Friday, July 20, 2007

More on alleged Donatism

Recently this blog has been host to a number of posts and comments extremely critical of the ACC and its bishops. My church has been accused of Donatism, arbitrariness in singling out the ACC/APCK/UEC as uniquely legitimate successors of the original Continuing Church, and sowing disunity under the pretext of searching for unity. Strangely, the points in my previous post on this subject have not so much been disputed as ignored. Let me restate and refine the basic problems with the above accusations as succinctly as possible.

The ACC cannot be accused of Donatism as it has never claimed to be the one true church. Instead, it has specifically and repeatedly accepted the APCK and UEC as sister churches and noted its belief that both the RCC and EOC are true Catholic jurisdictions. Indeed, Abp Mark Haverland stated this at the last Provincial Synod, even to the point of calling any claim that the ACC was co-extensive with the Catholic Church preposterous. Given we accept the Catholic bona fides of the vast majority of Christians who claim to be Catholic, any claim of Donatism is undeniably false.

We do question the canonical integrity of the TAC, in much the same way that Rome questions the Lefebvrist SSPX and mainstream Orthodoxy has questioned the status of "non-canonical" churches. Some in the ACC dispute the validity (or more accurately "recognisability") of TAC orders. Others affirm them as certainly valid (like me). Similarly, there has been debate in the RCC over whether SSPX priests can validly give absolution and there is a variety of opinion among EO theologians on the validity of all sacraments in "schismatic" churches. So, the ACC cannot be accused of Donatism without the accusation being vulnerable to a reductio ad absurdum.

The claim that the recent agreed statement by the ACC/APCK/UEC groups these three churches together for no good reason is historically indefensible. The original Continuing Bishops and Church named themselves the ACC and agreed on a Constitution at their first synod. At that point they were still united. (There was only provisional acceptance of the Canons then, and Bp Morse abstained from this vote.) Bp Morse soon after withdrew his diocese, which never ratified the first synod's decisions in its own diocesan synod. While the rest of the ACC regretted this and felt it was unnecessary because there was no question of heresy etc., it never excommunicated Bp Morse or declared him schismatic in the proper sense. After all, his diocese had the right not to ratify, which effectively meant it had the right not to remain submitted to and part of the ACC as a whole. The later departure from the ACC of Bp Doren, another of the original bishops, and his formation of the UEC was perhaps more problematic, but mutual reconciliation and intercommunion with the ACC was afterwards re-established. So, there can be no doubt that these three churches derived from that first united body.

As for the ACA, it was established as a jurisdiction de novo in 1991 and consisted originally of the church of an episcopus vagans, Anthony Clavier, and a few bishops who left the ACC under discipline along with a number of ACC clergy and parishes they took with them. Clavier's church, the AEC, was a breakaway from a racist anti-civil-rights church (the Anglican Orthodox Church) established in the '60s. Clearly, the ACA cannot be considered to be in canonical or jurisdictional continuity with the original Continuing Church in the USA, unless one credits the AOC with being the true original Continuers and accepts that ECUSA abandoned Catholicity by racial integration rather than the ordination of women.

What is so special about the churches deriving from that original Continuing Church of St Louis and Dallas, first called the Anglican Church in North America, then the Anglican Catholic Church? They left the heretical ECUSA as soon as practically possible and placed themselves under the protective jurisdiction of an orthodox bishop, as required by Catholic principles and the canon law of Ecumenical Councils. Only one bishop had the courage to take them, Bp Chambers. They received from that bishop, the only North American one who was willing to be orthodox in both faith and practice by supporting the Continuers departure from heterodox jurisdictions, the mandate to take over the jurisdiction of ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada. That is why they could say, "we solemnly affirm, covenant and declare that we, lawful and faithful members of the Anglican and Episcopal Churches, shall now and hereafter continue and be the unified continuing Anglican Church in North America, in true and valid succession thereto." This means that once that church was established, assuming it remained orthodox, all attempts to create completely new Anglican jurisdictions in that same territory in deliberate competition were unnecessary and thus, strictly speaking, acts of invasion and schism. Now, we realise that the complexities and confusions since that time mean that the strict approach does not take sufficient account of such factors as the vagaries of human judgement and understanding. Archbishop John Charles' open letter implies this very thing. But we do not think that automatic acceptance of every "copy-cat" establishment of a new Continuing Church after the original one in the same places would be a genuinely Catholic attitude or witness. Apostolic Succession is succession of jurisdiction, not just orders. (If other churches disagree with our position on this issue, then they need to discuss it with us and help us understand why they believed a particular creation of an additional overlapping jurisdiction was justified. We are open to dialogue on this and other issues.)

