[Anglican Mainstream] 30 May 2009--I thank you for your invitation to attend as an observer the inaugural Provincial Assembly of the Anglican Church in North America, which is to gather in Bedford, Texas, from June 22nd to 25th. I congratulate those who will assemble on their movement out of the Episcopal Church. Whatever else we agree or disagree about, we believe that that movement is correct.
Those of us who left the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion a generation ago believe that the ordination of women was then the central problem in the Canterbury Communion. The notion that women can receive the sacrament of Holy Orders in any of its three parts constitutes, in our view, a revolutionary and false claim: a claim false in itself; a claim destructive of the common ministry that once united Anglicans; and, finally, a claim productive of an even broader and worse consequence. That worse consequence is the claim that Anglicans have authority to alter important matters of faith and order against a clear consensus in the central tradition of Catholic and Orthodox Christendom. Once such a claim is made it may be pressed into service to alter any matter of faith or morals. The revolution devours its children. Many of the clergy represented at GAFCON and now joining the ACNA seem to us to accept the flawed premise and its revolutionary claim in one matter while seeking to resist the application of the premise in the matter of homosexuality. This position seems to us to be internally inconsistent and impossible to sustain successfully over time.