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South Carolina accepts archepiscopal oversight from Global South: The Church of England Newspaper, March 28, 2014 April 11, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Global South, South Carolina, The Episcopal Church.
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The 223rd annual convention of the Diocese of South Carolina has voted to accept an offer of temporary archiepiscopal oversight from the Global South Primates Steering Committee. On 15 March 2014 the delegates voted unanimously to accept the offer made in the February Cairo Communique of the GS Primates, while also aligning itself with the GAFCON movement. In his speech to the convention, the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence said “this will give us gracious oversight from one of the largest Ecclesial entities within the Communion: one wihc includes Anglicans from a diverse body of believers from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, the Indian Ocean and many, many others.” In 2012 the diocesan convention voted to quit the Episcopal Church in response to disputes over doctrine and disciple with the New York based national office, which led to moves to dismiss Bishop Lawrence from the ministry.

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Secret Cairo meeting yields dividends for Justin Welby: The Church of England Newspaper, March 7, 2014 March 20, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Global South.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury has bolstered his wavering support from overseas church leaders following a closed door meeting last week in Cairo with Asian, African and South American archbishops.

The day after the House of Bishops approved its Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage, the Most Rev. Justin Welby met in private with the steering committee of the Global South Primates at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo to explain the Church of England’s stance on same-sex marriage and the blessing of same-sex unions.

Accompanied by his director of reconciliation, Canon David Porter, Dr. Welby alleviated fears the Church of England would be changing its teaching on the morality of homosexual practice by permitting the blessing of same-sex unions and allowing married gay clergy amongst its ranks.  The archbishops of Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda had warned publicly the archbishop in recent months that they were prepared to break with Canterbury should the Church of England follow the British government’s lead on gay marriage.

Sources tell The Church of England Newspaper that while the overseas primates did not relent in their demands that Dr. Welby take action to discipline the Episcopal Church of the USA, they were pleased with the Bishops’ Pastoral Guidance and applauded the course taken by the Church of England and in a statement released on 20 Feb applauded the “faithfulness of the Church of England in this regard is a great encouragement to our Provinces, and indeed the rest of the Communion, especially those facing hardships and wars.”

The statement, which received the backing of all but the Church of Nigeria who abstained, withdraws pressure on Dr. Welby from the specter of the Anglican Mission in England – the shadow organization backed by the 2013 Gafcon meeting in Nairobi to support traditionalists should the Church of England slide into chaos.

The 14-15 Feb 2014 meeting was conducted in secrecy. Queried by the CEN as to the archbishop’s activities when Dr. Welby was spotted on the ground in Africa, Lambeth Palace declined to answer.  A spokesman for the archbishop later confirmed Dr. Welby had visited Cairo at the invitation of the Bishop of Egypt Dr. Mouneer to “hear from the Global South Steering Committee.”

However, the Lambeth Palace spokesman said this meeting was not out of the ordinary as “he is visiting all the Primates of the Anglican Communion to listen to their perspectives.”

In its statement the Global South group welcomed the “frank discussion, open sharing, and spirit of unity among us. We are also encouraged by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s emphases on renewal, mission and evangelism within the Church of England and the rest of the Anglican Communion.”

However they asked Dr. Welby to convene a primates meeting in 2015, but at this meeting they requested the agenda focus on the “deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion.”

The Anglican Communion was not working, they said, and was “currently suffering from broken relations, a lack of trust, and dysfunctional ‘instruments of unity’.”

“We realize that the time has come to address the ecclesial deficit, the mutual accountability and re-shaping the instruments of unity by following through the recommendations mentioned in the Windsor Report (2004), the Primates Meetings in Dromantine (2005) and Dar es Salam (2007), and the Windsor Continuation Group report,” the Global South leaders said.

Conversions propelling growth of Christianity round the world: The Church of England Newspaper, July 5, 2013 July 10, 2013

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Anglicanism was the fastest-growing major Christian tradition in Africa between 1970 and 2010, while the centre of gravity of Christianity has shifted to the Global South, reports a study published by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts,.

