Q&A on new ACNA bishop in Europe

 

Q&A on new ACNA bishop in Europe

What did the Gafcon Primates ask of our Province?

The Primates asked our Province to take on the task of consecrating Canon Andy Lines of the UK as a Missionary Bishop for Europe with a special focus on providing Episcopal oversight to those clergy and congregations in Scotland who have asked for our help, and those in England who are outside of the two existing Provinces there.

What has been the process that has occurred to lead to this Consecration?

The Scottish Episcopal Church began taking steps to change its marriage canons a couple years ago, took the first formal step last June, and are expected to take the final step this June. The Gafcon Primates have been considering this action and this individual for over a year. Once asked to take this on by the Gafcon Primates at their April 2017 meeting in Lagos, the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America met on May 3, 2017 and according to Title III, Canon 8, Section 6, voted unanimously to grant permission for the Archbishop to create a Bishop for Special Mission entitled “Gafcon Missionary Bishop for Europe.” According to the same Canon, the Executive Committee of the Anglican Church in North America was not only consulted and offered counsel on 16 May 2017, but affirmed by resolution for the Anglican Church in North America to move forward with this consecration.

What oversight is being provided by the College of Bishops? Archbishop Foley Beach appointed an Oversight Committee consisting of the former Archbishop, The Most Rev. Robert Duncan, as the chair and three diocesan bishops. This team is to guide Canon Andy Lines through our College process, and to provide guidance and accountability once he is consecrated.

How can the College of Bishops consecrate someone who is not in the Anglican Church in North America?

The Rev. Canon Andy Lines is now a part of the Anglican Church in North America. According to Title III, Canon 5, Section 3, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of the South voted to receive Andy Lines into the Diocese of the South on 2 May 2017. Canon Lines was received into the Diocese of the South recently and issued a Letter of Canonical Residence stating that he is now domiciled in the Anglican Diocese of the South and has License to Minister.

What is a Bishop with Special Mission?

Since the foundation of the Province, the canons of the Anglican Church in North America have provided for Bishops with Special Mission. The Bishop is chosen to work directly under the supervision of the College of Bishops for a missionary purpose determined by the College. (Title III, Canon 8, Section 6.)

Has there ever been a Bishop with Special Mission in the Anglican Church in North America?

Yes. Bp. Bill Ilgenfritz was the first Bishop with Special Mission. His task was to gather Forward in Faith congregations and clergy from all over the United States and Canada. As these congregations and clergy were gathered, they petitioned to be recognized as a Diocese-in-Formation. (Title I, Canon 5, Section 6.) Eventually they became the All Saints Diocese with Bp. Ilgenfritz as Diocesan. Does the Bishop with Special Mission belong to a Diocese?

Canon Lines will be a member of the Diocese of the South until he is consecrated. Thereafter he will be directly under the College of Bishops, which has a supervisory responsibility that may be exercised either by the Archbishop or bishop(s) appointed by the Archbishop.

Are Clergy under the Bishop with Special Mission part of the Anglican Church in North America?

Since all clergy ordained by a Bishop of the Anglican Church in North America must be ordained under the provisions of Title III, Canons 1-4, any ordinations would need to occur under the auspices of a recognized Diocese. Until such time as a Diocese-in-Formation (or a Diocese) is organized, the Diocese of the Anglican Network in Canada has agreed to work with the Bishop with Special Mission to satisfy this canonical requirement. Similarly, clergy already ordained by a Bishop in the Historic Succession could be received initially into Canada as Clergy under the Bishop for Special Mission under the provisions of Title III, Canon 5, Section 3, or Canon 6, Section 1.

Are the Congregations under the Bishop with Special Mission part of a diocese of the Anglican Church in North America?

Initially they will be received into the Anglican Network in Canada who will provide special oversight through the Bishop for Special Mission.. In the future, they could apply together for, and receive, recognition either as a Diocese-in-Formation or a Diocese of the Anglican Church in North America. Alternatively, they could choose to organize as an extra-Provincial Diocese within the Gafcon fellowship like the Diocese of Recife or the Reformed Episcopal Diocese of Cuba.

Who will be involved in the Consecration of the GAFCON Missionary Bishop to Europe?

The Chief Consecrator will be Archbishop Foley Beach assisted by the Gafcon Primates, Archbishops and bishops from Provinces around the world, and the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America.

Why Now?

The Nairobi Communiqué from Gafcon 2013 stated clearly that Gafcon would respond to the calls of the Faithful in Provinces who have departed from the Biblical Faith and Tradition of the Church as handed down to us by the Apostles of Jesus Christ. Recent events by the Scottish Episcopal Church have given many of its Faithful no choice but to seek alternative oversight. Having been offered lifeboats of Episcopal oversight and pastoral care by Provinces of Gafcon and the Global South in our time of need, we in the Anglican Church in North America cannot ignore the pleas of the Biblically Faithful in Scotland.

What is the history between Scotland, North America, and the Anglican Communion?

Historically, the Church of England refused to consecrate the first bishop for the United States, but instead the gift was bestowed through pastoral action taken by the Scots. Bishop Samuel Seabury of Connecticut was consecrated by three Scottish bishops in Aberdeen on 14 November 1784, and returned to help lead faithful Anglicans in the United States. We believe it is providential that, many years later, we in North America now have the opportunity during this time of reformation within the Anglican Communion to consecrate a bishop for the faithful in Scotland.

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