Thursday, April 10, 2008

What's in a name?

I was thinking the other day about church names. Given our period of discernment in the Diocese of Fort Worth, every now and then someone asks "Will we have to start saying 'St Alban's Anglican Church?'" Of course, the answer is "No," although there would be nothing wrong with doing so, nor with simply saying "St Alban's Church" or "The Church of St Alban the Martyr."

That made me think about the names of the national provinces of the Anglican Communion. Do most use the word "Episcopal" or "Anglican"? There is one (Brazil) that uses both, and some have changed over time. For example, the Church of the Province of Southern Africa was renamed the Anglican Church of Southern Africa two years ago. I was mostly surprised to find that the largest number use neither word in their official name. Here is the list:

None (17)
* The Church of England
* The Church of Nigeria
* The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean
* The Church of Ireland
* The Church of Bangladesh
* The Church of the Province of Central Africa
* The Church of the Province of Melanesia
* The Church of the Province of Myanmar
* The Church of North India
* The Church of Pakistan
* The Church of the Province of Rwanda
* The Church of the Province of South East Asia
* The Church of South India
* The Church of Uganda
* The Church in Wales
* The Church of the Province of West Africa
* The Church in the Province of the West Indies

"Anglican" (14)
* The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia
* The Anglican Church of Australia
* The Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil
* The Anglican Church of Burundi
* The Anglican Church of Canada
* The Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central America
* The Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo
* The Anglican Church of Kenya
* The Anglican Church of Korea
* The Anglican Church of Mexico
* The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea
* The Anglican Church of Southern Africa
* Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de las Americas
* The Anglican Church of Tanzania

"Episcopal" (6)
* The Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil
* The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East
* The Episcopal Church in the Philippines
* The Scottish Episcopal Church
* The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
* The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America

"Catholic" (2)
Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (Chinese Catholic Church)
The Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Japanese Holy Catholic Church)

In addition, there are six extra-provincial regional churches. All of them except Cuba are under the metropolitical authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

* The Anglican Church of Bermuda
* Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba
* The Parish of the Falkland Islands
* The Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church of Portugal
* The Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church
* The Church of Ceylon (Sri Lanka)

If we include these churches, the final totals are: None (19), "Anglican" (15), "Episcopal" (8), and "Catholic" (3).


FrGregACCA said...

You've been tagged, Father.

airedale said...

Fr. Tim, I can assume by your post that a move south is a foregone conclusion. Can you tell me exactly what you will be able to do after a move that you cannot do now?

Fr Timothy Matkin said...


Good question. I don't think the move south is a forgone conclusion, btw. But if you are talking about a "if the vote were taken today" kind of situation, I'd say it would pass and with a stronger majority than last November.

As to what we would be able to do, the only thing that comes to mind at the moment is be able to elect an episcopal successor who will uphold the historic faith and order of the Church.

Fr Timothy Matkin said...

I should add to the above that this benefit comes not so much from coming under the provisional umbrella of the Southern Cone, but from dissolving our union with General Convention. Bishop Griswold was clear that Ackerman would be the last orthodox bishop to receive consents, and that has clearly been the case.

One more benefit that came to mind (and this would come through our new affiliation) is that we would have orthodox representation at the primate's meeting, which is what APO was originally about.

airedale said...

I hate to disagree, but I do. It would seem that Mark Lawrence, new bishop of So. Carolina received the necessary consents. The difference being of course that he remains at the table, talking and listening as per Rowans request.

Fr Timothy Matkin said...

Mark Lawrence supports the ordination of women to the priesthood.

airedale said...

As does the majority of the church, both in this country and throughout the world.

Fr Timothy Matkin said...

That is true; it is now the majority view in this small portion of the church known as the Anglican Communion. But the numbers game is irrelevant when it comes to doctrine. You might as well say that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet because, well, a billion Muslims can't be wrong.

But doctrine comes from God, not from majority votes. At one point in church history, orthodoxy was a very small minority. They said it was "Athanasius contra mundum--Athanasius against the world."