1/24/2009

Organizing one form at a time: ACNA on the march.

The Common Cause Partnership website is now posting application forms for becoming part of the "Province of the Anglican Church in North America. (ACNA)" In giving an explanation of just what a Province is, the cover letter from Moderator / Archbishop Designate Duncan says this,

"Consistent with all Anglican practice, congregations are a part of an Anglican Province because they are part of a diocese which, in turn, is part of a group of dioceses banded together as a national (or international) Church. This principle is critical to understanding the Provisional Constitution of the Anglican Church in North America, and to the steps we all need to take as we move toward our first Provincial Assembly."

Note that the missing bit in this is that an "Anglican Province" is that because the church is part of the Anglican Communion and is called a province as a convenience so that one does not have to say over and over again "national or regional church," and what makes a church part of the Anglican Communion is in part that it is a church in communion with the See of Canterbury (which triggers the invites to Lambeth and the Primates Meetings) and included in the Anglican Consultative Council, which inclusion can either trigger recognition by the ABC or be the result of recognition by the ABC.

Now it turns out that "The Province of the Anglican Church in North America" may be a province of something, but not of the Anglican Communion. At least not yet.

But the forms are in place and the signatures are shaping up. Moderator Duncan of the Common Cause Partnership signs himself in the letter as shown on the right.

The method here is well known: Keep talking and writing as if you are what you hope to be and after a while no one will notice that the words will flow like honey: "Anglican Province," "Province of ACNA," "Archbishop designate of the Province of ACNA," etc, will be used more and more as shorthand and it will seem perfectly reasonable. Putting out application forms in the name of a Province is the way to go. And as we all know in bureaucratic Anglican Land (a land of suffering and gloom) FORM is everything. Ask any postulant for holy orders.

But the facts are different: ACNA right now not the Province of anything and it is surely not an Anglican Province, if that has any connection at all to being a Province of the Anglican Communion.

8 comments:

  1. From the Lead;
    The Diocese of Virginia may be the only church council where both the treasurer and the chancellor receive standing ovations. But the longest applause came during the closing remarks of the chaplain for this year's 214th Annual Council. Archbishop Barry Morgan, Primate of Wales, said Wales was in the same boat as The Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church and he would resist the formation of an alternative North American province with, in his words, "every fiber of my being." The room jumped to its feet with applause and cheering.

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  2. Many of us have long believed that all of this drama was ultimately about creating something for Bob Duncan to be the head of.

    It's nice of him to confirm it for us.

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  3. The method here is well known: Keep talking and writing as if you are what you hope to be and after a while no one will notice that the words will flow like honey: "Anglican Province," "Province of ACNA," "Archbishop designate of the Province of ACNA," etc, will be used more and more as shorthand and it will seem perfectly reasonable.

    Well known I suppose because it is the MO of the PB and her Chancellor: keep telling everyone that the canons (and the creeds) mean what you say they mean and eventually they'll stop questioning and believe.

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  4. This new thing seems very top-heavy with miters. "Archbishop-Designate." My! They really have left the Episcopal Church. An Archbishop, and anything else that looked like the C of E they just revolted against, was the last thing the founders of TEC wanted.

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  5. Again, the "Anglican" diocese Recife is a bellweather of what's in store. According to George Conger, it has voted to leave Southern Cone, which it recently joined to join ACNA which calls into question ACNA's "North American" status as ACNA appears to be going intercontinental. This of course should send a clear signal to all communion provinces and their primates that ACNA's non-geographic parameters mean that, should a diocese in India, for example, decide it doesn't like its province, it can easily choose another. Or, if some parishes in Singapore decide they don't like their bishop or diocese, they can always secede, form a new diocese and choose a province they prefer, for, as in the case of Recife, for at least a little while until they decide to choose another. So the question becomes, now that Recife has chosen ACNA, will ACNA return the favor, and, if ACNA does, what is it telling the rest of the communion, and its primates, about missionary opportunities for ACNA in their provinces? EmilyH

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  6. So dose he become an Archbishop when he gets enough people to sign his petitiion, like getting to be president of the Senior Class?

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  7. "The room jumped to its feet"-those who weren't too old or too arthritic to stand.
    He's right-you're all in the same boat. Same demographic, same age bracket, all facing a dwindling future, swinging smoke at each other.

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  8. It is top-heavy with miters, but if present trends continue, there will be one clergy person for every lay member of the Church of Canada by 2055.
    So they're just anticipating trends.

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