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ACNA recognised by Australian diocese

10 October 2014


Welcomed: Dr Foley Beach, who was invested as Archbishop of ACNA, at the Church of the Apostles, Atlanta, GA, on Thursday

Welcomed: Dr Foley Beach, who was invested as Archbishop of ACNA, at the Church of the Apostles, Atlanta, GA, on Thursday

THE diocese of North West Australia has declared itself in communion with the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), and has recognised it as a member Church of the Anglican Communion.

The diocese - the largest diocese in Australia by size, but with a population of only 150,000 - also welcomed the forthcoming investiture of Dr Foley Beach as the Archbishop of ACNA (News, 27 June) in a resolution passed by its synod last weekend.

The motion came to the synod in response to reported comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury that ACNA was not a member of the Anglican Communion, but a separate Church, the Bishop of North West Australia, the Rt Revd Gary Nelson, said.

His diocese "does not hold the view that membership of the Anglican Communion is a function of communion with Canterbury, or requires recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury", Bishop Nelson said.

The Principal of Moore Theological College, Sydney, Canon Mark Thompson, has labelled Archbishop Welby's comments "a gigantic slap in the face to the Primates who represent the vast bulk of practising Anglicans around the world, and who, meeting in London in April 2009, recognised the Anglican Church in North America 'as genuinely Anglican'."

Canon Thompson said: "We must deny categorically, and in the strongest possible terms, that communion with the see of Canterbury is the determining factor when it comes to Anglican identity. It is not, and never can be."

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