March 23, 2017

February 10, 2010

The English Synod “affirms the desire” of the ACNA to “remain within the Anglican family”

Lorna Ashworth’s motion before the Synod of the Church of England:

‘That this Synod express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with the Anglican Church in North America’

was successfully amended today by the Bishop of Bristol (the Rt. Rev Mike Hill) as follows:

Delete everything after “That this Synod” and insert – “(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.”.

A further amendment inserted the phrase:

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

after “This Synod”

So, if I followed the entire debate correctly, the final amended motion as passed (and it passed handily) reads:

This Synod, aware of the distress caused by recent divisions within the Anglican churches of the United States of America and Canada, recognise and affirm the desire of those who have formed the Anglican Church in North America to remain within the Anglican family; 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 invite the Archbishops to report further to the Synod in 2011.

The word “remain” is nice. You cannot “remain” in something you are not already considered a part of…but in all not a good showing.

It’s difficult to get too excited one way or the other. I, personally speaking, have little desire to remain “within the Anglican family” if it is led by Canterbury and requires assent to the covenant.

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As they say in them internets: “Oooh…That’s gonna leave a mark.”

[1] Posted by The Pilgrim on 2-10-2010 at 12:29 PM · [top]

This is a short road to nowhere and I am with you Fr.Matt as I too see no profit or accreditation in being in, within, recognized by the WWAC with Canterbury as its center. The “center” has moved left. Is that not the reason we turned right when we left the left path of TEC?

[2] Posted by TLDillon on 2-10-2010 at 12:31 PM · [top]

Crap. “Delete everything after “That this Synod” and insert.” Can one do that under meeting rules of order?  It’s like saying “renovate this house by replacing everything except the front doorknob.”  It’s a new motion, not an amendment.

And the amendment changes the motion from “doing something” (putting the COE in communion with ACNA) to “thinking about philosophical concepts” (affirming someone’s desire and contemplating the resulting issues).  It is classic Anglican fudge.

[3] Posted by Michael D on 2-10-2010 at 12:33 PM · [top]

I think a case can be made that this motion allegedly in support of the ACNA actually weakens its claims to Anglican authenticity instead of strengthening it.

When you read the statement it appears the operative word is “desire” not “remain”.  A “desire to remain” leaves open the question of whether you actually “remain” or not.

This is even less support than ++RW has stated in past statements about members of the ACNA in which he seemed to imply they were members of the Anglican Communion but in an irregular manner.

It’s sad.  I’m not a supporter of an Anglican Communion without the Archbishop of Canterbury, but with displays of “support” like the amended motion from the CoE Synod, I can well see why many folks have had their fill of 1st World Anglicanism.

[4] Posted by billqs on 2-10-2010 at 12:33 PM · [top]

Hi Billqs

Good points…I agree that “desire” is the operative word…but at the same time it is difficult to desire to remain in something you are no longer a part of. You would more properly “desire to return” which is a change that one amendment from the liberal side that failed tried to do if I remember correctly

[5] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 2-10-2010 at 12:43 PM · [top]

More words.

[6] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 2-10-2010 at 12:48 PM · [top]

In as much as this was an unexpected and unsolicited motion in the first place, it is a nice gesture towards the ACNA by the Church of England.  It is not a game changer nor was it intended to be.  It is a very British nod of recognition and respect.  I hope we can accept it as gracefully as it is offered.

Before we critique it for what it lacks let us remember that this is their motion freely offered and overwhelmingly passed.  I for one am grateful for this step and look forward to future forward steps.

[7] Posted by Ed McNeill on 2-10-2010 at 12:53 PM · [top]

Well, “desire to remain” is better than “desire to return”, but the fact that we are having parse this motion so carefully to glean anything positive says more than the motion does itself.

Matt, when I think about the personal struggle you and your parish went through last year, and how you laid everything on the line to make a stand for Christ, such statements of “support” like this above leave me feeling ill.

[8] Posted by billqs on 2-10-2010 at 12:54 PM · [top]

Some day Bishop Hill will have to answer before the Lord for this mischievous “amendment.”

[9] Posted by Michael D on 2-10-2010 at 12:55 PM · [top]

The amended resolution is a joke. It’s pretty much a reversal of ther original resolution. It’s the usual watered down horse manure involving more discussion and mmore reporting. This is not a good thing at all.

