Thinking about ACNA and what makes an Anglican church an Anglican church, reminds me of a word my friend and colleague, Bryden Black often refers me to: recognition. A quick googlurvey (Google survey) brings to mind some previous discussions here on ADU, some related writing (by Bryden), an essay by Jordan Hylden and, most importantly, a paper by ++Rowan (Advent 2007). All still worth consulting (especially now that the Diocese of Christchurch has a longer lead time into its Covenant-discussing Synod, 21 April 2012).
Recognition. How we would recognise ACNA as an Anglican church? What would count as Anglican character, content and charisma?
Some discussions on the Anglican blogosphere seem to treat recognition in this way: an Anglican church is recognisable as an Anglican church if it is on the official Communion list of Anglican churches. Thus, could ACNA be recognised as an Anglican church? No, it is not on the list. Could it get on the list? Yes, it could, I suppose, but it probably won't because it is not on the list. Not even if it had all kinds of recognisable Anglican qualities of character, content and charisma? That's right.
OK. Different line of questioning. Could a church on the list be de-listed because it was no longer recognisably Anglican? Possibly, but it is most unlikely. Why is that? Because it is not an Anglican thing to do, running around removing churches off the list.
Right. Let's get this straight: a church which can be recognised as having Anglican characteristics is unlikely to get on the Communion list of official Anglican churches and a church on the list which no longer is recognised as having Anglican characteristics is unlikely to be removed from the list.
You got it!