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June 18th, 2010
05:50 PM ET

New Anglican group comes to America

A group of Anglican leaders who left the Episcopal Church have formed a new diocese in the South for “orthodox” Christians.

The Anglican Diocese of the South was formally recognized by the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) at the council’s meeting in Amesbury, Massachusetts this month.

The new diocese will include at least 1,500 Anglicans from 20 churches in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, says Bishop Foley Beach,  bishop-elect for the new diocese.

Beach, who left the Episcopal Church after it confirmed the ordination of an openly gay bishop in 2004, says the diocese will focus on evangelism, teaching, and starting new congregations.

Beach is one of several leaders in ACNA who recently left the Episcopal Church. ACNA leaders say the Anglican Communion, the worldwide association of churches to which the Episcopal Church belongs, is experiencing a “reformation” as more disenchanted members in the U.S. depart.

ACNA leaders say the reformation was triggered by the Episcopal Church’s decisions to accept “un-Biblical and un-Anglican practices.” ACNA, formed in 2008, now represents at least 100,000 Christians in North America at 612 congregations, its leaders say.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Anglican • Christianity • Episcopal • Homosexuality • Protestant

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soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Metal Brake

    there are many social issues these days and we have different solutions for different social problems ..~

    December 22, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  2. Alysa Schmauder

    I am constantly browsing online for articles that can help me. Thx!

    December 6, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  3. Male Reproductive System :

    there are many social issues that we face today but the biggest issue i think is poverty,'"

    October 25, 2010 at 5:23 am |
  4. Mirrored Furniture 

    social issues these days are quite complicated and often involves politics*,,

    October 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  5. Blake Butler

    there are many social issues today that bothers us, hope we can solve everyone of them:`:

    September 28, 2010 at 1:03 am |
  6. Jerry

    blah blah blah fart

    August 24, 2010 at 1:56 am |
  7. episcopalforever

    Why doesnt ACNA just join with the Southern Baptist Convention? They are so fundamentalist as it is, its hard to tell the difference at times. I can respect people wanting to be Roman Catholic but this pseudo-anglocatholic movement is niether anglican or catholic.

    June 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  8. atheistamongus

    Just like any other "brand," marketing is everything. There is a "religion" that caters to every world-view that I can think of. Just so happens that they all resemble each other. At their roots, one cult/belief system/religion/brainwash is no different from another – they all want to enhance their share of the market. Power over the people is power indeed.

    June 21, 2010 at 9:59 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Atheistamongus,

      Atheist among us—sorry, you are not among us. You are on the outside looking in.

      You do not know Love. Love is not something, Love is Jesus. You don’t know Him. We are willing to help you find Truth. Truth is not something—it is Jesus.

      Jesus' Church which He established thousands of years ago is here still and will never be exterminated by satan and his kind. The Church is our refuge and our strength. Don’t worry, you are a no worse sinner than we all are—who are in constant need of help along the Way. Your soul is most wanted by Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd who will leave 99 sheep in the desert to go searching for the lost one. You are worth it, Atheist. All you have to do is stop turning your back on the Good Shepherd; but He gave you a free will and you do have the option to continue on your way if you wish. No one will be lost unless they wish it on their own. Once you know Truth and still wish to go your own way—that will be a sad day which will extend into eternity.

      You are a very angry person and need healing from some hurt—hurt that someone dealt you or you did to yourself. Jesus heals. It is a shame to waste your life living in your anger. You can find forgiveness—it is never too late. You can be happy and live a fulfilling life. Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life. Don’t be afraid…let us help you…

      June 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  9. jay

    It is possible that ACNA could become the official voice of Anglicanism in the US (depending upon what the Catholic bishops decide with the Archbishop of Canterbury). Who knows!

