Comments: CANA and Common Cause

As long as this group doesn't try to 1) steal TEC (or AngChCanada) property or 2) maintain ties w/ Canterbury (as Anglicans), then I say live and let live . . . but any ordained women involved, are kidding themselves if they think that there will *any more* women clergy ordained by this bunch!

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Sunday, 20 August 2006 at 5:03pm BST

There are many witting/unwitting frames at work here. Each one bears intentional investigation.

One core idea seems obvious. We are called to preserve and transmit the Great Treasure of the Kingdom. No matter what part of our legacy is at hand, the point surely is to go back in time, reclaiming something pristine, apostolic, untainted.

It is even more curious then, when an iteration of this Great Preservational Frame serves to cut off the best practices investigations that otherwise we would need to travel back inside a variety of modern intellectual vehicles of good inquiry. Though we are still fallible, we use these vehicles as we make our best efforts - to reconstruct, describe, and weigh - accurately and carefully - something from among our legacy heritage of the past.

We are edging into even stranger territory when a real world excavation of, say, our best approximation of the former site of the Old Globe Theater cannot be allowed to speak to any text passage we have so carefully preserved from Shakespeare. Closing things down.

These pronouncements make their references into nothing but closed authorities which so far as we are pledging properly, cannot ever be criticized or superceded. Closing things down. This aims for us to cite Hooker then as law and jot and tittle, while violating the comprehensive spirit of the real world Hooker. Hooker deliberately sought to help a church deliberately construct a space within which the warfare (to which conservatives are now again calling us) would be unnecessary, and over time, unthinkable. How strange. The prayer book being cited, too, was a deliberate effort to liturgically construct a neutral, unarmed vehicle for common prayer across diverse believers.

Closing things down. These historical legacies of generosity and peace in the terrible past wars between Puritans and Catholics are being referenced as lethal armaments of our current conservative-against-liberal war mongering.

If this is the royal road to preserving and respecting the Great Treasures of the Kingdom, we must walk it ever so cautiously. The cross of Christ will become a weapon, not a sign of the God who makes peace by dying in knowledge of resurrection. This Jesus threatens to act, like any other self-respecting ancient near eastern deity would have acted - calling down twelve legions of angels to wreak havoc upon anybody who dares to walk down our streets improperly confessed.

Posted by drdanfee at Sunday, 20 August 2006 at 6:08pm BST

"7. We receive the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of 1562, taken in their literal and grammatical sense, as expressing the Anglican response to certain doctrinal issues controverted at that time, and as expressing the fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief."

Well that throws many (most?) Anglo-Catholics under a bus, since they by and large do not accept the 39 Articles "as expressing the fundamental principles of authentic Anglican belief." At most, as I understand it from my Anglican days, the classical High Churchmen and ACs tended to subscribe to the 39 Articles as articles of peace rather than a foundational confessional statement of faith. Can Bishops Iker and Ackerman (among others) really sign that in good conscience?

Posted by Patrick Rothwell at Sunday, 20 August 2006 at 7:30pm BST

>>>Can Bishops Iker and Ackerman (among others) really sign that in good conscience?

I don't know about Ackerman, but Iker, for all his talk of being an Anglo-Catholic, strikes me more as an Anglo-Baptist. He probably won't have any trouble at all signing onto even an uberprotestant statement of belief, particularly if it will keep the women and homos away. And if it will allow him to become one of the top prelates in a newfangled Akinolan Communion, then so much the better.

Posted by New Here at Sunday, 20 August 2006 at 9:25pm BST

Too bad the 'reasserter' bishops have not recently read E.J. Bicknell's The Thirty-Nine Articles (3rd edition revised by +Harry Carpenter, C.S. Lewis's bishop-friend), or they have overlooked essential points made by the recognized experts on the Articles.

To quote: "But all doctrinal statements must partake of the nature of metaphor. They are true as far as they go, but they cannot represent the whole truth" (p.5). "The Church can never cease to reflect on her doctrines. Standing on the foundation of the Scriptures and guided by her own theological tradition, the Church will in every age discover the necessity for renewed theological thought, in order both to maintain her own life and to propagate her faith in the contemporary world" (p.6). "Creeds have behind them the authority of the universal and undivided Church, Articles have behind them at most the authority of particular or national Churches... Hence Creeds have a permanent value, Articles only temporary value..." (p.19).

