PROGRESSIVE EPISCOPALIANS OF PITTSBURGH
6393 Penn Avenue, PMB 207
Pittsburgh, PA 15206-4010
 

Contact:
Kenneth Stiles, Vice President
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh
Telephone: +1 (412) 362-2112
E-mail: krstiles@acba.org
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
ACNA Faces Difficult, Divisive Future
 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — June 25, 2009 — The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) faces a difficult and uncertain future. The new “Anglican” denomination formed this week in Bedford, Texas, that elected Robert W. Duncan, deposed Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh, as its archbishop, seems more likely to fracture the Anglican Communion permanently than to strengthen or “reform” it.
 
ACNA faces the difficult task of embracing diversity while adhering to the restrictive polity, theology, and membership set out in the Global Anglican Future Conference’s Jerusalem Declaration. The disparate groups that met in Texas have in common a desire to be a part of the Anglican Communion, a disdain for The Episcopal Church and for the Anglican Church of Canada, and a passionate desire to believe as they think their forebears have always believed. Future conflicts over polity, power, and theology appear inevitable.
 
More immediate are ACNA’s financial and legal problems. ACNA has inherited ongoing litigation over property claimed by The Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada in California, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vancouver, and elsewhere. Litigation to date has been overwhelming unfavorable to those leaving existing churches, and additional lawsuits are likely. In Pittsburgh litigation, Archbishop Duncan has pleaded with the court to unfreeze contested diocesan assets because his group is close to financial collapse. ACNA has been trying to raise $700,000 in special gifts from members of its component churches.
 
“Despite the ACNA’s grand words, the new organization is being built largely with assets belonging to The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. It is unclear what Christian moral principles can be invoked to justify this,” said Pittsburgh attorney and Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh (PEP) vice president Kenneth Stiles.
 
Notwithstanding “Anglican” in its name, ACNA has no secure relationship to the Anglican Communion. Certain churches of ACNA have never been part of the Communion, and the rest of ACNA has violated Communion tradition through irregular relationships with compliant Anglican provinces, autonomous national or regional churches that are members of the Anglican Communion.
 
“Less than a fifth of the Anglican provinces have offered ACNA any kind of recognition,” observed PEP board member William Stevens. “Communion membership has never been determined by recognition of individual churches other than the Church of England through the Archbishop of Canterbury. Full inclusion requires admission to the Anglican Consultative Council, which will not meet for another three years and which has shown little interest in ending the ancient tradition of geographical dioceses.”
 
Whereas ACNA will celebrate whatever “recognition” it receives from sympathetic Anglican provinces, its advent can only exacerbate tensions within the Anglican Communion. PEP is concerned that this has the potential to cause the Communion itself to split into two communions, one traditional but flexible, the other radical but reactionary. “Anglicanism at its best keeps us all worshipping together while we continue to discuss our differences,” observed PEP board member Lionel Deimel. “ACNA, unfortunately, seems not to see the value in that.”
 
 
Contact:
Kenneth Stiles, Vice President

Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh
Telephone: +1 (412) 362-2112
E-mail: krstiles@acba.org
 
 
On the Web:
This document:
http://progressiveepiscopalians.org/html/2009-06-25acna.html
 
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh:
http://progressiveepiscopalians.org
 
Anglican Church in North America:
http://www.theacna.org
 
GAFCON Jerusalem Statement:
http://www.gafcon.org/news/gafcon_final_statement
 
 
Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh is an organization of clergy and laypeople committed to the unity and diversity of The Episcopal Church, and of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. It is a member of the Via Media USA alliance.
 

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