The Anglican Catholic Church (ACC) is a body of Christians in the continuing Anglican movement, which is separate from the Anglican Communion centered on the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The continuing Anglican movement and the Anglican Catholic Church grew out of the 1977 Congress of St. Louis. The congress was held in response to the Episcopal Church's revision of the Book of Common Prayer, which organizers felt abandoned a true commitment to both scripture and historical Anglicanism.〔()〕 The decision to allow the ordination of women was one part of a larger theological position opposed by the Congress. As a result of the Congress, various Anglicans separated from the Episcopal Church and formed the "Anglican Church in North America" in order to continue the Anglican tradition as they understood it. The name was later changed to the Anglican Catholic Church. Its adherents have therefore claimed that this church is the true heir of the Church of England in the United States.
The Congress's statement of principles (the "Affirmation of St. Louis") summarized the new church's reason for being as follows: ''"…the Anglican Church of Canada and the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, by their unlawful attempts to alter Faith, Order and Morality (especially in their General Synod of 1975 and General Convention of 1976), have departed from Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."''〔(From the Affirmation of St. Louis in the ACC brochure “''Who we are''” )〕
In January 1978, four bishops (Charles D. Doren, James O. Mote, Robert Morse and Francis Watterson) were consecrated. What had provisionally been called the Anglican Church in North America (Episcopal), eventually divided. The Canadian parishes formed the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, and American parishes formed three separate bodies, the Anglican Catholic Church, the United Episcopal Church of North America and the Diocese of Christ the King. In 1984 the five dioceses of the Church of India (CIPBC) were received by the Anglican Catholic Church and constituted as its second province, but they rescinded communion in 2014 over issues of primacy between the provincial archbishops, John Augustine and Mark D. Haverland.
Since 1990 the Anglican Catholic Church has expanded to twelve dioceses in the Americas, the United Kingdom and Australia. Also during this period a number of parishes left the Anglican Catholic Church to merge with the American Episcopal Church and form the Anglican Church in America. Additional parishes left and formed the Holy Catholic Church (Anglican Rite). In October 2005 Mark Haverland of Athens, Georgia replaced John Vockler, who was in charge from 2001 to 2005, as archbishop and metropolitan. On May 17, 2007, Haverland signed an intercommunion agreement negotiated with the United Episcopal Church of North America. At the 17th Provincial Synod, October 2007, Wilson Garang and his Diocese of Aweil in Sudan were received into the Anglican Catholic Church so that today the Anglican Catholic Church (Original Province) has over 250 parish churches and missions worldwide. In October 2008 Presley Hutchens, a bishop of the ACC addressed the United Episcopal Church of North America's ninth triennial convention and discussed uniting the ACC and UECNA.
More recently, in 2015, the number of ACC Dioceses in South Africa has grown to four due to significant increase.
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