Thinking Anglicans

ACNA update

Updated Thursday evening

There have been many reports from the meeting being held in Bedford, Texas.

Official reports can be found at http://acnaassembly.org.

Some media reports:

USA Today U.S. Anglican Church launches, will ban female, gay bishops.

Religious Intelligence George Conger New US Province is formed.

Living Church OCA To End Relations with TEC, Forge Ties to ACNA and OCA Synod ‘Enthusiastic’ About Dialogue with ACNA.

Also there is ACNA Adds Five Bishops. But also at Religion News Service there is Running the number on ACNA:

But what about those 100,000 members that ACNA claims? Shortly after it launched last February, the group actually lowered that number to 81,311 people in the pews every Sunday. In June, ACNA lowered that number again to 69,197.

For some context, the Episcopal diocese with the largest average Sunday attendance in 2007 was Virginia, with 25,300.

It’s not unusual for membership numbers to be much higher than average Sunday attendance. But that usually happens in large, longstanding churches, like the Episcopal Church, which may have people on the membership rolls who stopped attending church long ago, or who are Easter-Christmas attenders only. One would assume that in a new church committed to orthodoxy, the gap between average Sunday attendance and membership would be quite a bit smaller.

Speaking of leavers, this site reported (emphasis added):

Rumors abound that Ft. Worth Bishop Jack Leo Iker’s long term goal is to take his diocese to Rome. Not true. Numerous sources have told VOL that he is deeply committed to the new North American Anglican Province and he will work with his fellow bishops over the thorny issue of women’s ordination.

A number of his Ft. Worth priests were recently seen at the Anglican Use conference in Houston. He has told them that if they want to go to Rome, they can do so, but they can’t take their property with them.

Thursday evening update

Colin Coward has helpfully summarised the support for ACNA that can be found in England, see Why are Church of England bishops betraying the Communion?

…On behalf of the Church of England Evangelical Council, Bishop Wallace Benn of Lewes and Archdeacon Michael Lawson sent greetings and expressed delight to be in full communion with the dissident Province. On behalf of Anglican Mainstream Canon Chris Sugden (who is present at the meeting) and Philip Giddings sent very warm greetings, rejoicing at this very significant stage of development and expressing their fellowship and communion in the Lord with the dissident body. Philip Giddings is Vice Chair (House of Laity) of the General Synod of the Church of England.

A report posted by Anglican Mainstream says that Archbishop Bob Duncan informed the assembly on Tuesday that greetings had been received from the Bishops of Rochester , Winchester, Chester and Chichester. The Bishop of Rochester is speaking at a meeting on Sunday 5th July in support of the launch of FoCA.

The bishops of Lewes, Rochester, Winchester, Chester and Chichester and the Lay Chair of General Synod are all supporting a dissident, ultra-conservative, reactionary movement which aims to destroy and replace the Anglican Communion as at present constituted.

The plan doesn’t end with replacing Provinces in North America. The FoCA launch on the 6th July is the first step in a movement to replace the four UK Anglican Provinces. The only names missing from this list of usual suspects are the bishops of Blackburn and Exeter who signed a letter of support for Bishop Bob Duncan last year…

TA Note: The Bishop of Rochester has formally resigned his see effective from 1 September 2009 although he has already ceased public engagements in the diocese.

There is a long article by Ann Rodgers profiling the new Archbishop of ACNA and the history behind ACNA in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette headlined Bishop Robert Duncan is trading sacred places.

It includes this quote from one of the Episcopal Church’s most respected retired clergy, a former President of the House of Deputies of General Convention:

But a retired Pittsburgh cathedral dean said Bishop Duncan followed his own agenda. “The only program he has kept to totally for the past 11 years has been developing this parallel universe and his position in it,” said the Rev. George Werner.

An earlier NPR report Conservatives Push For Rival U.S. Anglican Church included this quote from Susan Russell:

“It would be as if Sarah Palin were to take a small, but vocal, percentage of very conservative Republicans and decide that they were going to create a parallel United States without having the White House at the center,” Russell says.

and this from George Pitcher:

George Pitcher, an Anglican priest at St. Bride’s Anglican Church in London and religion editor at the Daily Telegraph, agrees. He says the communion welcomes conservative views.

