4/04/2008

The Anglican (Communion) Institute and the Anglican Communion Institute Inc

A correction to the earlier posting titled, Remember Don Armstrong and Grace and St. Stephens? I failed to state that the Anglican Institute listed on Grace and St. Stephens banner was somehow a fake of the Anglican Communion Institute, and that the ACI is itself a precursor to the ACI, Inc.

I was pointed to my error by an anonymous comment to that blog entry stated,

"Someone forwarded this (my article, I presume) to me. I am unaware of the existence of an Anglican Institute, Inc. The Anglican Institute was an organisation founded in St Louis, and it was taken over by Grace Church, as I understand it, some decades back. The Anglican Communion Institute was never related to it, and is not now. ACI, Inc is the legal name of the Anglican Communion Institute and it is a not-for-profit registered in Texas. Its URL is anglicancommunioninstitute.com"

Well, Anonymous, if you go to Grace and St. Stephens webpage you get the following logo and clicking on it takes you to www.anglicanisntitute.com, which is a site with very little content, but listing a board of directors that includes Archbishop Carey, Bishop Alpha Mohamed, Dean Paul Zaul and Fr. Armstrong.

If you look up anglican communion institute on GOOGLE the first entry is for "www.anglicancommunioninstitute.org." This is the "old" institute web page and it includes a lies of theologians: The Rev'd Professor Christopher Seitz; The Very Rev'd Dr Philip W. Turner III; The Rev'd Dr Ephraim Radner; The Rev'd Dr Peter Walker; The Rev'd Dr Andrew Goddard, The Rev'd Donald Armstrong III.

If you were to type, as Anonymous suggests, "www.anglicancommunioninstitute.com" you get The Anglican Communion Institute, Inc. whose contributing theologians include, "President, The Rev'd Professor Christopher Seitz; Vice President, The Very Rev'd Dr Philip W. Turner III; Senior Fellow, The Rev'd Dr Ephraim Radner; Fellows ,The Rev'd Dr Andrew Goddard, The Rev'd Dr Peter Walker.

The difference is the missing Fr. Armstrong.

ACI, Inc. is the real thing, without Fr. Armstrong. The other two listings are defunct, unless of course the members of the ACI, Inc are also perfectly willing to be members of an Institute with Fr. Armstrong. I don't think so. The "Anglican Institute" is either the first or second transmogrification of the idea. The web pages was last (and perhaps only) dated May 2007.

The Anglican Communion Institute pages posted its last entry on March 22, 2007.

The Anglican Communion Institute, Inc., pages are current. They list articles from 2006 but there is no indication when the web pages were begun.

All of this is to say that the ACI, Inc and the ACI of Don Armstrong are related, and the AI is a Don Armstrong fabrication. The relation between ACI, Inc, and ACI is that ACI,Inc., no longer has Don Armstrong in its mix.

And Grace and St. Stephen's has a fake institute in its banner. Not surprising.

18 comments:

  1. I am a little fuzzy on this, as who is not, and there appears to have been some comparatively recent tidying up (read "erasing") of web links concerning AI, though some cached files are still around. I gather that the Anglican Institute was founded in St Louis in the mid 80's, and that it was originally headed by Michael Marshall, formerly Bishop of Stepney, now an assistant bishop in the diocese of London. It was headquartered at the church of St Michael & St George, Clayton, whose rector at that time was the Rev'd Edward L. Salmon, Jr. Salmon was consecrated bishop of South Carolina in 1989, by which time Michael Marshall had returned to the UK. The chairmanship then seems to have been vested in Bishop Salmon, who in the minutes of an April 1997 AI conference (deleted, but still accessible in cached form) is described as "chair" of the AI. At some point (when?) the Institute's "headquarters" moved from Charleston to Colorado Springs. Bishop Salmon is still, in a cached, earlier version of the AI/Grace Church web-page linked by Fr. Harris, listed as a board member of the Institute, along with Archbishop Carey and Fr.Armstrong.

