US Anglican reacts

From a highly placed Anglican/Episcopalian in the USA, I think in the orthodox Anglican Church in North America:

I am not familiar with all the various groups of Anglicans out there, I’m afraid.


October 20, 2009 rejoice that the Holy See has opened this doorway, which represents another step in the growing cooperation and relationship between our Churches. [Uh huh…] This significant decision represents [But watch this spin…] a recognition of the integrity of the Anglican tradition within the broader Christian church. While we believe that this provision will not be utilized by the great majority of the Anglican Church in North America’s bishops, priests, dioceses and congregations, we will surely bless those who are drawn to participate in this momentous offer[So… the offer, which is "momentous", it is also – according to this – a "recognition" of the "integrity" of the Anglican tradition.  Does that mean there is no real need to accept this "momentous offer"?]

We concurrently thank God for the partnership that orthodox Anglicans [as to opposed to the other kind of Anglicans… ? Yes.] have long enjoyed with the Roman Catholic Church, and are profoundly grateful for the many acts of kindness shown on local, diocesan and national levels, as they have stood with us in our time of trial.

While our historic differences over church governance, dogmas regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary and the nature of Holy Orders continue to be points of prayerful dialogue, we look forward to an ever deepening partnership with the Catholic Church throughout the world. [As if both partners are on an equal footing?] We pledge our earnest prayers for all those touched by this initiative, as we look forward to the publication of the Apostolic Constitution detailing today’s announcement.

The Most Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America Bishop
Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican)


In the meantime, we find this silliness

Former Quincy Bishop ‘Deposed’ by Episcopal Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori

by David W. Virtue
Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop, has ‘deposed’ [The drama!  Just like the old days!] the retired Bishop of Quincy (Peoria, IL)., the Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, saying he renounced his orders to the ministry of The Episcopal Church, and is now working for the Diocese of Bolivia in the Province of the Southern Cone.

‘I did not voluntarily renounce my orders. I asked for an orderly transfer to the Province of the Southern Cone. With the current canons, she did not act properly,’ Bishop Ackerman told VOL.

Ackerman will make a conference call where he will reveal the actual correspondence between himself and Mrs. Jefferts Schori.

According to a letter dated October 7, 2009, Jefferts Schori said she had accepted the ‘renunciation of ordained ministry’ from the Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, retired bishop of Quincy, citing his intention to minister in Bolivia and refers to a letter supposedly written by Bishop Ackerman in July, 2009.:  …  [blah blah]


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  1. The Astronomer says:

    Cognitive dissonance on the part of Mr. Duncan?

  2. GregH says:

    I am hoping Bishop Duncan will study this proposal a little more in-depth as he is the de-facto/spiritual head of the orthodox Anglican parishes in the US (even if he isn’t their true bishop). He should know that the Anglican Communion is a lost cause and all the haranguing about joining forces with the Global South is a waste of time. Sorry but CANA, Gafcon, the Jerusalem Agreement, etc don’t change the fact that the Anglican Communion is dead-on-arrival.

  3. Ioannes Andreades says:

    Part of the statement from Cardinal Levada’s press conference deserves full quotation (quoted in this morning’s VIS bulletin):

    The cardinal further indicated that “it is the hope of the Holy Father Benedict XVI that the Anglican clergy and faithful who desire union with the Catholic Church will find in this canonical structure the opportunity to preserve those Anglican traditions precious to them and consistent with the Catholic faith. Insofar as these traditions express in a distinctive way the faith that is held in common, they are a gift to be shared in the wider Church. The unity of the Church does not require a uniformity that ignores cultural diversity, as the history of Christianity shows. Moreover, the many diverse traditions present in the Catholic Church today are all rooted in the principle articulated by St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: ‘There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism’.”

    “Our communion”, the cardinal added in conclusion, “is therefore strengthened by such legitimate diversity, and so we are happy that these men and women bring with them their particular contributions to our common life of faith”.

    Read in the context of Cardinal Levada’s words, I think that Bishop Duncan’s words do not need to be read as declaring anything over and above what the Cardinal said.

    Moreover, to the extent that Anglicans used to kill Catholics, one Anglican’s support of partnership with the Catholic Church is not something to sneeze at.

  4. RichR says:

    This significant decision represents a recognition of the integrity of the Anglican tradition within the broader Christian church.

    With all due respect, I think this decision is a result of the obvious disintegration of the Anglican “Communion”. I wonder if this is “damage control”.

  5. Doubtful Thomas says:

    Father Z: I believe the bottom photo is the “deposee,” not the “deposer.”

    [yah… I think you are right.]

  6. I hope that it’s not about power for Most Rev. Duncan, but I’m afraid it is.

  7. archambt says:

    I don’t know if he’s talking about the Anglican Communion in terms of Anglican tradition. Not being Anglican, I don’t know what tradition he is referring too. Perhaps its analogous to the how the presence of Eastern Rite Catholics is an embrace of Eastern Christian tradition (and not so much of the Orthodox Church itself).

