Findings & Footnotes

■  A new peer-reviewed journal of Anglican theology, Cranmer Theological Journal, would like “to fill a void by addressing the needs of biblically orthodox Anglicans in North America, at a time when the existing journals reflect the same doctrinal issues that prompted numerous Anglicans to leave the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada.” Along with theology, the charter issue provides noteworthy information about conservative Anglican developments and identity. It is published by Cranmer Theological House, a seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church in Dallas, Texas, but is meant for Anglicans of various jurisdictions. Authored by the Rev. Dr. Gerald McDermott (Reformed Episcopal Seminary), one of the issue’s three articles considers the future of Orthodox Anglicanism after the Kigali Commitment of April 2023 at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON IV). While welcoming the public stand in Kigali “against Canterbury’s subversion of marriage” (by some churches’ support of same-sex marriage), McDermott identifies risks in having a “correct” emphasis on the authority of Scripture that might forget “that Scripture’s birthplace and guardian are the Church and her tradition,” breaking with what the author sees as the Anglican way, i.e., prima scriptura, but not the Bible alone.

As one illustration, McDermott mentions the ordination of women to sacramental ministry. “GAFCON provinces represented at Kigali have already consecrated female bishops (Sudan and Kenya), several GAFCON provinces ordain women to the priesthood, and nearly all have ordained female deacons.” In North America, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) “permits the ordination of women to the diaconate in nearly all of their dioceses and to the priesthood in a number of them.” There has been no rebuke from GAFCON. McDermott stresses that sola scriptura is not enough for safeguarding orthodoxy. While saluting the courage of the Kigali leaders, some of whom could lose support from Anglicans in more prosperous countries as a consequence of their refusal to go along “with Canterbury’s heresy on marriage,” the author is convinced that “the Anglican future holding to Holy Order will be integral to continuing orthodoxy on marriage.” Without a solid anchoring in the tradition of the church, what is rejected today might become acceptable to future generations. Since Rome cannot be the answer—Anglicans are catholic but not papist—the future of Orthodox Anglicanism as McDermott envisions it will be “a remnant Church.” For more information, visit: