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Gay rights are not human rights, Archbishop says: The Church of England Newspaper, March 21, 2014 April 11, 2014

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Gay rights are not human rights as understood by the Christian tradition of natural law, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya, the Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala told reporters on 9 March 2014 after services at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi. His remarks came in response to demands made by MPs that the country’s colonial era sodomy laws be stiffened along the lines of recent reforms of Uganda’s criminal code. The archbishop said he did not support change stating it was unnecessary as “Kenya’s constitution clearly outlaws” gross indecency. From the Anglican Church’s perspective, “we are very clear when it comes to matters of relationship which should be between two opposite sexes,” he told The Star, adding it was a false anthropology, however, to conflate actions with individuals. A person was much more than his sexual appetites. It was also wrong to raise an action to the level of a human right. “Human rights and rights are different. Human rights have no values while rights have values,” he told said.

Keep guns out of church, pleads Kenya’s archbishop: Church of England Newspaper, November 8, 2013 November 11, 2013

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The Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya has denounced a call by Mombasa clergy that they be given guns to protect themselves from the depredations of criminals and Islamist militants.

“As church leaders, we should be on the forefront preaching for peace and reconciliation. Churches are places of worship and not a battlefield,” Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said on 1 November 2013.

On 20 October 2013 a pastor at a Pentecostal church in Mombasa was shot to death in his church’s sanctuary. At his funeral church leaders called upon the government to protect ministers – or give them the means to do so.

The call to arms received the cautious support of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), which last week issued a statement saying it supported the right of clergy to bear arms, if they complied with civil laws concerning the registration and use of guns.

However, Archbishop Wabukala told the congregation gathered at Bishop Hannington’s Teachers College in Mumias, guns were no guarantee of safety.

“AK47 rifle will never secure anyone’s security. I beg to differ with my fellow pastors because even if they are issued with guns, how will they protect themselves from a mob. They should ask Kenyans to repent and live in peace,” the archbishop said.

It was the responsibility of “government to provide security to all. No single person can protect himself. We need everyone to be protected regardless of their position in society.”

“The murder of the pastor was wrong; the attacks on churches should be stopped. All places of worship should be respected whether it’s a church, a mosque, a temple or even a traditional shrine. We should be tolerant with those who don’t believe in our religion because we are all Kenyans,” the archbishop said according to an account of his sermon printed in The Standard.

Interview: BBC Radio 4 Sunday programme, October 20, 2013 October 20, 2013

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Pay Day Loans; Christenings; Chief Rabbi

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 20 October 2013

It’s four years since the first Global Anglican Futures Conference met in Jerusalem. This grouping of traditionalist Anglicans grew out of disaffection with the direction the Anglican church was taking in the USA and UK, particularly in relation to the issue of homosexuality. The second conference is taking place next week in Nairobi, and William Crawley will be hearing about its current agenda from its chairman, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala. l

The new Chief Rabbi has come under fire from ultra orthodox Jews for his decision to attend the educational Limmud conference in December. Does this decision mark a change in relationships between the Chief Rabbinate and ultra-orthodoxy?

Hear the broadcast at this link:

A new survey on loneliness suggests that religious people may be more likely to be lonely than those without a faith. Trevor Barnes considers whether the church’s focus on the family can alienate those who live alone.

And – to baptise, give thanks or simply to party? Guardians, godparents or “oddparents”? Prince George’s parents will give him a traditional christening next week , but what do the rest of us do?

Producers: Rosie Dawson
Annabel Deas

Guests:
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala
George Conger
Justin Cohen
Geoffrey Alderman
Stephen Evans
Bishop John Holbrook
Isobel Russo
Sheikh Mohammad Yacoubi.

Church calls for prayer and restraint in wake of Nairobi massacre: The Church of England Newspaper, September 27, 2013 p 7. October 15, 2013

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Kenya’s Christian and Muslim leaders have issued a united statement condemning the terror attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, which has left at least sixty people dead including five Britons and a dozen other ex-pats.

Police report that approximately 15 terrorists of the Somali Islamist group Al-Shabaab attacked the upscale shopping mall in suburban Nairobi on 21 September 2013, spraying shoppers with automatic rifle fire. Some shoppers were taken hostage, eyewitness reported, and were released if they could recite the Shahada, the Islamic basic profession of belief, or if they converted to Islam. Those who could or would not were executed.

The Shabelle Media Network in Mogadishu reports that al-Shabaab has identified the names and nationalities of the killers.  Three are listed as Americans, one Briton and a Finn amongst the Somali and Kenyan terrorists. Those who could or would not were executed.

Kenya’s inter-religious council responded to the attack by saying they would not let the massacre divide the country along sectarian lines, but would stand united against terrorism.

Reading the statement on behalf of the religious leaders, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims Secretary General Adan Wachu said:m “We, the religious leaders, are engaged in robust dialogue to ensure that these relations are not just maintained but also made stronger. We are convinced beyond doubt that the attempt to sow seeds of discord between Muslims and Christians will fail miserably and that we shall remain united,.”

The Rt. Rev. Joel Waweru, Anglican Bishop of Nairobi urged Christians not to seek revenge. “We are so disheartened with whatever happened, but we would want to call upon our Christian brothers and sisters to keep peace and to maintain peace,” said Waweru.

The religious leaders statement said that one of the motives behind the attack was to destabilize the economy by driving away tourists. On Sunday the general secretary of the Gafcon movement, the Most Rev. Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney released a video saying he was flying to Nairobi this week to review security arrangements for next month’s Gafcon Conference at All Saints Cathedral.

Dr. Jensen said it was his “desire” to “stand with our Kenyan brothers and sisters” in the face of terrorism, but he would nonetheless meet with local organizers to review security details and report back within the week.

Church leaders from around the world have offered their prayers and condolences to the families of the dead and injured and to the people of Kenya. In a note to the Archbishop of Kenya, the Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town wrote “to express not only that the Anglican Church of Southern Africa stands in solidarity with you at this time, but that we too share in the grief that this senseless attack has brought.”

“As you speak and act in response to these terrible events, may you be a channel of God’s grace:  to comfort the bereaved, bind up the broken hearted, and proclaim the triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ over both evil and death,” Dr. Makgoba said.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 79, August 24, 2013 August 25, 2013

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Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe.

STORY INDEX:
Drunken or Poisoned? 00:00
How Via Media Works 10:34
Peter Ould 16:38
Egypt 26:18

African rebuke for Justin Welby: The Church of England Newspaper, July 14, 2013 p 6. July 13, 2013

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The Archbishop of Canterbury has let down the wider Anglican Communion through his half-hearted defense of marriage in the House of Lords debates on the government’s same-sex marriage bill, the leader of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), the Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala Archbishop of Kenya, said last week.

Justin Welby’s perceived lack of confidence in the Bible and his failure so far to exercise leadership on the international Anglican scene prompted the public rebuke — the first formal statement by the leader of the global South coalition of churches.

In a letter released last week to supporters of the FCA, a global Anglican renewal movement, Archbishop Wabukala said Archbishop Welby and the Archbishop of York, the Most Rev. John Sentamu, appeared to have compromised the Christian faith in an attempt to curry favor with secular Britain and with the liberal Anglican Churches of North America.

“We are painfully aware that the Episcopal Church of the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada continue to promote a false gospel and yet both are still received as in good standing by the Archbishop of Canterbury,” Dr. Wabukala wrote.

“Furthermore, the Church of England itself, the historic mother church of the Communion, seems to be advancing along the same path. While defending marriage, both the Archbishops of York and Canterbury appeared at the same time to approve of same-sex Civil Partnerships during parliamentary debates on the UK’s ‘gay marriage’ legislation, in contradiction to the historic biblical teaching on human sexuality reaffirmed by the 1998 Lambeth Conference,” he said.

The Church of England and the North American churches have been in decline, with some branches of “the Church of Christ … being claimed by the world through compromise and false teaching.”

At the same time the evangelical Anglican churches in the developing world had seen explosive growth with millions converted to the Christian faith, even when “tested by violent persecution” from without and challenged internally by “nominalism and tribalism, he noted.

In 1970 the number of Anglicans in Africa stood at 7.7 million. African Anglican Church membership grew through conversions from Islam and indigenous faiths to 50.8 million in 2010 and is expected to reach 65 million by 2020, a report published last month by Gordon-Conwell Seminary in the U.S. predicted.

“In these circumstances, attempts to achieve unity” among Anglicans across the globe “based merely on common humanitarianism and dialogue, without repentance,” was doomed to fail as it sacrifice “the transforming power of the gospel.”

The “seeds of the East African revival transformed a cold were planted through years of faithful bible teaching and were brought to life by the Spirit of God, with deep conviction of sin and the irrepressible joy of sins forgiven,” the archbishop said.

“This is the core of the transforming power of the gospel and in this we delight.”

MPs expenses “selfish and inconsiderate” Archbishop charges: The Church of England Newspaper, June 9, 2013, p 6. June 15, 2013

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The Archbishop of Kenya has denounced plans by the country’s MPs to boost their salaries in defiance of the rules set down by the East African country’s Constitution.

In a statement released last week the Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala said the unanimous vote in Parliament to raise salaries from Sh532,000  to 851,000 shillings and repeal laws that gave oversight to the Salaries and Renumeration Commission (SRC) was “selfish, inconsiderate and uncalled for.”

The archbishop’s attack on MPs salaries and expenses follows a statement issued on 24 May 2013 by the House of Bishops calling for the police to crack down on crooked politicians involved in the drugs trade

An independent nonpartisan government agency established under the Salaries & Remuneration Commission Act, 2011, the SRC last year blocked a bill giving MPs who leave office a hefty severance package and in February implemented a steep salary cut for senior government officials. Last week the SRC said the vote to increase MPs pay was unlawful and violated the Constitution.

Dr. Wabukala urged MPs to respect the constitution stating that “barely 4 months ago they agreed to ‘obey, respect, uphold, preserve, protect, and defend’ the constitution.”

By ignoring the SRC they were in “direct violation of the same. SRC has not overstepped their mandate but are operating within their scope of regularizing state officers’ remuneration. It would be unconstitutional and illegal for MPs to award themselves salaries in defiance of SRC recommendations. We applaud SRC for operating within their stipulated mandate and contributing to measures that will lower the public officers’ wage bill,” the Archbishop said.

Kenya was “undergoing a transition period inculcating devolved governance structures that will shape the nation’s social and economic well- being. Efforts and resources should be channeled to stabilize the structures for counties’ take- off; and the MPs and other legislators’ demands are derailing the process” the stated.

Easter messages from across the Communion: The Church of England Newspaper, April 7, 2013 p 6. April 9, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Church of North America, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Church of Ireland, Church of Nigeria, Church of the Province of Uganda, Church of the Province of West Africa, Scottish Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church.
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Easter messages from the overseas leaders of the Anglican Communion sounded a common theme this year of hope and joy. While the archbishops of the church touched upon issues of local concern, each spoke to the victory of Christ over death and the grave.

The Archbishop of Uganda Stanley Ntagali urged Christians not to lose heart in the face of economic and political uncertainties. “There could be social pressures in the country and many people might have lost hope. Many people no longer trust fellow human beings, but let the risen Lord Jesus whose victory over death we are celebrating this Easter give us a new hope.”

He also warned of the dangers of alcohol. “I urge our people not to celebrate [Easter] by drinking. They should go to church and worship the Lord and return home. This a time to repent and make our homes, offices, schools and business places more enjoyable and suitable to glorify God who gave us the greatest gift of salvation through his Son Jesus Christ,” he noted.

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council, also spoke of the joy found in life in Christ. “In his resurrection from the dead there is the glorious ‘yes’ of the fulfilment, actual and yet to come, of the promises and purposes of God. Through repentance and faith we share in his risen life and at its heart, our calling is to simply say the ‘Amen’ and glorify the God who has triumphed over sin and death.”

The GAFCON leader also urged Christians to reject the “ungodly innovations” coming from Western liberal churches which seek to “substitute human effort and speculation for divine grace and revealed truth.  It is a profound contradiction to say this ‘Amen’ and then go on, as some do, to deny the real physical resurrection of Jesus.”

When Christians say ‘no’ to false teaching it is for the sake of truth. “There can be no more positive a movement than one which gives an unqualified ‘Amen’ to the fulfilment of all God promises in Jesus Christ.”

The Archbishop of West Africa Dr. Tilewa Johnson said the Christian’s response to the sufferings was to turn towards God. “Where to start? We have tools and guidelines to hand. One of the greatest tools we have is prayer. Prayer is a means of communication with God.”

“As with so many things, it requires practice. We know what it is like when we become close to another human being – a husband, wife, brother, sister or close friend. In time it is possible to read their thoughts, and know what they are going to say before they say it. It is the same with God. To sit in the presence of God – maybe in silence; maybe with a few words – it is possible increasingly to come to know God and the will of God. Gradually we know the way to go,” the Gambian archbishop said.

The Primate of All Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh said that when celebrating Easter it was “important” to “re-emphasize the incontrovertible fact that Jesus has risen from the dead and He is alive for ever. Through His resurrection power, therefore we can overcome all sorts of challenges we might have as an individual, as the Church of God and as a Nation.”

The Archbishop called on “all Christians and Nigerians as a whole to reaffirm their trust in God, and in corporate Nigeria.”

“Let us remain resolute and resilient, having our hope in the strength and power of the Almighty God. Our prayer for our country, Nigeria is that we shall overcome the present challenges of lingering insecurity: bloodshed, destruction of lives and property; poverty and political squabbles. We should keep hope alive of a corporate Nigeria,” he said.

Preaching at the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral of St. George the Martyr in Cape Town, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba told the congregation he had just returned from a retreat in “frozen rural North Wales”, staying in an attic room overlooking the Irish Sea in the mountains of Snowdonia.