Finally, there is the repeated claim that the recent agreed statement by the three Metropolitans was not a new step towards unity but merely an attempt to positively exclude one bishop of the APCK and the possibility of the unity with the TAC that he advocates. Now, it is true that the ACC does not want the APCK to split and part of it to leave for another church. And the agreed statement is deliberately discouraging that. But, as I have said in previous comments, this is not about seeking to isolate one bishop but seeking to re-integrate him into collegial cooperation with his brother bishops in the jurisdiction to which he is responsible. More importantly, the interpretation that the statement seeks primarily to paint the TAC as ecclesia non grata and as simply to be condemned and avoided is manifestly false. How can we know this? By the fact that I have noted here before, but many seem to have missed, that the Metropolitical Statement is only half the story. Abp John Charles' open letter to a broader audience, approved by the ACC's College of Bishops, is the other half. Indeed, Abp Haverland has informed me that his statement needs to be read in the context of the letter. (It was his intention that they appear at the same time, but unfortunately this did not turn out as planned.) From the open letter and the use of the words "first" by Abp Haverland and "begin" in Abp Provence's pastoral letter, it is obvious that the ACC/APCK/UEC statement of full communion and commitment to full organic unity, while decrying association with the Lambeth Communion, is seen as a beginning, not an end. If anybody doubts the significance of this agreed statement, they should remember that never before have these three churches all declared in public their state of communio in sacris. The ACC expressed its commitment to these special relationships back in 1995, however, and did so quoting a dictum of Abp Morse about the Chambers Succession. But this is the first time the three churches have all made this clear publicly and simultaneously.

17 comments:

Ken said...

Fr. Kirby,

ISTM, your assessment is the correct one, I've stated as much in these comment boxes. I'm afraid, however, it will fall on deaf ears.

The APCK is the Wicked Witch of the West and the ACC is her flying monkey-boy doing her dirty work.

These very public statements from the three jurisdictions have, in essense, bound them on the course to an "organic union". Backing out or making excuses for not proceeding in a timely, but not hasty, manner would certainly indicate a lack of respect for Christ's prayer that "they all be one".

frbader said...

I am inclined to think that none of us really has jurisdiction. Bishop Chambers was a retired ECUSA bishop with no more jurisdiction than ECUSA Bishop Davies who consecrated later continuers. Or the retired Anglican Communion bishops who performed the Deerfield Beach conditional consecrations of ACA bishops.
This, at least in Augustinian theology, does not invalidate our sacraments. The ACC seems to take a more Cyprianic approach, like the Eastern Orthodox.
Other jurisdictions (including APCK in my 16 years as a priest there) have freely taken clergy ordained in ECUSA after 1976 as long as they were not ordained by a female bishop. And these have not been conditionally ordained. Granted they are a minority of the clergy of those bodies, the majority being ordained in the jurisdiction or pre-1976 ECUSA.
How we go about getting jurisdiction is a more vexing issue. Is the Anglican Communion still competent to bestow jurisdiction on a new province in America? The majority of the provinces in the Communion do not ordain women. What about the American parishes of overseas provinces that do not ordain women? Lots of questions.
An Eastern Catholic bishop wrote a book on the question of Rome vs. Eastern Orthodoxy called "We Are All Schismatics."

Fr Robert Bader, Diocese of the Holy Cross

frbader said...

I need to retract my statement that a majority of Anglican Communion provinces do not ordain women. In fact they do. But if you count the numbers in the two sets of provinces, a different story emerges.

poetreader said...

If the letters and statements (even ++John-Charles' excellent letter) had at least mentioned that there are other groups with whom ACC etc. could not presently declare intercommunion (preferably nameing ACA and possible one or two other small groups), the protestations that exclusion of ACA was not intended would be a lot more credible. Lacking such a dimension in official pronouncements, I have to question the willingness of ACC to proceed toward this essential reunion.

ed

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Ken may call this a problem of "deaf ears" if he wants to. But, I suggest giving this some real attention; my ears are not deaf; rather, my mind is unconvinced. Here's why:

Fr.Bader is right about jurisdiction. In every major city we can find more than one Orthodox bishop, and even more than one "Papist" bishop where Eastern Rite Catholics have churches downtown with Roman (as in Latin Rite) Catholics. And then, among Continuing Anglicans, we have ACC and APCK dioceses overlapping, despite optimistic attempts to pretend otherwise.

