Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Clifford Swartz: A response to the Bishop of Sherborne on the ACNA debate

Dear Graham,
I read with interest your interview with the Church of England Newspaper.  For your consideration and that of Fulcrum readers, especially Synod members:

1.  The Church of England is in communion with those churches as determined by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York (see Canons, p 208).  The resolution before the Synod is therefore appropriate, while the amended resolution is not.  The resolution states the desire to be in communion, which would leave it to the Archbishops to decide.  The amended resolution asks the Archbishops to report to Synod, which is inappropriate given the decision making process.

2.  The Church of England is in communion with member churches of the Anglican Communion, but also with other categories of churches, such as Extra-Provincial Dioceses (eg, Bermuda), United Churches incorporating former Anglican churches (eg, South India), Churches signing the Porvoo Declaration, and Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht.  The resolution before the Synod thus does not imply membership in the Anglican Communion, but an affirmation of common theology.  Synod members might ask if they share the same theology as the Anglican Church of North America, which affirms the doctrinal basis of the Church of England (Articles of Religion, BCP and Ordinal), noting that the Episcopal Church views these as historical documents with no authority in matters of doctrine. Read more

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