Demographic data published in “Christianity in Its Global Context, 1970–2020: Society, Religion, and Mission” reports that while agnosticism and atheism has grown in Europe and Christianity plateaued, Europe remains the exception on the world scene as religions continue to gather new adherents round the world.

Among the papers findings was that In 1970, Africa was 38.7 per cent Christian (143 million) and by 2020 the continent “will likely be 49.3 per cent % Christian (631 million).”

Within the Christian population Anglicans in Africa grew from 7.7 million in 1970 to 50.8 million in 2010 and are expected to “reach 65 million by 2020”.

Between 1970 and 2010 the number of Roman Catholics in Africa rose from 44.9 million (6.8 per cent of Catholics globally) to 197.0 million (15.2 per cent). By 2020 “there will be 232 million Roman Catholics in Africa, or 18.0 per cent of the world’s Catholics.”

In 1970 Islam replaced local religions as Africa’s largest faith group. But over the past forty years Christianity has outstripped Islam andby 2020 Africa will be 49.3per cent  Christian, 41.7 per cent Muslim, and 8.7 per cent ethnoreligionist.”

Christianity will likely average 2.1 per cent growth annually in Asia, more than twice the rate of growth for the general population (0.9 per cent) with much of the growth fueled by conversions.

However many historic Christian communities in Western Asia—notably those in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq—have been emigrating because of ongoing conflict and violence in the region. In 1970 Western Asia was 7.3 per cent Christian, but “by 2020 the region will likely be only 5.4 per cent Christian.”

The report found Christianity was on the decline in Europe largely because of secularization, but the continent was also becoming increasingly more religiously diverse because of immigration.

Christianity in Europe experienced growth between 1970 and 2010—492 million (75.0 per cent) to 580 million (78.6 per cent)—largely because of a resurgence of religion in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. Between 2010 and 2020, however, the Christian population “will plateau and the Christian share of the total population will decline (to 78.0 per cent), largely because of deaths and because of individuals leaving the faith,” the report stated.

Muslims will grow from 2.7% of the population in 1970 (18 million) to 5.9% in 2020 (44 million), likely because of immigration and lower-than-average European birth rates.

The paper concludes the fundamental shifts in the demographics of global Christianity and religion are continuing into the twenty-first century. “The percentage of Christians from the Global South is still increasing, but the personal-contact gap between Christians and non-Christians continues to be very wide. Christians are also struggling, along with the entire development community, to address critical social and economic issues. A central problem appears to be uneven resource distribution in a multitude of areas. Christian resources are poorly deployed and not reaching those who could benefit most from them, in terms of both mission and social action. Yet, Christian involvement in spiritual and social transformation has never been greater, and it remains to be seen how effective Christians in both the North and the South will be in carrying out global, integral mission.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Global South urges Church of England to pull back on gay bishops: Anglican Ink, January 12, 2013 January 12, 2013

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The Rt. Rev. Robert Paterson

The Global South Coalition of Anglican Primates – representing a majority of members of the Anglican Communion – has urged the House of Bishops of the Church of England to rescind its decision to permit clergy in gay civil partnerships to be appointed to the Episcopate.

By allowing partnered gay clergy to become bishops, the Church of England was jeopardizing the lives of Anglicans in majority Muslim countries, who would become targets of rage from extremists who would not appreciate the distinction being drawn by the House of Bishops between sexually active gay bishops and bishops who had entered a legal relationship defined by sexual activity, but who would nonetheless refrain from sexual activity.

Signed by nine archbishops, the statement follows responses from the Archbishops of Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria last week decrying the initiative.

The explosion over gay civil partnerships appears to have been an “own goal” on the part of the House of Bishops of the Church of England.  The Bishop of Sodor and Man, the Rt. Rev. Robert Paterson – who had been charged with leading a committee investigating the question – has stated the matter was taken out of his committee’s hands by the House of Bishops executive committee.

