"CANA Praises Church of Nigeria Decision to be in Full Communion with Emerging Anglican Province
HERNDON, Va. (March 20, 2009) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America praised the unanimous decision of the Church of Nigeria Standing Committee to be in full communion with the emerging Anglican province, the Anglican Church of North America. The Church of Nigeria is the first Anglican province to formally accept the emerging province as a branch of the Anglican Communion. CANA is a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America, which includes about 700 congregations.
“Once again, we within CANA are grateful to the Church of Nigeria for creating a formal branch between orthodox Anglican congregations in North America and the well-respected Province, as the Church of Nigeria did for CANA several years ago. It is a significant decision that will strengthen the unity among those in the U.S. who wish to remain faithful to their Christian beliefs while remaining in good standing as part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Our continued prayer is for Anglicans across the world to be able to stay faithful to orthodox beliefs within the Anglican Communion. This decision by the Church of Nigeria formalizes that hope,” said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns."
This has been confirmed by the Common Cause Partnership, HERE. That press release said in part,
"The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has resolved unanimously to be “in abiding and full communion” with the emerging Anglican Church in North America. The Church of Nigeria, which counts more than a quarter of the world’s Anglican Christians as members, is the first Anglican province to formally accept the Anglican Church in North America as its North American partner within the Anglican Communion.
In making their decision, the leaders of the Church of Nigeria’s 153 dioceses also recommended that their province send a delegation to the Anglican Church in North America’s inaugural Provincial Assembly, to be held June 22-25 in Bedford, TX, “to demonstrate our enduring partnership in the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Bishop Robert Duncan, archbishop-designate for the Anglican Church in North America, thanked the Church of Nigeria for their decision. “In this one action, leaders representing every diocese in the Church of Nigeria, which in turn count as members more than a quarter of the world’s Anglicans, have declared themselves to be full partners of the Anglican Church in North America. They have stated clearly that we stand together on the authority and trustworthiness of the Bible, the historic creeds and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as our only Savior and Lord. We look forward to welcoming our Nigerian brothers and sisters to observe our inaugural assembly in Bedford this June.”
“Both in Nigeria and in North America,” added Bishop Duncan, “We understand our mission very similarly, that is, to reach our societies with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.”
There is nothing yet on the Church of Nigeria website, but these two witnesses seem to concur that that is what the Standing Committee of the CofN has done. Nothing of this was reported in the communique of that Standing Committee meeting.
Now they can go home, assuming of course that the CofN really did say ACNA was recognized.
Interestingly,according to these reports, the Church of Nigeria seems to think that their recognition of the ACNA makes ACNA "a branch of the Anglican Communion." The Anglican Communion is not the vine of which the churches are the branches, nor is it the head office of which the local churches are branch offices. What has happened is that the Church of Nigeria has recognized ACNA, much as the Church of England might declare itself in communion with a church not part of the Anglican Communion. The Church of Nigeria is free to do so, of course. But it is not as easily free to claim that in doing so it has expanded the Anglican Communion.
Given that the CofN is recognizing ACNA and not TEC, this new thing has officially brought the matter to a head: there is at least one member church of the Anglican Communion recognizing some other body instead of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada as the "Anglican" entity in North America with which it will be in communion. In doing so it has also redefined the Anglican Communion to its liking.
If all of this is true, the fat is in the fire.