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.
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