The Church of England sent an observer to the Anglican Church in North America gathering in Long Beach, California this week, and their leader is very pleased but others are perplexed. Last year the General Synod of the Church of England rejected a motion to recognize ACNA, so what was the purpose this visit?
Thinking Anglicans has the story:
According to the remarks of the Archbishop and Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, Robert Duncan, speaking on 21 June:
It is also a privilege to welcome Fr. Thomas Seville, CR, of the Faith and Order Commission of the Church of England here as participant and observer, in partial response to the action of the General Synod of the Church of England in February 2010 regarding consideration of an appropriate form of recognition or relationship with the Anglican Church in North America.
Mark Harris wonders if the CofE knows that the presence of even an observer continues to raise the hopes of the breakaway denomination that they will one day be welcomed back into the fold.
I have no idea if the CofE or the ABC has any idea just how ACNA will use the presence of a representative of the Faith and Order Commission of the Cof E at the ACNA meeting. But it is clear that ACNA knows how to use it. They use it to suggest that they are being taken seriously, that they are loved, or at least liked.