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

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Kenya, CAPA, Church of England Newspaper, GAFCON.
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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.

CAPA assembly celebrates growth: The Church of England Newspaper, February 10, 2012 p 6. February 17, 2012

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Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of Burundi, the Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi has been elected chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) at the organization’s 11th assembly in Bujumbura.

Delegates from the Anglican Communion’s 12 African provinces met in the Burundian capital from 4-8 February 2012 to elect new leaders, review on-going projects, and coordinate African wide programmes for the church.

In his presidential address to the meeting, the outgoing chairman, Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean stated that CAPA seeks to be a “facilitator and a powerful instrument that our provinces and dioceses may use to enhance the quality of their ministry. We all need each other.”

A statement released during the gathering said the bishops and delegates discussed the wide spread growth of the church in Africa in recent years, but noted this growth had to be supported through the training of Christian teachers, leaders and clergy to guide new believers.  The formation of the new republic of South Sudan, the plight of the Christian minority in northern Sudan, and the “on-going challenges in Zimbabwe and North Africa” were also among the issues discussed in formal plenary meetings.

The Archbishop of Canterbury sent greetings and promise of his prayers for the meeting. Dr. Williams commended the work of CAPA. The work of CAPA for “holistic mission and development, grounded in the Good News of Jesus, is an inspiration” to Anglicans across the globe, he said, adding that CAPA’s “witness to Christ in so many situations that are both materially and spiritually challenging is a gift from God.”

In addition to a new chairman, delegates elected a standing committee and new vice-chairman, Archbishop Albert Chama of Central Africa and agreed to meet in the Congo in four years time for their next meeting.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 28: February 13, 2012 February 13, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Albany, AMiA, Anglican.TV, CAPA, Church of England, Church of South India, Civil Rights, Development/Economics/Govt Finances, Women Priests.
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This week Kevin and George take on the year 1662 and the missing 2500 Anglican Clergy. Also, your hosts talk about CAPA and DEPO and how they are relevant or no longer relevant today. Peter Ould covers last weeks events in the Church of England. AS Haley and Kevin discuss Obamacare and the 13th Chime of the Clock. Oh… and how many AMiA parishes are moving to PEAR or ACNA?

CAPA primates respond to Canterbury’s call: The Church of England Newspaper, Nov 19, 2010 p 7. November 18, 2010

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President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya with the CAPA primates on Nov 9 in Nairobi

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The African primates of the Anglican Communion have written to the Archbishop of Canterbury, offering their counsel on the format and agenda of the forthcoming primates meeting in Dublin.

Meeting at the ACK guest house in Nairobi from Nov 8-9, the primates or representatives from 12 African provinces along with the Primate of Southeast Asia, Archbishop John Chew of Singapore, met in private session to discuss issues of African and international concern.

At the close of the meeting, a letter to Dr. Williams was prepared, responding to his Oct 7 letter suggesting that a regime of facilitated small group meetings be instituted in place of the traditional format of the primates meeting, in light of the threatened boycott of the gathering.

The contents of the African letter have not yet been disclosed, sources tell CEN, as the primates do not want to force Dr. Williams’ hand by way of a leak to the press.

However, in his opening remarks to the meeting, the chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), Archbishop Ian Earnest of the Indian Ocean stated the question of a boycott of the Dublin meeting had to be taken by each archbishop.

CAPA would make its views known to Dr. Williams, he said, “but the decision to attend rests solely on the individual Archbishop.”

Archbishop Earnest added that Dr. Williams had invited him in his “capacity of CAPA Chairman to be part of a preparatory committee. He is also anxious that a small group of primates meet with him.”

He added, “I would like to have your opinion and thoughts about it.”  Last month Archbishop Earnest announced he would boycott the meeting due to the presence of the US and Canadian primates.

On Nov 9, the primates met with the President Mwai Kibaki at Harambee House.  According to a statement released by the president’s press office, the primates “commended President Kibaki and the coalition government for the strides made in the reform agenda in the country.”

Archbishop Earnest told the president that CAPA was “fully committed” in supporting government efforts “in sustaining peace and stability” across the continent, the statement said.

“CAPA leadership has played a key role in contributing towards peace and stability in their respective countries. For example in the Sudan, Burundi, DRC and Kenya, the Anglican church has contributed to peace,” Archbishop Ernest said.