But, he says, “when they want to say this is the one true way, and we want to impose it on all Anglicans, then it’s at that stage that the broadly tolerant Anglican Communion says, ‘Well that’s not the way we do things.’ ”

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Марко Фризия (Mark Friesland)Christopher ShellFord Elmsmhmac13Father Ron Smith Recent comment authors
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Марко Фризия (Mark Friesland)
Guest

“A number of his Ft. Worth priests were recently seen at the Anglican Use conference in Houston. He (Iker) has told them that if they want to go to Rome, they can do so, but they can’t take their property with them.”

Doesn’t Mr. Iker realize that when he abandoned TEC and was deposed/laicized, he is no longer in a legal position to make any decisions about the disposition of TEC church buildings? This is no longer “their property.”

Марко Фризия (Mark Friesland)
Guest

“A number of his Ft. Worth priests were recently seen at the Anglican Use conference in Houston. He (Iker) has told them that if they want to go to Rome, they can do so, but they can’t take their property with them.”

Doesn’t Mr. Iker realize that when he abandoned TEC and was deposed/laicized, he is no longer in a legal position to make any decisions about the disposition of TEC church buildings? This is no longer “their property.”

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

ACNA would quickly get rid of a bishop who was exposed as a secret gay..yet they allow their constitution to be flouted by “affrming the 39 articles in their grammatical and literal sense” and at the same time ignoring them.

As for the Orthodox Churh in America..how can they affirm a body that ordains women priests?

What a monster Sydney has created.

Grumpy High Church Woman
Guest
Grumpy High Church Woman

Can someone explain to me just what the deal is with these people on the ordination of women? Women priests okay, but bishops not? Women priests not okay at all? Or is it simply not a ‘deal breaker’ issue in what is such a small movement. Are women bishops the ‘deal breaking equivalents’ of openly gay male bishops? This seems to be the implicit belief of a number of Church of England bishops who ordain women priests but are opposing women in the episcopate in Synod.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Can someone explain to me just what the deal is with these people on the ordination of women?” Let’s see who has their sarcasm metre on this morning. The two great threats to the Church and society in general are, in order of importance: 1)Uppity fags 2)distantly second, uppity women. Well, there’s a third one: everyone who isn’t conservative, but that list still needs to be itemized and prioritized. It is vastly more important to deal with the uppity fags first. They are, after all, a threat to marriage, a threat to children, most likely not really human, and in… Read more »

toby forward
Guest

For goodness sake, Grumpy High Church Woman, it isn’t that difficult to understand. In some parts of the Anglican Communion the equivalent offence to ‘driving while black’ is ‘ordained while having a vagina’. Equally terrible crimes.

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

So, OCA has “ended its ecumenical relations with The Episcopal Church”? Oh, boo hoo, boo hoo, boo hoo.

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

“Duncan says the church may continue to ordain women as deacons and priests. But pushing forward to name them as bishops, he says, is seen by the rest of the Anglican Communion as “a sad and arrogant American approach.””

In otherwords, do the work, but you can’t be promoted. Barefoot and pregnant.

So would somebody tell me why Duncan still wears a collar? How can he still be a cleric, let alone going to crown himself an “archbishop”?

Old, rigid, out-of touch and faith based on rage. That’s sad and arrogant for you.

Columba Gilliss
Guest
Columba Gilliss

As to the difference between women priests and women bishops – anyone meeting me can know that I’m a woman priest and can decide not to receive communion or participate with me as a priest. But, how can one meeting a male priest know if he was ordained by a woman bishop and therefore to be considered invalid?
I suspect there is particular fear about hospital chaplains, dicesan camp staffs, and others whose credentials cannot be checked.
Columba Gilliss

EmilyH
Guest
EmilyH

On the OCA thing…although it appears that Metropolitan Jonah is giving his weight and the weight of his church to bolster the ACNA, actually, it may be the other way around. From its name, some may think it is the voice of orthodoxy in the U.S. It isn’t. Orthodoxy developed here in a different fashion. This is not the Greek church, and, if memory serves, it is Russian in origen which, owing to 1914, developed independent churches. This branch is small, has been through tumultuous financial scandals with its most recent metropolitans, as late as a year ago, and is… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

Can someone explain to me just what the deal is with these people on the ordination of women?¨ GHCW

Archbishopelect Bob Duncan proclaimed ordaining women was a ¨individual local option¨ amongst the many, yet few, ACNA group of regional participants. Duncan has personally opted to ordain women in Pittsburgh for many years…no doubt a tad confusing/jolting for the American Orthodox Patriarch, David Schofield and Jack Leo Iker when ¨snapping out of it¨ momentarily from their ¨orthodox¨ all-male clergy pretend nap…just prior to sinking back into selective Scriptural denial.