“I was there to follow the 30-days Full Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola,” he explained “to explore what God was wanting to do in my life.”

But even found that the spiritual journey did not end there as God was leading him “to integrate all I’ve experienced and learnt into my ministry and life” –  “And I certainly came back to find an awful lot had been going on,’ he said.

“The over-riding lesson of my retreat is that God, in his redeeming love, is everywhere. Nothing is beyond his care, or his desire to bring healing and new life to you, to me, to everyone,” the archbishop said.

“If you truly want to know what Easter is all about, look at the places where there are tough challenges, difficult issues, hard wrestling, painful contexts – and where God’s people nonetheless dare to go, and to stay for as long as it takes, witnessing to light and hope and life.” Archbishop Makgoba said.

In in his final Easter message before he retires in July the Archbishop of Sydney Dr Peter Jensen reflected on his tenure in office. “As I think on my time as Archbishop, naturally I look back and try to judge myself – not with much success!” he says. “Like you, I have a real judge. Think how much more God, who knows all the secrets of our hearts, must be able to hold me to account. It should make us tremble.”

But Easter filled him with hope. “What happened at the first Easter reminds me of the love of God. Through the death of Jesus even I, and all of us, can have forgiveness as we turn to him in sorrow and trust him for our lives” he says.

“Our failures are not the last word over our lives. And, through the resurrection of Jesus I have a great and undeserved hope of my own resurrection and future,” Dr. Jensen said.

Archbishop-elect Philip Richardson of New Zealand reminded Kiwi Christians that “life comes out of death; the horror of crucifixion bears the fruit of redeemed and renewed humanity; the worst that we are capable of becomes the access way to that intimacy of relationship with God that Christ makes possible; it is in the bowl and towel of the servant that true power is expressed; it is in losing ourselves that we are found.”

The “heart of the message of Easter,” he observed was not the “passion or the suffering, but the resurrection.”

“As Martin Luther King rightly reminded us, ‘Hate begets hate, anger begets anger, killing only begets more killing. The only thing that can turn an enemy into a friend is the power of love’,” he said.

In a joint message released with the leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada celebrated the bonds of friendship between the two denominations and also urged Christians to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem”.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori the Episcopal Church stated: “Easter celebrates the victory of light and life over darkness and death.  God re-creates and redeems all life from dead, dry, and destroyed bones.  We are released from the bonds of self-obsession, addiction, and whatever would steal away the radical freedom of God-with-us.”

At Easter “our lives re-center in what is most holy and creative, the new thing God is continually doing in our midst,” she said, “practicing vulnerability toward the need and hunger of others around us” thereby cultivating “compassionate hearts.  We join in baptismal rebirth in the midst of Jesus’ own passing-over.”

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, writing from Juba where he was standing holy week with Archbishop Daniel Deng of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, wrote: “This Easter I am looking back,” he said – “I am asking, ‘What does it all mean?’ Whether in Juba or in Pittsburgh – and wherever you find yourself – what I testify is that the Gospel is my strength and my song, and that Jesus has become my salvation.”

“Easter is the day that lights and gives meaning to all the others, wherever I – we – spend it and with whomever I – we – spend it.  The tomb is empty.  The world, the flesh and the devil are defeated.  Jesus is alive.  In Him, the alien becomes familiar, loss becomes gain, sorrow becomes joy, and death becomes life.  This Easter I am also looking around and looking ahead,” Archbishop Robert Duncan wrote.

The Archbishop of Armagh Dr. Richard Clarke said what Ireland need this Easter was “confidence – a full–blooded confidence – that we actually want to allow Christ to run loose and dangerous in the world around us. We need to recover that spirited confidence to assert that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is not our private property as churchy people, but is truly for the whole of society and the entire world.”

Dr. Barry Morgan the Archbishop of Wales in his Easter sermon preached at Llandaff Cathedral stated that: “If you wanted to sum up God’s work, He is a God who is in the rescue business.  That is the root meaning of the word ‘salvation’ – it means being saved from something or someone.”

“Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we too as members of His body, are rescued from sin, despair, meaninglessness, disaster, and death,” he said, adding that “this offer of rescue, of salvation, by Jesus, is for all people not just for the select few – a bit like being rescued by a lifeboat.   When a life-station receives a distress signal, no enquiry is made about the social status of those who need rescuing, or whether they can pay for the service, or whether they are at fault for having got themselves into danger in the first place by being careless in going out without life jackets when a storm was forecast.  Lifeboats simply go to the rescue.”

The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church Bishop David Chillingworth of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane stated: “We greet with joy the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We look forward to welcoming many people to worship in our churches at Easter.  We hope and pray that they will experience joy and hope in our congregations.

“As disciples of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are people of the resurrection.  We are Easter people – shaped in our baptism through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We feel deeply the pain of the world and its people.  We bring compassion and care to the ministry which we exercise in our service of others.  We have a passion for justice.  We are also people of hope.  Because of the resurrection, we believe that good will triumph over evil and life over death.”

African outrage over civil partnership decision: The Church of England Newspaper, January 20, 2013 p 7. January 25, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue.
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Howls of outrage and disbelief from the Anglican Churches of Africa and Asia have greeted last month’s decision by the House of Bishops to end the ban on clergy in gay civil partnerships from being appointed to the episcopate.

Archbishops representing a majority of the active members of the Anglican Communion have urged the Church of England to pull back, saying the bishops’ decision violates international Anglican accords, creates moral confusion over church doctrine and discipline, holds the church up to ridicule, and will provide Islamist extremists a further excuse to persecute Christian minorities.

The 12 Jan 2013 statement by the nine primates of the Global South Coalition follows critical responses from the Archbishops of Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria.  Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria said the bishops of his church had agreed to break with the Church of England should the English bishops’ decision be implemented.

“Sadly we must also declare that if the Church of England continues in this contrary direction we must further separate ourselves from it and we are prepared to take the same actions as those prompted by the decisions of The Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada ten years ago.”

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda said the decision “to allow clergy in civil partnerships to be eligible to become Bishops is really no different from allowing gay Bishops.  This decision violates our Biblical faith and agreements within the Anglican Communion.”

The decision to permit partnered gay clergy to serve as bishops “only makes the brokenness of the Communion worse and is particularly disheartening coming from the Mother Church,” he argued.

The Archbishop of Kenya, Dr. Eliud Wabukala concurred, saying the announcement “will create further confusion about Anglican moral teaching and make restoring unity to the Communion an even greater challenge.”

The “proviso” that clergy in civil partnerships remain celibate is “clearly unworkable. It is common knowledge that active homosexuality on the part of Church of England clergy is invariably overlooked and in such circumstances it is very difficult to imagine anyone being brought to book,” the archbishop said on 6 Jan.

However, “the heart of the matter is not enforceability, but that bishops have a particular responsibility to be examples of godly living,” he argued.   “It cannot be right that they are able to enter into legally recognised relationships which institutionalise and condone behaviour that is completely contrary to the clear and historic teaching of Scripture” and the teaching of the church.

