ACNA archbishop enters immigration debate

Foley Beach has defended his decision to sign an open letter on immigration prepared by World Relief

The primate of the Anglican Church in North America has defended his decision to sign an open letter on immigration prepared by World Relief, entering the partisan political debates over “Dreamers” (illegal aliens brought to the United States as children).

Last month World Relief, the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals published the letter to President Trump as a full page advertisement in the Washington Post.

“As Christian leaders, we have a commitment to caring for the vulnerable in our churches while also supporting just, compassionate, and welcoming policies toward refugees and other immigrants,” the letter said.

However, it went on to reject the president’s call to end chain migration — a policy that allows U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (or “Green card” holders) to apply for visas for their their their children, spouses, parents, and siblings. “God ordained the family as the cornerstone of society, and we believe that our country is stronger when our citizens can be quickly reunited with their close family members,” it said.

“For some US citizens, the waiting period can be years or even decades. We pray you will respect the unity of the family,” the letter said.

In a statement given to Anglican Ink, the Most Rev. Foley Beach said he had signed the letter in “his capacity as the Archbishop.”

Asked by AI by what authority he could sign the statement as primate of the ACNA, when the ACNA’s college of bishops or councils had not taken a stance on the issue, his spokesman responded:

“At his discretion, the Archbishop may choose to speak into issues facing the culture.”

The note went on to say:

“Statements from the Archbishop may have persuasive authority, but in these instances they do not commit the Church as a whole to a particular position.  The Church’s definitive stance on issues facing the culture is found in the Constitution and Canons as passed by the Provincial Council and Provincial Assembly.  To date, the full weight of the Anglican Church in North America’s authority has only been articulated on two controversial moral issues facing our nations: the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of life.  On other controversial issues facing our nations it is recognized that faithful Christians may arrive at differing conclusions, and we urge our members to search the scriptures, follow their conscience, and pray for wisdom for our elected leaders.”

World Relief Washington Post Letter 2018.02.06 by George Conger on Scribd

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