Global Anglicans recognize new American entity for conservatives
GAFCON primates council lends legitimacy to Anglican Communion in North America
Top conservative Anglicans have been meeting in London this week and as expected they have issued a communique that offers recognition to Bishop Robert Duncan, former Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh, and his organization the Anglican Communion in North America, a proposed new province.
The ACNA expects to meet this summer to more formally establish an organization of traditional and conservative Anglicans in the United States and Canada. In the meantime, the ligitation over church property, financial assets, trust funds, and endowments continues between the Episcopal Church and parishes and dioceses that have separated from TEC.
See below for the full statement, released early this morning:
Communique from the GAFCON/FCA Primates' Council
In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.
We meet in the week after Easter, rejoicing again in the power of the risen Lord Jesus to transform lives and situations. We continue to experience his active work in our lives and the lives of our churches and we rejoice in the Gospel of hope.
From its inception, the GAFCON movement has centered on the power of Christ to make all things new. We have heard this week of the great progress made in North America towards the creation of a new Province basing itself on this same biblical gospel of transformation and hope. We have also envisioned the future of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans as a movement for defending and promoting the biblical gospel of the risen Christ.
Yet we are saddened that the present crisis in the Anglican Communion of which we are a part remains unresolved. The recent meeting of Primates in Alexandria served only to demonstrate how deep and intractable the divisions are and to encourage us to sustain the important work of GAFCON.
The GAFCON Primates' Council has the responsibility of recognizing and authenticating orthodox Anglicans especially those who are alienated by their original Provinces. We are also called to promote the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) in its stand against false teaching and as a rallying point for orthodoxy. It is our aim to ensure that the unity of the Anglican Communion is centered on Biblical teaching rather than mere institutional loyalty. It is essential to provide a way in which faithful Anglicans, many of whom are suffering much loss, can remain as Anglicans within the Communion while distancing themselves from false teaching.
At this meeting highly significant progress was made on the following fronts.
Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA).
The FCA in its initial stages is attracting membership by individuals, churches, dioceses, provinces and organizations involving millions of Anglicans. We are heartened by the large numbers of Anglicans who share a commitment to the theological formularies of true Anglicanism that provide a firm foundation for our faith.
We have therefore reviewed the strategy and structures of the FCA to better reflect the demands now made on it. We were glad to receive from the FCA Theological Group their Commentary on the Jerusalem Declaration. We have established the FCA web-site, www.fca.net. We received reports from those involved in partnership development work in the Sudan and elsewhere.
The FCA is committed to pursue our common mission through the establishment of regional chapters and networks of Anglicans who will strengthen and support each other. We rejoice in the development of an active branch of the FCA in the United Kingdom and the proposed launch on July 6th in Westminster Central Hall, London. The establishment of an Advisory Board of bishops, clergy, and laity from around the world reflects the growing breadth of support.
The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) - Careful consideration was given to the new Province in North America. We met with Bishop Bob Duncan and other key leaders. The emergent Province consists currently of approximately 100,000 Christians in Canada and the US who wish to continue in full membership of the Anglican Communion world-wide.As a result of this process, we celebrate the organization and official formation of ACNA around the same principles that gave rise to the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and now the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA). Though many Provinces are in impaired or broken communion with TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, our fellowship with faithful Anglicans in North America remains steadfast.
The FCA Primates' Council recognizes the Anglican Church in North America as genuinely Anglican and recommends that Anglican Provinces affirm full communion with the ACNA. Anglican Covenant? As the Jerusalem Declaration insists we believe that the existing theological formularies of Anglicanism provide an adequate basis for the restoration of the relationships within the Anglican Communion. While we support the concept of an Anglican Covenant, we understand that its adequacy depends on the willingness to address the crisis that has "torn the fabric" of the Communion. We welcome the Ridley Cambridge Draft Covenant and call for principled response from the Provinces.
We value our relationships within the Anglican Communion and those with our ecumenical friends. Already, regional chapters and links are forming in many parts of the world with those who share the commitments expressed in GAFCON and FCA. We look forward in real hope to a positive response amongst the Churches, Dioceses and Provinces of the Communion to our call to enter into full communion with the new Anglican Church in North America. Only in this way, we believe, will the need for the so-called cross border incursions' come to an end and a measure of peace restored.
We are especially grateful for the contributions made by the three previous gatherings of the Global South in Limuru, Kenya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Ein-Sukhna, Egypt, and the clarion sound of the "Trumpets." We look forward to sharing in gatherings in the future.
We remain committed to the Anglican Communion and to being a faithful and creative voice for renewal within it to recapture a focus on Biblical teaching and mission. Though conscious of our inadequacies, in the light of Christ's resurrection power, we speak with confidence and seek only to serve the Lord, the people of the Anglican Communion and those who have yet to hear the life-changing message of the Gospel. We are encouraged by the Word of the Lord. The Good News of salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ is our only hope and our focus. We continue steadfastly in our commitment to share the fullness of the Gospel in our nations and around the world.
Alleluia! Christ is risen: The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!
London, April 16, 2009