Why not to ask ACNA into the Communion

It’s the time of year for informally discussing the future as we look to 2012.

Mark Harris considers a recent blog entry by his acquaintance Peter Carrell, who asks,

Give one good reason for ACC 2012 not to invite ACNA to join the Anglican Communion.

Harris responds, helpfully I think, that there are two reasons:

Because no Communion of Churches in its right mind will deliberately include a new member church that exist precisely because the new member Church believes an existing member church to be un-Christian, heretical and not truly Anglican. Because the Anglican Communion has some interest in being in its right mind, that is a communion in which scripture, reason and tradition all play a part in discernment, the Anglican Communion will avoid, if at all possible, doing something as blatantly stupid as inviting membership from a church already a break-away from a member body….

The second reason (just for added fun) that the ACC can not “invite the ACNA to join the Anglican Communion” is that the ACC can’t invite any church to join something other than itself. Becoming part of the Anglican Consultative Council puts a church on “the list of member churches.” Being on the ACC list makes one a member church of the Anglican Communion as it is understood by ACC itself. How well that list matches with the list of Church bishops invited to Lambeth, or Primates invited to the Primates Meetings is another question.

How would you advance this discussion? Or is sufficient unto itself?

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