The Australian Church Record has, in its June 2017 issue, published a report on the Anglican Connection Conference, held on June 13-15, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. The report was written by Stephen Tong who attended the conference and was one of its key note speakers. What immediately caught my attention was this statement which appears in the very first paragraph of the report.
“‘A dog’s breakfast’. During a recent conversation in the UK, a casual observer used that phrase to describe to me the Anglican Church in the United States of America. The fracture in the global Anglican Communion is most acute in the States, where the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) has been set up as a parallel Anglican province, bringing together the various Anglican groups that have been forming over the last twenty years or so – such as the Nigerian based, Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). However, the gospel clarity of the 16th century English Reformers – expressed in the Thirty-Nine Articles and the 1552 Prayer Book – is not yet found in North American Anglican structures. This is why the formation of the Anglican Connection is important.”
For readers who are unfamiliar with the expression ,“a dog’s breakfast,” it is chiefly a British expression and refers to a “confused mess or mixture.” Here is what urbandictionary.com has to say about this expression.
"dog's breakfast," which has been British slang for "a complete mess" since at least the 1930s. While no one took the time to write down the exact origin of the phrase, the allusion involved seems to be to a failed culinary effort, perhaps a burned or botched omelet, fit only for consumption by the mouth of last resort, Fido. As a vivid figure of speech meaning something so fouled up as to be utterly useless, "dog's breakfast" can cover anything from a play plagued by collapsing scenery to a space mission ruined by a mathematical error. "Dog's dinner," which seems to have appeared around the same time, means exactly the same sort of disaster, but has the advantage of being attractively alliterative. Both phrases are heard occasionally in the U.S., but are more common in the U.K. and Commonwealth countries.
Synonyms include “mess, disaster, catastrophe, failure, dump."
While I believe that "a dog's breakfast" may be an apt description of the Anglican Church in North America, what is far more important is the acknowledgment in the same statement that “the
gospel clarity of the 16th century English Reformers – expressed in the
Thirty-Nine Articles and the 1552 Prayer Book – is not yet found in North
American Anglican structures.” This acknowledgment may be described as something
of an understatement. In its fundamental declarations the Anglican Church in
North America equivocates in its affirmation of the doctrinal and worship
principles laid out in the historic Anglican formularies—the Thirty-Nine
Articles of Religion and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. In its Catechism and
its proposed Prayer Book and Ordinal, it clearly departs from these principles.