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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Anglican Church in North America

Five Anglican archbishops held an emergency meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury on Dec. 5 to discuss the proposed new Anglican province which is to be called the Anglican Church in North America.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, was to have met with the primates of Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the Southern Cone (South America) to discuss recent developments in the USA.

At an historic gathering in Wheaton, Illinois constituents of various Anglican jurisdictions unveiled a provisional constitution of the ACNA and provisional canons.

This follows departures of numerous parishes, parishioners, and even four dioceses from the Episcopal Church in that past 4 years. The mainstream media would have the public believe that those leaving are intolerant homophobes, but the root of the disagreement centers on the authority of Scripture and Christ as the exclusive and unique savior of mankind.

In forming the ACNA, the four dioceses that most recently left TEC will join with eight other groups that departed the Episcopal Church over the past 40 years. Earlier departures were prompted by disagreement over women priests, church order, and the Episcopal Church's 1979 prayer book which radically departed from the theology and formularies of the historic Book of Common Prayer (versions 1549-1928).

Religious Liberty Director Faith J.H. McDonnell commented:

Some liberals in the Episcopal Church are undermining their own talking points by the spitefulness with which they are being delivered. If the proposed new Anglican Church of North America were so insignificant, their response would be dismissive but gracious. Instead, a mean-spirited hostility has broken out.

Ultimately, this is not a schismatic movement. While disaffected groups have split from the Episcopal Church in the past, the fact that many of these groups are now unifying is unprecedented. The stated intent is to remain within the Anglican Communion.
Having more than one Anglican province occupy a single geographic area is not completely new. The Church of England’s Diocese in Europe exists alongside both the Convocation of American Churches in Europe and the Old Catholic Church, which are both in communion with Canterbury.

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