Thursday, October 09, 2014

Rev. Canon Phil Ashey: Anglican Identity? Canterbury’s loss, not ours

Posted October 9, 2014

“We just need to be very, very clear about this. There is no Anglican Pope. Decisions are made collectively and collegially and I am absolutely committed to not pre-empting what the primates choose to do.”  - The Most Rev. Justin Welby, The Archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican Communion News Service, Oct 6, 2014)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been in the news lately. On the eve of the celebration of the growth of the Anglican Church in North America (488 new churches planted, increased membership and Average Sunday Attendance, poised to exceed the declining membership of the Anglican Church of Canada—if it hasn’t already, etc.) and the Investiture of its second Archbishop, the Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, the Archbishop of Canterbury had this to say about the Anglican Church in North America:

“The ACNA is a separate church. It is not part of the Anglican Communion… ACNA is clearly an ecumenical partner.  It is part of the Church of Christ in the world.”
When asked whether the ACNA can be a part of the Anglican Communion, or is that something for the future, ++Welby replied, “[that is] clearly something for the future.”

The “future” arrived less than 24 hours later when the Anglican Diocese of North West Australia, meeting in Synod, recognized the ACNA as a full member of the Anglican Communion:

“That this synod:
  • welcomes the impending investiture of the Most Reverend Dr Foley Beach, the Archbishop of The Anglican Church in North America;
  • recognizes the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) as a member church of the Anglican Communion, in full communion with Diocese of North West Australia; rejoices that the orthodox faith is proclaimed in word and deed through ACNA and its member churches;
  • continues with ACNA to pray for and call for repentance from those churches which have turned to a different gospel;
  • calls upon faithful Anglicans around the world to join us in joyful praise to God for the renewal and rebirth evident in ACNA and the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.”

Actually, the “future” arrived in June 2008, when at the first GAFCON gathering of over 1000 Archbishops, bishops, clergy and lay leaders from the majority of the Anglican Communion, the GAFCON Primates called for the formation of a new “Anglican Province” in North America.  The future continued to unfold in April 2009 at a conference for leaders of the continuing GAFCON movement. There in London, the Primates who represent the majority of practicing Anglicans around the world recognized the Anglican Church in North America ‘as genuinely Anglican’ and called on all Anglican Provinces to ‘affirm full communion with the ACNA’...  the rest

The Rev. Canon Phil Ashey is CEO of the American Anglican Council

Church of England Vicar Promotes Christian Jihad in Iran

The Church of England and Moral Hazard
...What is surprising is that a vicar of the Church of England would attend a conference in Iran to speak to a group of anti-Semites on the subject of the Zionist lobby in England. Other attendees of the New Horizon conference in Tehran include a long list of Holocaust deniers and 9/11 truthers. The conference included a panel discussion called “Mossad’s Role in the 9/11 Coup d’Etat” with the subheading “9/11 and the Holocaust as pro-Zionist ‘Public Myths.’”...

Lambeth/GAFCON rift
Just as the Great Rift Valley in east Africa continues to expand, so also the much smaller rift in the Anglican Communion continues to grow, with the progressive Western white Canterbury Communion on one side and the Global South GAFCON Communion on the other.  Hoping to bridge (paper over????) the widening split, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is in the midst of an 18-month global tour to visit all 37 primates of the Anglican Communion and convince them to buy into his future vision for the Anglican Communion.  With over a third of the primates (representing over of 60% of the Communion faithful) choosing not to participate in the 2011 Primates Meeting, ++Welby cannot risk calling another Primates Meeting, much less a Lambeth Conference, without a commitment from all primates on both sides of the divide to support and actively engage the Anglican instruments of unity as they are currently structured.   The more moderate Global South primates have declared these historic instruments to be “dysfunctional and no longer [having] the ecclesial and moral authority to hold the Communion together” (Communique,14 September 2011).   Even ++Welby himself, during his visit to the GAFCON 2013 conference in Nairobi, “conceded the existing instruments of communion were no longer fit for purpose in ordering the life of the Anglican world.”   The more outspoken GAFCON Primates Council recently issued a virtual death certificate for the Canterbury-led instruments in suggesting that “the GAFCON movement is emerging as a faithful instrument of unity capable of gathering the majority of faithful Anglicans in communion globally” (Communique, 27 April 2014).    It’s going to be a hard sell for the former-businessman-turned-archbishop...


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