Monday, June 30, 2008

Anglicanism's SSPX

GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference) just ended with conservative bishops declaring their stand against the liberalism of the First World (read as US Episcopal Church) church in this statement.

For those not very familiar with the Anglican troubles, the Anglican ethos of doctrinal comprehensiveness was sorely tested when the US church ordained its first openly homosexual bishop. This was followed by the Canadian church blessing same sex partnerships in church. The church is still very divided on women priests. Some dioceses and provinces have refused to ordain women. The Anglican churches in Africa,South America, Asia and Sydney had enough. So GAFCON was convened in Jerusalem.

The Guardian reports the formation of the Fellowship of Conservative Anglicans (FOCA) as a result of GAFCON. This is a de facto schism. Evangelical Archbishop Peter Jensen of Sydney says the move would

"order a situation of turmoil" and help to deal with "the chaos caused in the Anglican church through revisionist activities"

FOCA says "While acknowledging the nature of Canterbury as an historic see, we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury."

FOCA's structure parallels that of the worldwide Anglican Church.

This is a declaration of schism in fact. It's the Anglican version of the Roman Catholic SSPX schism. The conservative Anglicans want to return to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles of Religion. This is akin to the SSPX dumping all the "innovations"of Vatican II and sticking with the Latin Mass. FOCA may profess communion with Canterbury but like what SSPX does, even if it prays for the present Pope (to convert him from the Vatican II errors), FOCA won't recognize Rowan of Canterbury.

The problem is unlike Benedict, Rowan has no guarantees of infallibility!

And the leader of the African churches, Peter Akinola has released anti-Brit colonial angst.

This are interesting times for the Anglican Church.

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