President Kibaki urged the church to use its influence in “seeking peaceful and amicable solutions to conflicts in Sudan, the horn of Africa and other countries experiencing insecurity in the continent.”

No break in Africa’s united front on the Episcopal Church: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 17, 2010 p 8. September 17, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Southern Africa, CAPA, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Central Africa.
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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

A letter alleging the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and the Church of the Province of Central Africa have dissented from the final communiqué of last month’s All African Bishops Meeting in Entebbe, does not have the official backing of the two provinces The Church of England Newspaper has learned.

Leaders of the two provinces tell CEN that while parts of the dissenting letter reflect the views held by some Southern and Central Africa bishops, neither province’s House of Bishops have discussed nor endorsed the letter purportedly issued on their behalf.

“The purpose of the gathering of CAPA Bishops in Entebbe, Uganda, was to deal with matters on the agenda which focused on developmental issues facing Africa and how the Anglican church in Africa should rise to these challenges. The introduction of extraneous views of the North American Schismatics should not deflect from the agenda of CAPA,” Bishop Trevor Mwamba of Botswana told CEN.

He hoped the “wider church” would not “fall into the error of thinking that Africa is one country. CAPA is made of 12 Provinces, holding different views. The frenzy of those chomping at the bit should not make the wider church assume that they are speaking for us all.”

Released at the close of the close of the Aug 23-29 Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, the dissenting letter concurred with the objections raised by the majority over the consecration of of a partnered lesbian priest as suffragan bishop of Los Angeles.  The American church displayed a “gross insensitivity to the feelings of the rest of the Communion” when it consecrated Mary Glasspool, the dissenting letter said.

However,  the letter distinguished Southern and Central Africa’s response to the Episcopal Church from that of the rest of Africa as “provinces differ in their relationships with [the Episcopal Church] in light of their actions.

The majority communique committed Africa to “network with orthodox Anglicans around the world, including Communion Partners in the USA and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), in holistic mission and evangelism.” The dissenting letter, however, said Southern and Central Africa did not “support ACNA’s position for legitimacy through the elimination” of the Episcopal Church.

A network of dioceses, congregations, and clergy within the Episcopal Church, the Communion Partners are home to the remaining conservatives in the Episcopal Church, while the ACNA is the province-in-waiting comprised of traditionalists who have withdrawn from the Episcopal Church.

The letter also attacked the managers of the All African meeting, saying the “majority” of provinces were being “ambushed by an agenda that is contrary to the beliefs and practices of our various Provinces” and voiced objections to CAPA being used as “pawn in battles it is not party to” within the Anglican Communion.

Of the 396 bishops present, 11 of the 29 Southern African bishops and 12 of the 15 Central African bishops were present, Archbishop Henry Orombi reported, while the chairman of CAPA, Archbishop Ian Ernest told CEN that ten of the 12 African primates endorsed their communiqué.  The Archbishop of Capetown did not attend the meeting, he noted, while the acting primate of Central Africa, Bishop Albert Chama of Northern Zambia was forced to leave the meeting early due to a scheduling conflict.

Senior bishops attending the Entebbe meeting tell CEN that they were not aware of any move to issue a dissenting statement during the conference, and stated that the only significant change to the agenda was made in the final business session.  ACC General Secretary Canon Kenneth Kearon’s invitation to attend the meeting was withdrawn, and presentations by staffers from the Anglican Consultative Council and by Bishop Trevor Mwamba of Botswana were dropped.

One South African bishop, who said he was unaware of the statement, said it was not possible for the church’s House of Bishops to have endorsed the unsigned dissenting statement, as the bishops would not meet as a group until shortly before the state of the Sept 29 – Oct 3 meeting of General Synod.

A spokesman for Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Capetown said the “formal position” of the South African church “in relation to the common life of the Anglican Communion remains as set out in the Statement by the Synod of Bishops’ meeting of September 2009.”

In 2009 the Southern African bishops stated “our worldwide Anglican Communion has for a number of years been struggling with the issue of human sexuality without, as yet, having reached any significant consensus.  There are, indeed, broken and damaged relationships within the Communion, but there is still a deep desire among the bishops throughout the world to maintain the bonds of unity in obedience to the High Priestly prayer of our Lord that ‘they may be one as we are one’.”

It backed the Archbishop of Canterbury’s call for the “exploration of an Anglican Covenant, as a means of providing a basic statement of the common faith and mission that holds the Anglican Churches together in visible community.”