    http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:xueOmsbvl5oJ:www.theanglicaninstitute.com/+%22anglican+institute%22+salmon&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    Bit of a tangled web. Maybe other readers can fill in gaps? Suggestions a year or so back were that AI had been merged into ACI, but we are now assured that this was not the case. The cached 1997 minutes, describing B'p Salmon as AI "chair", may still be found here:

    http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:RDgU8AW1nckJ:www.wfn.org/1997/05/msg00107.html+%22anglican+institute%22+salmon&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a

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  2. Fr. mark, that Anonymous entry on your other thread is signed C. Seitz.

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  3. More. The opening sentence of the Diocese of South Carolina news release announcing the January 2004 ACI "Future of the Anglican Communion" conference in Charleston states "SEAD [whose president was Dr Christopher Seitz] and the Anglican Institute have merged to form The Anglican Communion Institute". The conference line-up is interesting. Listed speakers include Drexel Gomez, Peter Walker of Wycliffe Hall, and, from ACI, Ephraim Radner, Philip Turner, and Christopher Seitz.

    The Diocese of SC/ACI press release (cached version, though the "original" is still on line as I write) is here:

    http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:pjGwosR8j50J:www.dioceseofsc.org/news/future_of_church.htm+%22future+of+the+anglican+communion%22+aci+charleston&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    Those eager to ratchet their confusion to still higher levels may, for the fun of it, Google "SEAD" and "Seitz". There is clearly more to be found here than I have the energy to root out at 2:00 a.m. Good hunting!

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  4. Re my last post above, "SEAD" = "Scholarly Engagement with Anglican Doctrine".

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  5. Canon Richard T. Nolan5/4/08 8:28 AM

    Is there a glossary somewhere that lists the acronyms and/or titles of all the current groups within and outside The Episcopal Church that object strongly to the current stage of the The Episcopal Church's evolution? Retired, 71, and somewhat befuddled, I would certaily appreciate some clarification that I could print and refer to - often.

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  6. I am a little confused as to the tone of Mr Harris's comment. I clearly indicated my name. I also wrote him a private note and signed it clearly. The point should be clear enough. Anglican Institute had its own life. SEAD and ACI had nothing to do with it as an Institute in the years it was running. I know nothing about its present life and said so clearly. ACI is not involved in any of the proceedings involving Grace Church (and AI). There is no deep secret to be plumbed here. Because of the problems Grace Church was having (now some time ago) ACI realised it needed to detach itself and get on with its work. It has done that. Grace and peace. C Seitz

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  7. Final post on this one. In the winter of 1937/37, following the Abdication Crisis, Osbert Sitwell, no friend of the soon-to-be Duke and Duchess of Windsor, was nevertheless moved to write and publish anonymously a short poem entitled "Rat Week". It begins

    "Where are the friends of yesterday
    That fawned on him,
    That flattered her,
    Where are the friends of yesterday
    Submitting to his every whim, Offering praise of Her as myrrh
    To Him?


    What do they say, that jolly crew?
    Oh ...... Her they hardly knew,
    They never found her really "nice"
    (And here the sickened cock crew thrice)"

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  8. Marshall was never Bishop of Stepney (London diocese) but was rather Bishop of Woolwich (Southwark Diocese)

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  9. "Well, you blow through here
    And the Muck-up goes round and round
    Whoah oh, oh,
    And it comes out here..."

    It's like really bad jazz
    same theme, but really horrible variations.

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  10. Sorry Simon! I knew that perfectly well, to the point of having him linked in my mind with his predecessor John Robinson. I can only plead that I was writing at 1:00 am local time.

    As concerns Christopher Seitz, I'm puzzled by what seems to me a disconnect between his statement, posted two days back on an earlier Preludium thread, that the Anglican Institute was "an organisation founded in St Louis, and it was taken over by Grace Church, as I understand it, some decades back", and the opening sentence of the official Diocese of SC/ACI announcement of the January 2004 Charleston ACI conference, which states that "SEAD [then headed by Dr. Seitz] and the Anglican Institute [headed by Bishop Salmon] have merged to form The Anglican Communion Institute".