    I attend school with many Anglican seminaries. Some are very excited about this development.

  8. stephenocist says:

    Bishop Duncan is the a conservative evangelical and the new Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), which brings together those who have left the Episcopal Church more recently. He has a reputation as a kind man and I’m sure he’s sincere in his statement, but today’s announcement can only complicate his attempt to build a new Anglican province in America in communion with Canterbury.

    ACNA has many good people, but they hold a variety of positions on the ordination of women, the authority of councils, the real presence, etc. The new structure offered by the Holy Father creates an attractive alternative for Anglo-Catholics who are fearful of being a permanent minority within and evangelical and charismatic body.

  9. Allan S. says:

    Cool. Halloween dress-up pictures already. Walmart sell that one…?

  10. chcrix says:

    Bishop Duncan is not especially orthodox himself as many of the anglicans reckon it. He supports women’s ordination.

  11. Geremia says:

    The Anglican Communion is not the same as the Traditional Anglican Communion. The latter broke off of the former. I believe the latter are the ones seeking communion with Rome, right?

  12. MikeM says:

    Well, seeing as they were not one of the Churches who had previously stated acceptance of the papacy, it would be awkward at best for him to sign his whole church onto this. If the USCCB and the individual bishops the United States make an effort to reach out to ACNA communities, though, I suspect that we’ll have some success in bringing people over.

    I know a handful of ACNA members, and most that I know (though this is far from a broad and diverse sampling) have repeatedly expressed respect for and interest in Catholicism.

  13. stephenocist says:

    Bishop Ackerman whose deposition is discussed in the second story in the post was widely considered the leader of the Anglo-Catholic party within the Episcopal Church and is a gentleman who combines humility with clarity.

    I had an entry yesterday on his deposition with words from one of his magazine columns from a few years back. Let’s pray they prove prophetic in ways no one could have guessed at the time. Here’s the link:

  14. chcrix says:

    Geremia: I’ll take a stab at this. The “traditional anglican communion” was a group (relatively small) that broke away years ago. The “anglican communion” is usually recognized as a number of provences (I think 39 is the number) that are in communion with (i.e. officially recognized by) the diocese of Canterbury. They are the bulk of what are called anglicans. The provinces can be numerically small (like the Episcopal Church in the U.S. with a sunday attendence of about 700,000) or large (like Nigeria which has several 10’s of millions).

    The reason I think the pope took action now is that the anglican communion is at the breaking point. The less orthodox parts want no part of Rome (couldn’t stand the discipline). The more evangelical (like regular protestants) still sneer at popery. The anglo catholic minority will probably be hung out to dry.

    The pope realizes that there is no realistic hope of reunion at this time with the entire anglican communion. So he is rolling out the welcome mat for those who are most likely to want to come now.

  15. canonlawyer says:

    I hope stephenocist (above) is correct in his take on the primate of the ACNA, which then would be a group not interested in what communion with the Holy Father offers. I fear, however, from my experiences with other denominations, that Timothy Mulligan has the true insight.

  16. bookworm says:

    Bishop Ackerman was (and I am sure still is) a close friend of Peoria’s former Roman Catholic Bishop John J. Myers, now Archbishop of Newark, and of current Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky. I met him a couple of times and he is truly a humble, first class, Christian servant.

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see him jump the Tiber after this… he’d make a great Catholic priest or deacon. (He’s married and has kids so he can’t be a bishop if he turns Catholic, but then it sounds like the Episcopal Church pretty much stripped him of his bishop status anyway so he has nothing to lose at this point.)

    If Bishop Ackerman turned Catholic I suspect a lot of his diocese would follow.

  17. moon1234 says:

    Well considering the TAC has already signed the catechism of the Catholic church, they are much closer to union than the “other” Anglicans. I think the womens ordinations were just too much for the TAC. They have seen the errors of their brothers and want to rejoin the one true church.

    This current “dialoge” with the anglicans in America is strange to say the least. If THEY are willing to sign the catechism then we have a means to move forward. Otherwise this type of “ecumenism” would just what the SSPX would have a problem with.

  18. While our historic differences over church governance, dogmas regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary and the nature of Holy Orders continue to be points of prayerful dialogue, we look forward to an ever deepening partnership with the Catholic Church throughout the world.

    They can keep prayerfully dialoguing with Rome… but Rome won’t back down from Church governance, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the invalidity of Anglican orders. That’d be why these orthodox Anglicans are seeking communion with the Catholic Church. I suggest that the Most Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan consider the situation carefully, in prayerful dialogue with GOD.

  19. P.McGrath says:

    I follow both Father Z and one of the best of the Anglican bloggers, Chris Johnson’s Midwest Conservative Journal, on my Live Bookmarks, so let me try to bring you briefly up to speed — for a complete perspective, I would recommend browsing some of the MCJ’s archives.

