Following up on a story first posted by Mark Harris, and reported on the Café here, The Church of England Newspaper reports that the Anglican Consultative Council does not intend any sort of tacit recognition of the Anglican Church in North America by the appointment of an ACNA priest to an ACC committee.
"The presence of a member of the Anglican Church of North American (ACNA) on the Anglican Consultative Council’s Evangelism and Church Growth Initiative (ECGI) is not a stalking horse for the ‘back door’ recognition of the breakaway group, a spokesman for the Anglican Consultative Council tells The Church of England Newspaper.
[...]A spokesman for the ACC told CEN the charges that the ACNA was somehow being given formal status through Dr. Linnell’s appointment were unfounded.
While membership on Communion initiatives like the ECGI comes through proposals made by provinces, Dr. Linnell was ‘one of four people who were co-opted to the ECGI group for their expertise in a particular area. In his case it is his role as leader of the Anglican Frontier Mission and his significant experience of evangelism to unreached peoples,’ said ACC spokesman Jan Butter."
Read the full article here.
Mark Harris though argues that's not the real issue:
But back to the issue. I previously wrote, "For a Church that often exemplifies the niceties of formal relationships and for an Archbishop who is so concerned not to have members of a church that is unrepentant of Windsor demands part of its ecumenical work, there seems to be no parallel concern about having members of churches not in communion with Canterbury and schismatic part of a working group of the Anglican Communion."
That still stands.
And let the reader understand that my question has not been about Dr. Linnell's work with Anglican Frontier Missions. The question is about inclusion of a priest member of a church that views the evangelical activities of The Episcopal Church to be a misappropriation of the Good News under the guise of greater inclusion. I have no notion if Dr. Linnell shares the condemnatory opinion of his Archbishop. Since he does not "represent any ecclesial body" that may not matter.
What matters is that the Evangelism and Church Growth Initiative has co-opted Dr. Linnell for his expertese, and the press release on this made no note of that fact. We might well wonder if the Anglican Communion Office overlooked this oddity and forgot to mention that some members of ECGI were co-opted from mission organizations. Or perhaps the ACO simply does not understand that, having been excused from participation in various Anglican Communion bodies, we in The Episcopal Church might be somewhat sensitive to the idea of co-opting members of a church whose existence is based on the premise that The Episcopal Church has departed from the Gospel.