[10] Posted by Nellie on 2-10-2010 at 01:22 PM · [top]


[11] Posted by Hosea6:6 on 2-10-2010 at 01:22 PM · [top]

Well, I am Thrilled! A year’s time is not long at all and Synod’s heavily “one sided” “for” vote! gives the remaining TEC folks some “Grace time” (pun intended) to decide what they want to do next.

I’m sure Synod will not retract today’s decision and the actions of TEC during this coming year will, I expect, be even more frantic.

If “everything had been decided” on today’s vote many many TECers would have been completely lost and forlorn by service time next Sunday. But as it stands now, thankfully, they will have time to “catch their collective breath” toward a positive, and for many, a more STABLE choice…ACNA are no longer the “Bad Guys”!

I have already made up my mind and have moved on. I consider this next year As Gift to my left-behind friends for their benefit and growth while things “ramp up” even more in TEC and “quiet down” for ACNA!

I think ‘tis good.

[12] Posted by LoieMom on 2-10-2010 at 01:38 PM · [top]

[13] Posted by martin5 on 2-10-2010 at 01:40 PM · [top]

It is a net loss, one that is reminiscent of so many conservative efforts in the past. 

The cause of orthodox Anglicanism is not going to be advanced by legislative efforts within bodies that are stacked against it. It would be different if the voting trends in these bodies were trending in the right direction, but they are not.

The orthodox have lost the levers of power in these institutions.  We are not going to accomplish anything, except appear weak, by appealing to the good will of the victors and pleading for “space”, so we can essentially die out in peace in an ecclesiastical equivalent of hospice.

Instead, we must quit playing their game and play to our strengths.  Because we proclaim the Gospel, we are a movement of God. Our churches display this vibrancy, our members are by and large more sacrificial givers, and are the only ones that are growing.  We are joined by common faith and tradition with our Global South brothers and sisters.  We are the Anglican group that can offer the promise of a changed life to our communities.

We must create our own structures, and we must not wait for the revisionists to give us permission to do so. It will never happen.  The current covenant process is a sterling example of the delay and amend game that threatens to squeeze the remaining life out of the conservative movement.  All we will accomplish is to dissipate valuable energy and resources better used to more effectively advance the Kingdom.  Time is unquestionably not on our side with the Global South, which is not immune to international political and financial pressures, and has devoted a disproportionate amount of time focusing on our problems.  We must create permanent, formal structural ties now, which are not linked or dependent on what happens in the Canterbury centered Communion.

[14] Posted by Going Home on 2-10-2010 at 01:52 PM · [top]

Do you people who think this is a good thing not understand that the vote didn’t actually affirm anything that everyone didn’t already know? It didn’t affirm thaty ACNA is part of the communion. It affirmed that ACNA wants to be part of the communion, which no one ever disputed. ACNA has said it wants to be part of the ocmmunion. As for a year not being a long time, that may be true in some contexts, but in this case, it’s just one more delay in a serie of many, many derlays in facing the conflicts in the ocmmunion. How much more talking will it take to arrive at some decision? Will a year change anything? I dobn’t think so.

[15] Posted by Nellie on 2-10-2010 at 01:54 PM · [top]

Sorry for the typos! I have a new computer, and the keyboard is very sensitive.

[16] Posted by Nellie on 2-10-2010 at 01:56 PM · [top]

Well, it’s ok.  It’s kind of like doing certain things that you need to do, but that don’t effect your overall business plan. Like sending in a form to get a license to operate your business.  You have to do it, but it is not a big part of your strategy.

Duncan got this much done, because it needed doing.  He’s not going to change anything he is doing, no matter what they passed or didn’t pass.  He will come back and keep trying to grow his flock, which is what he should do.  It doesn’t change one iota of what he is doing or not doing.  He came over, got this vote, and will go back and get to work again.

Does it irritate TEC?  Who cares?  Is he fawning, pleading, begging, crying to get some political cred with these Anglican bodies?  I don’t think so. He perceived that it needed doing, and so he presented to the best of his ability.

Will it help him?  Probably some, but I get the sense that he views it correctly, in that it may be like a coupon you put in the newspaper.  It may help you get a few more sales, but it is not the driving force behind your offering.  The vast majority of his “sales” are driven by much more important things.  This is a sideshow.

