The following is from David Virtue:
The Bishop of the Eastern States of the Anglican Province of Christ the King, (APCK) the Rt. Rev. Rocco A. Florenza has written a letter to his clergy and people declaring that "a state of genuine unity and full communion" now exists with the Anglican Church in America (ACA).
Bishop Florenza's unilateral action has neither been approved nor disapproved by the other bishops of the APCK, a denomination which stands at a crossroads.
The timing of this announcement comes as Archbishop Robert Sherwood Morse has said he will step down as the head of the Continuing Church body.
The election of his successor is scheduled for the end of June.
The staunchly Anglo-Catholic APCK was formed in 1977 following the Affirmation of St. Louis because of fundamental changes by the Episcopal Church at the 1976 Episcopal Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota to accommodate new beliefs and practices i.e. the ordination of women to the priesthood and the adoption of the revisionist 1979 Prayer Book.
The Right Rev. George Langberg is President of the ACA. This Continuing Church body is a constituent member of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) whose Archbishop is Australian-born John Hepworth.
In his letter, Florenza sharply criticized what he called "the brokenness of our witness for Christ as traditional Anglicans.
"Now, some thirty years after the Affirmation of St. Louis...the traditional Anglican expression in the U.S. has grown increasingly fragmented. At present between 20 and 40 groups calling themselves "Anglican" stand divided; and the few major groups whose roots are grounded in the Denver Consecrations, despite sharing communion and in some cases clergy, remain apart." Florenza said the divisions were "man-made."
"How is it possible to remain divided if we share the same apostolic origins, the same theology and the same Sacraments? Such divisions contradict the will of Christ [and] present a stumbling block to out work for Him in this world, and inflicts damage on our witness as traditional Anglican Christians."
Florenza then wrote, "It is in the interest of unity of the Body of Christ that the Diocese of Eastern States, Anglican Province of Christ the King, has renewed its commitment to ever-closer work with those who share the same origins, theology and sacraments."
Florenza then said as "your diocesan bishop I have pledged to increase our cooperation and fellowship with the Anglican Church in America (ACA), a respected body that has been in real and visible communion with this diocese and with the province. Therefore, I now declare openly a state of genuine unity and full communion with these our brothers and sisters who hold fast to the same eternal truths as do we."
A source told VOL. "Bishop Florenza is moving unilaterally toward unity with the ACA because he feels it is right and he has grown tired of the solitary status quo."
"If Florenza encounters opposition from his fellow APCK bishops to his agreement with the ACA, he has the option to move his entire diocese into the ACA," said the source. "Bishop Florenza's letter is a Godly challenge to the current direction of the APCK and is a much needed breath of fresh air and vitality."
I was tipped off to this development early last week, but chose to wait until it actually occurred. I wrote to Bishop Florenza, asking for confirmation and comment, but received no reply.
My source had the following to add: "There is no specific declaration of secession from the APCK, but the idea is that +Morse and the other bishops will take this much as a bull takes a matador's red cape, and go after +Fiorenza to depose him; and then the diocese and most of its clergy and parishes will decamp for the ACA."
We would welcome comment from those involved, particularly Bishop Florenza and Archbishop Morse.