The problem of jurisdiction goes back to 1054, resulting in such troublesome titles as "Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem," and so forth.

Furthermore, the ACA is rooted in the Affirmation of St. Louis and even the Denver consecrations, even with the whole problem of Clavier's suprimposition (now an Episcopal priest once again). Here we get into the problem of John Hollister's novel approach to sacramental theology, and the theory of delible (to invent a new word) orders. Furthermore, it is important to distance the ACA from that wierd AOC movement; one could read Fr. Kirby's article in such a way as to infer some sort of racism in the ACA, which would be quite inaccurate.

Furthermore, I wish I could simply ignore what I know about behind the scenes activity; but I cannot. The fact is, Bp. Florenza's stand has been treated as an emergency, resulting in cooperation between ++Haverland and ++Provence(with Fr. Hollister's assistance). Obviously, they believe they are right. However, exclusion of the ACA, and inclusion of the UEC, as some sort of ecumenical partners by the APCK is a sudden and unprecedented reversal of the 2004 stand, and comes at a manifestly significant time.

As for "Donatism," the use of this phrase was not about the ACC's opinion, but about an attitude that was subsequently demonstrated for us by Rev. John Hollister. It is a code word that draws from the chief attribute of Donatism, unforgiveness and complete lack of mercy. I do not say this is the ACC position; what I say is that we have seen such an attitude expressed in comments.

Of course Donatism does not really fit; for those ancient heretics would not extend forgiveness to the repentant sinners, chiefly to those who repented after lapsing because of persecution. The TAC-ACA are not repentant because they believe they are right, and have nothing of which to repent (in this matter, as a body).

So, now we have the problem of the ACC claim to jurisdiction (not to mention, at one time an excommunication). What do the ACC plan to do if the ACA cannot be convinced to agree with their opinion, and all the while continue as an orthodox Anglican body, to grow and bear fruit? And, how do they plan to treat the following facts? The TAC is the largest of all CC bodies. The TAC-ACA do not trust the leadership of the ACC (and for reasons that really do call for the American branch of the ACC to clean up its own house). To satisfy the demands of the ACC, the TAC-ACA would have to submit all of their churches to men they cannot, at this time, trust (yes, frankly, at the very least, a problem exists of the perception of "looking the other way" about homosexuality in the ranks. This is an elephant in the living room, and sooner or later something may as well be said. I make no charge. I only know what the perception is, and that it is perceived by honest men).

These are serious problems, and they won't be overcome by pretending not to notice the TAC-ACA (as Bob Hope once quipped, "that's like not noticing Dolly Parton in a phone booth"), or by insisting on some sort of repentance and submission when no conviction of sin, or trust, has been established. At some point, it is the ACC that ought to recognize these facts.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I apologize if the Bob Hope line left anybody cold. But, let's face it, that lady does wear a big hairstyle.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

Fr Hart,

A quick clarification: By no means did I wish to imply that the ACA is racist, and my words do not say that if read carefully. I am sorry if I was insufficiently careful in expression. My point was that most of the ACA originally derived from the AEC, which broke away from the manifestly racist and vagans AOC. And the AOC's break-away from ECUSA was not properly justified and not an earlier example of a valid and necessary "Continuing" Church. In other words, the immediate ecclesial precursor to the ACA had a history which is problematic when considering issues such as unjustifiable schism and, therefore, lack of jurisdiction.

Re: homosexuality. The teaching of the ACC is the teaching of the Affirmation, the RCC and the EOC. To wit, homosexuality is an objective disorder or source of temptation. (According to the Fathers, so are most common manifestations of heterosexuality, by the way! That is, pretty much every tendency towards any sexual desire or excitement that occurs outside coitus between a married couple.) It is not a sin. Homosexual acts are sins. I know of one ACC clergyman who was discovered to have engaged in this behaviour. He was deposed. Game over. Interestingly, this issue supposedly worrying the TAC has never been brought up by TAC leadership with us.

