Canterbury buries the instruments of unity
03 Oct 2014
by George Conger
The Archbishop of Canterbury has claimed the authority to determine who is Anglican. In a wide ranging conversation with the Church of Ireland Gazette, the archbishop offered his appreciation of the ecclesiology of the Anglican Communion, placing his office in the center of the church's polity.
He further stated he saw the Anglican Church in North America as an ecumenical partner, not a member church of the Anglican Communion.
While Archbishop Justin Welby’s comments about the ecclesial relationship between the Church of England and the ACNA break no new ground, his defense of his appointment of an ACNA priest to an honorary post in the Church of England by asserting the priest’s orders were valid as they were conveyed by the Episcopal Church of the USA raises the question of the validity of the ministerial orders conveyed by ACNA's bishops. The archbishop's comments also appear put paid to the notion of four instruments of unity within the Communion, down grading the Anglican Consultative Council in setting the parameters of the Anglican world, placing the primates in a consultative role, while elevating his office as the arbiter of Anglicanism.
At the start of his 3 October 2014 interview with the Church of Ireland Gazette Archbishop Welby noted that he was surprised to learn that “virtually everywhere I have gone the analysis is that the definition of being part of the Anglican Communion is being in Communion with Canterbury … I haven’t faulted that [view],” he said adding that “most provinces of the Anglican Communion valued their relationship with Canterbury … [And that] there remains in the overwhelming parts of the Communion an attachment to Canterbury.”
However, the Anglican Church in North America was not part of that particular fellowship. The ACNA is a “fellow member of the church of Christ in the world,” but added the “ACNA is a separate church. It is not part of the Anglican Communion.” the rest