The final statement released on 20 Dec 2012 was not in exact accordance with the recommendations of his committee.  He noted the bulk of the business of the meeting had been devoted to the women bishops question and the civil partnership issue was not given a thorough hearing.  What was adopted was a holding statement — non-answer driven by legal advice that would satisfy parties until the final decision was made later this year.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Global South backing for South Carolina: The Church of England Newspaper, November 4, 2012 p 6. November 8, 2012

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The leaders of the Global South coalition of Anglican archbishops have written to the Bishop of South Carolina offering their prayers and support in his battle with the head of the American Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

On 25 Oct 2012, Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean, and the Presiding Bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt wrote to Bishop Mark Lawrence from Singapore, where they were attending the installation of the Rt. Rev. Rennis Ponniah as 9th bishop of the diocese.

“We were saddened, but not surprised, by the news of your inhibition and possible deposition by the TEC. We all want to assure you and the Diocese of South Carolina of our continuing prayers and support. We thank God for your stand for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ! We are proud that you are willing to suffer for the faith once delivered to the saints,” the archbishops wrote.

“Please be assured that we are with you, and that our Lord is also proud of you and our brothers and sisters in the Diocese of South Carolina,” they said, in their letter of support from the primates of Nigeria, South East Asia, Myanmar, Congo, the Southern Cone, Kenya and the Sudan.

On 15 Oct Bishop Lawrence was informed by Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori that the Disciplinary Board for Bishops had recommended he be suspended from the ministry for having abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church.  The announcement from New York came amidst negotiations between Bishop Lawrence and representatives of the national church over the diocese’s place within the church in light of the vote by General Convention to implement rites for gay marriages.

Fearful the national church would seek to compel it to conform to its innovation in doctrine and discipline, in recent years South Carolina had amended its constitution and canons – adopting a provision that disaffiliates the diocese from the General Convention of the Episcopal Church should its bishop be subject to theological persecution through an attack via the disciplinary canons.

The effect of the presiding bishop’s announcement was to trigger the disaffiliation canon, such that the Diocese of South Carolina and its 29,000 members withdrew from the church.

On 19 Oct Bishop Lawrence met with the clergy of the diocese to discuss the situation. He told The Church of England Newspaper that he was unable to comment at that time as to what steps would be taken by the diocese.  However, a special convention of the diocese has been called for 17 Nov 2012.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

UFO committee meets in Seoul: The Church of England Newspaper, December 16, 2011 p 6 December 18, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Korea, Anglican Consultative Council, Church of England Newspaper, Global South.
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UFO Committee members in Seoul

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The representatives from the Global South coalition of Anglican provinces have boycotted the December meeting of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order.

The absence of Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, the Southern Cone and South East Asia and the presence of the Episcopal Church’s member at the 2 – 9 Dec 2011 UFO meeting in Seoul, South Korea will damage the commission’s credibility in a sharply divided Anglican Communion.

In a statement released at the close of the meeting, the UFO commission voiced its regret at the absence.  “Aware of our mandate to promote the deepening of communion between the churches of the Anglican Communion, we emphasised the importance of being a fully representative group, and we greatly regret that some of our members were not present,” the communiqué said.

The UFO committee, under the chairmanship of the Primate of Burundi, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi was tasked by Dr Rowan Williams in 2009 to promote the “deepening of Communion” with other ecclesial entities and offer advice on questions of “faith and order”.

IASCUFO carries on the work of IASCER and IATDC—the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Ecumenical Relations and the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission.

Its third meeting focused on the preparation for the 2012 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in New Zealand.

The communiqué stated the commission reflected “critically on the Instruments of Communion and the relationships among them”; studied the “definition and recognition of churches”; discussed ways of promoting the Anglican Covenant; assisted the Anglican Communion in its “engagement with the complex processes involved in reception,” though it did not define what this meant; and considered the “question of transitivity” in light of “regional ecumenical agreements between churches which are members of different global communions in one geographical area affect or extend to other parts of the Communions.”

