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Breakaway diocese falsely claims ACNA is part of Anglican Communion

Breakaway diocese falsely claims ACNA is part of Anglican Communion

The breakaway diocese in South Carolina is considering whether to affiliate with the Anglican Church of North America. ACNA is not recognized as a member by the Anglican Communion.

Yet, the breakaway Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina states:

The Diocese of South Carolina is considering affiliating with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

The Diocese’s Affiliation Task Force recommended the association during the 225th annual Diocesan Convention in Bluffton this weekend. Affiliation would require the Diocese to approve affiliation in two future conventions….

Before affiliation the Task Force will host meetings throughout the Diocese to brief clergy and church members about the benefits of affiliation and ask questions about the possible move.

Founded in 1785, the Diocese was one of eight dioceses across the country to help form the Episcopal Church in 1789. It separated from the Episcopal Church in 2012. ACNA is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, whose membership now exceeds 85 million worshipers in more than 165 countries.

Emphasis added.

ACNA describes its relationship to the Anglican Communion as follows:

On April 16, 2009 it [ACNA] was recognized as a province of the global Anglican Communion, by the Primates of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans [Gafcon].

In 2014 the Charleston Post and Courier published an article referencing an Archbishop of Canterbury interview headlined Archbishop says ACNA not part of the Anglican Communion. The interview was conducted by the Church of Ireland Gazette: Justin Welby said,

It is not part of the Anglican Communion … [ACNA is] a separate church.

Nor does the Anglican Consultative Council recognize ACNA. Its archbishop is not a member of the Primates Meeting. The ACC is the body through which a new province would be recognized. ACNA has not applied for membership.

A decision this month is expected from the South Carolina Supreme Court in the property dispute between the breakaway diocese and the loyal diocese.


Added 26 March – On or about 24 March the breakaway diocese posted the Report from the Task Force for Provincial Affiliation. That report is more careful and does not make the false claim about ACNA’s relationship to the Anglican Communion.

Photo: Sheldon Church



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Bill Reeder

The train has left the station on this. It doesn’t matter except to the church cognoscenti.

Time to move on. Time to settle with Lawrence’s crew. We really don’t want to “win” that lawsuit.

Jeremy Bates

Bill Reeder, I’m not sure what you mean.

The loyal SC diocese is moving on.

It has every chance of winning the appeal, and I don’t see why that is not (in your view) a desirable result.

But leaving that outcome aside, ECinSC seems to be moving forward healthily. Among other things, it will soon have its first bishop transition since the schism. That’s a sign of stability and institutional capacity–in other words, normalcy.

Jim Naughton

Just my read, but I think the Canterbury meeting moved ACNA further from communion membership.

Fr Enoch Opuka

The TEC once a pillar in helping poor Anglican Churches is now fighting itself. ACNA and TEC embroiled in property claims. Time the Episcopalians in USA sat down together and find a way of all them and I mean all them feel comfortable being Episcopalians. Stop the issue we against them

JC Fisher

Those in ACNA don’t consider themselves Episcopalians, Fr Enoch. They marked themselves out as a “them” to the Episcopal Church, alas.

JoS. S. Laughon

Sadly these fights will become more and more common. Furthermore it seems that the ACNA will in fact one day be a member of the communion. The reconciliation of the FCoE and the welcome Foley received when discussing how the Spirit is moving in the ACNA does give me hope.

Jeremy Bates

The day the Anglican Communion admits ACNA is the day the Anglican Communion loses all pretense of catholicity.

I’m with Lionel. If the Anglican Communion is no longer TEC, and TEC only, in the United States, then I don’t see any benefit for TEC.

At that point we should just leave the Communion. It will bring no benefit, and a lot of baggage. Such as institutional homophobia.

David Allen

There isn’t anything Catholic about competing provinces in the same geographical jurisdiction. Allowing ACNA into a Communion that already has TEC isn’t making the AC more universal, it is catering to the demands of a tiny schismatic group.

JoS. S. Laughon

I’m seeing a few contradictions here.

The more universal we make a Communion by adding Communion partners, the less catholic (i.e universal) it is.

The Communion should be universal, which means if they expand it to people we disagree with, we should make it smaller by leaving and thus make TEC less universal.


Lionel Deimel

Let’s say it once and for all—The Episcopal Church’s claim on property has nothing whatever to do with our membership in The Anglican Communion. The church’s rules were codified before there even was an Anglican Communion, and our church will be around long after the Communion is history.

Personally, I have often felt that the Communion, per se, provides a single, unique benefit—an exclusive franchise for a geographic area. If we lose that by admitting ACNA into the Communion, we should leave the Communion and retain whatever connections between churches, dioceses, and parishes that are mutually agreeable. This will also free up money for doing useful things.

The Communion has spent the last decade and a third fighting about sexuality. No souls have been saved in the making of this combat.

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