“The weight of this moral teaching cannot be supported by a flimsy proviso,” Archbishop Wabukala said.

African objections were not to the appointment to the episcopate of men who had a same-sex sexual orientation, but to those clergy who had contracted a gay civil partnership being appointed to the episcopate. The proviso that such relationships were celibate only when they involved the clergy of the Church of England was preposterous, one African bishop explained.

The Global South archbishops added this decision was “wrong” and had been “taken without prior consultation or consensus with the rest of the Anglican Communion at a time when the Communion is still facing major challenges of disunity.”

“The Church, more than any time before, needs to stand firm for the faith once received from Jesus Christ through the Apostles and not yield to the pressures of the society,” the archbishops said.

Church of Nigeria threatens to break with Canterbury over gay British bishops: Anglican Ink, January 10, 2013 January 11, 2013

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Archbishop Nicholas Okoh

The Church of Nigeria will break with the Church of England should it appoint clergy living in gay civil partnerships to the episcopate.

In a statement released under the signature of the Archbishop of All-Nigeria, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh at the close of the bishops’ annual retreat this week, the Anglican Communion’s largest church: “Sadly we must also declare that if the Church of England continues in this contrary direction we must further separate ourselves from it and we are prepared to take the same actions as those prompted by the decisions of The Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada ten years ago.”

The 20 Dec 2012 announcement by the House of Bishops and clarification issued on 4 Jan 2013 that the church had ended its moratorium on the appointment to the episcopate of clergy who had contracted civil partnerships but who had pledged to remain celibate has sparked sharp criticism from within Evangelical ranks within the Church of England and from the overseas church.  The claim that clergy who had entered a relationship that mimics marriage for same-sex were living a godly and moral life by refraining from consummating the relationship left some archbishops nonplussed.

The African church’s objections were not to the appointment of men to the episcopate who had a same-sex sexual orientation, but to clergy who had contracted a gay civil partnership being appointed to the episcopate. The proviso that such relationships were celibate only when they involved the clergy of the Church of England was preposterous, one African bishop told Anglican Ink.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Bishops ignite firestorm over gay bishop ban: The Church of England Newspaper, January 13, 2013 p 7. January 10, 2013

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The House of Bishops has ended the moratorium that banned clergy in same-sex civil partnerships from being appointed as bishops. The announcement, buried in the seventh paragraph of a 20 Dec 2012 report, has sparked protests and praise from across the church and wider Anglican Communion – and handed the Archbishop of Canterbury-designate Justin Welby with his first international crisis eight weeks before he takes office.

A spokesman for the Church of England told CEN the announcement and subsequent clarification of 4 January 2013 was not a reversal of policy, as no changes had been made to the church’s underlying teachings on human sexuality or its standards of moral conduct expected of clergy.  But “given the moratorium imposed by the House in 2011, It would however be true to say that the moratorium has been lifted” on clergy in civil partnerships being appointed as bishops, he said.

However, the distinction drawn by the House of Bishops has been overwhelmed by the reactions from left and right. Liberal pressure groups have hailed the announcement as a step forward for gay rights within the Church of England, with one commentator stating the announcement paves the way for Dr. Jeffrey John to be appointed Bishop of Durham.

Conservatives are aghast by what they see as a unilateral reversal by the bishops of church policy, while the leader of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, Dr. Eliud Wabukala the Archbishop of Kenya, warned that the policy served to institutionalize hypocrisy in the Church of England.  The appointment of a partnered gay bishop, he warned, would devastate an already crippled Anglican Communion.

In 2011 the House of Bishops formed a working group led by the Bishop of Sodor and Man  to the review of the 2005 pastoral statement on Civil Partnerships.

At its 2011 launch, the Bishop of Norwich said this committee’s work “will include examination of whether priests in civil partnerships should be eligible for appointment as bishops. The 2005 statement was silent on this issue.”

While the committee was studying the issue the “House has concluded that clergy in civil partnerships should not, at present, be nominated for episcopal appointment.  The review will be completed in 2012.”

The bishops also formed a second committee chaired by Sir Joseph Pilling to revisit the church’s pronouncements on human sexuality. In their December announcement, the bishops said they head presentations from Sir Joseph’s committee — but were silent as to the progress of the Sodor and Man committee.

The bishops stated that “pending the conclusion of]the Sir Joseph Pilling] group’s work next year the House does not intend to issue a further pastoral statement on civil partnerships. It confirmed that the requirements in the 2005 statement concerning the eligibility for ordination of those in civil partnerships whose relationships are consistent with the teaching of the Church of England apply equally in relation to the episcopate.”

On 22 Dec the gay pressure group Changing Attitude published an article on its website drawing attention to the announcement, and on 2 Jan Dr. Andrew Goddard, writing on the website of the Anglican Communion Institute, published an appreciation of the bishops’ statement and concluded their “decision is, therefore, a reversal not a confirmation of the existing policy” on civil partnerships.

Stories in the church and secular press soon followed leading to a statement of clarification issued by Bishop Graham James on behalf of the House of Bishops released late on 4 Jan.  Bishop James stated the bishops had heard reports from both committees and had lifted the moratorium as the Sodor and Man working party on Civil Partnerships had issued its report.

“The House believed it would be unjust to exclude from consideration for the episcopate anyone seeking to live fully in conformity with the Church’s teaching on sexual ethics or other areas of personal life and discipline. All candidates for the episcopate undergo a searching examination of personal and family circumstances, given the level of public scrutiny associated with being a bishop in the Church of England. But these, along with the candidate’s suitability for any particular role for which he is being considered, are for those responsible for the selection process to consider in each case,” Bishop James said.

A spokesman for the Church of England explained the decision to end the moratorium was not a reversal of policy, but an extension of the policy adopted in 2005 for the ordination of deacons and priests to now include episcopal appointments.

The Bishop of Carlisle said the bishops’ decision was a matter of justice. “The situation now is no different to the situation in 2005 which referred to clergy. What we’re saying for Bishops is exactly what we said for clergy.”

“It would seem wrong to set a different bar for Bishops than clergy,” said Bishop James Newcome on 5 Jan.

The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement welcomed the announcement, but offered a different interpretation from the bishops. The LGCM’s chief executive the Rev Sharon Ferguson said the church’s “discrimination” against gay and lesbian clergy had “undermined the church’s credibility in sharing the good news of God’s love for all. Removing the ban on bishops in civil partnerships is a positive measure but we must now see it come to fruition.”

Guardian columnist, the Rev Giles Fraser also hailed the news of the announcement, telling The Sunday Times that in light of the relaxation of the ban, “Jeffery John would be the perfect person to be Bishop of Durham because he has all the right skills.’

However Dr. Philip Giddings and Canon Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream argued a “decision to move from the current position would be a grave departure from the Church’s doctrine and discipline it should be made by Bishops in Synod not by Bishops alone.”