The commission reviewed regional ecumenical agreements endorsed by members of the Anglican Communion and prepared draft guidelines “articulating expectations of Anglican participants in ecumenical dialogues.”

The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for September 2012.

China opening for Global South primates: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 30, 2011 p 7. October 1, 2011

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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Primates of the Global South coalition of provinces have opened ecumenical relations with the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) — China’s official state Protestant Church.

The 12-day visit to China by 11 senior archbishops led by Singapore’s Archbishop John Chew — who represent a majority of the communion’s members — has sparked public controversy in evangelical circles with some conservatives perturbed by the outreach to the Communist Party-approved state church.

The visit will also pain supporters of the current institutional structures of the Anglican Communion, as the China trip marks the establishment of an international Anglican ecumenical movement independent of the London-based instruments of communion.

From 30 August-10 September the Primates of South East Asia, Myanmar, Uganda, Jerusalem and the Middle East, West Africa, Burundi, Nigeria, the Southern Cone, Kenya, Rwanda and Central Africa visited Peking, Chunking, Nanking, Shanghai and Soochow as guests of the Chinese government’s Minister for the Stated Administration of Religious Affairs, Mr Wang Zuoan.

The primates also met with leaders of the TSPM and China Christian Council. “This visit is opening the way for greater cooperation between China and the countries we represent, especially in the areas of church development, social services and commercial activity,” the primates said in a statement released at the end of their visit.

The China communiqué stated the Global South primates were “excited by the invitation by the Church in China, with the support and encouragement of SARA, to develop a long-term relationship with the Global South of the Anglican Communion for mutual encouragement and sharing of experiences.”

They also noted China’s “advances in economic growth and social development” over the past 30 years “including the recognition and encouragement given to the church and other religious organizations.”

The primates said they were “inspired by the exponential growth of the Church in China, in spite of the challenges she faces. We are encouraged to see a Church that is actively leading people to faith in Christ, training lay leaders for ministry, advancing the theological education of catechists and clergy, and being a blessing to society, especially in providing social services to the needy.”

They noted the success of the Amity Printing Press, which has produced over 90 million Bibles and the work of the Amity Foundation in providing social services to the needy. “These achievements affirm the church’s faithfulness in doing God’s work in a manner that is self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating. In all this, we recognize God’s divine providence, grace and wisdom,” they said.

However, the communiqué made no mention of China’s house church movement, home to the overwhelming majority of Chinese believers, nor of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement’s complicity in the state’s persecution of Christians.

Conservative bloggers were quick to denounce this oversight with posters at the website StandFirm expressing outrage the Global South would align itself with the TSPM. However, the Rev Loren Fox, a former missionary in Singapore told The Church of England Newspaper, these criticisms were misplaced.

Fr Fox noted the experience of the Diocese of Singapore and Archbishop John Chew had coloured its outlook on the Chinese church. The diocese of Singapore had been “generally liberal through the 1960s, but with Bishop Chew Ban it saw a movement sweep the Church through the influence of the Charismatics.”

During the Second World War the leaders of the Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Anglican churches “were imprisoned together by the Japanese,” he noted. In their prison camps “they prayed together deeply. That unity laid the groundwork for the Charismatic outbreak across the island in the 1970s that still influences all branches of the Church there today. Thus, the Singaporean Church has seen a weak (liberal) church transformed from within.

“Likewise, the TSPM/CCC has also moved from biblical faith to a faith filtered and truncated by the Communists, which has now returned to a biblical faith,” he said. Singapore and the Global South primates want “to encourage a further transformation of the Church — both government-sponsored and independent/house churches. Their own history gives them reason to believe it is already happening and will continue to do so.”

He added that Chinese history had seen “regime changes” brought about by changes in religion. “The Communist Party is afraid of any change in religion — whether it is Falun Gong, Tibetan Buddhism, Uighur Islam, or Christianity.”

