Constitution, that the epitaph of the CSA would be “died of a theory”. So too will it be with the ACNA, by its own design.

  • Robert Ian Williams says:

    How can a new province be recognised when there are unresolved legal actions continuing between this aspiring ecclesiastical body and two existing bona fide members of the Anglican Communion?

  • Robert says:

    The pretend “bishops” behind Common Cause have been on this journey for many years. Why should they now pause and let the Anglican rules of procedure slow down the creation of their own pretend “province”? If they did that, they would likely self-destruct in their own internal squabbles and schisms over the issues of WO, laity representation, prayer bookwars and ego gratification. So sad that the rest of us have to suffer collateral damage from this tiny group of madmen.

  • JCF says:

    “I for one (as a more centrist Anglican) don’t care if they form a new province, or if it gets recognized by the ACC, Archbishop Williams or any other body politic. Just don’t try to suddenly declare that my church is not Anglican based on one theological viewpoint.”

    Jeffrey, IMO you misunderstand them, if you think they could possibly NOT “declare that you and your church is not Anglican based on” your not subscribing (precisely) to THEIR “theological viewpoint”.

    If they’re right (and “orthodox”), then everyone else has to be wrong (and, by their standards, “not Anglican”). Period.

    Lord have mercy!

  • dodgey_vicar says:

    ‘the process has not yet begun’

    I have to say this phrase makes me uncomfortable as it seems to indicate that the process will begin.

    The regulations clearly state that without the goodwill of the respective primate it can not begin.

    To me, this sounds biased towards the breakaway ‘dioceses’.

    I am therefore disappointed at the prejudice displayed in assuming that it WILL begin.

  • Commentator is of course right, but for those who have doubts, consider:

    ACC 10 Resolution 12 says “affirms the guidelines set out in previous Council resolutions.”

    And, looking back,

    ACC 1
    Resolution 21: Creating and Dividing Provinces says “There must be the good will of the existing province in order not to create difficulties of disunity after division.”

  • Hopper says:

    I too consider the statement to be rather harsh considering its source.

    Well, I did … now I may be coming round to dodgey_vicar’s point of view. After all, today comes news of a “pow-wow” between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the GAFCON primates … and possibly including xDuncan … scheduled for 5 December of this year!

    Sorry to just drop in … I’m not one who generally preaches to the choir … prefering to be one of the few liberals — I always try to remain civil — frequenting (haunting some call it) TitusOneNine. However, sometimes one simply needs a breath of fresh air among friends.

  • badman says:

    Bishop Iker said at the press conference:

    “In terms of practice, looking at church itself, we have adopted the doctrine of subsidiarity. Most of the work is done at the lowest level with only a few tasks done at higher level. The local Church is free to do what the congregation thinks is best.”

    This unruly alliance, which presumes to call itself the Anglican Church in North America, is in fact a congregationalist church because it is entirely built on a foundation of insubordination and dissent.

  • JPM says:

    Hopper, the meeting you refer to has been in the works for a while, despite Ruthie’s characterization of it as “an emergency summit.”

  • Jim Pratt says:

    It is amazing to me that they have gone so far in creating a new church, with all the lawsuits going on. In a good many cases, and certainly with some of the cases here in Canada, the Network is arguing that ACoC has abandoned Anglican doctrine and that they are the “true” Anglican church.

    But the constitution of their new Frankenstein creation clearly says that they will try to become a part of the Anglican Communion, recognizing that at the moment they are on the outside looking in. For the Canadian parishes, this means that they are not in compliance with the Solemn Declaration’s pledge “to continue in full communion with the Church of England throughout the world”.

    Really they are now no different from the Lutheran churches. They may be in communion with some churches in the Anglican Communion, but they are not part of the AC. And for truth in advertising, they need to remove the “Part of the Worldwide Anglican Communion” from their websites.

  • Hopper says:

    Thank you JPM for clarifying that … and yes, Ruth Gledhill was the source. I should know better than to listen to Ruth without some discounting … especially as her reporting tends toward op-ed.

  • Malcolm+ says:

    Jack Leo Iker is quoted as saying: “The local Church is free to do what the congregation thinks is best.”

    I interpret this to mean “free to do what the congregation thinks best . . . so long as everyone remembers that women are inferior and fags are lower than dirt.”

  • Pat O'Neill says:

    If Iker really believes this:

    “The local Church is free to do what the congregation thinks is best.”

    …then what is or was the objection to the consecration of Gene Robinson or the blessing of same-sex couples by local dioceses or parishes? Aren’t both of those instances of the congregations doing what they think is best?

    Or does that only apply to doing things Iker agrees with?

  • Prior Aelred says:

    Pat O’Neill:

    Come now, you know that no congregation in Fort Worth (or New Hampshire, apparently) is allowed to do anything except what Bishop Iker thinks best.

  • Father Ron Smith says:

    “The Lord is displacing the Episcopal Church,” Duncan said, adding that “it’s our anticipation” that the archbishops and the provinces representing what he called the majority of the Anglican Communion “will begin to recognize this province.”

    Duncan is now receiving a word from God? Is he really delusional, or does he believe what he is saying about ‘the Anglican Communion’ recognising this (39th) province? Prophecy has, after all, to be fulfilled to be believed, and we have had no evidence of official Communion support for his claims so far.

    ‘Duncan appeared to lay down a challenge to the Archbishop of Canterbury. “We stand where the mainstream of Anglicanism stands,” he said. “The question will of course be: will the archbishop recognize those who stand where the mainstream of Anglicans — or the mainstream of Christians — stand, or not.”

    I’m afraid Duncan really has no idea of what the Constitution of the Anglican Communion is all about if he thinks in this way. Truly ‘Mainstream Anglicanism’ stands within the Traditional Stream of what theologian Hooker called the ‘3-legged stool’ of Scripture, Tradition and Reason; and has the the ABC, the ‘Primus inter pares’ as it’s Moderator, together with the other so-called *Instruments of Communion* to be reckoned with.

    If you only subscribe to the primacy of the Scriptures, this leaves you with an unbalanced magisterium, where you leave behind Tradition and Reason, both of which are proven indispensible qualifications for the ‘Anglican Way’.

    Duncan’s contention is so obviously lacking the important element of Reason, that even his ideas about Tradition cannot be trusted. Why should the ACC trust him with the leadership of a proposed 39th Province of the Anglican Communion?

    It ereally does seem, on indications so far, that the ACNA province might just be an erupting pimple on the face of Anglicanism.

  • Ford Elms says:

    “even his ideas about Tradition cannot be trusted.”

    Not if he believes there were only four Ecumenical Councils, it isn’t. Not if he thinks it’s OK to speak untruth about his opponents. Not if he thinks it’s Christian to malign and slander an entire group of people and make common cause with a person who wants to jail not only them but their supporters as well. Not if he thinks the behaviour of GAFCONites is in any way Christian.

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