As for issues of trust and the remote possibility of the ACA agreeing with the ACC that it bears blame for past division, there are five points being missed here. One, we have not asked for immediate agreement but discussion of the issues. Two, previous requests for that serious dialogue have had promises of responses but no actual response in two cases in which I was directly involved. Three, we have admitted we have committed sins or made mistakes in the past (see ++ JC's open letter), is it really so hard for the ACA to do the same, when even Ed and Fr Hart admit Deerfield Beach was probably not the best way to have done things!? Four, the ACC has not made a peremptory demand for simple absorption and submission of the ACA to the ACC. We do not know the details of how reconciliation will be accomplished, but we have made suggestions as to first steps. Five, many in the ACC do not trust bps in the TAC either for reasons they think sound. Indeed, there are apparently TAC bps who have lost trust in other TAC bps at the highest level for not-unrelated reasons. But we ask: So what? We have asked for serious dialogue on the real issues, leaving personality issues as secondary, so all the personal trust problems can surely be left on the back-burner for now.

Ed,

The reason the TAC was not specifically mentioned in the ++JC letter was that we thought it obvious they were part of the intended audience from the very first line, where the letter is addressed to all committed to the Affirmation. If we had started listing the churches who satisfied this criterion, no doubt we could have offended by inadvertant omission. Anyway, we honestly did think it was obvious the TAC would be one of the main churches other than the APCK/UEC being addressed. You can trust me on this one. I really do know this for a fact.

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

Fr Hart,

I have referred to you in the third person in one paragraph when the comment was addressed to you. This was rude, though completely unintentional. That's what happeens when you re-edit and fordet to make everything consistent.

My apologies.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Fr.Kirby

Frankly, I was not thinking of your reasonable approach, but of the comments of Fr. John Hollister when I commented on members of the ACC demanding an acceptance of their claim to jurisdcition as a condition for reconciliation. And, never before have I heard that the origin of the ACA is that old wierd AOC movement; normally, the ACA's history is presented differently, as being another branch of the original ACC (as the APCK was) even though it absorbed some of the former and repentant AOC folks.

As for the perception of behind the scenes acceptance of homosexual behavior among the ACC in America (to express it as clearly as possible), the most I can say at this time is simply this: Here in the U.S. this perception always comes up as a major problem whenever the ACC is discussed. One of the most significant archbishops in "the circle of three" used the term "the lavender boys" when speaking of the ACC.

Now, does this make the accusation true? The answer is life isn't fair. I do not doubt what you say about the doctrine of the ACC on this subject. But, this perception has long existed even inside this alleged "circle of three" authentic CCs. Unfortunately, life not being fair, it creates a problem for the ACC in the United States, and it becomes their burden to defend their reputation. And, this is part of the trust factor of which I wrote.

This perception is the elephant in the living room, and always comes up; and it's not my fault that the perception is there. I think the ACC need to address it.

Fr_Rob said...

As one who also used to believe that the AOC was started for racist reasons, I have to challenge those who make this assertion to provide proof of same. I understand from those who actually knew Bishop James Parker Dees that he was a consummate fundraiser and would use whatever "hot buttons" that would move people in the 1960s and later to give money. Apparently, he served the black Episcopal congregation in his hometown of Stateville, NC as well as the white congregation. The AOC went on to have many black congregations and even bishops, as does one of the bodies today that derives from the AOC, the Orthodox Anglican Communion. I am sure that for many white Southern Episcopalians living during the 1960s, the Episcopal Church's embrace of Puerto Rican terrorists, Black Panthers, and forced integration was probably seen to be just as troubling and heretical as northern Anglo-Catholics viewed the ordination of women. I am not defending this viewpoint but simply trying to provide some historical context. Those who adhere to the "magic moment in time" theory need to understand that the heresy of the Episcopal Church didn't just occur out of the blue in 1976, but had a long history preceding it including, most notably, James Pike and the General Convention's embrace of a radical socialist/egalitarian agenda beginning early in the 1960s (if not before).

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

fr_rob,

Re: Evidence. There is the discussion in "Divided We Stand", a history of the Continuing movement. I know another priest who has gathered the literature of vagantes bishops for decades, and he has said the same thing if I remember correctly.

Apparently Dees was not the KKK kind of racist. He did not hate black people. He just believed they were somewhat inferior to white people and that it was sinful for whites and blacks to "interbreed". I'm pretty sure that qualifies as racist.

