10/20/2009

Anglicans Down Under on "will any two of the three will do?"

Anglicans Down Under, a really thoughtful blog from New Zealand, posted an entry titled, Diocese, Province, Communion: will any two of the three do? Go read this fine blog, regularly.

In this essay the author Peter Carrell writes, "Yes, the Anglican Communion could be an ecumenical fellowship rather than something with aspiration and momentum towards becoming a world church. Would it not be in the spirit of ecumenicity to then invite all Anglicans to this ecumenical fellowship, including ACNA, AMIA, CESA, and other networks and churches currently debarred from the Communion?" He was responding in part to my post, "A Fourth Way Revisited" and to one of his own readers.

There may very well be a future in which ACNA, AMIA CESA, ect all are able to be included in an ecumenical Anglican fellowship. The primary way in I suspect is by way of common concern for the world, for the other. Relief and development agencies can work together through interdenominational agencies such as council of churches. Being in communion with one another is not part of the requirements.

In terms of the Anglican Communion the ecumenical character is bound up in the fact that we are autonomous independent churches, but ones that share a common sensibility about common prayer, core doctrines, family history, etc. The problem is the matter of shunning, disowning, distancing, or just plain snubbing. Taking ACNA as an example, they exist in large part because they believe The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada are unchristian. While they might work with us in an ecumenical context like that of a council of churches, they in no way will share fellowship with us as fellow be livers.

And not to put a fine point on it, I cannot see how ACNA and TEC can be part of the same fellowship of churches if ACNA believes TEC to be unchristian and exists to be the "true" example of the brand "Anglican" in North America.

That is, I believe ACNA and TEC might well belong to a council of churches in the US, but not to an ecumenical fellowship of Anglicans, since ACNA does not believe TEC is Anglican.

2 comments:

  1. Oh, lets be fair. ACNA at least in some of its many nooks and crannies does not think TEC is Christian. "Anglian" is a complete non-issue.

    FWIW
    jimB

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree there is a problem around any kind of fellowship between TEC and AMIA, ACNA etc is there is not common recognition of each other as Christian and/or Anglican.

    ReplyDelete

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