The ACNA Constitution – An Anglo-Catholic View, by William Wantland

The Canons restore the Catholic teaching concerning Christian Marriage as a lifelong union of one man and one woman, restoring the impediments to valid marriage historically a part of Catholic practice enshrined in Anglican Canon and repealed by The Episcopal Church in 1973. Remarriage after a civil divorce is permitted only if one of the impediments to a valid marriage is determined to have existed, or if the divorce is for the permitted circumstances in Our Lord’s teaching in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 19, or St. Paul’s exception in 1 Corinthian 7.

The Canons make it clear that sexual relations are permitted only between a man and a woman within the confines of holy matrimony. Fornication and adultery, including all homosexual acts, are prohibited. Further, the Canons affirm the sanctity of every human life from conception to natural death.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Common Cause Partnership

10 comments on “The ACNA Constitution – An Anglo-Catholic View, by William Wantland

  1. Ad Orientem says:

    Reading through this short essay I found it rather encouraging. There are a few spots that give me pause (w/o is going to have to be dealt with at some point), but broadly speaking this represents a big step in the right direction for those committed to remaining Anglicans. I was particularly pleased by the affirmation (even if only in theory) of the first seven OEcumenical Councils.

    Yes I have serious points of difference. But a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And this is more like a giant leap, in the right direction.


  2. A Senior Priest says:

    I have no problems with these canons, though they do rather strangely seem to omit the Chalcedonian Creed and add the Athanasian as part of the Quadrilateral. On the other hand, that problem is disposed of by the theoretical acceptance of the seven Councils, which greatly pleases me.

  3. Anastasios says:

    As an Anglo-Catholic myself, I am uncomfortable with the 1662 Book of Common Prayer with its compromise rite of Holy Communion being proclaimed the gold standard for the new province. The Episcopal Church (U.S.) has enjoyed a much fuller Eucharistic statement in worship since its first BCP and the use of the Scottish canon.

  4. Ad Orientem says:

    Re #3
    I am not sure there has been a real Anglo-Catholic liturgy since the Uses of Sarum & York (which I would like to see more widely used among Western Rite Orthodox). But like I said; this is all a move in the right direction.

    Under the mercy,

  5. Jim McCaslin says:

    Note that approval of liturgies will be up to the local diocesan so long as the overall provisions of the Constitution and Canons are not violated. Therefore, orthodox Anglo-Catholic liturgies could well be used. Our College of Bishops seems well disposed to honor local usage of various orthodox liturgies.

  6. Todd Granger says:

    Regarding authoritative liturgies, it is worth noting that the relevant article of the proposed Constitution (Article 6) reads:

    [blockquote]We receive The Book of Common Prayer as set forth by the Church of England in 1662, together with the Ordinal attached to the same, as a standard for Anglican doctrine and discipline, and, with the Books which preceded it, as the standard for the Anglican tradition of worship. [/blockquote]

    Note the phrase, [i]with the Books which preceded it[/i], which would include the more catholic liturgy of the 1549 Prayer Book, with its complete eucharistic canon and epiclesis (admittedly in the western, pre-anamnesis position rather than the post-anamnesis of the East and the Scoto-American lineage of Prayer Books).

  7. centexn says:

    #6…tres technical. ‘splain epiclesis, etc. for poor Ricky. Sounds like a chronic disease or vascular dementia.

  8. Ad Orientem says:


    In ICXC

  9. Br. Michael says:

    7, for example in the 1979 BCP:
    [blockquote][i]Sanctify[/i] them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him. [i] Sanctify[/i] us also that we may faithfully receive this holy Sacrament, and serve you in unity, constancy, and peace; and at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom.[/blockquote]

  10. austin says:

    The “books which preceded it” would of course also include the Roman Missal in force under Henry VIII, or even earlier Sarum et al. uses, since there appears to be no terminus ante quem non. Convocation and the universities rejected the imposition of the vernacular liturgy by the state in 1549, and some have argued that the prayer books therefore lack ecclesiastical legality. I wonder whether this was a cunning way to justify the use of the English Missal or a mere oversight.