    June 20, 2010 at 10:47 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Jay, here is some more history that may shed some light of how things where and why they are the way they are now:

      John Fisher is usually associated with Erasmus, Thomas More and other Renaissance humanists. His life, therefore, did not have the external simplicity found in the lives of some saints. Rather, he was a man of learning, associated with the intellectuals and political leaders of his day. He was interested in the contemporary culture and eventually became chancellor at Cambridge. He had been made a bishop at 35, and one of his interests was raising the standard of preaching in England. Fisher himself was an accomplished preacher and writer. His sermons on the penitential psalms were reprinted seven times before his death. With the coming of Lutheranism, he was drawn into controversy. His eight books against heresy gave him a leading position among European theologians.
      In 1521 he was asked to study the problem of Henry VIII’s marriage. He incurred Henry’s anger by defending the validity of the king’s marriage with Catherine and later by rejecting Henry’s claim to be the supreme head of the Church of England.
      In an attempt to be rid of him, Henry first had him accused of not reporting all the “revelations” of the nun of Kent, Elizabeth Barton. John was summoned, in feeble health, to take the oath to the new Act of Succession. He and Thomas More refused because the Act presumed the legality of Henry’s divorce and his claim to be head of the English Church. They were sent to the Tower of London, where Fisher remained 14 months without trial. They were finally sentenced to life imprisonment and loss of goods.
      When the two were called to further interrogations, they remained silent. Fisher was tricked, on the supposition he was speaking privately as a priest, and declared again that the king was not supreme head. The king, further angered that the pope had made John Fisher a cardinal, had him brought to trial on the charge of high treason. He was condemned and executed, his body left to lie all day on the scaffold and his head hung on London Bridge. More was executed two weeks later.

      Comment:
      Today many questions are raised about Christians' and priests' active involvement in social issues. John Fisher remained faithful to his calling as a bishop. He strongly upheld the teachings of the Church; the very cause of his martyrdom was his loyalty to Rome. He was involved in the cultural enrichment circles as well as in the political struggles of his time. This involvement caused him to question the moral conduct of the leadership of his country. "The Church has the right, indeed the duty, to proclaim justice on the social, national and international level, and to denounce instances of injustice, when the fundamental rights of man and his very salvation demand it" (Justice in the World, 1971 Synod of Bishops).
      Quote:
      Erasmus said of John Fisher: "He is the one man at this time who is incomparable for uprightness of life, for learning and for greatness of soul."

      June 23, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  10. jay

    "...the boat is resembling Peter's Barque more and more...."

    In some respects, the Church of England "boat," so to speak, is trying to stay in touch with Peter's Barque (but I don't think the Episcopal chuch boat is or cares to). For example, when Pope Benedict goes to England in September to beatify Cardinal John Henry Newman, he will also address English Catholic and English Anglican bishops together at Lambeth Palace. How this will affect conservative African Anglicans, the majority of Anglicans, remains to be seen. But it will please many Catholic-leaning Anglican bishops in England, who don't want Catholicism and Anglicanism to drift apart over controversial issues. The Archbishop of Canterbury is also forbidding Episcopalians to speak in the name of Anglicanism at Catholic/Anglican and Orthodox/Anglican gatherings.

    June 20, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Jay, here is some history that may help you understand how the Church of England broke from Mother Church. It has its roots in the Catholic Church and that may be why it is looking more and more like Peter’s Barque.

      St. Thomas More 1478-1535

      His belief that no lay ruler has jurisdiction over the Church of Christ cost Thomas More his life.
      Beheaded on Tower Hill, London, July 6, 1535, he steadfastly refused to approve Henry VIII’s divorce and remarriage and establishment of the Church of England.
      Described as “a man for all seasons,” More was a literary scholar, eminent lawyer, gentleman, father of four children and chancellor of England. An intensely spiritual man, he would not support the king’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn. Nor would he acknowledge Henry as supreme head of the Church in England, breaking with Rome and denying the pope as head.
      More was committed to the Tower of London to await trial for treason: not swearing to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy. Upon conviction, More declared he had all the councils of Christendom and not just the council of one realm to support him in the decision of his conscience.

      Comment:
      Four hundred years later, in 1935, Thomas More was canonized a saint of God. Few saints are more relevant to the 20th century. The supreme diplomat and counselor, he did not compromise his own moral values in order to please the king, knowing that true allegiance to authority is not blind acceptance of everything that authority wants. King Henry himself realized this and tried desperately to win his chancellor to his side because he knew More was a man whose approval counted, a man whose personal integrity no one questioned. But when Thomas resigned as chancellor, unable to approve the two matters that meant most to Henry, the king had to get rid of Thomas More.

      June 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  11. Auggie

    Jay, you are painting this picture with way too wide a brush. I am a convert to Episcopalianism (grew up Primitive Baptist) and in the last 20 years of being part of this denomination, I've seen nothing but very healthy and very large congregations in every church I have attended. This includes parents with many children, singles, older people who married after spouses died, gays and lesbians, etc, and nowhere have I felt such an incredible amount of love and acceptance for ALL of God's children, so please don't believe everything you read. BTW, if what you say is true about being on "a sinking craft", then so be it - I will still be on the right side of loving kindness to my fellow Christians, which you do not seem to care for.

