The ACNA and the Historic Priesthood 
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 02:59PM
Embryo Parson in ACNA, Anglican Follies, Anglican Realignment, Continuing Anglicanism, Death of the Anglican Communion, Neo-Anglicanism, Traditional Anglicanism, Women's Ordination

From Alice Linsley, writing at Virtue Online:

This has been a difficult article to write due to the strength of my conviction that women's ordination to the sacred order of priests is a dangerous innovation that will continue to cause division in the Anglican Church in North America.

I have been speaking and writing on this subject for over 15 years, mainly from the perspective of Biblical Anthropology, but also from personal experience as a former priest in the Episcopal Church. I have no illusion that what I say will change the minds of those who hold their positions with equally firm conviction. . . .

I am not hopeful that a catholic resolution on the question of women priests can be achieved in the ACNA. Anglicans appears to relish theological ambiguity and our bishops do not insist on uniformity of doctrine and practice when it comes to nonessentials. That the all-male priesthood touches the heart of the Messianic Faith that we call "Christianity" does not sway the supporters of women's ordination. Nor do they appear to be disturbed by the tension this innovation creates in ecumenical relations with bodies that uphold catholic orders.

Anglicans claim Scripture as our central authority, yet supporters of women's ordination obfuscate the fact that not a single woman priest is found in the Bible. Many are proud of the "reformed" nature of the Anglican Way, yet they are unwilling to reform to the received Tradition of the all-male priesthood. They do not recognize the truth of Father Louis Tarsitano's words: "The priesthood of Christ, and that representative priesthood rooted in Christ's priesthood is changeless. To change it is to change the New Testament itself". . . .

The bishops should not be overly hard on themselves. They inherited this conflicted condition and they are saddled with it. Though most ACNA bishops do not favor women's ordination, female priests is now the cultural norm in the ACNA. Given what I have learned from anthropology about cultural change, I doubt the ACNA can reform to the biblical norm.

The preservation of a fragile ACNA coalition is more important than the boundary stones set up by our holy ancestors (Proverbs 22:28). Those markers enable us to discern and avoid errant paths.

The Anglican Church in North America has been permanently corrupted by the adoption of a practice from TEC. The polity of the ACNA is such that no leader has the authority to correct this. In effect, the ACNA has a crisis of authority.

A fellow who goes by the name "ReebHerb" posted this comment to the Virtue Online article:

ACNA's promise was to approach all issues under the authority of prayer and scripture. Their own working paper concluded no basis for ordained women from scripture. This was vetoed immediately by the likes of Hobby, Hunter, and Mrs. Duncan going off the rails chastising those who questioned her husband. So we now know that only prayer is encouraged until the desired outcome is achieved.

What is ACNA? As the wise man said, it is TEC 15 minutes before Gene Robinson. Go for it. Did you notice the move from priest to pastor? What is the new term for bishop? Shepherd? Anyway, I couldn't figure out what these women wanted. I think one was asking the HOB to study Holy Scripture so they would know what they were superseding. Lay people have always been able to preach. TEC has LEM (Lay Eucharistic Minister) who can distribute already consecrated elements. Anyone can do baptisms like nurses often do for babies that don't look like they will make it. Church shaman (that sounds male)? The only meaningful Bible study I've been in was led by a Canadian Chinese woman in small group.

These women used the exact same language and talking points we heard in TEC from the 1970s on. Please ignore the fact that far fewer women attend TEC churches now than before although the general population has bloomed. Well the die is cast. ACNA should not waste time and open the doors to female bishops. The dream of supplanting TEC is over. They are TEC.

Indeed they are, and the time for ACNA traditionalists has now come to fish or cut bait.

Article originally appeared on theoldjamestownchurch (
See website for complete article licensing information.