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Could a Parallel Anglican Communion be in the Works?

Could a Parallel Anglican Communion be in the Works?
"I don't know if the official communion will exist forever, I would not be surprised but orthodox Anglicans will have a Communion no matter what is said and done." - Archbishop Peter Jensen


By David W. Virtue DD
August 10, 2016

Former Sydney Archbishop, Peter Jensen, has a nasty habit of speaking his mind.

In fact, he tells the truth so boldly, bluntly and deliberately, he is undoubtedly causing serious heartburn to fellow archbishop, Justin Welby.

Every time he opens his mouth, he commits the unpardonable "sin" of stating in clear, unapologetic terms where he stands on core issues that affect the communion so that his hearers are left in no doubt what he believes. Anglican fudge he is not.

He called the January meeting of primates in Canterbury "a complete failure"; it only revealed the theological weaknesses in the Anglican Communion, he said. The Lambeth conference is out of date and the future of the Anglican Communion now lies with GAFCON. He said the ACC-16 Lusaka gathering was "irrelevant to the GAFCON bishops" and the Nairobi Communique was "toothless". Archbishop Welby said "consequences" would be enforced, but that is irrelevant. They were not, are not and never will be. The Canterbury meeting was an invitation to repentance that self-evidently failed, he said.

I have no doubt that when Welby reads all this, he grows apoplectic at the thought he cannot bamboozle evangelicals like Peter Jensen.

Another Primate who is just as outspoken is Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria, the largest most vibrant evangelical province in the Anglican Communion.

Recently, the Nigerian Primate said this, "In the beginning, the focus of our concern was North America and we thank God that he has raised up the Anglican Church in North America as a new wineskin in that continent. Now our concern is increasingly with the British Isles."

Together, these two archbishops - one is chairman of GAFCON and the other is general secretary of GAFCON - promise to mess up Welby's REM sleep into an indefinite future.

You see they are not buying into Indaba, Sankofa, inclusivity, diversity or reconciliation talks because they know exactly what this means, and it never ends well for Anglicans who are committed to biblical orthodoxy, a clear understanding of marriage between a man and a woman, and an unalloyed proclamation of the gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

As Jensen wrote recently, "To the outside observer, it seems that the same remorseless path is being pursued in the UK. We are always being assured that the next step will be the last and that from now on the church will have peace with all sides happy. It is said that only 'extremists' will utter their usual shrill complaints and leave."

The truth is that it always ends badly with the orthodox leaving with their tails between their legs, hoping against hope that this time change and hope and repentance are in the air, but it never works out that way. Each time they become more disillusioned than the time before, and their hopes are dashed. Think Gramado, Brazil, Dromantine, Ireland, Lambeth Palace, London and Belfast, Ireland and more recently Canterbury. I have covered them all.

Orthodox Anglicans have watched as the instruments of unity, and theologians like CofE Bishop, Graham Kings, who has been given the grand title Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion, and professional reconcilers like David Porter, and, now, Sarah Snyder, the ABC's new advisor for reconciliation try to snow the Global South with endless reconciliation verbiage in the vain hope that they can get them to accept western pansexuality. The liberal goal is to appease episcopal pansexualists and make them feel loved and wanted, even as the Bible and orthodox Anglicans say that pansexual behavior is sinful and unacceptable to the living God, who calls us to holy living and holy behavior. God has not changed his mind about human sexual behavior despite Liberals' best efforts to say He has.

Furthermore, liberal progressives are totally incapable of either planting new churches or making those churches they do take over to grow. In taking them over they eventually end up emptying them and leaving them to wilt and die.

I was in Vancouver, BC, this past week and worshipped with the folk at St. John's, Vancouver, formerly St. John's Shaughnessy, a parish that experienced the ecclesiastical and personal wrath of former New Westminster bishop, Michael Ingham.

Some 1000 plus lost their beautiful parish property near downtown Vancouver and are now meeting at a Seventh-day Adventist church. A motley remnant of some 40 now worship in the original premises and have not grown since the vast majority got kicked out. They have had a series of rectors, the last one, a former tobacco executive, barely lasted a couple of years before scampering back to England. No one told him what he was coming into, and when he came to understand the awful history of the church, he soon left the ruins. The church has now found a new role as the deposit for Diocesan Archives and Offices.

Sooner or later the church will fold and its doors locked looking for a new buyer. The property is valued in the millions of dollars. It is condo heaven for a good developer. One thinks of Episcopal Los Angeles bishop, Jon Bruno, who had his eye on St. James the Great in Newport Beach, where he has locked out a congregation in order to sell it to developers for a cool $15 million. His efforts have back fired and he now faces an ecclesiastical trial for bullying and fraud.

Is anybody at Lambeth Palace seeing the picture here? Is anybody listening or reading or do they have their heads stuck ostrich like in the sand. Does Welby and his bishops think that the old colonial days of control and love of all things Anglican (read English) still have the same power and pull, and will work indefinitely?


So what then of the possibility of a parallel communion?

Several years ago a "two-tier" communion was being touted by the British press, but it was a fiction designed to appease homosexuals who wanted the Communion to embrace their behavior. That notion was quickly shot down by both sides. There would be only one communion, and so the idea died.

Since then, things have changed -- dramatically.

The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) has been formed with some 31 dioceses, uniting 112,000 Anglicans in nearly 1,000 congregations across the United States, Canada, and Mexico into a single Church. On April 16, 2009, it was recognized as a province of the global Anglican Communion, by the Primates of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans. The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach is now the second Archbishop of the Church.

Archbishop Okoh has his own personal claim in North America through CANA. Canada has the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) for Anglicans who have left the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Global South has formed GAFCON as a bulwark against Western modernity. There are also orthodox Global South archbishops still not affiliated with GAFCON. All of this denotes a cleavage that is unlikely to heal any time soon, if ever. One might say that an unofficial parallel Communion already exists, but has not been endorsed or recognized.

That Archbishop Okoh is publicly encouraging the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) right under Welby's nose speaks volumes. How much more in your face can you be than that? Imagine a reverse ecclesiastical situation in which Welby tried to plant a separate Church of England Mission in Nigeria! He would be lucky to find five adherents, and he would be told he is not welcome and to leave town before Boko Haram came a calling.

However one views the present situation in the Anglican Communion, it is no longer business as usual. A de facto split already exists, it only remains to be seen if a de jure one ever emerges and cements the present reality.


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