ACI leader’s parish joins Church of Nigeria

Just two months ago, the Rev. Don Armstrong of the Anglican Communion Institute was meeting with the Episcopal Church’s “Windsor bishops” at Camp Allen in Texas to help them consider alternative primatial oversight. Tonight comes news that he has led his parish, the largest in Colorado, into the Church of Nigeria.

The diocese’s news release is here. The parish’s news page is here.

This move, comes on the heels of this essay by Ephraim Radner, another member of the ACI, who helped write the first draft of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s covenant for the Anglican Communion. Radner is a member of the board of directors of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which works to destabilize mainline Protestant churches.

These developments are somewhat perplexing because the ACI scored a major victory in Tanzania when the ACI-coached “Windsor bishops,” were given a significant role in the primatial vicar scheme embraced by the Primates. Can it be that it only took the rejection of that scheme by the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops to chase these fellows from the field? Maybe. But I wish we knew more.

In any case, Armstrong’s desertion, coupled with Radner’s association with the IRD have destroyed the ACI’s credibility with Episcopal bishops, and damaged it in England as well. The ACI is an institute in the Simonian, rather than Smithsonian sense, and two of its six members have taken themselves out of the action.

Update: Interestingly, Christopher Setiz of the ACI is still insisting that the Windsor bishops meet and do his bidding. Seitz wants a group of bishops who number no more than 20, and perhaps as few as 14, to defy the rest of the House of Bishops and, in all liklihood, the Executive Council, and embrace a plan put forth by an organization which just saw one of its six members jump ship for the Church of Nigeria.

If this were to happen, it seems likely there would be serious consequences for the Church and the Windsor Bishops. But I can’t seem to come up with any scenario in which there would be consequences for Christopher Setiz.

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