Tales from ACNA-Land: Duncan says Canterbury is “lost”
A popular refrain among Anglican secessionists is that the Episcopal Church is in error, and that they (ACNA) should be the sole representative of the Anglican Communion in the United States. So you might be surprised to learn that ACNA’s leader, Bishop Robert Duncan, has gone on the record saying that not even the Archbishop of Canterbury is Anglican enough to suit him. Even the gathering of Anglican bishops from around the world, the Lambeth Conference, is not good enough for ACNA.
The Living Church reports Duncan’s remarks made in 2007.
“Never, ever has he spoken publicly in defense of the orthodox in the United States,” Bishop Duncan said of the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, adding that “the cost is his office.” “To lose that historic office is a cost of such magnitude that God must be doing a new thing,” he said. “The fact is that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not led in a way that might have saved his office and might have saved Lambeth,” Bishop Duncan said. “In this crisis, we’ve had no leader to lead,” he said. Asked if he thought that being in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury was essential to being Anglican, Bishop Duncan said that being obedient to scripture is of greater importance than being recognized by Canterbury.
So if the Archbishop of Canterbury isn’t suitable, one wonders why ACNA seeks recognition from the Church of England. One wonders why the Church of England would even contemplate recognizing these secessionists? At this rate, Bishop Duncan will soon be in communion with only one bishop: himself.
Duncan’s judgment of Canterbury provoked Ephraim Radner to resign from the Anglican Communion Network. Radner, no liberal, had this to say:
I have come to the conclusion that unity among conservatives has not in fact been a goal for many, and that to pretend otherwise is confusing matters gravely; it should be, of course, but until there is greater honesty, it will not be. The unity of the Communion is under such serious threat, and is of such a value, that allowing words, actions, and strategies that are undermining our future go unquestioned, immediately and forcefully, is a dereliction of Christian responsibility.
The schismatic power-driven agenda is clear. That’s why it is important that no one fuel their agenda. Instead, we can stand ready with open arms to welcome home those who left the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. Jesus prayed for the unity of the church, and we should do the same.