Here one can find and read the statement of the Anglican Catholic Church on Church Unity which I post in response to some people who find our stance “stand-offish”. Of particular importance is Section 6.
It is very easy to dismiss Continuing Anglicanism on the ground of it being totally disunited. Indeed, that was my major concern in the darker days of my disillusionment with the CofE as I sought somewhere to go.
There are lots of “continuing Anglican” groups, and the question must be, “what are they continuing?” With the disparity of leadership and doctrine, it is easy to accuse Continuing Anglicanism of continuing the fracture of God’s Church. Yet this is not how things are and there is indeed significant movement towards Unity.
Where the ACC is starting that move to Unity is among its sister jurisdictions which emerged from the Congress of St Louis in 1978. This will take time, but there have been very many encouraging signs of communion and union in the past. Indeed, in 2007, there was a joint statement in which it has been stated explicitly that the ACC is in full communio in sacris with the APCK and UECNA. Further unity will come in time, we pray.
For other continuing Anglicans, the ACC seeks to be as clear as it can on the conditions of intercommunion:
“If leaders of such bodies are genuine in their claims to adhere to the same Faith and Order, sufficiently to seek a relationship of communio in sacris with the Anglican Catholic Church, then the question arises as to why they established separate jurisdictions in the first place, contrary to that Faith and Order. In the absence of any satisfactory response to that question, there is little point in proceeding further. We cannot see any justification for asking our synods to furnish funds, nor our scholars to sacrifice the huge allocations of time and energy required, to establish formal negotiations with any body of demonstrably illicit jurisdiction, congregationalist polity, and/or doubtful Orders and Sacraments.”
This is simple honesty. If there is to be true unity between bodies, then there needs to be transparency in order for that union to take place in love. Love requires honesty, it also requires humility on both sides. The ACC has its standards which it cannot take lightly and makes them very clear.
As criteria for engaging in formal dialogue with other Churches aimed at achieving full communion or ultimately organic unity, we would see their possession of historic continuity in Catholic Faith and Apostolic Order, including doctrine and discipline faithfully reflecting the canons and decrees of the seven Ecumenical Councils, with recognizably common Scriptures, Creeds, Sacraments and Ministry, as the starting point, not the conclusion, of such endeavours. These are the minimum requirements for the recovery of authentic Christian unity, and we have no authority to alter or reduce them.
To those who embrace them we will gladly extend the right hand of fellowship.