ACNA is Anglican

Seven archbishops repudiate Archbishop Justin Welby’s assertion that ACNA is not Anglican

[Atlanta, GA} The Anglican Church in North America is Anglican and its primate is an archbishop of the Anglican Communion, declared seven archbishops last night.

At the close of the prayer of investitute of the Most Rev. Foley Beach at the Church of the Apostles on 9 Oct 2014, the primates of Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, Myanmar, Jerusalem and the Middle East and South America, and bishops representing the primates of the Congo, Sudan and South East Asia laid hands on Archbishop Beach. Giving him their primatial blessing, they also acknowledged him by word and through laying on of hands to be a fellow primate of the Anglican Communion.

The archbishops’ act comes one week after the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told the Church of Ireland Gazette the ACNA was an ecumenical partner of the Anglican Communion and was not Anglican.

In their formal statements of greeting delivered to the 1500 people attending the service at the Anglican megachurch led by Dr. Michael Youseff in suburban Atlanta, the primates offered greetings and congratulations to the new archbishop and expressed the fellowship of their churches with the ACNA, but declined to press home their statement that Archbishop Foley was a primate of the Anglican Communion.

After the service, those primates approached by Anglican Ink declined to be drawn on this issue. A leader of the ACNA familiar with the deliberations of the primates said the manner in which their endorsement of Archbishop Beach was given had been formulated to express their views on his status, while avoiding a direct confrontation with Archbishop Welby at this time.

Since 2008 the GAFCON primates have affirmed their fellowship with the ACNA. Last night saw primates of the Global South Coalition — conservative church leaders outside the Gafcon movement and seen as closer to Canterbury — join their African colleagues in validating publically the ACNA’s Anglican credentials.

The signficance of the statement, said one highly placed source who asked not to be identified as he was not authorized to speak for his peers, was that the 10 churches had made their positions quite clear to Archbishop Welby. If, as he told the BBC last Sunday, he would be guided by the mind of the primates in deciding issues of Anglican ecclesiology (such as the time of the primates meeting and structure and timing of the Lambeth Conferences), then he must now know that archbishops representing the majority of Anglicans worshipping today were in solidarity with the ACNA — and  citing Daniel 6:15 said there was no turning back. {“Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.”)

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