The statement also stated that “maintaining as we do, that Christian marriage is a lifelong union between one man and one woman, we hold that clergy unable to commit to another in a Christian marriage partnership are called to a life of celibacy.”

The Southern African church had not moved from these principles, the spokesman said, and agreed with the dissenting letter so far as these sentiments were “reflected in broad terms within the letter.”  However the dissenting letter “is not a formal or official position of this Province.”

One Central African bishop stated he was not aware of the letter, while a second stated that no meeting of their House of Bishops has taken place since the Entebbe gathering.  While the dissenting letter may reflect the views of its authors, who include some of the Central African bishops, as far as he knew it did not express the formal stance of the province.

African bishops call for doctrinal discipline: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 3, 2010 p 1. September 9, 2010

Posted by geoconger in CAPA, Church of England Newspaper.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The second All African Bishops Conference has objected to the Episcopal Church’s consecration of Mary Glasspool as suffragan bishop of Los Angeles, but declined to take action against the US Church.

In a statement released at the close of the Aug 23-29 meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, on behalf of the 396 bishops attending the gathering, the conference called the consecration of a partnered lesbian priest a “clear departure from the standard teaching of the Anglican Communion” on human sexuality.

The Glasspool consecration had been taken in defiance of “the warnings from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion” and successive pan-Anglican meetings, they said. However, the meeting stopped short of calling for concerted disciplinary action against the Episcopal Church, calling instead for closer links with the remaining conservatives in the Episcopal Church and the third province movement in North America — the ACNA.

“We are committed to network with orthodox Anglicans around the world, including Communion Partners in the USA and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), in holistic mission and evangelism,” the communiqué stated.

Meeting at the Imperial Hotel in Entebbe, on the shores of Lake Victoria, the meeting offered confusing signals to participants. Speakers such as Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda, Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt and key Ugandan government ministers offered pointed criticisms and critiques of the divisions within the Anglican Communion.

The chairman of CAPA, Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean told reporters Africa was the hope for the Anglican future. “Today, the West is lacking obedience to the word of God. It is for us to redress the situation,” he said.

However, the official agenda prepared by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) office in Nairobi looked at anodyne issues of social and institutional development in the African church, while a wan Archbishop of Canterbury returned to themes of patience and forbearance in his address to the gathering.

To polite, but tepid applause, Dr Williams urged the bishops to listen to others. “We listen to Jesus, and then we must learn to listen to those we lead and serve; to find out what their own hopes and needs and confusions are. We must love and attend to their humanity in all its diversity, so that we become better able to address words of hope and challenge to them. We cannot assume we always know better,” Dr Williams said.

Heavy going for many bishops, Dr Williams’ sermon appeared to answer few questions, while tensions between the conference organisers and the host Ugandan Church went public at the end of the conference, when CAPA released a letter of apology to the Ugandan Church.

The Church of Uganda has been an outspoken advocate for self-reliance, and its primate has banned his bishops and church organisations from soliciting funds from the Episcopal Church. However, CAPA accepted a grant of $25,000 from Trinity Church in New York to help underwrite the conference, embarrassing the host Ugandan Church.

In an interview with Virtue-on-line, Archbishop Robert Duncan of the ACNA said the second All Africa conference compared unfavourably with the first. The second conference “has lacked the clarity of the first,” he said, adding the “contrast between the spirit of GAFCON and this conference was striking. The prayerful, joyful always aware that God-is-right -here attitude of the African Church was present only when we worshipped or shared relationally. The sessions at the conference were dominated by Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and social solutions where the gospel of Jesus is not the driving force.”

In their closing statement, the bishops avoided mention of the MDGs and offered solutions to the problems facing the Church. Combatting the moral and intellectual drift of the Church required closer interaction among the provinces of the developing world, a stronger commitment to theological education, dedicated involvement with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Faith and Order commission, and dedicated ecumenical and interfaith work.

However, discipline remained the key, the African bishops said. For the Communion to maintain its credibility, it must be “obligatory of all Provinces to observe the agreed decisions and recommendations” of the Anglican Communion

Dr. Williams to headline All Africa bishops conference in Uganda: The Church of England Newspaper, Aug 20, 2010 p 5. August 25, 2010

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Imperial Beach Resort Hotel in Entebbe, the conference venue

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will preach at the opening service of the All African Bishops Conference on Aug 24 in Uganda.