    Now, please note this sentence from the Vatican’s Note from this morning: More recently, some segments of the Anglican Communion have departed from the common biblical teaching on human sexuality—already clearly stated in the ARCIC document “Life in Christ”—by the ordination of openly homosexual clergy and the blessing of homosexual partnerships..

    The Note refers, of course, to The Episcopal Organization and the Anglican Organization of Canada (no longer “churches” since they have made the buggery issue their only issue.) Hence, the references on MCJ to “TEO” and “AOoC”

    Mrs. Schori (remember, her orders are invalid) is “Presiding Bishopess” (=PBess) of TEO. Under her reign, the TEO’s central office (a-k-a “815” = 815 Second Avenue, NY, NY) has been savagely persecuting dioceses, parishes, and individuals who seek to abandon the pagan life of today’s Episcopalianism for an Anglican life closer to the Gospel values. The most prominent of these in this country is the newly-formed Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), which is headed by Bishop Duncan mentioned above.

    “815” policy is to sue the living stuffing out of the abandoning dioceses and parishes, trying to extract every last penny from them. (General Sherman treated Georgia more kindly during his March to the Sea.) And when TEO dioceses try to depart as a whole, the PBess has set up rump TEO dioceses, whose purpose is to grab those assets and deliver them safe to 815. And if any bishop attempts to make contact with the Province of the Southern Cone (= the orthodox Anglican province in Argentina, Chile, etc.), the PBess issues a blitzkrieg-quick “deposition” of that prelate. The Southern Cone province has been providing an Anglican “home” for many of these disaffected TEO refugees, and it has become the target of TEO’s fury.

    Anyway, that’s just a brief sketch of a long and complicated story.

    Thank you Papa Benny for helping out our faithful Anglican friends!

  20. Dave N. says:

    Wow, what an interesting array of information to sort out. Just my opinions–I’d invite corrections or counter-opinions:

    1) I think the TAC is a good fit with the Catholic Church; in fact, I’d say the issues to iron out are probably simpler than the ones existing with the SSPX.

    2) To the best of my knowledge though, the TAC is a pretty tiny splinter group. Of course that’s fine and doesn’t really matter.

    3) ACNA, et al are another kettle of fish entirely, at least to the best of my knowledge. These are the more recent off-shoots of the ECUSA and comprise a mix of malcontents–not that they don’t have a reason to be discontented–of various stripes. The churches in my area are sort of Contemporary Evangelical-esq, with a little Book of Common Prayer sprinkled here and there. (Rick Warren spoke at their first convention this summer where Duncan was ordained, if that helps clarify the picture.) If you think the average NO Mass is disheartening, you’ll not like their services one bit. While not painting with too broad a brush, I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of the ACNA churches are not of the Anglo-Catholic variety, although some indeed are. And some of these churches might be good candidates for inclusion. But as a whole I can’t imagine most individuals from these churches would want to become Catholic or they would have done so a long time ago, because there’s no long-standing tradition for many of them.

    4) Thus, best for Catholics to not mix and match groups and make too many assumptions–“conservative” can mean many things. Some of the most politically liberal churches in the ECUSA are the most conservative liturgically, and vice versa. This is actually the opposite from most US Catholic churches. (I wonder if Cardinal George knows this.)

    4) So, we’ve had entire Episcopal churches become Catholic before and maintain the so-called “Anglican Use.” I’m not sure why all the hooplah, except maybe the fact that an entire body might join? hmmm….

  21. JPG says:

    The notion of an Anglican communion having a tradition is one at which some Catholics may wish to sneer. This being said, the Anglican Church has been separate for 400 yrs. This has allowed I think the development of a choral tradition and a tradition of worship that is deeply held by its adherents. Likewise when listening again to English texts in the OF that are inaccurate Latin(I am told) and artistically banal, one can only be envious of such a tradition. I think it was Cardinal Heenan who declined the revival of the Sarum rite with the restoration of the Hierarchy in England.
    Our take on this tradition may be different had that revival taken place.
    Seeing and surveying the collapse of the Anglican Communion is the sad result but the logical consequence of private judgement. One sees this all through Protestantism whereby people flee to the Evangelical Churches leaving the mainline denominations. Those that remain in them are generally of a liberal ilk whose firmness in the faith is such that one sees their children lapse into secularism and leave their childhood faiths. It is as if these people are presiding over the Apostasy. Yet they remain completely blind to the situation.
    Those of a liberal bent are I think secularists in all but name only.

  22. Rob Cartusciello says:

    It comes as no surprise that Schori has begun a crackdown. The persecutions by the left are so much worse than the persecutions of the right. Conservatives lambaste their opponents with wrath & logic. Liberals persecute with ‘love’.

  23. Seraphic Spouse says:

    “Points of prayerful dialogue.” LOL! I think he mean, “disagreements.” And
    I’m not so thrilled with his utilizing the word “utilized”. My impression was that
    Anglicans want to hang on to the Book of Common Prayer because of their love for
    the beauty of the language.

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