Fr Hart,

I'm not sure how the ACC is supposed to respond to what is equivalent to bar-room gossip without lending it dignity it does not deserve. However, if there are specific accusations based on evidence that the ACC has deliberately ignored manifest sin in this area, they should certainly be dealt with.

As a heterosexual male I should note that at no stage did I feel "out of place" or uncomfortable among the many fellow ACC priests I met at the last Provincial Synod. And I smelt no girly scents. Not even lavender. Not on the men anyway. :-)

John A. Hollister said...

Fr. Hart wrote in answer to Fr. Kirby:

1. "Frankly, I was ... thinking ... of the comments of Fr. John Hollister when I commented on members of the ACC demanding an acceptance of their claim to jurisdiction as a condition for reconciliation."

I'm puzzled by this, for I certainly do not recall demanding that anyone accept the ACC's claim to jurisdiction except in the limited senses that:

(a) The ACC certainly retains jurisdiction over its own clergy, who swore allegiance to it when they became its clergy, even after it has properly subjected them to discipline. So, however, would I expect any other church group to claim.

(b) The ACC certainly expects that other church groups which claim to be in communion with it will not invade the territories of its Dioceses in order to attempt to confect sacraments for its members. So, too, would I expect any other church group to claim.

Where there are other church groups in communion with us which jointly occupy the same territories, as is the case with some APCK and UECNA dioceses and congregations, we certainly have no objection to the bishops of those groups going wherever they deem suitable to minister to their own flocks.

However, in the case of Deerfield Beach, the "consecrating" bishops could claim the benefit of no such exception. Mercer was from the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, which while in communion with the ACC has never had any diocese or congregation in any territory shared with the ACC, so he certainly was not carrying out any duty for his own flock. Boynton was actually a member of the ACC, so he certainly knew he was not authorized to participate in what he did.

The jurisdictional problems, at least, if not the other sacramental ones, would have been mitigated had the ACC bishops involved had the integrity to have resigned their memberships in the ACC, then to have travelled to Canada, there to have done whatever foolishness they wished to engage in.

The reason they did not was, of course, that doing so would have vitiated their specious claim that the five of them represented the "entire" ACC and, unbeknownst to and without the consent of the majority of the ACC's bishops and members, were involuntarily "merging" the ACC into the AEC. (That was a suggestion that had NEVER been taken up by the ACC's College of Bishops, let alone presented to ANY ACC Synod for its consideration.)

Oh, what tangled webs we weave....

2. "[N]ever before have I heard that the origin of the ACA is that old wierd AOC movement; normally, the ACA's history is presented differently, as being another branch of the original ACC (as the APCK was) even though it absorbed some of the former and repentant AOC folks".

The AEC was formed in 1967 when Tony Clavier, following his life-long modus operandi, mounted a coup to unseat his benefactor Dees and take over the AOC. What he accomplished instead was to split the AOC. His faction met in Mobile, AL and organized itself as the AEC.

To the AEC's credit, it abandoned Dees' racism and seems to have done so immediately upon its departure from Dees. Of course, if the AEC were not to stand for segregation, it then had little or no reason for its separate existence, but that is another matter. It is the fact that about the only sin of which Tony Clavier has never been accused is that of racism.

Then, in 1991, five bishops from the ACC left that church and joined the AEC, whereupon it renamed itself as the ACA. The majority of the resulting group was initially composed of AEC members, not of the few ACC personnel Falk brought with him.

What in all this motivated Bishops Boynton, Chamberlain, and Wilkes has always escaped me. I'm pretty sure that Bishop Connors realized that his self-absorbed behavior and unwillingness to account for funds had become intolerable to a considerable number of the ACC's membership, and so without the possibility of continued "top cover" from Abp. Falk, his career with us had reached its apogee.

As for Falk himself, he had just voluntarily resigned from all of his Offices in the ACC (but not from his membership in it) in a plea bargain which he himself proposed in the midst of his canonical trial. Thus his career in our group had ended completely, probably in his view prematurely, and so doubtless any other group seemed to offer him greener pastures.

Of course, as a retired former Metropolitan, Falk had absolutely no authority to "merge" the ACC with any group whatever, but that did not prevent him from making the claim that he was doing so.

3. As to what Fr. Hart has delicately termed "issues of trust", ACC members have their own collections of potentially defamatory stories about significant ACA/TAC figures. We may not talk much about them publicly, but it's a two-way street.

