Near the end of the Declaration of Independence there is this line: "We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends."
From either side I suspect there is relief in that: the Separation is real. Now the relations are as between peoples, nations, tribes, and in this case, of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America. We are now in ecumenical relation to ACNA. They are not sister church to us, they are not part of the family of churches of the Anglican Communion. They are a Christian Church distinct and different from The Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada.
Here at Preludium some care has been taken to refer to Robert W. Duncan by the office to which he was called, in The Episcopal Church or elsewhere. When he ceased to be a bishop in this Church I referred to him as Moderator Duncan by virtue of his office with the Anglican Communion Network and the Common Cause Partnership. When the issue concerned his relation to or comments upon The Episcopal Church I also referenced him as deposed in The Episcopal Church to make it clear that he has no standing as bishop in this Church.
Now, however, he makes no claim on that history of his. Now he has sworn to uphold the Constitution and Canons of ACNA just as he once swore to do so regarding the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church. Perhaps he will be more comfortable with this set of affirmations. So on this blog he will now be referred to as ACNA Archbishop Duncan, just as one might speak of the Traditional Anglican Communion Archbishop. When he is commenting on or referring to The Episcopal Church I will remind readers that he is not a bishop as far as this Church is concerned.
It seems to me that the relation between The Episcopal Church an the Anglican Church in North America is now similar to that between this church and any other church in Christendom. If they determine that we are the enemy, unChristian, heretical, unOrthodox, contenders spiritual warfare, or the adversary, then I suppose we are enemies. If we are united in common cause for the good of the world or in the name of Christ, then we are Friends.
It is time to move on.
There are still bits and pieces to work out. What the assisting bishop in Springfield, retired of Quincy, Bishop Ackerman, will do is still an item of interest. There are various property disputes. There is the whole question of the relation of ACNA to Canterbury. There is still the need to be watchful.
There is also the question of just what sort of thing ACNA is. We know it is a church, a church with bishops and an Archbishop / Primate. It is also called by reporter George Conger, "The 39th Province - in - waiting." This of course in support of the notion that the end game is either dual jurisdictions in North America, or ACNA's own sense that its destiny is to be THE jurisdiction of the Anglican Communion in North America. The Anglican Communion is not breaking up, it appears. Rather a second world wide Anglican grouping, one not referencing Canterbury directly and not including a number of older churches, fundamentalist in decidedly un-Anglican ways is developing. If so it will join a variety of other world-wide Anglican bodies and will take its place in the history of the Church.
Now it is time to turn to other tasks.