Continuing Church Bishops Send Open Letter to ACNA

December 21, 2012 by Jonathan Foggin

Signatories (L to R) Robinson, Haverland, Marsh, and Grundorf.  Not pictured, Paul Hewett of the DHC.

The ACC has joined with four other Continuing Church jurisdictions in calling on the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) to return to its classical Anglican roots.

Signed by Archbishops Grundorf (APA), Haverland (ACC), Marsh (ACA), and Robinson (UECNA), as well as Bishop Paul Hewett of the DHC, the letter is further evidence of the renewed sense of unity that is becoming more and more common among the continuing jurisdictions.  While admitting that "the Continuing Church has failed to present a united front," the letter notes that the tendency of its signatories "is towards greater unity and cooperation."

Though the letter commends the ACNA for its efforts to remain faithful to Scriptural teaching, it is also very frank about the issues that divide it from the Continuing Church members.

We call upon ACNA to heed our call to return to your classical Anglican roots.  We commend to your prayerful attention the Affirmation of Saint Louis, which we firmly believe provides a sound basis for a renewed and fulfilled Anglicanism on our continent.  We urge you to heed the call of Metropolitan Jonah, whose concerns we share.  Anglicanism in North America cannot be both united and orthodox on a partially revolutionized basis.  We call upon you to repudiate firmly any claim to alter doctrine or order against the consensus of the Catholic and Orthodox world.  We call upon you to embrace the classical Prayer Book tradition.  The 30 years between our formation in 1977 and yours in 2010 were years of sharp decline in TEC numbers and of growing aberrations in all areas of Church life.  We call upon you to look upon all the works of those years with a much more critical eye, and to join us in returning to the doctrine, worship, and orders that preceded the intervening decades.

It is hoped that a realistic assessment of differences and a clear statement about fidelity to Anglican heritage will provide the basis for further discussion between the various parties involved.

The full text the common letter is available here.