After all, we spent quite a few years in close association with some of the ACA/TAC's leaders. It would be surprising if we didn't know at least our own former colleagues pretty well. And we have a number of members who are from personal experience all too familiar with the pre-Deerfield Beach AEC, too.

(Fr. Hart was concerned, and justifiably so, about being replaced in an APCK parish by a post-1976 ECUSA "deacon". Well, for just one thing, how would he feel about an ACA/TAC parish where the "Rector" appears quite possibly never to have been ordained to anything, by anyone, and whose bishop just doesn't seem to see that as a problem? Could that legitimately cause outsiders to have "issues of trust" regarding that bishop and, by extension, regarding what goes on in his diocese?)

John A. Hollister+

Fr. Robert Hart said...

These stand as allegations at this point. I see no point in casting mud on the retired Archbishop Falk. Why should I believe this is all there is to his story?

The point is, Fr. Hollister is still making a submission to ACC jurisdiction a requirment fro reconciliation even in these comments. After 16 years, a new Archbishop and the planting of many new churches, this kind of submission is out of the question. Furthermore, if these details must come up, I would like to hear Archbishop Falk's side of the story. I would like to know why the men who took the action that they did thought it was right, in forming the ACA. Obviously, they believe that it was something they had to do. And, they have proved to be quite successful in building churches all over the country- healthy ones at that.

poetreader said...

What conceivable relevance does Deerfield Beach have to what is now happening? What purpose does it serve to keep rehashing such past events? What Scriptural justification can be given for nursing old grievances? Does any of this (from either side) sound the least bit like 1 Corinthians 13? And why should anyone who is seeking Christ and His Church give a second thought to people who carry on like this?

We are here. This is now. However imperfectly we have carried forth the Tradition entrusted to us, our rresponsibility is not to castigate anyone for the past, but to apply it, in love, to the now. Our Lord must surely be shaking his head in sadness at all this petty squabblng.

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God -- all of us. Whatever 'jurisdiction' we represent, we have enormous beams in our own eyes. What on earth possesses us to shout about other people's specks? If we all seek earnestly to become more Christ-like, these petty problems will vanish like smoke.

ed

John said...

Fr Kirby says:
A quick clarification: By no means did I wish to imply that the ACA is racist, and my words do not say that if read carefully. I am sorry if I was insufficiently careful in expression. My point was that most of the ACA originally derived from the AEC, which broke away from the manifestly racist and vagans AOC. And the AOC's break-away from ECUSA was not properly justified and not an earlier example of a valid and necessary "Continuing" Church. In other words, the immediate ecclesial precursor to the ACA had a history which is problematic when considering issues such as unjustifiable schism and, therefore, lack of jurisdiction."

I would like to know how then communion can be established with EUCNA by the ACC since racism does not disqualify a 'mission' from entry into that body (EUC). Maybe someone should ask St Albans Richmond ACC about the splintering, if I am not mistaken, over a black woman being on their vestry that recently was granted status as a Uecna mission simply because they rent an old RC building and then ordained a layman who was part of that local schism. This issue caused a split at the ACC church and then split again and continues to muddy the Anglican waters in central VA more so for the ACC than others!

Ask the local ACC priest if he is happy over now being in communion with people that schismed from his local parish- in fact the Cathedral of Bishop McClaim I think? Hasty press releases sure make for strange bed fellows.
John

Fr Matthew Kirby said...

john,

It is difficult to know what to make of your accusation. I know nothing of the case you mention. You have got the name of one church, UECNA, and the name of the ACC bishop, Bp McClean, wrong. Is it not possible other details from your second or third hand knowledge may be awry?

And what does this have to do with anything? Even if what you said was true, we do not know the UECNA knew anything about the racism of its new members. Certainly, there is no evidence of an officially countenanced racism in these churches, nor in the ACA or old AEC, as noted by Canon Hollister and myself. Whereas it is simply a documented fact that the AOC was founded by an overt racist for partly racist reasons.

As for rushed press releases, you know not of what you speak. The road that led to restored communion between the ACC and UECNA was not short and involved much discussion within the ACC and much personal and official contact between one of our bishops and one of theirs. I know this because I was privy to and involved in some of the discussion and through it learnt of the episcopal communications.

Death Bredon said...

Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to succeed.