Thursday, February 11, 2010

CofE Synod Wimps Out on ACNA is Very Anglican.

As you perhaps can tell from the headline, I do not share ACNA leadership’s cheery assessment of what transpired at Synod. I do understand their desire to be positive. It would not be very polite to say, “Thanks for nothing, pommy church!” And the Synod could have in turn told ACNA to go away. They did not.

But let us follow Matt+ Kennedy’s admonition to engage in exegesis, not isogesis and look at what actually passed.

The original motion by Lorna Ashworth was modest:

“That this Synod express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with the Anglican Church in North America.”

As she noted during debate, all that motion would have done was express a desire for communion. It would have had little if any binding result (except REALLY tick off --Schori and company, of course).

But that was *ahem* too bold for the Synod. So they gutted the resolution with an amendment. Therefore the final resolution that passed was the following:

“That this Synod, aware of the distress caused by recent divisions within the Anglican churches of the United States of America and Canada,

"(a) recognise and affirm the desire of those who have formed the Anglican Church in North America to remain within the Anglican family;
(b) acknowledge that this aspiration, in respect both of relations with the Church of England and membership of the Anglican Communion, raises issues which the relevant authorities of each need to explore further; and
(c) invite the Archbishops to report further to the Synod in 2011."

The passed resolution does not even deign to express a desire for communion. It only affirms ACNA’s desire – whatever that means, says this is oh-so complicated, and kicks the issue to 2011.

Thus Synod punted on even expressing a desire for communion with ACNA.

I can think of several adjectives to describe that. “Anglican” seems appropriate at the moment.

Granted, I am a bit grumpier than some (but not Christopher Johnson). Other views may be found here.


Tregonsee said...

The late Peter Toon+ used to refer to "the grace of time" in Anglicanism. Nothing, either good or bad, happens quickly. The current unpleasantness is a good example of something which only seems rapid.

Sibyl said...

The CoE just voted spousal benefits for 'gay' 'clergy'.

So, why is ACNA so hot to connect with them?

Mark said...

Good question. :)


rafael said...

I have to agree, the resolution is meaningless. The accords from the Primates meeting at Dromantine and Dar Res Salaam were meaty stuff. ABC simply stuck his oar in and the accords collapsed. ABC will do the same to any initiative by COE general synod to extend recognition to ACNA.

Texanglican (R.W. Foster+) said...

Why connect with the C of E? In short, for many Catholic-minded Anglicans (e.g., the vast majority in the diocese of Fort Worth) our connection with the Archbishopric of Canterbury has long been considered a crucial component that separates from being just another Protestant sect. I have in the last few years come to wonder exactly how important that link is, but the overwhelming majority of clergy in my diocese think it is vital to maintain such a link (admittedly, I have rather strong evangelical tendencies atypical for our diocese and have a more "confessional Anglican" approach than most of my brother presbyters here). Hence our peculiar insistence on maintaining our tie to ++Venables of Southern Cone at the same time as being part of ACNA. Until ACNA is unequivocally in full communion with Canterbury, most of our clergy here will not countenance severing that time to the throne of St. Augustine. It has nothing at all to do with the present incumbant. The C of E resolution has been seen by some as a step in the direction of Canterbury recognizing us and establishing that full communion with bishops as ACNA bishops, making it possible to end the "dual citizenship" status we presently have.