Monday, July 13, 2009

Annoy Schori. Recognize ACNA.

When I first heard news of a motion in the Church of England’s General Synod to seek full communion with The Anglican Church in North America, I thought, “This won’t go far.”

But then it quickly got the hundred signatures necessary, including support from six bishops.

Although the motion will not be considered at the current meeting of Synod, the momentum is such that TEC Presiding “Bishop” Schori has already spoken out against it:

She urged Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams to remember the "pain of many Episcopalians in several places of being shut out of their traditional worship spaces, and the broken relationships, the damaged relationships between people who have gone and people who have stayed."

And whose fault is that? Who has pushed a scorched earth policy and stopped amicable settlements? Who has made The Episcopal Church an intolerable place for most orthodox faithful and then “shut out” those orthodox from their parish buildings?

"Recognition of something like ACNA is unfortunately likely only to encourage" further secessions, she said, reminding the Church of England that "schism is not a Christian act."

Heresy, apostasy, and persecuting the faithful are not Christian either. Yet you seem cool with that, Kate. And still, you lecture us about what is Christian. How precious. And ACNA is already recognized by a majority of the Anglican Communion. You at the very least have communion impaired with roughly the same majority. So, tell me again, who is schismatic?

Anyway, if the momentum behind the motion to recognize ACNA is such that Schori is unhappy, that is a good thing. I would not get one’s hopes up too much, however. You can bet there will be very strong opposition.

Ruth Gledhill adds some color including a count update – 121 signatures, about a quarter of the Synod. Encouraging.

And a hat tip to BabyBlue.


Matthew said...

The actual decision comes in February. I think this is the A o' C's way of turning the screws on the House of Bishops. "Come to the right conclusion or no Lambeth for you"!

Robin_G_Jordan said...

The C of E's House of Bishops Theological Committee will be examining the ACNA Constitution and Canons at its September meeting. Does anyone know the make-up of that committee. Remember that a large number of the English bishops are liberals. It'll be interesting to hear what they'll say about the two documents. If the motion for recognition is an offshoot of the recent FCA meeting, some bishops may oppose recognition of the ACNA to express their disapproval of FCA. A major supporter of FCA in the UK is the C of E's conservative evangelical wing. One would anticipate that General Synod members who support FCA would support C of E recognition of the ACNA. Open evangelicals and liberals are opposed to FCA. However, under the doctrinal provisions of the ACNA Constitution and Canons conservative evangelicals in North America do not fare well. As far as that goes, neither do conservative evangelicals outside of North America. How this will affect the attitude of conservative evangelicals in the UK toward the ACNA once they become better acquainted with the two documents remains to be seen. The representatives of several evangelical organizations in the UK and Ireland with whom I have discussed the doctrinal provisions of the ACNA Constitution and Canons have not been particularly happy with them. They agree that they are unnecessarily partisan. In aligning the language of the two documents with a particular theological grouping instead of using more neutral language the ACNA may have sabotaged its own efforts to be recognized.

Cindy said...

Apparently, Lambeth is too far off for the majority of the House of Bishops to be overly concerned about their invitations. See D025.

Robin_G_Jordan said...

The next Lambeth Conference is ten years down the road. The possibility of Rowan Williams acquiring a backbone in those ten years and not extending invitations to the bishops of TEC is highly unlikely.If Williams was to resign or retire before the next Lambeth Conference, the British Labour Government would likely appoint an archbishop even more liberal than Williams. No invitations to Lambeth was hardly a deterrent to the TEC bishops not adopting some version of D025, which they have. If the House of Bishops had not voted in favor of the resolution, it would have nonetheless come up with something that would have permitted TEC to proceed with gay marriage and the consecration of more gay bishops. The momentum was too great and the opposition too weak and disorganized.

The adoption of D025 with the changes in the disciplinary canons leave conservatives remaining in TEC between the devil and the deep blue sea. The ACNA as it presently constituted leaves much to be desired--unnecessarily partisan doctrinal provisions, a lack of genuine diocesan autonomy, authoritarian forms of ecclesiastical church governance, and a provision that supposedly protects local church property ownership but contains a clause permitting dioceses to hold property in trust. Hopefully the events of the next few months will bring this to the attention of Anglicans in the ACNA as well as those outside of the ACNA and will bring about needed changes.

Anonymous said...

Annoy Schori. Worship Jesus Christ.

Chris said...

You seem to share my Anglican faith in Jesus Christ, support for ACNA, and profound frustration from the doctrines taught and practiced by Schori in TEC. However, as Schori seems to be "outside" the faith in many ways, the Apostle Paul's admonition to "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person" seems fitting (Col. 4:6). Our efforts for fidelity to Christ ought to be phrased better than "annoying" our theological adversaries.

Mark said...

Though made llllong after the post, you point is well taken Chris. However, Schori very much poses as a leader within the faith. Therefore I think the admonitions about false teachers, wolves, and false prophets apply here. And Paul et al don't pull many punches in referring to such.