I was reading USA Today about the ACNA Anglican Church North America, the new Anglican province here that is seeking to restore Anglicanism to its more orthodox, mainstream roots away from the wildly liberal, bombastic, lost denomination that it has been as the Episciopal Church in the last 30 years.
I found the article interesting because Metropolitan Jonah, the Primate of the OCA, Orthodox Church of America, came to the big ACNA kick-off event in Bedford, TX, and proposed unity and a new relationship with Anglicanism despite this new province’s allowance of female priestesses?
I found it fascinating that the conservative Anglicans finally had the opportunity to launch and re-load Anglicanism in North America and wipe away so much of the errors of the last 30 years, and yet they left in the constitution the right of each diocese to ordain women priests or to disallow it. Then they made it absolutely forbidden to ordain female bishops?
I found it fascinating that Metropolitan Jonah admitted this concern about women clerics and yet plans to move ahead with joining the OCA and the ACNA?
What do you guys think about this and what the future holds here? While I’m Roman Catholic I have always felt a strong affection for conservative Anglicanism and my former parish as an Anglican. I was hoping to see them cast out women’s ordination as per the AMIA report that came out some years back and in light of all that Catholicism and Orthodoxy has said about women priests being a barrier to reconciliation. I also found it odd that they invited an Orthodox priest and then had Pastor Rick Warren, the mega church southern california Saddleback Church Purpose-Driven guy both on the same stage? Talk about eclectic!
What say all of you (as Bill O’Reilley might say!)
The ACNA, a new creature, is comprised of a number of groups, but not those who specifically split from the Episcopal Church as early as 1976. Those woulTd the Continuing Anglicans, and none of the major Continuing jurisdictions are part of the new ACNA. The history of the Anglican train wreck is long and complicated and I won’t do details unless requested. But the ACNA is mainly made up of folks who endured the evolution of the Episcopal Church until a few years ago, and often accepted (and still accept) females in collars themselves. It was mainly the same sex issues which eventually drove these out of the Episcopal Church (and the Anglican Church of Canada, to a lesser extent). The issue of female ordination is probably going to wreck the ACNA, in the long run.
Not an OCA source, but coverage of His Beatitude’s speech to the ACNA is covered, from a conservative Anglican viewpoint, here:
I am a member of the Anglican Church in North America and I have been following the events in Texas.
Once again soo much misinformation. It was not just homosexuality that caused the ACNA to form. Eugene Robinson was the last straw in a long chain of Apostacy that TEC had fallen into.
As far as Womens Ordination goes the ACNA is comprised of 28 Diocese, of these only a handful do WO, the vast majority do not and have no plans to. My own part of the ACNA, the Reformed Episcopal Church never did and never will ordain Women to any Canonical position; Bishop, Priest, or Deacon. What will probably happen and more than likely will happen is that those Women who are currently in Clerical Office will be “grandfathered” and ant future female ordinations will not be allowed.
As for the “continuing Anglicans” they have been disunited since they split from TEC in 1977 and continue to squabble with one another, Its not as bad as it used to be but it is still there. In the grand scheme of things they are pretty much irrelevant these days and are looked upon by many as theological “cranks” and curmudgeons. The Anglican world has moved on, the Anglican Church in North America is emerging as the voice of not only Anglican orthodoxy in North America but also a faithful witness and advocate of authentic Catholic Christianity not the sectarianism of the Eastern Orthodox or the Roman Catholic Church. We, the Anglican Church in North America are “Catholic”, we embody the ancient orthodox faith of the undivided Church of the early Church and the early Church fathers. “That which has been believed by all everywhere at all times”.
Wow, kotek… them’s some pretty big britches you’ve made for yourself.
Good luck in keeping them up!
Chest thumping aside, doesn’t it seem odd that THE authentic church Christ established has such an English flavor to it? I don’t suppose it seems strange that authentic christianity as Jesus intended all along was lost to the world for so many centuries until Henry VIII and his successors came along and recreated it?
Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! Such claims need just a little gentle tweaking…
Note the word “mainly”. The ACNA is made up of a lot of folks. Those who were the AMIA, the CANA, and the like, who left TEC and moved under other Communion Primates, did so mainly in response to the same sex issues, and mainly in the last few years. Those whose departures date back to the period after the 1978 St. Louis meeting left over (mainly) liturgical issues (the Prayer Book revision), followed by female ordination issues. Hence, the Continuum leans toward the Anglo-Catholic side.
The Anglican world has certainly moved on. I wish you luck in moving on with it. A re-formed Episcopal Church, with the Compromise reset to include communion with those who support female ordination (a departure from the Vincentian Canon, that) is of little interest to me. I doubt if it would have been to +Cummins. But have fun.
While I think Kotek’s post is overly-zelous and the ideals he is setting up for the ACNA are a bit pie in the sky, your appraisal of how Anglicans view their Church is way off. They don’t view their Church as the authentic perfection that Jesus set up that sat in hiding until Henry came along. Nine out of ten Anglicans you speak with will tell you that Anglicanism isn’t perfect. They admit their short-comings and that they wish many things could change about their denomination. I have spoken with Anglican bishops who have told me personally that they loathe female ordination and that it should’ve never happened and they can’t figure out why it’s being tolerated. I’ve had a ton of Anglican priests tell me they wish the Church was more top-heavy at times, had better ecclesiastical order. They’ll tell you that the Anglican Communion is not a solid structure.
Anglicanism is a compromise, literally. Elizabeth’s compromise really shaped modern-day Anglicanism. It never claimed itself superior to Catholicism or Orthodoxy or put itself in the light that you are painting it.
I think these folks in the ACNA are genuine and want to do right by the Lord. I think Kotek is excited and fired-up and believes it will work out. I hope it does. And I hope he’s right that the minority of women priests will be “grandmothered” away. But I don’t think so. I think it’s the year 2009, when feminism is at an all-time high, people are more liberal than ever, and like GKC said, the ACNA is really just the Episcopal Church reborn without gays and lesbians. It still is too tolerant of differences and divergent thinking. Women clerics will ruin this system and I believe it will only get worse.
In my own Anglican diocese here in San Joaquin, if you talk to parishoners all over, they are by and large OK about having women priestesses. 7 out of 10 folks I talk to are either “ok” with it or want to, as GKC says, “lay hands on hairspray.”
And the fact that the lay people have so much power in the Anglican churches through the vestry and conventions, etc. leads, unfortunately, to a system where the trends of our pop culture tend to influence these people. In Catholicism and Orthodoxy, pop culture has little effect on anything. Bishops and Cardinals and Popes could care less what society has to say about women priests, gays, contraception, or stem cells. But vestries are made up of lay folks who are subject to the trends and the times. This is essentially one facet of Anglicanism, it’s democratic structure, that led me away from it. I both loved and loathed how democratic it was. And coming to the Catholic Church I hated how monolithic and un-democratic it was. But when gay rights, women priests, abortion, and all sorts of other things are running rampant, that ‘intolerant’ and monolithic Catholic system looks pretty good!
I cannot foresee or believe that female ordination is going to wane in Anglicanism. Even in AFRICA they are voting in some dioceses whether or not to allow women priestesses?!! If Africa is selling out to it, you can bet the rest of the world will. They’ve THE gold standard of conservatism in the Anglican world.
I appreciate the zeal and idealism of Kotek but think he’s way off and too excited to think clearly on this one…
What do you mean by the “orthodox roots” of Anglicanism? Are you talking about St. Augustine of Canterbury and/or the early British Church? Surely, as a Roman Catholic, you don’t think that the sixteenth-century BCPs and the 39 Articles are orthodox?
“Orthodox” is a word that is wildly misused in intra-Anglican conflict. But a member of the Roman Communion should know better.
JL: So the ACNA grandfathers women priest, but will not ordain others. If the ACNA recognizes the validity of already ordained women priests, how can they refuse to ordain others. Wouldn’t that be blatant discrimination? Those who do not ordain women do so because they have no authority from Christ. Some renegade bishops have ordained women. Yet it is not valid and was a useless act, those woman are still not valid priests. If women could be ordained validly then I would say the Church is wrong to withhold ordination. However they cannot be valid priests no matter who or howmany lay hands on them.