BillyD
Guest

Robert, I understand from comments over at SF that Metropolitan Jonah outlined a several plank platform that the ACNA needs to implement if they ever hope for any progress in relations, and WO was definitely on the list.

I think that His Beatitude is using the ACNA issue in his own struggle with “Old World” EO powers, particularly the Ecumenical Patriarch. The OCA is by no means universally accepted for what it claims to be – THE valid expression of Orthodoxy in the US. He’s trying to show himself as a power broker on the American religious scene.

BillyD
Guest

Oh, and of course Metropolitan Jonah is a former Episcopalian who converted to Orthodoxy, so he probably feels as if he has a dog in this metaphorical fight.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Metropolitan Jonah outlined a several plank platform that the ACNA needs to implement if they ever hope for any progress in relations” He needn’t have bothered, the Orthodox position on this has been clear for eons. For the Orthodox, sharing in the Sacraments is a statement of sharing in doctrine. Doctrinal unity comes first. So, ACNA is going to have to show that it really is Orthodox. They will find that there is more to that than hating liberals. For one thing, these people have proven themselves unable to “affirm” three of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. That might seem like… Read more »

Edward craig
Guest
Edward craig

Leonard
I do not have a problem with WO, but you have to be kidding about why it’s considered a problem, only a small percentage of christian churches practice it. The largest and oldest christian churches have their arguments against it. It was unheard of until the 70’s

Heather Angus
Guest
Heather Angus

Leonard, your point is a pretty good one, in my opinion. Many here are, apparently, too young to remember when women preachers (except for a tent revivalist like Aimee Semple McPherson) were unheard of. Not even banned, because no one had ever considered such a thing, so why ban it? And the thought of gay preachers and gay marriage was utterly bizarre. Homosexuality was sinful, like any other sexual perversion. Now, on this site at least, everyone has “done a 180,” and anyone who holds to any of the pre-1970s ideas is viewed as “supporting a dissident, ultra-conservative, reactionary movement… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

I don’t think we have to despise the breakaways; why not just say we think they’re wrong but God bless ’em.¨ Heather A It´s not about who gets to wear to candlehat or a popularity gig. God bless ém…I´m so happy they are gone…there is so much work to do to clean up the mess they have left, to clear up the patrimony and property issues, to help restore emotional stability for those who have been spiritually and physically abused and to reassure EVERYONE that they are welcome at TEC and at ALL levels of Church life. In Uganda, there… Read more »

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

Heather Angus: So much to answer. 1. The changes aren’t that radical. there have been previous times in church history when women were leaders and gays and lesbians weren’t vilified. 2. The slippery slope thing is insulting. This is my life and my relationship. To be honest I don’t care how comfortable you are or aren’t. I just hope that when your straight friends talk about getting a divorce, or exchange vows that leave out a woman’s submission to her husband, that you are sure to tell them that they are on a slippery slope to polygamy and pedophilia and… Read more »

Dennis
Guest
Dennis

one more thought on how “modern” or new these changes really are. This is a link to a brief article on the medieval French tradition of Affrèrement. Two individuals of the same gender recognized by the community in living together ‘one bread, one wine, one purse.’

