Radner: “Duncan starting a new church”

The Rev. Dr. Epraim Radner has resigned from the Anglican Communion Network. He issued his statement of resignation on the Anglican Communion Institute, Inc. website. He writes, in part:

Bishop Duncan has now declared the See of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference — two of the four Instruments of Communion within our tradition – to be “lost”. … the declaration in effect cancels out the other two Instruments of Communion that also uphold our common Anglican life – the Primates’ Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council. It is the entire Anglican Communion, therefore, that Bp. Duncan is declaring to be “lost”. The judgment is far too sweeping.

Read it all here.

Bp. Duncan has, in the end, decided to start a new church.

Radner was responding to remarks made by Bishop Duncan. As reported in the Living Church,

Bishop Duncan expressed his disappointment that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not supported Network members in ways that he and other Network leaders had hoped.

“Never, ever has he spoken publicly in defense of the orthodox in the United States,” Bishop Duncan said of the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, adding that “the cost is his office.

“To lose that historic office is a cost of such magnitude that God must be doing a new thing,” he said.

A reporter for The Living Church asked Bishop Duncan to expand on his remarks about the cost of the archbishop’s office. “I was actually expanding on a remark that the Archbishop of Sydney made during a breakfast I had with him two weeks ago,” Bishop Duncan said, explaining that both the See of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference have been lost as instruments of communion.

“The fact is that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not led in a way that might have saved his office and might have saved Lambeth,” Bishop Duncan said.

Asked if he thought that being in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury was essential to being Anglican, Bishop Duncan said that being obedient to scripture is of greater importance than being recognized by Canterbury.

As the ACN’s annual conference came to an end delegates “declined removing the organization from under the authority of the constitution of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church.”

An Anglican Communion without Canterbury has recently been discussed by Archbishops Akinola and Orombi.

UPDATE. Radner has more to say here (scroll to comment #188). Some extracts:

It simply made no sense – logically, theologically, and morally— for a member of the Covenant Design Group like myself to remain a member of an organization that has, through its chief leader and spokesperson, repudiated the very basis for the work I accepted and accepted willingly and under the Lord.

I have come to the conclusion that unity among conservatives has not in fact been a goal for many, and that to pretend otherwise is confusing matters gravely; it should be, of course, but until there is greater honesty, it will not be. The unity of the Communion is under such serious threat, and is of such a value, that allowing words, actions, and strategies that are undermining our future go unquestioned, immediately and forcefully, is a dereliction of Christian responsibility.

Radner remains on Board of Directors of the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

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