In what follows it is important to remember that each of the four of us who post here state opinions that may or may not be shared by the whole group. So, in this I am speaking only for myself in order to "share in robust, if polite, discussion..."
I appreciate the open statement by Archbishop Mark Haverland of the ACC (the Anglican Catholic Church) that was posted here on August 26th. The request for clarification from the TAC-ACA (the Traditional Anglican Communion, with its branch in the United States, the Anglican Church in America) is a positive and responsible approach by the Metropolitan of the ACC in what can be interpreted as a move toward unity. Nonetheless, we still have a problem of undefined standards, and apparent inconsistency in the application of principles. Furthermore, the ACC position on the subject of communio in sacris status with churches of the Anglican Communion symbolically " headed" by the See of Canterbury is shared with none of the other jurisdictions, as far as can be determined. As a result, the state of full communion between the ACC, the APCK (Anglican Province of Christ the King) and the UEC (United Episcopal Church), recently called "the circle of three," seems like a case of selectively applied principles, which still leaves us with the apparent selection of the TAC-ACA for exclusion based on principles apparently not extended to the APCK.
The APCK does have clergy who are still licensed in the Episcopal Church. I know of one of these men because his ministry preceded my arrival in Arizona. He served the people of the same mission church before I arrived. He is an Episcopal priest (a fine man who serves both God and his country by placing himself willingly in harm's way as a navy chaplain), and he has been welcomed and licensed to minister as a priest in the Diocese of the Southwestern States, Anglican Province of Christ the King for a few years now. He is not the only such priest ministering in the APCK.
If I understand the ACC's principles in this matter, they are not able in good conscience to be in a state of communio in sacris with any church body that is itself in a state of communio in sacris with any church of the official Anglican Communion. It does not matter if a diocese is under a bishop who is himself fully orthodox in doctrine, a man who does not "ordain" women or approve of any other heresies. Because that diocese is in a church of the official Anglican Communion, as the ACC appears to be saying, that bishop is treated as no different from the revisionists themselves. If a member church of the Anglican Communion has kept itself pure from revision, from all the trendy heresies of doctrine and morals, but is in communion with Canterbury, then the same principle applies to that entire "national church of the Anglican Communion." This applies to American bishops of the Episcopal Church, such as Bishops Iker, Ackerman and Schofield, and to whole churches such as the Anglican Church of Nigeria and its Primate, Archbishop Peter Akinola.
I do not consider myself qualified to judge the ACC in this matter, either to approve or disapprove. But, this principle that they have developed over the years was never agreed upon by the entire Continuum as a movement- which has never really agreed on anything that states principles since the Affirmation of St. Louis itself, written in 1977 with a clause that states the intention of remaining within the Anglican Communion and with the See of Canterbury specifically. Obviously, as that was written before the immediate rejection of the Continuing Church by then Archbishop of Canterbury Donald Coggin (who tried to kill the whole movement at its birth in January 1978), and before the Church of England itself approved the "ordination" of women in 1992, we do not expect any church of the Continuum to abide by that original commitment.
Nonetheless, the principle currently stated as a reason why clarification is needed from the TAC-ACA, should apply to the same "circle of three" that has agreed among its member bodies to be in a state of full communio in sacris with each other. How can the ACC be in the state of communio in sacris with a church that allows within its jurisdiction the ministry of currently licensed priests of the Episcopal Church, and yet claim to stand firm on this principle? Here I am making no judgment concerning the widely stated principle of the ACC, or concerning the APCK for allowing certain Episcopal clergymen to minister as priests within it. The purpose of writing this is to point to an area that needs definition and clarification beyond what Archbishop Haverland wrote, and some definition and agreement among the wider Continuum.