FAQs (About CANA)

Here are two sets of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):


Frequently Asked Questions about Dual Citizenship in CANA & ACNA updated December 16, 2010

When Bishop Martyn Minns (who was born in England) flies into Heathrow Airport near London, he flashes his UK passport and the guard greets him with "Welcome home, Mr. Minns!" On his return flight into Newark Airport outside of New York City, he pulls out his US passport and the security officer says, "Welcome home, Mr. Minns!"

CANA congregations and clergy have the privilege of holding dual citizenship in both CANA and the ACNA. While the provinces in the Anglican Communion and GAFCON live in the current period of evolving ecclesiastical structures, these guidelines will help us understand and manage some practical issues related to holding two virtual passports.

Q1. What does "dual citizenship" mean?

The largest province of the Anglican Communion and GAFCON, the Church of Nigeria, sponsors the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) as an indigenous, ecclesiastical structure of districts, congregations, and clergy in North America. As such, CANA also is a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) which is an indigenous province-structure. Thus, congregations and clergy in CANA have a dual citizenship and two virtual passports that allow them to be bona fide members of the Church of Nigeria (and thus the Anglican Communion) and the ACNA. 

Q2. But isn't this "boundary crossing"?

No. Both the Church of Nigeria and the ACNA recognize that the crisis provoked by The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada has necessitated the "lifeboat" of CANA and the founding of the ACNA. 

Q3. How does ACNA allow for dual citizenship?

ACNA Title I.Canon 5.4: "Dioceses [including networks] gathered under the jurisdiction and oversight of another Province of the Anglican Communion at the time of the organization of the Anglican Church in North America may continue under the constitution and canons of the parent Province to the extent provided by specific protocols between all of the parties, periodically reviewed." 

Q4. Is the Church of Nigeria doing this because it wants money from CANA congregations?

No. The Church of Nigeria neither solicits nor receives money from CANA. The Church of Nigeria has consistently instructed CANA to invest its limited resources in establishing the Anglican ecclesiastical structures in North America. 

Q5. Why is CANA still needed?

Right now, the ACNA is not recognized as a province in the Anglican Communion, and so CANA continues to be a gift for those who want an authentic, orthodox connection to the Anglican Communion. Also, no other network in the ACNA offers such a connection to the Communion: the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) which is sponsored by Rwanda left full membership in the ACNA in 2010; the Diocese of the Holy Spirit dropped its canonical relationship with Uganda in 2009; and the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) has never had a canonical relationship with the Anglican Communion. 

Q6. But isn't the Anglican Communion irrelevant now?

Bishop Minns, in an interview in late 2010, told the BBC, "I think the Anglican Communion has got a huge contribution to give to the world. I think in many parts of the world it's thriving and growing and doing some remarkable things. I think it's simply the way in which we operate together that has to change. I think it's a testament to its effectiveness. It's grown so much globally that the sheer weight of it and the vision . . . of the Communion is no longer in England. I believe that the Anglican Communion is incredibly healthy and doing some remarkable things. Structurally — it's the institutional structure that's simply not kept up with its life. And I think that that's what needs to change. And as you know institutional change has always been very hard. Those in power are always reluctant to give it up." 

Q7. How long will the Church of Nigeria continue to sponsor CANA?

As long as it is needed. As soon as the ACNA is fully recognized as a province in the Anglican Communion, there will be no need for CANA as it exists today. 

Q8. Are there any other examples of dual citizenship?

Yes. There are historical examples of overlapping structures and relationships between provinces in Europe and Africa. Several clergy and congregations in ACNA, including Archbishop Bob Duncan, continue to hold residence or seats in the Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America (the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in South America). 

Q9. Why don't CANA clergy and congregations simply join the ACNA directly?