Approximately 370 African bishops and 60 other guests will join Dr. Williams at the Imperial Hotel in Entebbe from Aug 23-29 for the second pan-African bishops’ conference.  Gathered under the theme “Securing our potential: unlocking our future” the meeting is not expected to directly address the divisions within the Anglican Communion.

The All Africa conference will be Dr. Williams’ first visit to Uganda, and his first opportunity to address the bishops of the African church.  In 2008 of the continent’s 324 diocesan bishops boycotted the Lambeth Conference in protest to the presence of the bishops of the Episcopal Church.

However, presentations and panel discussions interspersed with Bible studies and prayer groups will occupy most the Entebbe conference, which will focus on internal issues of African development.  Session 1, entitled ‘Nurturing Family Life and Building Healthy Populations,’ will address health care issues, HIV/AIDs, family relations and the Millennium Development Goals.

Session 2, ‘Nurturing Harmonious and Dignified Communities’ will discuss “managing diversity” and “conflict management” and the protection of the vulnerable.  Session 3, ‘Securing our Economic Future’ will address questions about a “sustainable environment” and the “prudent management” of church resources.

Session 4, ‘Disempowering the Powerful and Empowering the Vulnerable’ will focus on theological education and the challenges of urbanization.  The fifth session, entitled ‘Making Leadership work to secure our Future and Unlocking our Potential’ will look at the varieties of leadership and the church’s interaction with economics and politics.  The final session will feature presentations from staffers of the Anglican Consultative Council on its work and various programmes such as the continuing Indaba process.

African bishops head to Uganda for summit: CEN 1.29.10 p 7. February 9, 2010

Posted by geoconger in CAPA, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda.
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Uganda will play host to the second All-Africa Bishops Conference this year, the conference organizing committee announced last week.

Over 500 bishops from Cape Town to Cairo as well as observers from Lambeth Palace and non-African churches are expected to attend the Aug 23-28 meeting at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe, organizing committee chairman Edward Gaamuwa said.

The focus of the meeting will be on building Africa’s civil social infrastructure: supporting good government, anti-corruption drives, poverty alleviation, and building peace and forging reconciliation across the continent, Mr. Gaamuwa said. The theme of the conference will be “Securing our future; Unlocking our potential.”

The first All-Africa bishops’ conference was held in Lagos in 2004 with the theme “Africa has come of age.” The intervening six years have seen major shifts in the African church. One speaker from the 2004 conference, Dr. Nolbert Kunonga of Harare, will not be invited to this year’s gathering, while key leaders have since retired—including the host of the 2004 conference Archbishop Peter Akinola.

The meeting also comes at a low point in relations between Dr. Rowan Williams and the African churches. At Lambeth 2008 a majority of African bishops boycotted the Conference with 209 of the continent’s 324 diocesan bishops staying away.

Bishops from every African province but Uganda registered for Lambeth including the Church of Nigeria. The Rt. Rev. Cyril Okorocha of Owerri, however, pulled out of the meeting at the last minute after having faxed in a confirmation of his attendance on July 19. The only Nigerian actually at Lambeth was a Roman Catholic archbishop, part of the 7 man team from the Vatican.

One Rwandan bishop was present, and Kenya had 17 bishops registered for Lambeth. However, only five of the Kenyan bishops were present for Lambeth and one left after the bishops’ retreat.

While the meeting is not expected to focus on pan-Anglican politics, a leading African bishop told The Church of England Newspaper the divisions that led to the boycott of Lambeth 2008 have not been resolved.

Church urged to promote condoms: CEN 9.11.09 p 6. September 20, 2009

Posted by geoconger in CAPA, Church of England Newspaper, Health/HIV-AIDS.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Abstinence and prophylactics are key ingredients to combating the spread of HIV/AIDS, government and civic leaders told a gathering of the Anglican Archbishops of Africa to coordinate the church’s response to HIV/AIDS.

The Sept 1-2 meeting at the Panafric Hotel in Nairobi brought together church and NGOs leaders with government ministers and was organized by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) as part of the organizations five-year AIDS awareness programme launched in 2007.

Archbishops urged to back condoms in fight against Aids

The Vice President of Kenya, Kalonzo Musyoka lauded abstinence as the best method for stopping the spread of the disease. This meant a return to the “strict observance of our values as Christians,” Mr Musyoka said, adding HIV/AIDS could be stopped if “we keep the promise of fidelity.”