The Global South knows this and “has been helping the Communist Party’s Religious Affairs Bureau to see how biblical Christianity makes for good citizens,” Fr Fox said.

Anglican Unscripted: Sept 25 2011 September 27, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican.TV, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Ireland, Global South, Lambeth 2008, Property Litigation, Rio Grande.
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http://blip.tv/play/g5IjgtWfEAI.htmlhttp://a.blip.tv/api.swf#g5IjgtWfEAI

Today is history is still happening and Kevin and George explain the Déjà vu that surrounds the first and (maybe) last Lambeth conference.  Sound confusing — then click to play.

Also in this episode your hosts discuss the Global Souths momentous challenges on the other side of the Great Wall, and Canterbury Contributor Peter Ould brings us news on the new woes in the Church of Ireland.  Finally AS Haley has help for those of you who can’t sleep at night because you are uncertain if TEC will ever change?

Canterbury’s international agenda in tatters: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 23, 2011 p 1. September 23, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England Newspaper, Global South, Lambeth 2008, Primates Meeting 2011.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s strategy to hold together the Anglican Communion was left in tatters this week after the primates representing the Global South coalition of churches gave his leadership a vote of no confidence.

The Global South primates—representing the majority of the Anglican Communion’s members—have repudiated the course chosen by Dr. Rowan Williams for the “instruments of communion”, saying it lacked moral and theological integrity.

With the Anglican Covenant process under increasing pressure from liberals and conservatives, and his programme of dialogue around the topics dividing the church, but not addressing the divisions within the church, rejected by a majority of the Communion, Dr. Rowan Williams’ international agenda appears to have all but collapsed.

The latest blow came in a statement released after Aug 30 to Sept 10 Global South meeting in China.  While the primates said they were “wholeheartedly committed to the unity of Anglican Communion and recognize the importance of the historic See of Canterbury,” they were not pleased with what Dr. Williams’ subordinates were doing.

The instruments of communion: the Lambeth Conference, the Primates Meeting, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, “have become dysfunctional and no longer have the ecclesial and moral authority to hold the Communion together.”

The Global South primates stated it was “regrettable” that the 2008 Lambeth Conference had been “designed [so as] not to make any resolutions that would have helped to resolve the crisis facing the Communion.”

The Dublin 2011 Primates Meeting was also a failure.  It had been “planned without prior consultation with the Primates in regard to the agenda” and there had been “no commitment to follow through the recommendations of previous Primates’ Meetings.”

They noted that the call made by the 1988 and 1998 Lambeth Conferences for the Primates Meeting to “exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters” had been “completely set aside.”

The primates’ strongest criticisms, however, were reserved for the London-based Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) which it accused of bias.

The ACC, “the Anglican Communion Standing Committee, and Communion-level commissions such as the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) and the Anglican Communion Liturgical Commission no longer reflect the common mind of the churches of the Communion because many members from the Global South can no longer with good conscience attend these meetings as issues that are aggravating and tearing the fabric of the Communion are being ignored,” the primates said.

The archbishops of Southeast Asia, Uganda, Jerusalem and the Middle East, West Africa, the Southern Cone, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Myanmar (Burma), and Central Africa observed the communion had “undergone a tremendous transformation in recent decades. Today, the majority of Anglicans are found no longer in the west, but in churches in Africa, Asia and Latin America that are firmly committed to our historic faith and order.”

“At the same time,” the primates noted that many Anglicans in the West were “yielding to secular pressure to allow unacceptable practices in the name of human rights and equality.”

These political ideals must not trump God’s unchanging word, they argued. “Beginning with the undermining of Scriptural authority and two millennia of church tradition, the erosion of orthodoxy has gone as far as the ordination and consecration of active gay and lesbian clergy and bishops, and the development of liturgies for same-sex marriage.”

