Global South Primates question divorced ACNA priests


David Virtue, conservative commentator on the Anglican Communion, claimed in an article published on 11 January 2009 that Global South leaders are asking questions about divorced priests. David doesn’t name any of the leaders he maintains are asking the question but there is no reason to doubt the authenticity of his report.

There are, of course, priests who have divorced, some of whom are remarried, within The Episcopal Church (and also within the Church of England and other Provinces of the Anglican Communion, but the Global South leaders David has talked with only seem concerned about TEC). David says there are also many divorced priests who have left TEC and joined any one of the Continuing Anglican jurisdictions as well as a number that make up the new Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

Many Global South primates believe that remarriage after divorce is itself adulterous, if the grounds for that divorce was not adultery. If it is simply “irreconcilable differences” or some reason other than adultery, then they will not recognize those remarriages of priests who have been divorced.

These Global South primates, says David, will be taking a hard look at those priests in ACNA who have been divorced and remarried. They will want to know the grounds for those divorces. If they do not measure up to the biblical standard of Jesus who recognized adultery as the sole grounds for divorce and remarriage, will consider those priests to be living in sin and committing the sin of adultery. Bishop Robert Duncan, Common Cause Moderator, and his council of bishops will need to re-evaluate the status of such priests in the new Anglican province.
David asks what will the Global South leaders do with these priests, some in senior positions. They will want to question at least two evangelical rectors of large churches, one in Ft. Worth with CANA, and one in Dallas under AMiA. Western Evangelicals will have a lot of explaining to do to Global South Primates who do not accept divorced and remarried priests. The Primates, claims David, will demand standards as thoroughly biblical on marriage and divorce (as they have done on homosexuality) from North American and European Evangelicals as they do from their own priests.

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