The second qualification for being considered Anglican is membership in the Anglican Consultative Council, at present the only pan-Anglican body with a Constitution. That Constitution states that new members can be added to the Council with its approval, and the approval of two-thirds of the primates of the existing member churches. Again, it seems unlikely that approval would be forthcoming from the required supermajority of primates. No doubt they are aware that this breakdown in the tradition of national churches might leave any one of their own churches open to such an internal split. As of this writing, only a handful of the primates have intimated support for the creation of the new province, and their intimations have been guarded.

There have been many splits away from the Episcopal Church over the last century, most of them — like the present province in formation — a result of dislike for the perceived direction of the larger body. Most of them have dwindled or at least not prospered. After all, if one is seeking a religious tradition more conservative than that generally found in the Episcopal Church, there are in most places in the United States many options from which to choose. Without the approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury or the broader Anglican Communion, I do not think the Anglican Church in North America will prove any more vibrant or enduring than most such efforts from the past.
And in my parish, we’ll keep on with the round of worship, praise and prayer; the baptisms, funerals and weddings; the preaching and teaching; the outreach and mission --- all the things that lie at the heart of what it means to be a church.

Tobias Haller is Vicar of Saint James Church in the Bronx and blogs at In a Godward Direction.

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