“A bishop known to be in a civil partnership could hardly be a focus of unity nor be a bishop for the whole church,” they said, adding that “such an appointment would be a very divisive move both within the Church of England and in the wider Anglican Communion.”

Part of the problem was the “ambiguous nature of civil partnerships,” they argued. “Most people assume that civil partnerships are sexual relationships. It is casuistical to claim that they are not.”

The Ven. Michael Lawson, chairman of the Church of England Evangelical Council stated the current system was not working.  “Some bishops are known to be lax about questioning civil-partnership clergy about their sex lives,” he said, noting the “church has a poor record already” in upholding the “requirement of celibacy and traditional teaching.”

“At the very least” the announcement will “spread confusion and at worst will be taken as an effort to conform to the spirit of the age,” he said.

The Archbishop of Kenya, Dr. Eliud Wabukala concurred, saying the announcement “will create further confusion about Anglican moral teaching and make restoring unity to the Communion an even greater challenge.”

The “proviso” that clergy in civil partnerships remain celibate is “clearly unworkable. It is common knowledge that active homosexuality on the part of Church of England clergy is invariably overlooked and in such circumstances it is very difficult to imagine anyone being brought to book,” the archbishop said on 6 Jan.

However, “the heart of the matter is not enforceability, but that bishops have a particular responsibility to be examples of godly living,” he argued.   “It cannot be right that they are able to enter into legally recognised relationships which institutionalise and condone behaviour that is completely contrary to the clear and historic teaching of Scripture” and the teaching of the church.

“The weight of this moral teaching cannot be supported by a flimsy proviso,” Archbishop Wabukala said.

However, commentator the Rev. Peter Ould has argued that liberals and conservatives have been too quick in responding to the announcement.

The “problem” with civil partnerships and the clergy has not been “clergy not being truthful, it’s bishops who haven’t asked them to be truthful,” he said. Evangelicals would be better served by concentrating “on those responsible for enforcing discipline and Biblical pastoral care rather than those caught in the cross-fire over this issue,” he said.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Gafcon II set for Nairobi: Anglican Ink, January 8, 2013 January 8, 2013

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The second Global Anglican Futures Conference – Gafcon II – will be held in Nairobi this October, the chairman of the primates’ council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, reports.

In his New Year’s Day message to the Anglican Church of Kenya, Dr. Wabukala stated that he was “very happy” to report that “in October this year, we are expecting the second Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON II) to be held here in Nairobi and we look forward to welcoming Anglican leaders from around the globe. I believe this will be a strategic moment in the reshaping of the Anglican Communion to fulfill our vision for global mission and a time when we will experience a foretaste of that glorious gathering of the people of God which Isaiah prophesied.”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Evangelical backlash follows England’s decision to allow “gay” bishops: Anglican Ink, January 7, 2012 January 8, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Church of England, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue.
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Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda

Conservative Evangelical leaders have charged the Church of England’s House of Bishops with hypocrisy, denouncing the 20 Dec 2012 announcement that gay clergy in civil partnerships, who remain celibate, may be appointed as bishops.

“A bishop known to be in a civil partnership could hardly be a focus of unity nor be a bishop for the whole church,” the leaders of Anglican Mainstream said over the weekend, while the Archbishops of Uganda and Kenya have warned that appointment of a partnered gay bishop would be a grievous blow to the wider Anglican Communion.

“Our grief and sense of betrayal are beyond words,” Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda said on 7 January 2013.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Papal meeting for Anglican conservatives: The Church of England Newspaper, January 6, 2013 p 3. January 4, 2013

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Archbishop Robert Duncan (centre) and Bishop Ray Sutton (right) of the ACNA at the 28 Nov 2012 General Audience with Pope Benedict XVI

The leader of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, held a private meeting last month at the Vatican with Pope Benedict XVI.

On 28 Nov 2012, Archbishop Wabukala, Archbishop Robert Duncan and Bishop Ray Sutton of the Anglican Church in North America, along with a retired bishop from the Church of England met with Benedict and officials from the curia in private after the Wednesday General Audience.

Details of the conversation have not been released however, Benedict has long held an interest in the internal workings of the Anglican Communion.  In October 2003, as President of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger sent a letter of encouragement on behalf of Pope John Paul II to those attending the “Plano Conference” of conservative Episcopalians in Dallas, Texas, who had gathered to voice their opposition to the impending consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.

Pope Benedict has also focused much of his energies on Africa. A recent issue of the Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica stated the pope has referred to Africa as to the “lung” of the Catholic Church and the church in Africa was “currently the most dynamic continent from the point of view of the expansion of the Church and of Christianity in general, and where vocations are the most numerous in terms of percentage.”

Travel delays prevented Archbishop Wabukala from attending the General Audience with Archbishop Duncan and Bishop Sutton, though the archbishop and other leaders of the global reform movement within the Anglican Communion were present at the afternoon’s private session.

Overseas Anglican plaudits for the next Archbishop of Canterbury: The Church of England Newspaper, November 18, 2012 p 5. November 21, 2012

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Anglican leaders have welcomed the news of the appointment of Justin Welby as the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.  The plaudits for the Bishop of Durham, however, have been mixed with advice and pleas for leadership from Canterbury for the factious Anglican Communion.

The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop David Chillingworth welcomed the appointment writing that Justin Welby  and added that he hoped the new archbishop would support the Indaba process – a conversation project between liberals and conservatives in the communion backed by the Anglican Consultative Council.  Bishop Chillingworth said he “enjoyed and valued my contacts with [Bishop Welby].  In the early stages of what has become Continuing Indaba – a movement of honest conversation across difference – his wide knowledge of the Anglican Communion, particularly in Africa, was of great importance.”

The leader of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala also praised the appointment, but noted that for Anglicans in the developing world, a common faith was more important than a common ecclesiastical structure.

The Kenyan archbishop said he hoped the new archbishop would rethink the current structures of the common and accept the African church’s view that “the chair of the Primates Meeting should be elected by the Primates themselves” and not go to the Archbishop of Canterbury by right.

“Our proposal, while not intended to deny the honour due to Canterbury as an historic see, is an expression of the truth we hold as vital, that our identity as Anglicans stems first and foremost from adherence to the faith we confess. It is this which gives substance and integrity to our bonds of affection and our efforts to relieve poverty and promote development.”

The new archbishop may have won over the Church of Uganda, which has withdrawn from inter-Anglican affairs since the 2008 Lambeth Conference..

“We are pleased to hear that he is an evangelical and will pray for him to lift up Jesus as “the way, the truth, and the life,” and to set the Word of God written as the authority for our common faith and morality,” Ugandan provincial secretary Canon George Bagamuhunda wrote.

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said she was “delighted” with the news, but added she expected Bishop Welby would have rough going as archbishop. “I give thanks for his appointment and his willingness to accept this work, in which I know his gifts of reconciliation and discernment will be abundantly tested.  May God bless his ministry, shelter his family, and bring comfort in the midst of difficult and lonely discernment and decisions.”

