Interesting happenings among Continuing Anglicans

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by anglican74, Jan 12, 2022.

  1. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I am not really in a position to gauge how accurate this is... But just the idea that ACC's orders can be unstable is pretty surprising

    https://anglican.ink/2022/01/10/the...anonical-exploration-with-satirical-elements/
    The problem of Anglican Catholic Church Orders: an earnest canonical exploration with satirical elements
    Richard Cumming

    I should like to consider the Orders and jurisdiction of the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC). I shall do so by examining the legitimacy of the Chambers Succession on which the ACC’s claims to valid orders and legitimate jurisdiction are founded.

    (1) At the Denver Consecrations of 1978, there were only two consecrators: Albert Chambers and Francisco de Jesus Pagtakhan. While the Roman Church may, in exceptional circumstances, have permitted a bishop to be consecrated by fewer than three consecrators, there is no precedent for this in the post-Reformation Church of England: the Churches of the Chambers succession cannot legitimately claim in the Affirmation of St. Louis to be “continu[ing] in the Catholic Faith, Apostolic Order, Orthodox Worship and Evangelical Witness of the traditional Anglican Church” and cannot legitimate that claim “we continue to be what we are,” and “we do nothing new,” when the Chambers succession is founded upon a grievous departure from the norm established for many centuries that the licit consecration of a new bishop requires three bishops. It is uncertain whether the letter of consent from Pae supplies this defect.

    (2) Chambers was the retired Episcopal Bishop of Springfield, Il. Chambers did not possess any episcopal jurisdiction to commit to the consecrands at the 1978 Denver Consecrations, but in the article, “On Continuing Anglicanism,” on the ACC website, we read that the Churches of the Chambers Succession were founded by men who placed themselves under Chambers’ “personal jurisdiction.” Let’s be clear: there is no such thing as “personal jurisdiction” in an Anglican context. In a Roman Catholic context, a Prelature is founded under the “personal jurisdiction” of the Roman Pontiff, but the circumstances do not bear comparison: a retired Episcopal bishop who possesses no episcopal jurisdiction is not canonically equivalent to a Bishop of Rome who claims not only diocesan episcopal jurisdiction but immediate jurisdiction over the entire Church. If the Roman claims about universal jurisdiction are true, then certainly, a Bishop of Rome may place a canonical entity under his own “personal jurisdiction,” but even if this were the case, this would not in any wise imply that a retired Diocesan Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church (PECUSA) also possesses the same prerogative.

    (3) In the Affirmation of St. Louis, we read that the Protestant Episcopal Church has lost jurisdiction on account of its departure from Apostolic Order, and that, on this basis, the Continuing Churches claim jurisdiction: “we affirm that all former ecclesiastical governments, being fundamentally impaired by the schismatic acts of lawless Councils, are of no effect among us, and that we must now reorder such godly discipline as we strengthen us in the continuation of our common life and witness.” In such circumstances, Chambers, as a retired bishop, could have remedied the defect outlined in (2) by claiming legitimate jurisdiction on the grounds that, since PECUSA has lost its apostolic jurisdiction, “we must now reorder such godly discipline as we strengthen us in the continuation of our common life and witness.” This, however, is not how Chambers proceeded. For a time, Chambers certainly acted in a manner consistent with an assumption of apostolic jurisdiction, by performing confirmations and ordinations without the permission of the local PECUSA Diocesan Bishop. However, when faced with the opportunity to assume apostolic jurisdiction by establishing himself as the founder of a new jurisdiction, he declined to do so. Chambers communicated apostolic orders at the Denver consecrations, but he could not have communicated apostolic jurisdiction since, instead of founding a new jurisdiction, he remained within the communion of the Protestant Episcopal Church, thereby denying the fundamental motivation for establishing the Churches of the Chambers Succession, namely that “all former ecclesiastical governments, being fundamentally impaired by the schismatic acts of lawless Councils, are of no effect among us.” If Chambers had accepted the claim of the Affirmation of St. Louis, then he would not have submitted to the authority of the bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church. In the article, “On Continuing Anglicanism,” on the ACC website, we read that, in accordance with Canon III of the Council of Ephesus, Christians have a duty not to submit to heretical bishops, and since Chambers submitted to the authority of the bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church, he implicitly recognized the legitimacy of their claim to jurisdiction, which means that he implicitly repudiated the legitimacy of the claim to jurisdiction of the Churches to which he had transmitted apostolic orders. The same holds for Pagtakhan, the co-consecrator, who remained in the Philippine Independent Church (PIC) and subsequently participated in the consecrations of bishops for various groups.