In the Anglican tradition, clergy and congregations can't join the national province directly. Rather, people are related to one another and to a province through the episcopal oversight and care of bishops, viz. ACNA Constitution Art. IV.2: "Congregations and clergy are related together in a diocese, cluster, or network (whether regional or affinity-based), united by a bishop." At least until diocesan structures are fully developed for every part of North America, there will be a need for intermediary structures like CANA and the REC. The Diocese of Pittsburgh has also become an intermediary structure, opening up its doors to clergy and congregations from outside the geographical boundaries of southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Q10. In addition to the benefits of dual citizenship and Anglican structures, why would new clergy or congregations want to apply to join CANA?

(a) CANA is a way out. For those coming from certain denominations and jurisdictions, CANA is a way out of neo-colonialism, prideful provincialism, and theological heresy and apostasy. 

(b) CANA is a way in. For some, CANA is a way into the ACNA; and as ACNA continues to pursue recognition from more provinces of the Anglican Communion, some people want an authentic connection to the Anglican Communion and GAFCON through CANA.

(c) CANA is a way forward. For some, CANA is a way forward to forming regional structures in the ACNA because CANA is a place where mission partnerships and creative ministries can be explored and developed, and CANA is a place where the three streams — the Anglo-Catholic, the Evangelical, the Charismatic — flow together.

Q11. What is CANA's vision for the future?

What none of us realized when CANA was launched in 2005 was how God would use CANA as a sort of incubator. On the local and regional level, the safe haven of CANA has enabled congregations to grow and build relationships with other Anglican congregations in their region, and to thus help foster the emergence of dioceses in the ACNA. Already, CANA districts and congregations have helped to form two dioceses in the ACNA: the Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes and the Anglican Diocese of the South. 

Q12. How does CANA function within the ACNA?

CANA functions like the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) which is a national network of dioceses, congregations, and clergy in the ACNA — a jurisdiction within a jurisdiction, a church within a church. 

Q13. Who will have dual citizenship?

All current congregations and clergy in CANA will retain dual citizenship, unless they request transfer (see more about transfers below); and all newly approved applicants to CANA will have dual citizenship. 

Q14. What if I'm not a CANA cleric but am serving a CANA congregation?

Following Anglican tradition, clergy from other jurisdictions may be licensed by CANA to serve in a CANA congregation. 

Q15. What about new church plants?

When a CANA church plants a new congregation, the new plant is automatically considered a CANA congregation. New plants may opt-out of being part of CANA. If a new plant is not planted by a CANA congregation, then the plant may apply to CANA's Reception Committee. 

Q16. What about new ordinands?

Aspirants who want standing in CANA apply to the CANA Vocations Committee. Aspirants in an ACNA diocese ought to consult with their diocesan bishop to determine whether to pursue application to the diocesan vocations process or to the CANA Vocations Committee. 

Q17. What if one is considering opting out of membership in CANA?

Of course, CANA recognizes that not everyone desires to carry two passports. If a congregation/vestry or cleric in CANA has consulted with their CANA contact bishop and gone through a discernment process which concludes that leaving CANA and forgoing dual citizenship will assist them in advancing the Christian mission, then they are free to transfer into the care of another bishop. As far as Bishop Minns is concerned, it's all about advancing the mission of the Church. 

Q18. Why doesn't CANA just release all of its congregations and clergy?

CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns has never asked a congregation or a cleric to join CANA, and he has never asked anyone to remain in CANA — members are free to leave CANA at any time. It would be contrary to CANA's ethos to unilaterally dismiss its members without their express consent. 

Q19. How does one transfer out of CANA?

a. Consult with your CANA contact bishop. 

b. Deliberate (for congregations, this ought to include at least the entire vestry) over whether the church's mission is better served at this time by maintaining dual citizenship or forfeiting dual citizenship.

c. When a consecrated ACNA bishop is ready to receive you, write a signed letter addressed to the Rt. Rev'd Martyn Minns (3301 Hidden Meadow Drive, Suite E114, Herndon VA 20171): (1) requesting transfer and (2) providing the full mailing and contact information for the receiving bishop.

d. For clergy transferring, CANA will issue a letter dimissory; for congregations, CANA will issue a letter of transfer; and CANA will release pertinent files to the receiving bishop.

 

 

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