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Anglicans Sign Statement Urging ACNA To ‘Restore Orthodoxy’ Regarding Female Priests

The Anglican Church In North America, like the Southern Baptist Convention, faces a renewed push for female pastors in the denomination. The current state of this dilemma is chaotic allowing different diocese to take different positions. However, a group of Anglican priests have bonded together to make a statement ahead of their annual meeting, where they will get a new archbishop.

The statement is as follows:

As the College of Bishops prepares to elect a new Archbishop, we celebrate with gratitude the 15th anniversary of the Anglican Church in North America, recognizing the Province’s steadfast commitment to orthodox Anglicanism and gospel mission.

While we are hopeful for the continued fruitfulness of orthodox Anglicanism in North America, we believe that the unresolved issue of women’s ordination to the priesthood imperils the mission of our Province. As ACNA clergy, we wish to restate the biblical and consensus position of the Great Tradition. We hope that this statement will unify clergy seeking to articulate the Faith once for all delivered, and chart the direction we pray our next Archbishop will lead us.

  1. We affirm the College of Bishops’ 2017 Vancouver Statement that the ordination of women to the priesthood is a “recent innovation to Apostolic Tradition and Catholic Order,” and we affirm the theological conclusion that the practice has “insufficient scriptural warrant.”
  2. We believe the teaching of Holy Scripture, as interpreted by the consensus of the Great Tradition, that only men may be ordained to the priesthood. With humility and filial affection, we pray that our Bishops will conform to this teaching and practice.
  3. We receive from our own Church the method by which this conclusion is reached: The Bible must be obeyed “in its plain and canonical sense, respectful of the church’s historic and consensual reading” (Jerusalem Declaration, Art. 2). That is, Scripture should be interpreted according to the “Church’s historic interpretation” (To Be A Christian, Q. 33). This hermeneutical principle rightly prevented our Church from allowing same-sex marriage. This same principle likewise makes no allowance for the ordination of women to the priesthood.
  4. We affirm the inherent dignity and equality of women, made in the image of God, and reject any ideology that devalues God’s good creation of both male and female. Any conception of ministry that renders sexual difference meaningless, or that values women only insofar as they conform to male norms, opposes God’s created order.
  5. We advocate for the further development of a robust biblical anthropology, underwritten by the Great Tradition, that elucidates the significance of sexual difference, especially as it pertains to both Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders.
  6. We assert that a flourishing Church welcomes and values the spiritual gifts of her daughters as well as her sons, as evidenced by the men and women honored in our Calendar of Commemorations (BCP 2019). We reject clericalism which holds forth ordained ministry as a superior form of serving Christ. We desire to see a renewal of lay ministries of men and women equipped for the work of ministry and building up of the body of Christ.
  7. We pray for the unity of Christ’s one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We long for the reunion of a divided Christendom. We believe, however, that such unity never comes at the expense of Apostolic Tradition, Catholic Order, and scriptural warrant; rather, it is through these that the Church will realize the full and fruitful unity for which our Lord prayed.
  8. We interpret the legal stipulations of our provincial constitution to be non-constraining of our Bishops in their stewardship and teaching of the Catholic Faith (ACNA Constitution, Art. X.1). Therefore, we are hopeful that the College of Bishops, led by the Holy Spirit and exercising their God-given authority, can find a creative solution to restore orthodoxy to Holy Orders prior to any constitutional amendment.

Gracious Father, we pray for your holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son our Savior.  Amen.

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