If the Network 'drama queen' bishops carried the day in today's 'culture war', Anglicanism in North America would really degenerate into a 16/17th century 'anti-modernist' and anti-intellectual fossil.

Posted by John Henry at Sunday, 20 August 2006 at 11:25pm BST

Calvinism in drag.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 21 August 2006 at 7:25am BST

I feel somewhat taken aback by the news that CANA has so quickly been accepted as the ninth jurisdiction in this group.
Perhaps I am missing something here, but I felt that Bishop Minns and his organisation had not gained the support from others on the list and was likely to be left aside – albeit temporarily.
The inclusion of CANA is a surprise in that it endorses Bishop Minns’ role in America and seems to contradict the views of those from the Common Cause constituency who have contributed on related items here on this blog.
I can only think that this development will cause some soul searching.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Monday, 21 August 2006 at 11:56am BST

The speed with which CANA has started to morph before our very eyes, from a alleged cultural campus ministry to isolated Nigerian believers, into a whole new cluster of networked cell growth that wishes to supplant TEC, suggests that this has probably been one of the possible game plans since at least the externally funded Akinola barbecues. ABN Akinola might want to stop talking up his famous analogy with the runaway cell growth of cancer tissues - his CANA is fitting the bill more closely than TEC ever could. I hope everybody will feel utterly free to worship with Minns, and make their own best prayerful discernments. I think if I were CANA, I would at least have waited until some of the newish ad hoc meetings with Canterbury's reps were finished - because there might be some surprise notes from some of those. Like reaffirming TEC as the USA province?

From outside, it all looks pretty much like USA Karl Rove-type strategizing, and thus has a certain momentum along with a colorful, loud, half-true/half-spin flair to its credit. Given how the conservative blogs are hyping up Minns as the Good Pastor, one wonders how he has ended up running away to join the circus after all. Imagine, elected to meddle?

Notice how moving bishops around our emerging church realpolitik chess board is still supposed to highly impress all of the rest of us little lay people? That is a Rovian-type clue if ever I noticed one. Maybe. If that clue holds, then surely these are much the same folks who have already brought us the USA Religious Right takeover of the Republican Party and the Southern Baptist Conference. So far the Lutherans have held them at bay, rather successfully, and the juries are apparently still out concerning the Presbyterians and Methodists. I suppose the Anglican communion is a trial run for taking on large churches with long-standing international relationships.

Is Africa the new conservatively conformed TEC substitute? Will orthodox Anglican Nigerian mega-churches soon be coming to a neighborhood near you and yours?

Ah liberalism. Ah, progressivism. Equality, justice, leeway, comprehension, inquiry? A huff and a puff from any conservative reading of scripture, and all is blown away like so much silly modern mist clogging one's biblical vision.

Posted by drdanfee at Monday, 21 August 2006 at 3:41pm BST

I am not surprised at the connection of CANA with the other "orthodox" sects. There has been for some time a certain sense of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

However, the history of this sort of connection within "Anglican" groups has been poor. I remember well the "ACNAE" churches of a generation ago (the Anglican Church of North America, the Diocese of Christ the King, etc, who separated over the ordination of women and changes in the Prayer Book), and have noted over the years that their shared antipathy to decisions of the Episcopal Church have not been enough to bring them together; and their divisions have simply proliferated. One can take a look at the Not in Communion page on Anglicans Online ( and see that. The principle of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" did not sustain them, and will not sustain these new groups. There is, for example, division in the Reformed Episcopal Church over mutual recognition with the Anglican Province of America lest REC lose it's anti-Oxford Movement heritage. These folks will find it easy to talk to one another. They will, I expect, find it much harder, despite an early rush of attraction, to walk with one another.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Monday, 21 August 2006 at 6:56pm BST

For those who find themselves caught in the middle of this, I read so many of the snide and hurtful comments above, and wonder how Jesus really would have responded.

Posted by mwcob at Friday, 25 August 2006 at 1:27am BST

This recent and almost constant reference to "Orthodox" Anglicanism really confuses me. I made a decision to join the Episcopal/Anglican Church a few years back precisely because it was roomy enough for a variety of opinions and expressions. I am also confused by folks who claim to hold to scripture while ignoring the parts THEY don't care for. Still, they use other parts as weapons against those who disagree with them. What is that about? To be honest, I wonder what all of this is REALLY about.

Posted by Peter Pearson at Saturday, 27 October 2007 at 11:33pm BST
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