Communion ties among Continuing Churches affirmed at ACC Provincial Synod

November 09, 2015 by John Omwake

The ACC College of Bishops reaffirmed ties with Presiding Bishops Grundorf (APA) and Marsh (ACA) at the recent Provincial Synod in Athens.

by John Omwake

Ties between the ACC and the Anglican Church in America and the Anglican Province of America, which have drawn increasingly closer over the last four years, have taken a giant leap 'forward in faith'. 

This took place Oct. 28 on the floor of the XXI Provincial Synod, when a delegate asked Archbishop Haverland about receiving communion at an ACA or APA church when an ACC parish is not nearby. 

The Archbishop replied in the affirmative, placing the ACC in de facto communion with the two Continuing Churches.

Presiding Bishop Brian Marsh and the Rt. Rev. John Hiles of the ACA, Presiding Bishop Walter Grundorf of the APA, and the Rt. Rev. Paul Hewett of the Diocese of the Holy Cross, with which the ACC is also in conversations, were present at this year’s Synod and heard the Archbishop’s response.  In private conversations, these bishops voiced hope that something like this would take place. They were not disappointed, seeing the move as a major step forward.

Although de facto communion with the ACA and the APA now exists, a formal declaration of communio in sacris still lies in the future, and full organic unity between the ACC and other Continuing Churches remains a distant goal. As Archbishop Haverland said in 2013 and repeated on other occasions earler this year:

“I have repeatedly made very clear that while I am your Metropolitan we will not allow the pursuit of any ecumenical goal, however worthy, to compromise any important principle or belief of our Church. In particular, we will not permit a studied ambiguity or an Anglican muddle, cultivated for reason of expediency, to creep in through the back door of ecumenical effort. With that caveat states, we will talk to anybody and we seek good relations with all. We are open and willing to sacrifice much, short of theological principles, for the sake of true unity.”

For the full story on this subject and others like it, see the upcoming issue of The Trinitarian.