Conservative American pressure groups like the American Anglican Council have urged the new archbishop to hold the line on gay blessings and clergy, but liberal American groups have asked the new archbishop to listen to them instead.

The Chicago Consultation, a politically influential liberal pressure group, welcomed the news noting the new archbishop was “known for his pragmatic approach to conflict resolution and his personal courage as an agent of reconciliation.”

They added they were “heartened that Archbishop-elect Welby decried homophobia in his opening press conference, and we hope that he will listen with an open heart to the voices of the millions of faithful lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians across the Anglican Communion.”

The leader of the Anglican Church League in Sydney, Dr. Mark Thompson, wrote that “conservative Evangelicals could see a “great deal that is wonderfully hopeful in this appointment. Bishop Welby self-identifies as an evangelical. He is able to communicate clearly and winsomely.”

However, Dr. Thompson said the test would come in the new archbishop’s actions, not through is words.  As Bishop Welby “prepares to take up this challenging role at a very challenging time, one characteristic that has not been attributed to him is ‘courage’.”

Will Bishop Welby “stand up” to the Episcopal Church? Will he “call to account” Anglicans who have moved away from a Scriptural faith? Will he “stand” with the Global South “in the task of proclaiming Christ to a lost world?” Will he fire “Canon Kenneth Kearon and the others in the Anglican Communion Office who have manipulated the ACC agenda over the past decade in extraordinarily unhelpful ways?”

Will he “challenge” the British government over gay marriage? Will he support evangelicals in the Church of Scotland, in Canada and in the U.S. as well as Christians in the Muslim majority world who are being “persecuted” because of their faith.  And will he stand with members of the Church of England who in good conscience cannot accept the oversight of a woman bishop?”

“With such courage, and by God’s grace, respect for his office and health for the Church of England and the Anglican Communion might indeed return,” Dr. Thompson said.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

New suspects in Kenya church bombing: The Church of England Newspaper, November 4, 2012 p 6. November 6, 2012

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Bishop Joel Waweru and Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya visiting one of the victims of the 30 Sept attack on St Cyprian’s Church

Greed, not terrorism, may have been the motive for last month’s Nairobi church bombing, the Bishop of Nairobi reports.

Speaking at the 10 Oct 2012 funeral of one of the victims in the attack, Bishop Joel Waweru said a dispute over the ownership of the church’s land may have been the cause of the crime.

“The case on the ownership of the plot is dragging in court and we think the dispute could be connected to the attack,” Bishop Waweru said.

While the 30 September 2012 attack on St Cyprian’s has all the hallmarks of an operation by the Somali-based Islamist group al-Shabaab, police are investigating an alternative theory of the crime and are considering the lawsuit between the church and the Juja Development Company headed by Kenya’s former Defence minister Njenga Karume.

Initial witness statements said two men of Somali appearance were seen fleeing the scene after the explosion and were said to have thrown grenades.  However other witness reports said no one was in the alley when the explosion took place.

Nairobi’s police commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu reported that an examination of the crime scene indicated a limpet mine or an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was electronically detonated alongside the wall of the Christian education building of St Cyprian’s Anglican Church at approximately 10:30 local time.  Shrapnel from the blast killed an eight year old boy and wounded several children attending a Bible study.  Six children were taken in serious condition to the capital’s Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment.

Popular sentiment in Nairobi blamed the blast on al Shabaab.  The Somali terror group had been responsible for a series of low level bombings of churches and public buildings in Nairobi and in towns along the border with Kenya.  Last year it claimed responsibility for a series of blasts in Kampala that killed 74.

Bishop Waweru said the use of an IED might have been a copycat attack designed to drive the church off its land.  The land on which the Sunday school building sits is the focus of a protracted legal battle between the church and a property developer – a former parishioner.

Asked at a press conference whether he believed the bombing was political, or a dispute over land, Kenya’s Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said he did not know, nor was it fruitful for him to speculate.  This was a “crime” he said, that called for prompt police action.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Thrift a sign of Christian living says Archbishop: The Church of England Newspaper, October 14, 2012 p 6. October 16, 2012

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Archbishop Eliud Wabukala

Self-reliance and thrift should be the hallmarks of Christian living, the Archbishop of Kenya said last week, urging Anglicans not to rely upon the state or political leaders to build their churches.

Speaking at St Peter’s Osasme Church in Teso North in the Diocese of Katakwa on 2 Oct 2012, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said “what a credible church needs to do is just buy envelopes for Christians to give their tithe on Sundays instead of waiting for politicians to come to their rescue.”

Relying upon politicians to help raise funds entangled the church in partisan politics, he warned, noting that the spirit of Christian giving was for the poor “whose only possession is a chicken, they can sell it for Sh500 and surrender Sh50 as tithe. This is the spirit of development that we need.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Kenya’s bishops warn of election violence threat: The Church of England Newspaper, October 6, 2012, p 7 October 10, 2012

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The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Kenya has warned the East African nation it risks tribal and religious civil war over the forthcoming March 2013 General Elections if its political leaders do not pull back from hate speech.

In a statement read at the close of the House of Bishops meeting in Nakuru on 28 September 2012, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said some politicians were guilty making “offensive political utterances with impunity” that strained “fragile inter-ethnic relations”. By appealing to race and religion, politicians were priming the country for an explosion akin to the violence that followed the 2008 elections, he warned.

The church called for the immediate appointment of a national Inspector General of Police before the elections, and urged the government to implement the reforms of the police services proposed by a blue ribbon commission. The bishops urged President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to act now in preparing the security services to ensure a peaceful, free and fair General Election.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Land dispute may be behind Kenyan church bombing: Anglican Ink, October 2, 2012 October 3, 2012

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Bishop Joel Waweru of Nairobi and Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya visiting one of the victims of the 30 Sept 2012 bombing at St Cyprian’s Church

A property dispute is being investigated as an alternate theory of the crime in last Sunday bombing of St Cyprian’s Anglican Church in Nairobi which left one child dead and six seriously wounded.

While the 30 September 2012 attack on St Cyprian’s has all the hallmarks of an operation by the Somali-based Islamist group al-Shabaab, the question whether the bombing was related to a lawsuit between the church and a property developer pending in the Nairobi courts is also being considered.

Initial witness statements said two men of Somali appearance and dress were seen fleeing the scene after the explosion and were said to have thrown grenades.  However other witness reports said no one was in the alley when the explosion took place.

Nairobi’s police commissioner Njoroge Ndirangu reported that an examination of the crime scene indicated a limpet mine or an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) containing nails, ball-bearings and other pieces of shrapnel was electronically detonated alongside the wall of the Christian education building of St Cyprian’s Anglican Church at approximately 10:30 local time.  Shrapnel from the blast killed an eight year old boy and wounded several children attending a Bible study.  Six children were taken in serious condition to the capital’s Kenyatta National Hospital for treatment.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Archbishop closes Kenya’s pulpits to politicians: The Church of England Newspaper, May 27, 2012 p 7. May 31, 2012

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Archbishop Eliud Wabukala

The Primate of Kenya, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has asked the country’s Anglican clergy to eschew partisan politics in the run up to the country’s General Elections and close their pulpits to politics.