The chairman of CAPA, Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean, said the church should offer both pastoral and practical support to its 40 million members. “For example, the use of condoms can help to check the spread of AIDS. So preventive measures have to be courageously presented, and this should be accompanied by appropriate teaching on human sexuality and reproductive health,” he said, according to local press reports.

The Anglican support for condoms as a prophylactic against the transmission of HIV/AIDS is not shared by the Catholic Church in Africa, which has repeatedly denounced their use as immoral. However, the Anglican support for condom use to control disease was first enunciated almost 90 years ago. After initial protests, the Church of England acquiesced to the distribution of condoms to soldiers to control the spread of venereal diseases during the First World War. The 1920 Lambeth Conference condemned all “unnatural means of conception avoidance,” but the 1930 Conference relaxed this ban.

According to a statement released by CAPA, the conference was designed to “create the space in which the two groups of leaders” could build the “leadership required to overcome the pandemic;” work towards providing “universal access to HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment and care through social community mobilization strategies;” and “spread and strengthen the network of leaders committed to advocating for the behaviors and resources needed to halt and reverse the pandemic.”

Duncan deposition ‘will not be recognised by African Churches’: CEN 11.08.08 November 8, 2008

Posted by geoconger in CAPA, Church of England Newspaper, Pittsburgh.
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The deposition of the Bishop of Pittsburgh was a “totalitarian” abuse of power and will not be recognized by the church in Africa, the chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) has declared.

On Nov 1, CAPA chairman Archbishop Ian Ernest, Primate of the Church of the Indian Ocean and Bishop of Mauritius, wrote to Bishop Robert Duncan on behalf of the African provinces and stated the African archbishops “continue to recognize you as a bishop in good standing in the Anglican Communion.”

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Duncan deposition 'will not be recognised by African Churches'

African call for unity: CEN 9.26.08 p 8. September 25, 2008

Posted by geoconger in CAPA, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean.
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The chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) has called upon the African church to put aside its differences and engage with its theological opponents within the Anglican Communion. CAPA should eschew a political solution to the divisions over doctrine and disciple Archbishop Ian Ernest said, and focus instead on the church’s transformation through Christian witness.

In his Sept 3 presidential address read to the joint meeting of primates and standing committee of CAPA in Nairobi, Archbishop Ernest, Primate of the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean and Bishop of Mauritius, said CAPA must resist becoming one interest group among many within the Anglican Communion.

“The Church is going through trial times. This is nothing new, and it is certainly not the last time that our Communion faces challenges,” Archbishop Ernest said.

But what was new at this “critical juncture” was a “process of profound change. Our deliberations at this meeting will not only affect our lives today, but will contribute to shape the future of the Anglican Communion worldwide. Future generations will read the minutes of this meeting. These are both exciting and challenging times, and we must act with utmost responsibility,” he said.

“Our large family of love”-the Anglican Communion” had been “distressed by unilateral decisions” taken by the North American churches which “threaten the unity of our communion,” he said.

Archbishop Ernest also expressed “concern about the violence of arguments” that had so hardened positions that it raised serious concerns “about our ability to resolve such differences.”

However, he did not despair, for it “is in love, and with hope in our hearts, that we meet today, as we pray for unity and look to work together to build the church of God.”

Within the context of African Christianity, the church was facing a number of new challenges, as well as long term problems. The Church in Africa needed to face up to the challenge of militant atheism, ethnic and tribal jealousies, oppressive regimes, and sectarian divisions. While there was good news to report from Zimbabwe, the problems in Darfur remained.

To respond to these challenges, as well as to the wider divisions within the Anglican Communion, CAPA must “build up its strategy to be faithful to God’s mission.”

However, “we, unfortunately, are retreating into a collection of lobby groups that are divisive and this phenomenon runs the risk of making the Communion a federation of closed ecclesial systems.”

The proper path for CAPA was to be “transforming agents” for Christ in the world. “Jesus needs us to be his hands to serve, his feet to visit, and voice to speak for Him. This is our task. But very often as a Church we fail at this task. We belong to the Community of suffering and service, of faith, hope and love which carries saving mission to all people.”

“We can challenge the world if we abide in Christ,” Archbishop Ernest said, and “let CAPA be the prophet of its time by being different, loving but effective.”

