Under the heading of “Things to Celebrate,” we find this:
In a different way, as a GAFCON/GFCA Province we are full partners with a majority of the world’s Anglicans. Twice a year I participate in the GAFCON/GFCA Primates Council. An even larger constellation of Anglican Provinces – the so-called Global South – also always includes our leadership in their global gatherings. The Church of England continues to follow-through on the General Synod motion of 2010, a follow-through that, I am convinced, will lead to the recognition of our orders within another year or so. Recently I spent four and a half hours with the Archbishop of Canterbury, at his invitation.Duncan loves to associate himself with his Global South friends, but those friends increasingly isolate themselves from the larger Anglican Communion, of which they are nominally members. It is not at all clear that ACNA friendships with the likes of Uganda and Nigeria will ingratiate ACNA with the mainstream Anglican Communion, which surely includes the Church of England.
The reference to the 2010 General Synod resolution of the Church of England is ironic. ACNA has interpreted the resolution as supportive. In its original form, it surely was. As amended and passed, however, it did little more than acknowledge that ACNA wanted into the Communion. (See the Guardian story here and Mark Harris’s post here.) It is hard to invest much credibility in Duncan’s prediction that the Church of England will recognize ACNA orders—whatever that means—“within another year or so.” Certainly, the Church of England has bigger issues to deal with, in any case.
More disturbing is the revelation that Duncan recently met with Justin Welby at his invitation for “four and a half hours.” What does the Archbishop of Canterbury think he’s doing? I certainly have no idea, but it is difficult not to see meeting with Duncan as a hostile act from an Episcopal Church perspective.
Under the heading “Final Questions and Exhortation,” Duncan noted that the breakaway South Carolina group led by Mark Lawrence was attending the ACNA meeting, as was the Jubilee Pentecostal Fellowship of Churches. Both of them were, apparently, considering aligning themselves with ACNA. The presence of the Mark Lawrence faction is hardly a surprise, of course. I have not been able to determine just what the “Jubilee Pentecostal Fellowship of Churches” is, but it certainly doesn’t sound very Anglican, however one chooses to define “Anglican.”
In his final paragraph, Duncan declares, “As it turned out, few of us got to take any gold or silver or copper.” Surely, this is disingenuous. Duncan and his minions tried to steal the entire Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh from The Episcopal Church. At least for the moment he has succeeded in “liberating” the diocesan office and much of the real and personal property that rightly belongs to The Episcopal Church. Perhaps other elements of ACNA have been less successful thieves.
Finally, I have to point out the peculiarity of an ACNA event taking place at what is nominally an Episcopal seminary. In fact, Nashotah House was hijacked by forces hostile to The Episcopal Church two decades ago, and the seminary’s board now includes Duncan and others whose antipathy to The Episcopal Church is well documented. Nashotah House has become the Anglo-Catholic analogue of the Evangelical Trinity School for Ministry, a sort of Trinity of the North. The Episcopal Church should repudiate both seminaries as Episcopal institutions and acknowledge that they have been instrumental in undermining, rather than supporting, The Episcopal Church.