    Am I alone in wondering how Dr Seitz could be unaware that AI, far from having been "taken over by Grace Church ....... some decades back" in fact merged just four years ago with a group that he himself headed at that time, to form ACI?

    ps My last post, on the Sitwell poem, should read "1936/37".

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  11. That Bishop Salmon was the 'head' of AI is news to me. I know nothing about AI, though I was invited to speak at one of its conferences (9-11 intruded). Nothing from 'AI' came over to ACI. The ACI Board was simply the former SEAD Board (on which Bishop Salmon served). AI had its own history and mission, but at that time SEAD was the history and mission concerning me. The point of the quote was to say that whatever AI had been in the past (it had not run conferences at the same clip as did SEAD for several years), it was bringing adminstrative aid to run a new Institute, ACI. SEAD continued to work under that name in regional meetings and in Canada. I am afraid there is no deep story of confusion here. So yes, 'you are alone.' Grace and peace.

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  12. Sarah tried to sort this out a while ago:

    http://www.sarahlaughed.net/anglicana/2007/04/when_is_an_inst.html

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  13. At one incarnation of The Anglican Communion Institute, a liberal blogger referred to them as "six guys with a website." All six of them took offence.

    Subsequently, when Mr. Armstrong got into a spot of trouble, the remainder of the ACI denied any connection to the institute linked from Armstrong's site or having cash in Armstrong's accounts. At that point, they were happy to claim that they were just a bunch of guys with a website.

    It is said that, on the Internet, no one knows you're a dog. Anybody can set up a website purporting to the be the official site of whatever grandiose organization their fertile minds can imagine.

    Canon Nolan asks for a glossary. I have none such - though I believe Canon Harris blogged one some months ago.

    That said, the "conservative" movement seems to have more aliases than the average con-man.

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  14. I highly recommend to anyone who wants to research the various permutations of identity on the web for the numerous anglicanisms out there a site called The Wayback Machine (remember Mr. Peabody?). You can find it at http://www.waybackmachine.org/ . Every site that ever was is gathered there.

    peace.. Joe

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  15. In order to see the way "ACI" was implicated in the fraud found by the Diocese of Colorado see the statement of the presentment against Donald Armstrong in Count 1: Theft of $392,409.93 from Grace Church, Section a. Theft of $115,387.37: Unauthorized Bowton Trust-related education payments:

    http://www2.gazette.com/interactives/pdf/Presentment.pdf

    Here it is seen that an ACI checking account (not an ACI legal entity) is used by Mr. Armstrong to exchange monies that eventually ended up going to the benefit of his children.

    No wonder the real ACI distanced themselves from him when this all became public:

    http://www.gazette.com/articles/armstrong_21257___article.html/church_grace.html
    http://www2.gazette.com/interactives/pdf/Presentment.pdf

    Frs. Seitz and Radner have repeatedly denied any knowledge of any financial arrangement evidenced by the presentment, and it certainly seems likely that they did not benefit from it in any way.

    The ACI is significant here not in the real, formal organization currently represented by ACI, Inc., but in the way an artificial web site and checking account co-opted the credibility of the real organization to confuse the flow of monies in a parish fraud.

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  16. Seems to me the evidence available does not so much implicate the Anglican Communion Institute as it suggests that the Anglican Communion Institute was another victim.

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  17. Sorry. Should have framed that last post differently.

    The evidence available suggests that, if there was impropriety, the Anglican Communion Institute may also have been a victim.

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  18. At least one person is standing up for Father Armstrong. On T19's thread on Archbishop William's letter on violence against gays and lesbians, Don Armstrong posts in person: "I wish the Archbishop would condemn the violence the Epsicopal Church is perpetrating against me with millions of dollars of legal actions over accusations already proven to be false."

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