“My appeal to you” is that we “leave aside the different opinions we may have about the present situation in the Communion. We have to seek to maintain that spirit of togetherness within the Council of the Anglican Provinces of Africa, so that we may leap forward to be a witness of what it means to abide in Christ,” he said.
“The African Continent needs us. So, it is only in our togetherness that we can demonstrate to the World how unity in spirit and deeds can transform the lives of many,” he said.

Archbishop Ernest told The Church of England Newspaper he was unable to attend the meeting, due to a back injury, and his address was read to the assembly. Rwandan Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini chaired the meeting in his absence. A delayed flight prevented Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola from attending the meeting, while Ugandan Archbishop Henry Orombi was obliged to leave early. The conference communiqué will be released shortly, Archbishop Ernest said.

Calls to postpone Lambeth: CEN 10.12.07 p 1. October 10, 2007

Posted by geoconger in CAPA, Church of England Newspaper, Lambeth 2008.
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The Anglican Archbishops of Africa have backed Nigeria’s call to postpone the 2008 Lambeth Conference, and have pleaded with the Archbishop of Canterbury to call a special meeting of the primates to avert the impending collapse of the Anglican Communion.

And this week a leading Church of England Bishop warned that if the current arrangements stand, he will find it difficult to attend the 10-yearly meeting of Bishops.In a statement released following the Oct 3-5 meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) in Mauritius, the Archbishops acknowledged Dr. Williams’ concerns that postponing Lambeth would be “costly”, but said the alternatives were far worse.

“A divided conference with several provinces unable to participate and hundreds of bishops absent would be much more costly to our life and witness. It would bring an end to the Communion, as we know it,” they said.

Postponing Lambeth would allow “tensions to subside” and permit space for the “hard work of reconciliation.” It would also ensure that a common mind would have been reached on the proposed Anglican Covenant before the meeting took place.

Last month in New Orleans, Dr. Williams said he was not persuaded that a delay of Lambeth was necessary. He had to “keep faith” with the conference organizers and with the minority of bishops who were not concerned with the crisis of faith and order dividing the Communion.

However, the African church stated that a “change of direction from our current trajectory is urgently needed” for the Communion to survive.

The African archbishops said they were willing to work with the “instruments of unity” to resolve the “current impasse that confronts us.”

However “we have spent the last ten years in a series of meetings, issuing numerous communiqués, setting deadlines and yet we have made little progress.”

A Lambeth Conference that papers over the widening cracks in the Communion would serve no one, they argued. “We want unity but not unity at any expense,” they said.

Their call coincides with an admission by the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, that he would not be able to attend Lambeth if the liberal US bishops who appointed Gene Robinson were invited.

Responding to a question on the issue after delivering the fifth Chavasse lecture at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford, Bishop Nazir-Ali said: “There are churches and bishops who were requested, there were pleas to them by everyone from every quarter, not to do what the whole Communion had said was contrary to God’s purpose.”

“They went ahead and did it. Now the intention is to have those bishops at the Lambeth Conference, and the person consecrated also. Under such circumstances, and as matters stand, I could not go. We have to state at a particular time what is the gospel’s judgment in a particular situation.”

Meanwhile, the Bishop of Exeter, Michael Langrish, said he backed Bishop Nazir-Ali. He said: “I agree with the Bishop of Rochester about both the need for greater clarity about the purpose and nature of next summer’s gathering.”

He added he was concerned about the possibility the Conference could make Gene Robinson a scapegoat, “rather than focusing on the action of those who, through their decision to act in disregard of the pleas and mind of the rest of the Anglican Communion, precipitated this crisis.”

Rebuff for Episcopal Green Light: CEN 10.12.07 p 8. October 10, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Consultative Council, CAPA, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, House of Bishops.
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The New Orleans statement of the US House of Bishops has “clarified all outstanding questions” posed by the Primates to the American Church, a report prepared by the Primates/ACC joint standing committee (JSC) has found.

However, the 19-page Sept 30 report has been dismissed as dishonest by US conservatives, and its conclusions rejected by the African churches.  Observers note the clumsy attempt of the JSC to usurp the prerogatives of the primates, and to become a de facto fifth “instrument of unity” has served to worsen the already bitter climate within the Communion.

The primates had asked the US Church to clarify the statement of its 2006 General Convention that it would not permit the election of further gay bishops or authorize gay blessings, that an autonomous scheme for pastoral oversight be given traditionalists, and that the lawsuits against breakaway conservative parishes would cease.

