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ANCA’s Orders recognised

13 April 2017


Two-way traffic: the Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina. The diocese, which dissociated from the US Episcopal Church in 2012, voted last month to join the Anglican Church in North America

Two-way traffic: the Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina. The diocese, which dissociated from the US Episcopal Church in 2012, voted last mo...

THE ORDERS of priests in the An­­glican Church in North America (ACNA) have been recognised by the Arch­­bishops of Canterbury and York.

They will be recognised under the Overseas and Other Clergy (Min­istry and Ordination) Measure 1967, which gives the Archbishops authority to determine whether the orders of any Church are “recog­nised and ac­cepted” by the Church of England.

The decision follows work by the Faith and Order Commission, in consultation with the Council for Christian Unity (CCU), on whether ACNA meets the criteria by which the C of E recognises the ministry
of those whose orders are of Churches “within the historic epis­copate and with whom the Church of England is not in communion”.

A statement from the CCU said that, when a person ordained in ACNA wished to minister in the C of E, “the first questions to be con­sidered are those of whether the person concerned is suitable for min­­istry in the Church of England and if so, whether any further train­ing is necessary. Where those ques­tions are resolved satisfactorily, the Archbishop of the relevant Prov­­ince can decide to give the minister per­mission to officiate in the Church of England without being ordained in the Church of England, either per­manently or for a specified period.”

A spokeswoman for the Epis­copal Church in the United States said that it was “an in­­ternal process of the Church of Eng­land to deal with licensing clergy from church bodies which are not part of the Anglican Com­munion”.

Other Churches whose Orders the Church of England recognises al­­though it is not in communion with them include the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox.

ACNA was established in 2008, by priests who disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church in the US (News, 12 December 2008). It is not officially part of the Anglican Communion; nor is it in communion with Canterbury; but it is recognised by seven Primates who represent millions in the Global South.

In 2014, Archbishop Welby said that he could not “enforce reconciliation” but that “we must take the steps necessary to bring about renewed and reconciled relationships, and we are seeking to encourage that” (News, 24 October 2014). He invited the ACNA Archbishop, Dr Foley Beach, to the Primates’ Meeting in 2015 (News, 18 September 2015).

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