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ACNA Archbishop on “counterfeit” reconciliation of Truro ACNA with Diocese of Virginia

ACNA Archbishop on “counterfeit” reconciliation of Truro ACNA with Diocese of Virginia

ACNA’s Archbishop, Foley Beach, reacts to the reconciliation of Truro ACNA and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia:

I have only recently been made aware of the “Truro Institute,” described as “A School of Peace and Reconciliation” which is proposed to be jointly led by Truro Anglican Church, Fairfax, VA, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

… I have been amazed at the godly counsel, patience, and goodness of Bishop Guernsey in these discussions. I am disappointed that they have not just ignored, but defied our counsel. In doing so they have entered into a legal relationship with the Episcopal Church that makes them unequally yoked. It requires the permission of the Episcopal bishop for me to visit, and it creates an Episcopal Diocese of Virginia center of ministry with a required on-campus presence of one of their bishops. The decision to partner with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in this way is not in harmony with the Bible’s instruction in dealing with false teachers, and it denigrates the costly sacrifice of the many congregations who had their buildings and assets taken by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

It is ironic to begin a “Peace and Reconciliation” center when you are not at peace with your own bishop and archbishop. Truro has been a leader in the renewal of North American Anglicanism, giving a robust defense of the Gospel, and refusing to peddle any counterfeit. It is my hope that they will uphold that heritage, resist counterfeit versions of “reconciliation,” and fulfill their calling among the leading congregations of the Anglican Church in North America.

Emphasis added.

The Café’s coverage of the announcement of the Truro Institute is here.

Bishop John Guernsey of ACNA’s Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic also has a statement (PDF):

I have repeatedly expressed to the Truro leadership my deep concerns over the possibility of their conducting this ministry in partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. Because of the false teaching of the Episcopal Church, I asked them not to enter into a joint ministry with the Episcopal Diocese. …

The Truro leadership has chosen to proceed in joint ministry with the Episcopal Diocese in spite of my opposition. I am deeply grieved by this, and I hope Truro will reconsider.

In 2013 Guernsey wrote about an event in the Diocese of Virginia:

I have talked with Tory Baucum [Truro’s rector] about this. He is grieved over this situation and agrees with my determination that this relationship with Bishop Johnston can no longer continue. We long for the Body of Christ to reflect the unity for which our Lord Jesus prayed (John 17:20-23), but there can be no reconciliation with The Episcopal Church apart from its repentance for false teaching and practice and its return to the truth of the historic Christian faith.

Beach’s opposition puts him at odds with the Archbishop of Canterbury who said of the Institute:

The Peace Centre will proclaim that reconciliation is the gospel, with God through Christ, but like the Temple in Ezekiel 47, releasing a flood of water that as a mighty river becomes the place of fruitfulness and healing for the nations. Thank you for your step of faith. We too will work with you as best we can.

Photo: Shannon Johnston (L); Foley Beach (R)


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David Allen

I’m an Anglican from a developing nation and a person of color. I’m not in need of anti-racism training. I have experienced a lot of racism during my life, to the point of occasionally fearing for my life.

I also remember the kid-glove treatment when I first arrived for 4 years of graduate study at a US seminary. I was from a 3rd world country and wasn’t responsible for what I had been taught! But I recognize theology that is primitive, unevolved and unenlightened. That was the same theology our colonial conquerors/occupiers brought with them and passed to us.

Today many of us are not only leaving that theology behind ourselves, we are bringing our families and friends with us. The fact that it was forced upon us 500 years ago is no longer an excuse for clinging to it today, regardless of where in the developing world it exists; Latin America, Africa, SE Asia or Oceana.

Philip B. Spivey

Tell me then, why only bishops of color are referred to as “primitive, unevolved and unenlightened”; and why I’ve never heard right-wing, anti-LGBT prelates in Europe and the United States referred to that way.

Yup. Another pass at our Anti-racism workshop may enlighten.

David Allen

I have heard bishops of all ethnic and racial heritages and their theology called that quite often. As well as the leadership of non-episcopal denominations.