At their March meeting the US bishops invited Dr. Williams and the members of the primates standing committee to meet with them face to face to avert a blow up.  Over the summer this invitation was enlarged by the ACC staff to include itself and the ACC standing committee.

In New Orleans the US Bishops pledged “as a body” to “exercise restraint” in electing gay bishops, pledged not to authorize “public rites” of same-sex blessings, and agreed to delegated pastoral oversight for traditionalists under the supervision of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.  It declined to address the issue of lawsuits, and chastised Global South primates for violating their jurisdictions in providing support for traditionalist congregations.

The JSC concluded that this response satisfied the Primates’ requests and added the US was correct in citing the “ancient councils of the Church” in protesting border crossings.  The primates were hypocrites in demanding the US church refrain from implementing gay bishops and blessings while they permitted the border crossings to go on.

“[W]e do not see how certain primates can in good conscience call upon The Episcopal Church to meet the recommendations of the Windsor Report while they find reasons to exempt themselves from paying regard to them. We recommend that the Archbishop remind them of their own words and undertakings,” the report said.

Crafted in a late night session on Sept 24 by Bishop Jefferts Schori and the JSC, the statement was adopted with amendments by the bishops on Sept 25.  Critics of the report charge it is ingenuous of the ACC to give an independent endorsement of a report that it helped write, and question the US Presiding Bishop’s role as defendant, judge and jury in the process.

Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda called the report “severely compromised, and the gross conflicts of interest it represents utterly undermine its credibility.”

He said the primates did not envision the ACC inserting itself in the process while the US was “considering our requests.  Yet, members of the [JSC] met with Presiding Bishop Schori in the course of the preparation of their House of Bishops’ statement in order to suggest certain words, which, if included in the statement, would assure endorsement by the [JSC].  Presiding Bishop Schori’s participation in the evaluation of the response requested of her province is a gross conflict of interest. We wonder why she did not recuse herself.”

Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt, a member of the JSC delegation in New Orleans repudiated the report saying the US had given an inadequate response.  “Instead they used ambiguous language and contradicted themselves within their own response.”

The African archbishops also questioned the integrity of the JSC report, stating on Oct 5 that “on first reading we find it to be unsatisfactory. The assurances made are without credibility and its preparation is severely compromised by numerous conflicts of interest. The report itself appears to be a determined effort to find a way for the full inclusion of The Episcopal Church with no attempt at discipline or change from their prior position.”

The JSC report will be forwarded to all of the members of the Anglican Consultative Council and the primates for consideration.  Archbishop Rowan Williams has asked for their responses by the end of October.

African Provinces Cut Financial Ties with U.S.: TLC 4.27.04 April 27, 2004

Posted by geoconger in CAPA, Living Church, The Episcopal Church.
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First printed in The Living Church.

The Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) has called upon the Lambeth Commission to discipline the Episcopal Church for unilateral changes to church teaching on sexuality, and as a mark of its resolve, stated it would no longer accept financial assistance from American dioceses and organizations which seek to normalize homosexual behavior.

Meeting in closed-door session outside Nairobi, Kenya, April 13-14, representatives from 11 of Africa’s 12 provinces, with observers from six other provinces, debated the Global South’s continuing role in the Anglican Communion.

While making room in the agenda for a discussion of the humanitarian crisis in the Sudan, unrest in the Middle East, reconstruction in Rwanda, and a constitutional stalemate over the election of a new primate for West Africa, the bulk of the meeting sought to articulate a common African response to the American branch of the Communion.

While rejecting calls to break with the Anglican Communion at this time, CAPA did reaffirm its support for the Church’s traditional teachings on sexual ethics and morals. CAPA further asked the primates’ theological commission “to call ECUSA to repentance, giving it a three-month period to show signs of such repentance.”

If the Episcopal Church does not respond appropriately after the Lambeth Commission task force issues its report next year, “discipline should be applied.”

The president of CAPA, the Most Rev. Peter Akinola of Nigeria, noted that breaking the financial tether binding the African provinces to the Episcopal Church would sting as the bulk of CAPA’s support came from the U.S., but was essential to the Church’s health.

Archbishop Akinola noted that U.S. parishes which continue to uphold historic Church teaching on sexuality would not be affected, even if they were geographically resident in revisionist dioceses. “We are not against every church in the America. We are not against everyone in the West,” he said.