No money, no takeover

Rev. J. Philip Ashey
It seems that the departed Anglican Church of North America is coming to terms with the fact that it won't be recognised as part of the Anglican Communion.

“We do not believe that Canterbury will recognize us, at least while the current archbishop is still in office,” said the Rev. J. Philip Ashey, the AAC’s chief operating officer and chaplain, in a brief speech in the suburbs of Richmond, Va.

On the other hand that may not matter too much. There is always the second best:
Echoing the sentiments of the Jerusalem Declaration, Fr. Ashey suggested that Canterbury’s recognition will be less important as various provinces in the Global South recognize the ACNA. He said representatives from Kenya, Rwanda, the Southern Cone of South America, and Uganda are expected to attend a provincial assembly in Texas in June, where the ACNA will vote on a proposed constitution and canons.

The Three Legged Stool writes that 'the schismatics' are running out of money and, except in Virginia, are consistently losing legal battles over property.

It is, as TTLS observes, a long way from the high hopes of the Chapman Memo which outlined the battleplan of the conservatives in 2003.

Instead of replacing TEC leadership and direction they have mostly left and gone their own way. The consequent decimation of the conservative voice within TEC has left the liberals stronger.

The conservatives will now have to put a lot of time and energy into rebuilding their own structures, finances and planning for a longer term future as an autonomous denomination. This in itself will help bind them together.

They will have to do this on a different basis from the things which held them together as a protest group. Without TEC, and specifically the central leadership and bureaucracy of TEC, as their unifying enemy they will need some other internal bones on which to build some flesh. As they rebuild so they will reshape themselves.

Both processes will set them further apart from broader Anglicanism. In the land where private enterprise is still (notwithstanding the present blip) a central creed one more denomionation is scarecly going to ruffle the ecumenical waters.

In the Anglican Communion there will be a bounce, though a small one and probably not till long after the coming ACC meeting. If money is tight and no longer supporting conservative programmes in other parts of the Anglican world (not just Africa), and if the voice of those demanding division and a 'biblical' denunciation of inclusive attitudes is muted, then there will be no shift to global liberalism. There may well be a shift back to business as usual, and no bad thing.

In the mean time we await the latest version of the Anglican Covenant. Will it be soft and cuddly, all amigos together? Or will it still be a policeman with slightly concealed truncheon in the name of global unity and order? My money, such as it is, is on the latter.

1 comment:

  1. At last an acknowledgement that 'the schismatics are running out of money'. It's not surprising as bribing Africans is an expensive and never-ending business. Getting delegates from Africa and the Southern Cone to Texas for example will cost a fortune, especially as many of them will expect to travel first class.

    Now is Canterbury's moment to do what they have hitherto been best at: 'nothing'.