Speaking at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi on 20 May 2012, Archbishop Wabukala said the Anglican Church of Kenya will “remain non-partisan.”

“Politicians who want to divide Kenyans on tribal lines should be discouraged at all costs,” and not be allowed to speak from church pulpits in support of their political agendas as “we are aware that some of them may not mean well.”

In March the Kenyan electoral commission set 4 March 2013 as the date for the next presidential and parliamentary elections.  It will be the first general election since the 2007 vote that triggered factional and ethnic fighting that left 1,220 people dead, and triggered indictments of several prominent Kenyan political figures by the International Criminal Court.

It will also be the first election since the east African country adopted a new constitution.

President Mwai Kibaki, who is barred from seeking a third term of office, and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, had been at loggerheads over the date of the election.  In January the country’s High Court ruled the next elections should be held in 2013 and not in August 2012 as required by the constitution.  However, if the coalition government formed by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga collapses, an early vote may be held.

During the 2007 elections, a number of ACK bishops gave their public support to political groups – which are predominantly tribal based.  This prompted sharp criticism from the wider Kenyan church and soul searching over the role of bishops, tribe and politics.

“We must embrace humility and become wiser as the country nears the General Elections,” Archbishop Wabukala told the congregation of All Saints Cathedral on Sunday,” and “we will not allow the church pulpits be used by politicians to attack each other.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Statement from the Chairman of the AMiA on the withdrawal of Archbishop Wabukala: Anglican Ink, May 5, 2012 May 6, 2012

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The Chairman of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) has given the following statement to Anglican Ink in response to our query concerning the withdrawal of Archbiship Eliud Wabukala’s patronage.

“I received word this morning via email that Archbishop Eliud Wabukala has withdrawn from the College of Consultors for the Anglican Mission.  …..

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Wabukala withdraws support from AMiA: Anglican Ink, May 5, 2012 May 5, 2012

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The Archbishop of Kenya has withdrawn from the Anglican Mission in America’s (AMiA) College of Consultors.  Sources within the AMiA and in the Anglican Church of Kenya tell Anglican InkArchbishop Eliud Wabukala has written to Bishop Chuck Murphy withdrawing his patronage from the organization.

Last week Bishop Murphy announced that five primates – Archbishop Henri Isingoma of the Congo, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, and retired archbishops Emmanuel Kolini, Yong Ping Chung and Moses Tay – had agreed to provide archiepiscopal oversight for the AMiA as it reconstitutes itself as a mission society.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Rwanda and AMiA to go their separate ways: The Church of England Newspaper, April 6, 2012 p 7. April 11, 2012

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Bishop Chuck Murphy

The Archbishop of Kenya reports that attempts to forge a compromise between the bishops of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) and the Church of Rwanda have failed.  In a statement released on 29 March 2012, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala stated that each side wishes the other well as they pursue new opportunities in ministry.

The severing of formal ties between the AMiA and Rwanda after 12 years ends the first sustained “cross border” jurisdictional violation criticized by the Windsor Report – leaving the Church of Nigeria with the only formal overseas-led jurisdiction in North America.

On 13 March 2012 Bishop Chuck Murphy, Bishop John Miller and Canon Mike Murphy of the AMiA, along with the retired primates of Rwanda and South East Asia, Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini and Yong Ping Chung with the Primate of Rwanda, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje and Bishop Laurent Mbanda in Johannesburg to “facilitate relational reconciliation,” a statement from the AMiA said.

The Johannesburg meeting follows upon a January meeting in Nairobi also hosted by Archbishop Wabukala that sought to find a way forward in the rupture between the AMiA’s bishops and the Church of Rwanda.  Last year all but two of the AMiA’s bishops quit the African church after the Rwandan House of Bishops pushed for greater financial and organizational accountability of the South Carolina-based jurisdiction.

The split has fractured the AMiA’s 150 congregations.  While no numbers have been released by the AMiA, a majority of its congregations appear to have left Bishop Murphy’s oversight—including Bishop Murphy’s former parish and the AMiA’s headquarters, All Saints Church in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.

One faction appears set to join the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a second group has pledged its loyalty to the Church of Rwanda but will seek to operate under the oversight of the ACNA, while a third remains with Bishop Murphy and his bishops.  Negotiations to find an accommodation are currently underway between the Murphy faction and the ACNA, however the terms publicly set by Archbishop Duncan include reconciliation between Rwanda and the Murphy group.

In his letter from Johannesburg, Archbishop Wabukala said the two sides stated that they had “done the best” to resolve the situation.  However, “we mutually agree to release each other to develop our God-given ministries for the advancement of His Kingdom.”

The parties further agreed not to disparage each other.  “We will honor all parties involved by promising not to engage in derogatory or judgmental communication,” the statement said.

The AMiA statement said “Bishop Murphy expressed deep gratitude to Archbishop Wabukala for his leadership and thanksgiving for this new beginning for the Anglican Mission.”  A member of the Rwandan House of Bishops contacted by the Church of England Newspaper stated his church would not comment at this time, noting the communiqué spoke for itself.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Doctrinal fisure opens over African aid: The Church of England Newspaper, March 30, 2012 p 7. April 3, 2012

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Eliud Wabukala

The Archbishop of Kenya has criticized idolatry of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) saying faith in Christ, not works performed in his name, is the path of salvation.

The 22 February 2012 letter written by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on behalf of the Gafcon primates chastised Christians who in the pursuit of social and economic change, lost sight of the centrality of the cross and the primacy of repentance and amendment of life.  “While it is obvious that such good things as feeding the hungry, fighting disease, improving education and national prosperity are to be desired by all, by themselves any human dream can become a substitute gospel which renders repentance and the cross of Christ irrelevant,” he said.

While the archbishop’s letter stands in contrast to recent Western church endorsements of the MDGs – a series of 8 initiatives adopted by the U.N. member states that seek to address education, healthcare, and poverty issues – the African church, not America is the focus of concern The Church of England Newspaper has learned.

An Anglican African theological divide has arisen whose point of conflict is the agenda of the Western-financed staff of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) and the archbishops of the Gafcon movement.  At issue are disputes over ecclesiology — understanding of the purpose of the church — and the doctrine of justification, sources tell CEN.

In a summary of the international scene given to the Church of Uganda’s standing committee last month, Archbishop Henry Orombi warned the diverging viewpoints on human sexuality coupled with a different ordering of priorities was leading to a “massive clash of worldviews” amongst Anglicans, “and if we as leaders are not aware of what’s going on at this international level, then our sheep may be eaten by wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

In his Lenten letter, Archbishop Wabukala wrote in Kenya the church seeks to “equip God’s people to transform society with the gospel.”  Such a transformation is far “more lasting” than the work of governments or NGOs because the Gospel “addresses our deepest need, that of a restored relationship with the God.”

