Turning it Over to the ACNA: The Rwandans Have Had All the Fun They Can Stand

A hard conclusion to avoid:

In a move that took most people by surprise, the Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Rwanda, the Most Rev. Onesphorus Rwaje publicly handed over a number of US bishops and clergy who had been canonically resident in Rwanda to the Most Rev. Robert Duncan, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

“I am here to be with you as you officially receive bishops, presbyters and deacons who have voluntarily requested to be canonically transferred from the oversight of the Anglican Church of Rwanda to the ACNA,” he told conferees of the ACNA Assembly 2012.

One thing that has always been the great unknown in the ecclesiastical experiment called the ACNA has been this: how to pull together all the African jurisdictions that have come to this continent into the new fold.  The whole process of the Rwandans and the AMiA hasn’t been a pretty one, but my guess is that the people back home have had enough of North American egotism and wanted to bring closure in as graceful way as possible.

One thing that makes this a little easier is GAFCON.  It looks like the centre of the Orthodox wing of Anglicanism will in fact end up in Africa in spite of the problems with the AMiA .  When that process moves forward, same Africans will have more say about those with whom they have communion.

Hopefully the rebels on this side of the Atlantic will remember an important principle: treat people you meet on the way up well, because you’ll meet them again on the way down.

2 Replies to “Turning it Over to the ACNA: The Rwandans Have Had All the Fun They Can Stand”

  1. It should be noted that ++Rwaje did not hand over all of his North American clergy and parishes directly to ACNA. A considerable number will remain connected with Rwanda through PEARUSA, a newly established North American missionary district which will function much like CANA as a sub-jurisdiction of ACNA. ++Duncan described how things are being sorted out during his state of the church address:

    “Yesterday, the College of Bishops adopted a three-way protocol (PEAR, ACNA, and PEARUSA) that effectively gives PEARUSA participation as if it were a diocese of this Church. Moreover, today this Council will be asked to approve a diocese in formation (called Christ the King and centered at Houston, Texas) composed of former AMiA congregations. In other parts of our two countries (Canada and the US) congregations that have been AM congregations are associating with existing dioceses of the Anglican Church in North America. Bishop Todd Hunter of Churches for the Sake of Others (C4SO) has joined us as a bishop with special mission and two of our dioceses have given “cover” to two other Anglican Mission bishops and their congregations – with a third bishop and network in conversation – as their relationships to the AM gets sorted out.”

    I’m not quite sure how any of this could take “most people by surprise.” The process leading up to this outcome has been ongoing and quite public for the last six months. PEARUSA will hold its assembly in Raleigh next week.

    1. Thanks for the clarification, that was the part I wasn’t quite sure about.

      I think the reason people are surprised by this is that our generation is notorious for fanatical turf wars, even when it’s not in anyone’s best interest to do so. A classic example of this (in part) is TEC’s long and expensive litigation attack against the various and sundry congregations that have attempted to secede w/property; the litigation costs have bled the church to death (which it’s already experiencing on a demographic basis).

      It’s nice to see some people actually handle an ugly situation in a way that’s both Christian an realistic; we need to take some lessons from it.

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