It turns out that my suspicions about the lack of a press release from the College of Bishops meeting were correct. Anglican Unscripted reported on this over the weekend. Among other things, they said:
- There are rumors that some churches within C4SO no longer want to be associated with ACNA.
- Ten to twelve C4SO churches have dropped ACNA from their websites.
- At the November diocesan convention of C4SO there was an attempt to update their constitution to remove ACNA and replace it with the Anglican Communion. This did not in fact happen.
- There is a College of Bishops meeting coming in March (possibly) about the issues with C4SO. The REC seems to be driving this meeting due to C4SO clergy and leadership pushing Critical Race Theory and dissenting from ACNA’s views on sexuality.
- The recent meeting in Melbourne Florida was heavily about the Diocese of the Upper Midwest and its problems, as well as the Via Apostolica investigation.
- There is a difference in views between Bishop Todd Hunter and other bishops about the weight and authority of their public statements. Does the ACNA statement on sexuality have some binding authority, or is it just the opinion of the bishops?
The Church of England, like other provinces of the Anglican Communion (the Episcopal Church for example) has lost its moral moorings. Lambeth has repeatedly supported a one man one woman in Holy Matrimony view of human sexuality. But these provinces do not follow this biblical view. I am not familiar with the canons of the Church for the Sake of Others (C4SO), but if they (or any other churches within ACNA) support same sex marriage, the ordination of homosexuals, or other LGBTQ perversions of human sexuality, the bishops of ACNA must…must…discipline those parishes or provinces; call them to repentance or separate them from the province.
The canons of C4SO do not support same sex marriage. Depending the specific parish, they may allow for ordination of people who experience same-sex attraction but remain celibate and faithful to historical and Scriptural teaching on marriage and sexual activity.
I think the issue is the departure of a C4SO with Bishop Hunter’s blessing over these practices: https://anglican.ink/2021/09/25/acna-parish-withdraws-from-c420-to-join-the-ceec/
Also, Hunter’s position on the statements from ACNA, see https://americananglican.org/featured/do-the-bishops-of-the-acna-have-teaching-authority-when-they-speak-or-not/
I don’t see anything in that or elsewhere that Bishop Hunter “blessed” their departure or blessed these practices. Their own statement simply says that they consulted with Bp. Hunter in a discernment process about whether they should leave C4SO and the ACNA because of this shift in their beliefs. And apparently he agreed it would be best for them to go.
Yes, it is not stated in that fashion, you are correct. He certainly didn’t discipline or depose the priest like you would expect a shepherd to do.
When a priest becomes apostate, it is his bishop’s job to put him under discipline, not to facilitate a “discernment process” on whether he and his parish should join with other apostates. I’ve seen no evidence Bishop Hunter took any steps of discipline toward Rev. Danny Bryant, or the leaders of St. Mary of Bethany. Was Bryant defrocked? If not why not? He’s literally leading the members of his congregation away from the Gospel….into outer darkness–apparently with Bishop Hunter’s blessing.
He was leaving the ACNA but the Bishop was hopeful that perhaps they could be persuaded not to go down that road and wouldn’t abandon orthodoxy. They didn’t. What purpose does “deposing” them serve at that point. Just let them go.
My Church History professor at Trinty School for Ministry, The Rev. Dr. Leslie Fairfield, taught that “Apostolic Succession is not about who laid hands on whom, but rather it is about the defense of the faith once delivered to the Saints.” It should, therefore, be clear that though one has been consecrated following the ordinal, if that one fails to defend the faith as written in Holy Scripture, that person is not a bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ. (That includes ACNA.) And it should be understood that those faithful shepherds of the Church (ACNA) have a duty to discipline (remove from office) that person for the sake of the purity and faithful witness of the body of Christ.
At the same time the Church should make room for repentance and forgiveness, and to restore those who truly repent and turn from sin.