You don’t have the market wrapped up on racism. Your experience isn’t the only experience that counts here. So perhaps stop trying to be cute or clever and deciding who you think needs to take what workshop and accept the fact that other people of color may have different experiences and understandings to yours, that carry as much value as yours.

Quigg Lawrence

The many bishops I know in Africa and Asia have serious degrees from places a lot more theologically and academically rigorous than the TEC seminaries. All churches have problems and challenges, for sure. But for a wealthy westerner to disparage Africans as unevolved and backwards is beyond offensive. I would suggest that this TEC ‘r needs to pull the beam out before looking for the speck in the African and Asian “eye.”

Quigg Lawrence

Wow. . .

“As for the 2/3rds crowd, most of that is the African provinces and many of them are generations behind in their cultural evolution and enlightenment – still embracing outmoded authoritarian (non-representative) church governance (which is not authentic Anglicanism”

That is an unfounded, broad brush opinion that strikes a high note of cultural elitism and prejudice – not exactly the Jesus Revolution.

Reminds me of Bishop Spong’s insults of the African Anglicans. They have a higher percentage of earned doctorates including Ph.D’s than TEC bishops

Philip B. Spivey

The current generation of progressive Western Anglicans, have righteously declared open season on the so-called backward African and Asian bishops.

It’s time we read our history. In sum: these bishops still hold the potted-plant bestowed upon them by 19th Anglican colonial missionaries. Our Anglican ancestors planted a particular kind of Christianity in the African continent— not dissimilar from the kind we currently disparage. So, now that the fruits no longer suit the Western appetite, we denigrate them. Fundamentally, the West would like to do (once more) is to control what Africans think and say. It’s time to acknowledge that the colonial chickens have come home to roost.

Likewise, Episcopalians who characterize current-day African or Asian bishops as “backward, unenlightened or primitive” should seriously consider re-taking TEC’s Anti-Racism two-day workshop. It will enlighten.

David Allen

Many college degrees aren’t worth the paper upon which the diploma is printed.

There are many issues that surround the churches of some African nations that, were they to appear in the Western nations, you would consider primitive, superstitious, backward, authoritarian, etc. Do we look away and not name it for what it is because it is occurring in Africa or other developing nations?

Art Stewart

Sorry Quigg but your characterization of my input as sarcasm is unfortunate and inaccurate. It is blunt, surely, but not meant to be sarcastic, thank you. It has been typical of ACNA promoters, beginning with Robert Duncan’s pack of the true schismatics, to flame-throw at those who supported TEC by insulting their character and attacking them personally – the Virtue-on-Line crowd being but one good demonstration. I’m not suggesting that this is your intention but the generally-practiced tactic has been to attack the messenger’s credibility rather than debate the facts. As for the 2/3rds crowd, most of that is the African provinces and many of them are generations behind in their cultural evolution and enlightenment – still embracing outmoded authoritarian (non-representative) church governance (which is not authentic Anglicanism) and living under violent, corrupt, discriminatory and misogynistic political regimes with long histories of genocide. And please provide evidence of proportionate populations of women, people of color, LGBT and folks under age 40 in real leadership positions within ACNA. Hmm. Case closed.

William (Bill) Paul

Please cite one single sentence that +Bob Duncan uttered that maligned anyone. Even when the canons were explicitly not followed in his deposition, he took the high road.

Quigg Lawrence

Art, sarcasm is not helpful in civil dialogue. Could you define “The Gospel” and the “faith once delivered to the Saints?” These are essential to understanding the fissure. More than 2/3’rds of the Anglican Communion have severed ties with TEC because of TEC’s low view, interpretation and application of Scripture. The supermajority of those who have severed ties with TEC worldwide are NOT “white, rigid or dry.” By way of fact check, neither the National Church nor the diocese gave one dime to buy the land and churches they took. Doesn’t pass the fairness test of ++Curry’s “Jesus Revolution” love ethic.

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