Six hundred years ago.

http://www.scientificblogging.com/news/homosexual_civil_unions_an_old_tradition

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Heather: it’s true that we’ve “done a 180” since 1970. But then, certainly if you had lived in Britain in 1970, you would find that we’ve all (pretty much) “done a 180” over issues of women in the workplace being equally recompensed; divorced people not being regarded as beyond the social pale; likewise those with children born out of wedlock, or “living in sin”; and, most significantly, the racism which was ingrained in society at that time is no longer acceptable. Compared to all that, what we’re talking about now is very minor…

RosemaryHannah
Guest
RosemaryHannah

Heather, the reason those of us who support the marriage of gay Christians and their equality in the church do so because such relationships are demonstrably a force for the good of the people involved. Not just that they make them happy, though that is important, but that they make them grow in kindliness, in love, in the way that relationships between a man and a woman do. The opposite is true of, for instance, bestiality or paedophilia. So there is no danger of a slippery slope – it is just an instance of the Holy Spirit speaking to the… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

That’s a very good post, Rosemary, hear, hear!

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

Thank you Dennis for that challenging and moving message here. And for the url in the backup post.

It is another case of ‘Only Connect’ I guess.

JPM
Guest
JPM

Hmmm.

An Orthodox body not recognized by Constantinople has recognized an Anglican body not recognized by Canterbury, and both are recognized by Rick Warren, a Southern Baptist.

BillyD
Guest

“An Orthodox body not recognized by Constantinople…”

Hhmmm. Constantinople recognizes the OCA as an Orthodox group; it just doesn’t recognize their claim to be the Sole Legitimate US Orthodox Church.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“An Orthodox body not recognized by Constantinople has recognized an Anglican body not recognized by Canterbury, and both are
recognized by Rick Warren, a Southern Baptist.”

In the words of an old Spike Jones [I think] song, “And I’m my own Grandpaw!”

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Hi Fr Mark- If it is really the case that 180 degree turns are so easily achieved then what price nuance or integrity. there are several things wrong with your position: (1) 180 degree turn implies *complete* acceptance of A being replaced by *complete* rejection of A and acceptance of B. That is some about turn, to put it mildly. Aren’t intelligent people supposed to be more nuanced than that? Isn’t it only the tabloid mentality that focuses on people’s ‘conclusions’ rather than their arguments? That is where the 1984 ‘always at war with Oceania’ cap fits. (2) This phenomenon… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

The OCA has not recognised ACNA …a bishop of their denomination just attended the founding ceremony.

ACNA Holy Orders ( male and female), confirmations and their rendition of the Eucharist are regarded as invalid by OCA.

Furthermore OCA is recognised and is in communion with Constantinople.
OCA recognises the primacy of honour of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

A Roman Catholic bishop was at the opening ceremony, but the Holy See does not recognise ACNA either. ACNA is yet another ecclesial community ( Vatican euphemistic speak for sect)coming out of the Reformation tradition, albeit indirectly.

Rev L Roberts
Guest
Rev L Roberts

The OCA has not recognised ACNA …a bishop of their denomination just attended the founding ceremony. ACNA Holy Orders ( male and female), confirmations and their rendition of the Eucharist are regarded as invalid by OCA. Furthermore OCA is recognised and is in communion with Constantinople. OCA recognises the primacy of honour of the Patriarch of Constantinople. ISn’t Christianity wonderful ? ! :— A Roman Catholic bishop was at the opening ceremony, but the Holy See does not recognise ACNA either. ACNA is yet another ecclesial community ( Vatican euphemistic speak for sect)coming out of the Reformation tradition, albeit indirectly.… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I’m a little shaky on gay people’s marriages being blessed by the church….So I guess this board is no place for me” Well, I’m a gay man, like you not at all sure about gay marriage, or the ordination of non-celebate homosexuals, and while I am OK with WO, I sympathize quite a bit with those who oppose it, and have little time for the arguments levelled against them, which, to my mind, haven’t improved much in quality since the 70s. Yet I have been posting here for three years, and have never felt pushed out. In fact, others might… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“180 degree turn implies *complete* acceptance of A being replaced by *complete* rejection of A and acceptance of B. That is some about turn, to put it mildly.” Yet, at the Reformation, there were 180 degree turns on the nature of the Eucharist, the nature of redemption, the nature of the Communion of Saints, the nature of membership in the Church, the nature of authority in the Church, indeed, so many 180 degree turns, and in a relatively short time, that people must have been perpetually spiritually dizzy, so to speak. The Reformation was a radical redefinition of Christianity, far… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

Constantinople does not recognize OCA’s claim to be an autocephalous church.