[17] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 2-10-2010 at 02:07 PM · [top]

Notice the deisre to remain is “affirmed.”
This is big, and KJS lost some street cred on this one.

[18] Posted by James Manley on 2-10-2010 at 02:35 PM · [top]

Matt, your title is inaccurate. The Synod did not affirm the desire of the ACNA.  It affirmed the desire of “those who have formed” the ACNA.  While I am sure “those who have formed” the ACNA are gratified that their desires have been affirmed, ACNA as an entity has had nothing affirmed by this action.

[19] Posted by Chazaq on 2-10-2010 at 02:47 PM · [top]

Even if ALL of the Primates/Provinces recognized the ACNA it wouldn’ matter unless the Anglican Consultive Council gave its approval.  Rowan may hold some cards by virtue of his ability to pick and choose who goe to the Lambeth Conference, it is the ACC that makes the final call of really being in or out.  Guess what the outcome of THAT vote will be.

[20] Posted by Don Curran on 2-10-2010 at 03:03 PM · [top]

Ah the C of E, using the most amount of words possible to say as little as possible in the hope that people may think that a long motion is a good motion.

[21] Posted by PaulStead on 2-10-2010 at 03:26 PM · [top]

Don Curran at #20,

The ACC has no power or authority to include or exclude any province from the Communion. It is purely an advisory body.

Have a look at the resolution made by ACC in 2002 to increase the representation of Tanzania (i.e. change its position in the constitution “subject to the assent of the primates”.

ACNA is already in the Communion: a majority of the Communion think so, and that is what matters.

This motion only affected the internal affairs of one province in the communion (the CofE). ACNA has never sought recognition from CofE in particular, despite the wording of the amendment to the motion (which was drafted by English HofB).

[22] Posted by MichaelA on 2-10-2010 at 05:27 PM · [top]

So, the PB’s propaganda campaign was successful.  Wonder how much it cost in terms of global warming - what with all the CO2 produced by “discussion” and the flights to and from England and the digestive processes?  I also wonder how much it cost in financial terms.  Can EcUSA/TEc afford this as it prepares to sue the DioSC?  Inquiring minds want to know!

[23] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 2-10-2010 at 05:39 PM · [top]

Not to over-react, but I think we should definitely form an ad-hoc committee which will meet tri-annually to examine the ramifications of this motion, and to produce a report that outlines further points of study and reflection.

I am sorry if that offends anyone, but these are contentious times.


[24] Posted by DietofWorms on 2-10-2010 at 05:45 PM · [top]

BHee, hee, hee! Love your post, Diet of Worms - very astute.

[25] Posted by Nellie on 2-11-2010 at 10:35 AM · [top]

So, translated, this is “We know you want recognition from us but you’re not getting it.”  ???

[26] Posted by jedinovice on 2-12-2010 at 12:11 PM · [top]

If the pb’s propaganda campaign had been “successful” ACNA representatives would have been thrown out on their keesters and told not to try that one again. Anybody see that happen?

[27] Posted by oscewicee on 2-12-2010 at 12:14 PM · [top]

No, ACNA bishops were not thrown out; but neither was TEC, in spite of the fact that TEC has been thumbing its nose at the rest of the communion and is getting braver and braver about it every time something like this happens. IF anything, I think this “resolution” emboldens TEC. By next year, there will more gay bishops, more gay marriages, etc. Is there anyone who seriously believes TEC has any intention whatsoever toldiscuss things with the conservatives? If you do, I have a bridge in Brooklyn you might like to buy - I’ll give you a good price.

[28] Posted by Nellie on 2-12-2010 at 05:45 PM · [top]

[inaccurate and personal attack deleted—please do not make claims about people that are untrue]  I look for more….many more….people to leave the Episcopal “Church.”  Certainly more parishes….and quite possibly another diocese….will leave.  Illegal and uncanonical depositions will certainly follow, and TEC’s already sullied reputation will suffer even more.  Will the Anglican Communion split?  Probably, and if it does, TEC and their sycophant friends will be the cause.  Will they care?  Well, they say they will, but in reality, they won’t, because TEC will form The Episcopal Communion, and they’ll be part of it.

