The Feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch 2003
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ:
There appear to be two "A.A.C.'s" in the Church today. The "American Anglican Council" and "Affirming Anglican Catholicism."
We predate their existence by a number of years. And while equally committed to "the Lordship of Jesus Christ, under the authority of Holy Scripture, and (being) members of God's one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church," we stand in a very different place on the issues confronting the Anglican Communion today.
While they (the American Anglican Council) "proclaim our Lord's Great Commandment and His Great Commission to be our life's highest calling," we (in Affirming Anglican Catholicism), "affirm (that) the riches of our catholic tradition are needed throughout the Church to further Christian mission."
While they "repudiate the 74th General Convention's confirmation of a non-celibate homosexual to be a bishop of the Church, and its acceptance of same-sex blessings as part of our common life," we "affirm that genuine Catholicism means full inclusion of members of the Church in the three-fold ministry, regardless of gender or sexual orientation."
While they "repent of (their) part in the sins of the Episcopal Church, and... pray for all those who are being hurt and led astray by these actions," we continue our regular practice of "encouraging catholic spirituality and discipline in the contemporary world."
While they "call the leadership of the Episcopal Church to repent of and reverse the unbiblical and schismatic actions of General Convention," we continue to affirm that "The Episcopal Church is part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church throughout the world."
While they "declare (their) commitment to the Lord's life-giving teaching about sexuality and marriage, embraced by Christians throughout all the ages..." we aim in addition to "reappropriate the fullness of catholic doctrine...to encourage the full insights of a catholic feminism (and) to refashion a catholic social praxis for our time" which addresses the issue of human sexuality and much, much more.
While they intend to "redirect (their) financial resources...toward biblically orthodox mission and ministry, and away from those structures that support the unrighteous actions of the General Convention," we intend to continue our support of the congregations and dioceses of the Episcopal Church in the United States of American and, through them, the national Church. In addition, we are about the task of "developing quality continuing education for laity and clergy from the catholic perspective and to provide a forum for a catholic voice in the modern church."
While they "appeal to the Primates of the Anglican Communion to intervene in the Episcopal Church..." in a variety of ways, we send greetings to Archbishop Rowan Williams, a founder of Affirming Anglican Catholicism, and his fellow Primates, assuring them of our gratitude for their leadership and of our prayers during the "lengthy process of prayer, reflection and substantial work" in the days ahead called for in their October 16, 2003 statement.
Yes, there are two "A.A.C's" in the Church today. The American Anglican Council has its supporters and has found a way to make its voice heard. Affirming Anglican Catholicism is a movement, not a political party within the Church. However, because we believe in the Incarnation, we know that real issues must be confronted in the real world by real people willing to find "a place to stand." If you stand with us, I would invite your active participation, beginning now with a contribution which will be tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law of
I promise you that we will be good stewards of whatever support you are able to provide. May God bless you!
+ C. Christopher Epting, Bishop
Affirming Anglican Catholicism in the USA