The Anglican Church of North America is facing an apparent challenge to its ecclesiastical independence from its sponsor, the Church of Nigeria. ACNA was formed as a so-called orthodox alternative to The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.
The outgoing and incoming chairmen of GAFCON are at loggerheads over the surprise unilateral appointment of four Nigerian bishops for the Anglican Church of North American (ACNA) by the House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican). ACNA is not part of the Anglican Communion but is recognized by provinces of the communion who belong to GAFCON.
ACNA is led by Archbishop Foley Beach who becomes chairman of GAFCON in April. The current chairman of GAFCON is Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, primate of the Church of Nigeria.
An ACNA news release dated January 2018 states “Conversations between Archbishop Beach and Archbishop Okoh are ongoing as they seek a way forward that honors Christ and his Church, and builds up the Gafcon movement.”
The full statement by ACNA follows.
As was reported last week, the Bishops of the Church of Nigeria have elected four bishops for the Anglican Diocese of the Trinity to minister in North America.
These elections did not follow the Protocol between the Anglican Church in North America and the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), and were not made in consultation with the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America. The bishops-elect still have to go through the Church of Nigeria’s credentialing process. It is not intended that they will be a part of the Anglican Church in North America’s College of Bishops.
Conversations between Archbishop Beach and Archbishop Okoh are ongoing as they seek a way forward that honors Christ and his Church, and builds up the Gafcon movement.
Bishop Dobbs and Bishop Orji commented on the situation, “This does not directly affect the mission and ministry of the other CANA dioceses. While we are disappointed by the way this election process has unfolded, this is not a situation that affects our local parishes and their commitment to making disciples and followers of Jesus.”