    June 20, 2010 at 11:14 am |
    • Evan

      How interesting. As a recent convert to Episcopalianism (I'm in my early 20s), I lamented the fact that my leadership was paying less attention everyday to Scripture and putting more and more weight on being politically correct- following society's leadership rather than God's. The recent appearance of the ACNA has given me hope that my generation will be the one to turn the church back to the Lord and away from a man-centered philosophy of ministry. If we use the Bible's categories we soon realize that size is not an indicator of health and what really matters is adherence to all of Scripture, not just the parts we happen to like. "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

      June 20, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      I have never heard of 'Primitive Baptist'. Please, help me understand what this is....thank you.

      June 20, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  12. jay

    "...the issues that are shaping the Episcopal church in America."

    The Episcopal Church has gone too far left for most Anglicans in the world (who are African) and keeps shrinking and shriking each day in the US (now under 1% of the US population). ACNA realizes this and is attempting to salvage what is left of Anglicanism in the US. ACNA's links with African Anglicans will give it greater global visibility on the long run. I think ACNA realizes this. It's getting off a sinking craft (however well meaning the Episcopal church tries to be) because it doesn't want to drown, die out, become so insignificant that no one takes it seriously.

    June 19, 2010 at 11:12 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Jay,
      Place your trust in the Truth. If your church has been in existence since the reformation and you are increasingly concerned in the direction it is headed-do not jump overboard just because you fear change-perhaps you should see where the boat is headed before you think it is sinking.

      Should you find that the boat is resembling Peter’s Barque more and more, you have reason to rejoice for this is your true destination-full circle into Mother Church. Google ‘Peter’s Barque’ and tell me if you believe.

      June 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
    • Andacar

      I can't help but feel the same way. When they elect a bishop who openly doubts parts of the Niacene Creed (that's my main problem with Robinson), a presiding bishiop who makes bumper stickers that say "we don't believe in that crap either" (which "crap" is she referring to?) and especially a head seminarian who doesn't find the sacrifice and resurection of Christ to be "a compelling narrative" and thinks abortion is a blessing, what do you expect?

      June 20, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  13. KellyinCA

    The emergence of this new organization may only serve to divide Episcopal Americans further and weaken the Anglican Communion as a whole. If the Anglican Communion is going to regain a firm grasp of leadership for all its members, it will need to discuss openly and honestly the issues that are shaping the Episcopal Church in America. Then, it will need to bring its leaders to account for the changes which are causing so much controversy elsewhere.

    If the American Episcopal Church is "marketing" itself as a progressive alternative to Roman Catholicism, it must walk the talk, or else risk losing members on either side of the aisle to other denominations such as the Catholic Church or the United Church of Christ. The Anglican communion as a whole will need to examine the effects on its influence by what's happening in the U.S. Church, and to consider how important the U.S. church is to the Communion and if its value as an evangelizing force in the U.S. is worth the trouble it sees now in a few openly gay and lesbian bishops.

    June 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Could you, please, explain what you mean by: American Episcopal Church is "marketing" itself as a progressive alternative to Roman Catholicism?
      Thank you in advance....

      June 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  14. CatholicMom

    so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.
    And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one,
    I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one,

    June 19, 2010 at 11:14 am |
    • HeIsGod

      Amen!!!

      June 19, 2010 at 1:54 pm |
    • Reality

      CatholicMom,

      What many contemporary experts conclude about John's gospel- Modern mainstream scholarship has predominantly concluded that the author of the Gospel of John was not an eyewitness to the Historical Jesus.[39][40] Certain modern critical scholars concluded that the Gospel of John was largely unreliable.[5][41] These further argued that the traditional identification of the book's author—the Beloved Disciple—with the apostle John was false.[6][42]