The primates Sept 9 statement said they would not be quitting the communion, however, but would focus their energies on creating a “Decade of Mission and Networking” as a “unifying vocational platform on which we realize and build up our common life and witness.”

Economic and educational ties within the Global South would be strengthened, they said, and gave their commitment to “support faithful orthodox Anglican churches and groups in the west which share our historic faith and order.”

Rwandan revamp of Anglican ecclesiology: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 8, 2010 p 8. October 8, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Rwanda, Anglican Covenant, Church of England Newspaper, Global South.
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The Rev. Dr. Kevin Donlon of the Global South Anglican Theological Formation and Education Task Force at the 2008 Gafcon conference in Jerusalem

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The new Archbishop of Rwanda, the Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, has vowed to carry on the policies of his predecessor, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, and push for the reform of the Anglican Communion.

In an interview with the New Times of Kigali published last week, the new archbishop, who will take office in January said he would hold fast to the church’s traditional teachings on human sexuality.

“Anything that is contrary to God’s family set-up is not acceptable; there is nowhere in the Bible where same-sex marriage is encouraged. God created a man and woman to be the basis of a family,” the archbishop said.

The Anglican Church of Rwanda has also been at the forefront of the reform movement within the Anglican Communion.  While it supports in principle the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Anglican Covenant process, it has been less than enthusiastic about how such a structure might work, given the anarchy now prevalent across the Communion.

At the All African Bishops Meeting in Entebbe in August, discussion of the Anglican Covenant among the gathered bishops took a decided second place to the conciliar programme for a renewed Anglican ecclesiology propounded by Rwanda and the Global South group of churches.

An August 2008 paper prepared by Dr. Kevin Donlon, an American priest of the AMiA, and a member of the Global South Anglican Theological Formation and Education Task Force, argued the Covenant was yesterday’s solution to today’s problems.

The paper, entitled The Challenges of Covenant and Canons for the Future of a Ius Commune Anglicanae, concluded: “The Covenant as an instrument by itself fails to address the fullness of the conciliar tradition that needs to be regained by Anglicans.  A church rooted in the catholic heritage is called to be church rooted in the claims a deposit of faith that includes a canonical and conciliar tradition that is one of the marks of the church since the Apostolic Period.”

“Anglicanism abandoned a conciliar and canonical understanding of the church when Henry Tudor ascribed all legislative responsibility to the Parliament at the Reformation. A draft of a Covenant without a canonical and conciliar structure illustrates once again that Anglican leaders seem unable to grasp the conciliar nature of the Church.”

Frustration with the present model of “instruments of Communion” and objections to an international church that centered round the authority of an English bishop not accountable to the wider church, has fueled discussion within the Global South about new ways of ordering the church.

“A new model for a new day is required where conversations about Canons and Covenants are not simply the speculation of non-binding conferences that insure autonomy over and above authority. The blending of covenant and canon is a way to embrace the conciliar model where matters of faith and practice at all levels of the Church come into an expression of praxis that is framed in a theology of the church that is biblical, Christological, salvific historical and ecclesiological in character consistent for the ages,” Dr. Donlon concluded.

Correction: The CEN’s Sept 24 report of Archbishop Rwaje’s election as the new primate of Rwanda stated that at the time of the 1994 Genocide, Bishop Rwaje was spirited across the border by a Hutu officer.  This report was inaccurate, as it was a different bishop who was thus rescued.  Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini also writes that tribal identification is frowned upon within the Anglican Church of Rwanda.

China opens to the Global South: The Church of England Newspaper, June 4, 2010 June 9, 2010

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Elder Fu Xianwei

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) has opened relations with the Global South and declared a willingness to learn and share experiences with the growing Churches of the Anglican Communion.

While China’s state Protestant Church, the TSPM and the China Christian Council, will continue to forge ties with the Church of England and the Episcopal Church in the areas of theological education, the leader of the TSPM has indicated his Church would like to pursue deeper ties with Asian and African Anglicans, with whom they share common cultural and moral values, as well as the problem of dealing with rapid church growth.

