Denver Consecrations (28 January 1978) and their aftermath

The first bishops of the Anglican Church of North America, later named the Anglican Catholic Church (with ACNA kept as an alternate name), were consecrated on 28 January 1978 in Denver, Colorado.

In Denver Charles Dale David Doren, sometime Archdeacon of the Diocese of Taejon in South Korea, was consecrated by the Rt Rev’d Albert Arthur Chambers, sometime Bishop of Springfield (Illinois) in the Episcopal Church and Acting Metropolitan of the ACNA.  Joining Bishop Chambers in the consecration of Doren was the Rt Rev’d Francisco de Jesus Pagtakhan of the Philippine Independent Catholic Church.  Letters of Consent and Desire for the Doren consecration were in hand from the Rt Rev’d Mark Pae (Taejon, Korea). It was subsequently suggested that Bishop Pae withdrew this Consent under pressure from overseas.  Bishop Pae, however, physically participated in the consecration of two ACC bishops in 1988, thereby reconfirming his approval of the ACC and his consent and desire for its episcopal succession.  The Rt Rev’d Charles Boynton also indicated his intention to participate in the Denver consecrations, and his consent thereto, by advance letter to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.  A critical hospitalization prior to the consecrations prevented Bishop Boynton’s physical presence.  Bishop Boynton subsequently joined the Anglican Catholic Church, confirming his consent to and approval of the Denver consecrations.

After Bishop Doren’s consecration, he joined Bishops Chambers and Pagtakhan on the same day and place in consecrating three other bishops for the ACNA:  James Orin Mote, Robert Sherwood Morse, and Peter Francis Watterson.  These four Denver consecrations of 1978 bestowed the Apostolic Succession upon the ACNA/ACC and permitted it to move from provisional organization, an Acting Metropolitan, and proto-dioceses to full and permanent Church organization.  The bishops consecrated on this date, along with Bishop Chambers and other bishops formerly belonging to the Anglican Communion, were the consecrators, or the consecrators of the consecrators, of all subsequent ACC bishops.  Sister dioceses to the ACC were subsequently established by Bishop Morse (Anglican Diocese [later Province] of Christ the King) and Bishop Doren (United Episcopal Church of North America).  Bishops from both of these sister jurisdictions have participated in the consecrations of ACC bishops, and these ‘Denver Succession’ Churches remain in full communion with one another.

The ACC later also established a second Province in India, by receiving the Church of India, Pakistan, Ceylon, and Burma (CIPBC).  After this reception the Original Province of the ACC both consecrated bishops for the Second Province and also provided Acting Metropolitans for the Indian Province.  The Acting Metropolitans from the Original Province were Archbishop Louis Wahl Falk, Archbishop William Oliver Lewis, and Bishop James Edward Bromley.  After the consecration of Bishop John Augustine by the Original Province in 2003, the Indian Church elected him titular bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India.

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