      Some see the Fourth Gospel as being so hostile towards Judaism that the author might not even have been Jewish.[43] The claim that John was the author was thought to be falsified and not backed by any solid historical evidence.[43] Since the author was fluent in Hellenistic philosophy, it could hardly have been John, described in Acts as "unschooled and ordinary."[Ac. 4:13][43] Furthermore, Jesus was recorded as foretelling that John would suffer martyrdom along with his brother, James.[Mk. 10:39][Ac. 12:2][33][6] In addition, 5th and 9th century writers referred to an alleged passage by Papias indicating that James and John had been killed by the Jews, and their deaths are recorded in several early martyrologies.[33] This evidence for John's martyrdom, however, is inconclusive.[33]

      Prominent, mainstream scholars view the Gospel of John as being a largely unreliable written account forged by an anonymous author posthumous to the Apostle.[5][6][41][42] The Gospel was likely written c. 90-100, possibly in Ephesus.[44]"

      The passage you noted, John 17: 21 is by the way a single attestation. No other gospel or reference has it as part of their contents. It is therefore historically unreliable as being from the historical Jesus. Most of John's gospel is in the same category as embellishment to make Jesus something he was not.

      June 19, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Reality,
      When you mention ‘modern critical scholars’, or ‘contemporary experts’, or ‘modern mainstream scholarship’-do you have names and documents?

      We all know that the Bible is a Catholic ‘Book’. The Books of the Bible were decided upon for their content as the inspired Word of God; each particular Book was chosen because the Church recognized Herself within the Words. There were many books to choose from and not all were the inspired Word of God; but the Church put all the right ones together and so we have our most precious Bible.

      The Bible remained the Catholic Bible from the time all the Books were put together by Her until today. Yes, history shows that men have thrown out Books and printed a bible more to their liking-changing words—adding and removing words—but if you choose to read a Catholic Bible you will find it to be the complete Bible with all its Books, as it was in the beginning.

      For all persons who believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God they can trust that it is the Truth. These scholars and experts that you mention [who are they] and what power do they have to decide anything other than what has been decided by the Church, concerning the Book that the Church put together? Someone who isn’t the author of a book can certainly read it and disagree all they want with it, however if they decide that the Bible is saying something other than what the Church says it is saying, then they can know that they are in error. The Church is the pillar and foundation of Truth.

      This brings me to the conclusion that you are reading works of not scholars and experts but persons who are trying to undermine the Bible.

      June 19, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
    • Andacar

      To "Reality:"

      Would any of the "mainstream scholars" that you mention happen to have been part of the "Jesus Seminar?" Because if they are, then their membership and findings, to put it mildly, are hotly debated. Their criteria was often dubious, and I rarely find explanations that make much sense when they refer to some text or another as "inauthentic" other than that it is their opinion.

      June 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Reality

      Andacar,

      Please review the reference I noted to CatholicMom. Read some of the books and conclusions by the NT exegetes (some being Jesus Seminarians) so listed. Their conclusions are based on modern methods for analyzing history i.e. the number of attestions, when the attestations were written and authenicated archeological evidence.

      June 21, 2010 at 12:02 am |
    • hahah

      Until you realize that there is no evidence of anything in the bible found in real life. Ouch. The least they can do is give us his birthplace you would think but no, zero, zip, nada. Same with the rest of the "facts" in the bible, unless of course someone can show me a time in which people aged 600 years. Egypt? Moses? nope! For the first book I'd say they did an amazing job, almost too good!! but why is there zero historical evidence of anything found in the bible? Not to mention I'd bet my life alot of you just assume the time-line fits and all. That I find amazing, if you understand the time-line of humanity on earth than you'd get it that the bible makes zero sense. If you don't then well, you don't. Still the one thing that keeps me thinking is just how damn perfect the book is, but I guess if I had thousands of years to correct it mine would be too. Honestly, with all I know of history the bible is a myth, a fantasy, a trojan horse, city, or war, there, but not. And to be quite frank the values and morals are questionable in today's world and if you can't get over that then God help you. Have a good one. Just hope people keep an open mind and accept the facts as opposed to what we want to hear. Seems to me its becoming ever clearer that the bible was in fact a collection of myths, tales, or sagas passed down not only from generations, but other civilizations. Same stories are found everywhere in the world. Very interesting to say the least. To be honest I'm often baffled at how few actually read their own book. Hope that doesn't continue. Reading is healthy, learning is healthy, and trying to be a better person is even better. Great read either way you look at it.

      November 14, 2010 at 4:51 am |
  15. ACNA-er

    Very exciting time to be in the ACNA! The Gospel is being faithfully preached and people are responding.

    June 18, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
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