    (4) In the article, “The Chambers Succession,” on the ACC website, the author attempts to circumvent the problems outlined in (3) by claiming that neither Bishop Mark Pae nor Bishop Charles Boynton withdrew their consent from the Denver consecrations. Now we have a situation where the two actual consecrators implicitly withheld recognition of apostolic jurisdiction from the Churches of the Chambers Succession, and where the apostolic jurisdiction of these Churches now rests solely upon the two bishops who provided letters of consent. It is impossible for the present writer to discern how this situation can be described as anything other than “radically irregular.”

    (5) Pursuant to (4), there is no reason to believe that Pae or Boynton communicated apostolic jurisdiction to the Churches of the Chambers Succession either. There is no evidence that Pae withdrew from communion with the Protestant Episcopal Church: in fact, Pae subsequently moved to the United States, submitting to the jurisdiction of the Protestant Episcopal Church. At his death, the Diocese of Long Island issued a notice that gives no indication that Pae was not in communion with the Protestant Episcopal Church: his funeral service was held at the Episcopal cathedral in Garden City, New Jersey (http://eam-longisland.blogspot.com/2013/10/bishop mark-pae-died-october-20th.html). Since Pae continued and died in communion with the Protestant Episcopal Church, it is impossible that Pae, by his letter of consent in 1978, could have communicated legitimate apostolic jurisdiction. As to Boynton, he remained within the Protestant Episcopal Church until 1990, when he joined the ACC. A Church cannot seriously expect us to accept a claim to legitimate jurisdiction resting upon a bishop who remained subject to the jurisdiction of the bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church for a full twelve years after he had issued a letter of consent for the Denver consecrations. Furthermore, far from claiming jurisdiction in 1978, it appears that Boynton may have resigned his Episcopal orders: “He retired in 1969, and in 1978 he formally resigned from the episcopacy of the Episcopal Church”.

    Finally, while Boynton may have joined the ACC in 1990, he also broke communion with the ACC in 1991 by participating in the Deerfield Beach consecrations. So, at best, the claim to jurisdiction of the ACC rests upon one retired suffragan bishop who affirmed the jurisdiction of the ACC between 1990 and 1991. It goes almost without saying that this is a slender basis for a claim to legitimate jurisdiction.
     
  2. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    That piece is not about the orders, but the jurisdiction. Essentially, whether the ACC (and the other G3 churches, as well as the UECNA) have a legitimate charter for existence.

    This is also a question that Episcopalians raise regarding the ACNA.

    In both cases, you can't arrive at an affirmative answer using elements from within the Canterbury Communion as a justification.

    It should also be noted that this line of questioning is not applicable to certain groups such as the Orthodox Anglican Church/Communion, Episcopal Missionary Church, Christian Episcopal Church, American Episcopal Church, Southern Episcopal Church, or Charismatic Episcopal Church because the Denver consecrations of 1978 were not central to their foundation.
     
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  3. Carolinian

    Carolinian Active Member

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    Looks like an attack article
    Also many of the denominations that you listed (such as the OAC, SEC, & etc) have participated in the consecrations of G3 and UECNA Bishops.
     
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  4. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Why would they write this article now... 50 years later? And why are they writing it?.. Didn't the diocese of holy cross merge under the anglican catholic church in the end?
     
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  5. Carolinian

    Carolinian Active Member

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    They have, but the article appears to have been written by a Priest without the consent of his Bishop. The comments on the article are somewhat revealing.
     
  6. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Fr. Cumming says he was part of a holy orders review taskforce for the Diocese of the Holy Cross and wrote this 3 years ago as part of the process of considering a merger of the Diocese with the ACC. I am curious how it came to be public. It is certainly not proving helpful to the task of furthering unity among the G3, as few are understanding the piece and even fewer are pleased with its tone.

    But he is digging himself a deeper hole by calling for the resignation of 2 sitting bishops and recognition of his own bishop as Patriarch - a title that I have never heard used by Anglican prelates. Metropolitan, yes; but not Patriarch.
     
  7. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Further development: the author has been shown the exit door by the DHC and ACC.
     
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  8. Br. Thomas

    Br. Thomas Member

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    Yes, they did become a jurisdiction with no geographical boundaries within the Anglican Catholic Church, this past September.
     
  9. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I guess I don't understand the continuing movement, and all the internal gears moving within
     
  10. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Take this kerfuffle with a grain of salt. The author is showing a lot of signs of being headed to some form of Catholicism, probably in the form of the Old Catholic movement.
     
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  11. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    If you look at his church website now it says that they celebrate the 1570 mass. They have it in Latin and in English now. They also call themselves independent Catholic.
     
  12. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    In C.S. Lewis’ words, Obedient to neither Rome nor Canterbury, it sounds like.