Cut off from missionary support by the Chinese Revolution, since 1949 the Church in China has grown rapidly and is believed to number over 100 million members in the official state Protestant and Catholic Churches as well as in the underground Catholic Church and in the Protestant House Church movement.

“I hope that the Chinese Church and the Anglican Global South can expand their cooperation,” said Elder Fu Xianwei, the general secretary of the national committee of the TSPM in an address to participants at the Fourth Global South to South Encounter in Singapore on April 22, and said the Church in China was ready to learn from their experiences.

The Church in China has been a topic of special interest for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who visited China in 2006 as a guest of the TSPM. The Rt Rev David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, told The Church of England Newspaper that he was “delighted that Elder Fu” was able to attend the Singapore gathering.

As Dr Williams’ point man for China he said he had witnessed a “developing friendship, dialogue and exchange of mutual concerns as the Church in China grows.” Chinese and British scholars have held two seminars at Lambeth Palace, he noted and a third is scheduled for 2011.

In an interview with AnglicanTV at the close of the conference, Elder Fu indicated the Chinese Church was moving away from its government-imposed isolation and seeking partners in mission.

He told AnglicanTV he attended the South to South conference becauseArchbishop John Chew told me that there were many Archbishops from African Churches coming here. I thought it was a good opportunity for me to share with the African bishops about our church ministries and how we run our Church.”

“Also, I want to learn something from the church leaders who attended this conference, through their good experience and good witness from spreading the gospel,” he said, adding that Africa and China were facing “similar issues, problems and challenges. We need to sit down to dialogue with each other to resolve these issues,” Elder Fu said.

The challenges of globalisation and urbanisation faced by the Global South Churches were live issues in China, he said. He came to Singapore “to get some useful and helpful message for me so that I can run the Chinese Church well. At the same time I would like the Archbishops and Bishops of Global South to gain awareness and to understand the situation of the Chinese Church.”

The move away from an Anglo-centric communion sought by the Global South leaders was also attractive to the Chinese Church. “Authority for the Chinese Church should be in the hands of the Chinese Christians and the Three – Self Principle is good for the development and growth of the Chinese Church. I have learnt from the African leaders the need for self-support and self-reliance,” he said.

“In the Bible, we can see that whenever Paul planted a church, he let the church be run by local elders, allowing them to be independent. From history we learn the lesson that only the local Christians can run a local church that is sustainable.”

The Church in China can help the Global South by “sharing how we run our Church, as we run it well. We can also share on how we do evangelism, and how we attract more and more people in China to come and hear the Gospel. This can be the contribution of the Chinese Church to the Church as a whole,” Elder Fu said.

Orthodox Anglicans must act now to survive, Sydney Archbishop says: The Church of England Newspaper, May 7, 2010 p 8. May 12, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper, GAFCON, Global South.
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The Archbishop of Sydney

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Anglican Communion has passed its tipping point, the Archbishop of Sydney said last week, as the Global South coalition within the Anglican Communion has come to believe that the reform of the communion will no longer be led from London.

Writing in response to the Fourth Global South to South Encounter in Singapore, on April 28 Dr. Peter Jensen said he was not surprised the meeting had not garnered much of a reaction.  The statement from Singapore “simply confirms the obvious. The crisis moment has now passed,” he said.

He explained that many Anglican provinces had “given up” on the US and Canadian “official” churches “and regard themselves as being out of communion with them. They renew the call for repentance but can see that, failing something like the Great Awakening, it will not occur.”

The gathering was also “unresponsive” to Dr. Williams’ plea for patience, he said.  “I don’t think that what [Dr. Williams] said was obscure. It just seemed to be from another age, another world. His plea for patience misjudged the situation by several years and his talk of the Anglican covenant was not where the actual conference was at.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury “seemed to suggest that the consecration of a partnered lesbian Bishop will create a crisis. In fact the crisis itself has passed. We are now on the further side of the critical moment; the decisions have all been made; we are already living with the consequences,” he said.