When believers stop placing their full trust in God, they become “vulnerable to taking short cuts that lead us away from the truth of the gospel. Some church leaders seem to think that the transformation of society will simply come through commitment” to the MDGs.

“While it is obvious that such good things as feeding the hungry, fighting disease, improving education and national prosperity are to be desired by all, by themselves any human dream can become a substitute gospel which renders repentance and the cross of Christ irrelevant,” Archbishop Wabukla said.

Archbishop Wabukala also questioned the philosophical rationale for the Western aid industry.  The MDGs “have grown out of a secularised Western culture which is pushing Christianity to the margins and uses the language of human rights and equality to promote irresponsibility in social life and diminish personal responsibility.”

At its 11th council meeting held 4 – 8 Feb 2012 in Bujumbura, Burundi the CAPA staff presented a strategic plan for the future of the African church. “Embodied in this strategy document are CAPA’s intentions, dreams and aspirations with regard to improving the quality of life of the people and all creation on the African continent (John 10.10),” the document stated.

However, critics from the Church of Uganda told CEN Jesus’ words “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” were now being construed to mean “quality of life” rather than “eternal life.”

The new agenda for CAPA is based in part on a paper prepared by a Belgian scholar, Marguerite Peeters entitled “The new global ethic: challenges for the Church” that gives a theological justification for the globalist world view adopted by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the coalition government of Prime Minister David Cameron.

Critics of the “new global ethic” paper note the words “sin, repent, repentance, cross” were absent from the paper.  By taking on board the new globalist mindset “CAPA unfortunately has retreated from the distinctiveness of its Biblical heritage and a Biblical worldview,” East African Anglicans tell CEN and has “chosen the path of the ‘new global ethic’ to reach the noble destination of addressing poverty and oppression.”

The transformation of the world will not come from governments or aid agencies, he said, but from the “good news of the gospel” that transforms “ordinary men,” Archbishop Wabukala said.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

AMiA break with Rwanda and Anglicanism complete: The Church of England Newspaper, January 20, 2012, p 7. January 20, 2012

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Bishop Chuck Murphy

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Bishop Chuck Murphy along with the other former bishops of the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) have rejected the protocol for reconciliation with the Church of Rwanda brokered by the Archbishop of Kenya at the 4 January 2012 meeting in Nairobi.

Speaking at a conference in Houston this week, Bishop Murphy reiterated his plans to form a mission society with an international focus from the remnants loyal to him within the former AMiA.  The decision to repudiate ties with Rwanda severs the last link to the Anglican Communion for Bishop Murphy and his faction within the AMiA.

Bishop Phillip Jones, one of the resigned suffragan bishops told the Houston Conference, the new group no longer sought to be Anglican or to work within the confines of the Anglican tradition.  The Murphy group wanted to be attached to some wider organization, but in its current form it was a non-institutional entity with a global focus, that did not need to be Anglican, Bishop Jones said according to those present at the meeting.

On 17 January 2012, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala released a letter summarizing the 4 Jan meeting in Nairobi.  Present at the gathering were Bishop Murphy and Bishop John Miller from the U.S., Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje and Bishop Laurent Mbanda from Rwanda, Archbishop Ikechi Nwosu from the Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Wabukala from the Anglican Church of Kenya and four other Kenyan bishops.

Archbishop Wabukala opened the meeting by stating his hope that the parties could be reconciled.  The statement noted that Bishop Murphy “began by expressing his profound regret for the broken relationship and stressed his commitment to lead AMiA as a single-minded mission agency. “

He added that he had been “deeply distressed by the public accusations” leveled against him, but remained “determined” to carry on the work he began in 2000.

Archbishop Rwaje “acknowledged his deep distress at the broken relationships” and lauded the work of the AMiA over the past 12 years.  However, he was perturbed by the “continuing role” played by retired Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, the “lack of financial transparency and the recently announced plans to separate from the Church of Rwanda and function independently without adequate prayer or consultation.”

The Kenyan archbishop reported that after lengthy discussion the parties agreed that “forgiveness should come from both sides of the divide,” and that Rwanda would “stop looking at AMiA‘s mistakes,” wiping the slate clean. Both parties would also “start the process of forgiveness” and acknowledge the wrongs “between them.”

The agreement also called for the retired archbishops who had been supporting Bishop Murphy to work the “incumbent Archbishop of Rwanda” and for the retired archbishops to acknowledge the “ecclesiastical authority” of Archbishop Rwaje.

The Murphy faction of the AMiA “agreed that they remain canonically under the Church of Rwanda” and would put on hold for six months “plans for restructuring” the organization.

The next step would be for the two leaders to work with their bishops to “begin the work of reconciliation between both groups.”

However, while Bishop Murphy has said the work of reconciliation is continuing, the wider agreement appears ready to collapse as Bishop Murphy told those attending his Winter Conference that they would not accept the authority or directions of Rwanda, sources attending the Houston conference told The Church of England Newspaper.

Kenyan church call for tax cuts: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 14, 2011 p 6. October 16, 2011

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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Tax cuts, prayer, and efficient government were among the chief topics of the Anglican Church of Kenya’s provincial synod last month.

Meeting at the All Saints’ Cathedral Trinity Centre on 30 Sept 2011, the synod released a pastoral letter under the signature of the Archbishop of Kenya Dr. Eliud Wabukala that touched upon a series of industrial accidents and other issues facing the nation.

To “those who have lost loved ones in the several cases of road carnage, the Sinai slum and Busia tanker fires, deaths caused by the consumption of lethal local brews, collapsing of buildings under construction and the inhaling of poisonous chlorine fumes in Shauri Moyo,” the church offered its prayers and support.

“Some of these disasters are preventable, if only individuals and corporate institutions would be more proactive in protection of human life,” said Dr. Wabukala.

The church faulted the government’s response to recent calamities, saying “little has been done to implement the Disaster Preparedness policies and prescribed regulations” set down by law.  Nor had the government enforced regulations prohibiting the illicit production of alcohol, which had led to a rash of poison deaths.

“As Christians, there is no question on the effectiveness of prayer when dealing with threats to human life. We call upon churches across denominations to join in prayer for comfort and peace for all who are bereaved and for God to avert the disasters that have been witnessed in our country,” the synod letter  said.

In the wake of rising food, fuel and housing prices, the church also urged the Government to cut taxes to stimulate the economy.  In addition to their economic stimulus value, the tax cuts would “be a show of concern and solidarity with the majority of Kenyans who are struggling to make ends meet.”

The synod also called upon Parliament to refrain from piecemeal amendments to the constitution and joined in tribute to the late Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai.  “Her efforts positioned Kenya in the map of the world as a land capable of bringing forth a heroine whose resilience, commitment and vision won her praise and accolades worldwide.”

She was a “passionate environmentalist who stood firm against deforestation and paid a great price to reclaim grabbed public land at a time when land grabbing was rife in the country. Her legacy echoes to each one of us to be a hummingbird, doing the best we can to bring the change we want to see” in Kenya, the synod said.

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