Contrary to news reports that a new North American province pledging allegiance to the Anglican Communion is being created today, such is not the case. It is not possible to unilaterally declare yourself to be a province of the Anglican Communion. The AP’s early report is more on target: a new group is forming its own denomination which it says represents true Anglican beliefs.
If that denomination wishes to call itself a province that’s a good example of the exercise of doublethink. You can’t name yourself as a province of the Anglican Communion, and it drains the word of meaning for a body to call itself a province. In short, the usage can only be meant to confuse and manipulate.
And, what of the market niche for this new denomination?
James Naughton, canon for communications and advancement in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, and a liberal who frequently blogs on Anglican affairs, said he doubted that a rival Anglican province could grow much larger.
“I think this organization does not have much of a future because there are already a lot of churches in the United States for people who don’t want to worship with gays and lesbians,” he said. “That’s not a market niche that is underserved.”
Funny thing: The Episcopal Church is not a rival in that market.
The New York Times article concludes by noting that despite the things that bring the new body together, there are plenty of internal factions as well.