mhmac13
Guest
mhmac13

If you had actually attended the ACNA conference last week you would not have heard one word of rancor or anger or hostility towards TEC. what we did hear was a message of “get your house in order and carry out the great commission” something that TEC has totally forgotten in it’s rush to be culturally acceptable and cool. As a lifelong Episcopalian I have worshipped with and been ministered to by many, including gays and lesbians. The focus of their ministry was not their sexuality, however, but the powerful love of Jesus Christ and his Redeeming nature for us… Read more »

Ford ELms
Guest
Ford ELms

“get your house in order and carry out the great commission” something that TEC has totally forgotten in it’s rush to be culturally acceptable and cool.” “I watched my church be highjacked by a social agenda, and want no more of it.” You don’t see how the above statements reveal hostility and rancour? Those seeking the inclusion of gays and lesbians ARE seeking to carry out the Great Commission, it is false to accuse them of seeking to be culturally acceptable and cool. While I am a bit underwhelmed with claims by us Western gays that we are persecuted just… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Please consider a tax-deductible donation to help defray the costs of travel and three reporters I will be taking with me to GC2009. There is travel, hotel, meals and much more that must be paid for.” – David Virtue, Virtue on line Found this on the V.o L. site today. Obviously, this ace reporter (ex Baptist, who says he represents the ‘Voice of Orthodox Anglicanism’) is warning his readers that he will need them to finance his journalistic voyeurism – not only to travel to the opening conference of FOCA in the U.K., but also to the upcoming TEC General… Read more »

mhmac13
Guest
mhmac13

Ford: the statement “get your house in order” was meant for those attending ACNA, not those who chose to be somewhere else. I accept that there are genuine differences in how you and I might see things, and you are correct when you say “by their fruits ye shall know them.” Unfortunately in my corner of the world, the TEC stalwarts have lied, used personal attacks and vitriolic behavior to “make their case.” If I had any questions about where my sentiments might lie, they were quickly answered by the behavior of those who claim to be “inclusive.” I have… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Unfortunately in my corner of the world, the TEC stalwarts have lied, used personal attacks and vitriolic behavior to “make their case.” “ Right back at ya! Can you show me one liberal equivalent of David Virtue? Of +Akinola? Of +Orombi? You’ll probably point to Spong, and I don’t blame you, I probably agree with you on him. I find I can’t read his work without having a Word file open on my computer in which I can angrily write down my objections to the things he says. But he hardly has the profile of any of the people I… Read more »

mhmac13
Guest
mhmac13

Ford: You have traveled in some more vaunted circles than I have, and my experiences are much more on an up close and personal basis. I have grown up listening to people spout nonsense from time to time, and sometimes just turn a deaf ear to all the noise. The violence that I have seen and observed was perpetrated on a directed and personal level and very intense. If you didnt agree with a particular direction or philosophy you are automatically the enemy, and all holds are barred in the attempt to destroy. Evil directed at you is something you… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

Hi Ford- I can’t think of even one evangelical friend who is so much as aware I even comment on here. So much for wanting peer group approval. The things you call 180 degree turns rarely were. There can be two different theories on something but those theories are often opposite in just one respect (e.g. Pope has/has not absolute authority). It is clear that great chunks of the Bible as of any other book are clear enough not to need much ‘interpretation’. Whether they are correct or not is another matter – but writers often write as clearly as… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“So much for wanting peer group approval.” And you practice your faith in a vacuum, do you? You never express these same ideas to your co-religionists, never have the feeling of validation that comes from their nodded heads and expressions of agreement? “The things you call 180 degree turns rarely were.” The Eucharist is a mystical celebration in which created things become the Body and Blood of Christ vs the elements of the Holy Communion serve only as spurs to pious memory. In baptism, we are reborn into the Kingdom,are regenerate vs in baptism, the believer merely professes his faith… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Guest
Christopher Shell

The point about the Fathers (from memory, such as Origen, Lactantius and Augustine in particular – but I may be wrong) was that they believed that scripture could be looked at from [at least] four different angles/dimensions (not necessarily ‘levels’) – but that applies to any literature whatsoever. One can analyse any writing for its literal meaning, its sociological import, its biographical import, its allegorical potential, and so on. This is a quite separate point that has no relevance whatever to the issue of how clear the literal meaning is or isn’t.