Archbishop Robert Duncan and five other bishops of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) attended the Saturday, Jan. 30, guest lecture at St. Vladimirâ€™s Orthodox Theological Seminary, located in New York state. The 27th annual Fr. Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture was given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams.
Archbishop Williamsâ€™ original doctoral research (in the 1970s) focused on Vladimir N. Lossky, a mid-20th-century Orthodox theologian. Later while teaching at Oxford University, he examined students on the Orthodox faith. He spoke at St. Vladimirâ€™s on â€œThe Image of Humanity in the Philokalia,â€ a collection of Orthodox monastic texts spanning 11 centuries. Prior to his lecture, the Archbishop received an honorary doctorate from the seminary.
The ACNA bishops were invited to attend by the seminaryâ€™s Chancellor, Fr. Chad Hatfield, as part of an ongoing ecumenical conversation. In June 2009, Metropolitan Jonah, head of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), was a guest speaker at the ACNA inaugural Assembly at St. Vincentâ€™s Cathedral in Bedford. He used the occasion to announce that the OCA would cease to have an ecumenical relationship with The Episcopal Church, following years of impaired relations due to the election of a partnered homosexual bishop and the blessing of same-sex unions, and to invite the ACNA to explore the possibility of full communion with the OCA. A further meeting was held in October at Nashotah House Seminary, which signed an agreement to work with St. Vladimirâ€™s.