Potential new province of the Anglican Communion: a living example

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ACNS reports steps are underway that would lead to a 40th province of the Anglican Communion:

Major steps were taken this weekend in the journey towards the creation of the 40th Province of the Anglican Communion, when two new bishops were created for the Diocese of Chile. The diocese is currently part of the province of the Anglican Church of South America, but is set to become its own autonomous Anglican Communion Province later this year. The move has been ratified by both the diocesan Synod and the Provincial College of Bishops. Next month an international delegation led by the Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop Paul Kwong of Hong Kong, will visit Chile to decide whether it is ready to become the 40th Province of the Anglican Communion.

Whether an application to be a province is accepted is in the hands of the Anglican Consultative Council. Chili is a live example. The 39 provinces are listed here at the Anglican Communion website.

Assertions, that have been proven false, have been made in recent years by other groups that they are member churches of the Anglican Communion.

For example, in 2012 John Yates, the rector of the schismatic Falls Church said “We will stay in the Anglican Communion under the Archbishop of Canterbury, but through a different branch [ACNA].” As reported by the Café at the time,

ACNA is not a member of the Anglican Communion. It has not applied for membership to the Anglican Communion. Its leader, Archbishop Robert Duncan, has never been invited to the Primates Meeting, which is chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury. When a member of ACNA attempted to attend a meeting of the Anglican Consultative Conference on behalf of the Church of Uganda, the Council–which is also chaired by the Archbishop of Canterbury–refused to seat him.

ACNA has close relationships with numerous provinces within the Anglican Communion. ACNA argues that because some of its bishops are considered bishops of these churches, that they are therefore bishops in the Anglican Communion. But individual provinces do not have the authority to confer corporate membership in the Communion unilaterally.

In 2016 the breakaway Diocese of South Carolina also claimed it was in the Anglican Communion:

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.

As the Café reported, at that time ACNA claimed it was a part of the Anglican Communion:

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].

But in 2014 the Archbishop of Canterbury stated ACNA is not a province of the communion:

Recently, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion and the General Secretary of Gafcon issued dueling statements over the breakaway province of Brazil recognized by Gafcon. Gafcon only obliquely concedes that ACNA and the breakaway province of Brazil are not members of the communion.

The June 2018 Letter to the Churches issued by the 2018 Gafcon Assembly stated,

In light of the recommendations of the Synodical Council, we respectfully urge the Archbishop of Canterbury

• to invite as full members to Lambeth 2020 bishops of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America and the Province of the Anglican Church in Brazil and
• not to invite bishops of those Provinces which have endorsed by word or deed sexual practices which are in contradiction to the teaching of Scripture and Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, unless they have repented of their actions and reversed their decisions.

In the event that this does not occur, we urge Gafcon members to decline the invitation to attend Lambeth 2020 and all other meetings of the Instruments of Communion.

At the assembly, the Archbishop of ACNA was made chairman of Gafcon.

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