[29] Posted by Cennydd on 2-12-2010 at 07:09 PM · [top]

When the two lesbians are “ordained and consecrated” as suffragan “bishops” in the Diocese of Los Angeles,

Do you know something about Diane Bruce that is unknown to others, or at least to me. I have noted nothing in the press, and my guess is that Greg or Matt would have posted a thread, or 10, on that.  Can you substantiate that, or are you just blowing off steam?

[30] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-12-2010 at 07:18 PM · [top]

Methinks someone’s suffering from aspiration pneumonia?

[31] Posted by maineiac on 2-12-2010 at 09:20 PM · [top]

Tjmcmahon, I know no more about her than I do about Canon Glasspool, and I base my predictions on what might possibly happen following the consecrations.  The reactions are not likely to be positive, in my not-so-humble opinion….but that’s just me.

[32] Posted by Cennydd on 2-12-2010 at 09:34 PM · [top]

I know nothing about Ms. Bruce either, other than what I’ve read in recent news and bits here and there on the blogs, but given the sensitivity over the subject in the Communion, it strikes me as inappropriate to charge that she is a “lesbian” as in your #29, and then defend that as a “prediction” in your #32?
Now, do I think she should be a bishop?  Absolutely not.  The obvious Anglo Catholic reason aside, she is a revisionist- can’t imagine the diocese of LA nominating anyone who was orthodox.  But it does strike me that we owe it to ourselves (and our Lord) to avoid what amount to ad hominem remarks.

[33] Posted by tjmcmahon on 2-12-2010 at 10:13 PM · [top]


The Rev. Diane Jardine Bruce is a friend of mine.  Your accusation/insult is wrong and if I weren’t used to the nastiness all around in this family fight I would be really angry at you.  Instead, I am angry with myself that I spend so much time being angry at the liberals and then at folks like you—or me at times—who step over the line.  This is one sad mess and it is a sure sign of a spiritual sickness that I excuse your remarks about my friend simply because you and I are on the same side in this war/ mud fight.

After I step into the bishop’s office and tell him to go ahead and depose me I will walk away remembering that the traditionalist Anglicans could equal the liberals in nastiness and that some of these progressives/heretics were very decent people, too.

God bless you Cennydd and God bless Diane and Mary, too.

Priest in LA

[34] Posted by loyal opposition on 2-12-2010 at 11:58 PM · [top]

As you so aptly say, it IS a mess, and sadly, it need never have gotten to this.  My apologies for any perceived insult to anyone.

[35] Posted by Cennydd on 2-13-2010 at 12:02 AM · [top]

I will walk away remembering that the traditionalist Anglicans could equal the liberals in nastiness and that some of these progressives/heretics were very decent people, too.

....but don’t you see, the issue is not about who is a “nice person” or a “nasty person”?
We all have it in us to be nasty, as we are a fallen people.  Instead, as always, the debate rages around an orthodox understanding of the faith, not about whether someone is a good person
According to her sermons, Bruce preaches that being a good person is a higher calling than belief in Jesus Christ as the only way to the Father,  and that makes her “not a decent person” to have any leadership capacity in the church.  A leader in the church should espouse biblical truth, and not just her own ideas about what a Christian should behave like.  Her sermons are peppered with stories about people acting right or not acting right.  They are light-hearted, sometimes humorous, but frequently stories wrapped up in a nice big bow of somebody getting off track and then being told why they didn’t behave right.

The same thing—-“a good decent person”—-frequently is mentioned when it comes to consecrating gay or lesbian persons.  I am wholly uninterested in consecrating people who are “good, decent, nice, hard-working well-liked, popular, personable, etc”  as bishops,  but rather people who believe in the Bible, and most especially in TEC, people who actually believe the tenets and principles of the founders of the faith they purport to represent.

[36] Posted by heart on 2-13-2010 at 04:00 AM · [top]

RE: “I know nothing about Ms. Bruce either, other than what I’ve read in recent news and bits here and there on the blogs, but given the sensitivity over the subject in the Communion, it strikes me as inappropriate to charge that she is a “lesbian” as in your #29, and then defend that as a “prediction” in your #32?”

TJ—you’re right and I’ll delete that comment.  I have no clue as to why people are now saying that two lesbians were elected in Los Angeles—one is quite enough.

[37] Posted by Sarah on 2-13-2010 at 08:29 AM · [top]

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