Dr. Jensen noted the Encounter endorsed an Anglican Covenant, but were concerned with the current draft’s lack of disciplinary authority and the “monitoring power to the Standing Committee when it should belong to the Primates.”

He noted the “very appearance of the body called ‘The Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion’ was the cause of much private comment,” in Singapore.

“Even if it is a totally innocent development, it seems to fit with the frequent experience of the Global South that they are neither consulted nor listened to and that the deck is always stacked against them,” he said, adding that there was “now a very considerable breakdown in trust” within the communion.

The communiqué’s praise for Archbishops Mouneer Anis, Henry Orombi and Ian Ernest in their “determination no longer to attend meetings with representatives of the North Americans is a further indication that the crisis point has been passed and that we are now in the era of consequences.”

“Right action demands that we understand our own times accurately,” Dr. Jensen said, and at present the communion is in “the post-crisis phase, we need to know what such a moment requires. Action in this phase is no less demanding. One thing is for sure: those who wait and do nothing will be playing into the hands of ideologues who have had such a triumph in the west,” he said.

The remaining orthodox in the “churches in the west” must act now, “if they wish to survive,” the archbishop said.

South to South Encounter opens in Singapore: The Church of England Newspaper, April 23, 2010 p 7. May 1, 2010

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

The Archbishop of Nigeria has urged Anglicans in the developing world to declare their doctrinal and economic independence from the West.

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria told the Fourth South to South Global Encounter not to compromise their faith in return for handouts from the West.

Approximately 120 church leaders from 20 provinces along with bishops and clergy leaders from the US, New Zealand, Australia and Canada have gathered at Singapore’s St. Andrew’s Cathedral for the five day gathering that seeks to foster closer ties among the Anglican churches in the developing world—while also forging a united front in the Communion’s bitter doctrinal wars.

The former Archbishop of Nigeria Peter Akinola opened the programme with a homily on the conference’s theme “The Gospel of Jesus – a covenant for the people, and a light for the nations.” He told the congregation he hoped the Encounter would spur action from its participants, and not serve merely as a forum for the creation of protest statements.

In the opening plenary session Archbishop Okoh built upon the theme of self-sufficiency. “It is not God’s will that we remain perpetually dependent on the handouts from the sacrifice and self-denial offerings of other people,” he told the gathering, adding that this was especially true when “strong strings” were “attached to buy loyalty or compromise on critical issues of faith.”

The churches of Africa, Asia, Oceania and South and Central America should work in “equal partnership in the fellowship of the gospel with those who are sincere, and who live according to the truth of the Gospel,” he said.

“Grants, donations, gifts and any form of assistance given rather patronizingly should be rejected. We must relate and negotiate from the point of strength rather than a beggarly position,” the new Nigerian archbishop said.

He also denounced US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jeffert Schori’s denial of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. Pluralism has been an adversary of the church from the very beginning, he said and the cross was foolishness to the Greeks and a stumbling block for the Jews.

But the creeds, the Articles of Religion and the Scriptures “all uphold the deity and uniqueness of Jesus, the Christ. To deny these fundamentals is to abandon the way; it is apostasy; it is ‘another gospel’, which is condemned in scripture.”

The first full day of the Encounter opened with an address on the nature of Covenant as found in Isaiah, by the Archbishop of South East Asia John Chew, followed by talks on the structure and place of the Global South fellowship within the Anglican Communion by the President Bishop of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Dr. Mouneer Anis of Egypt, and the Primate of Rwanda, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Kigali.

In the second plenary session, Archbishop Chew examined the covenant relationship between Israel and God, and its fulfillment in Christ. Dr. Anis outlined the “ecclesial deficit” facing the communion. However the Global South would not be the ones to break up the communion, he said. “We are not forming a new Communion, because we are the Communion.”

Archbishop Kolini recounted the numerous meetings, committees, papers and communiqués issued over the past decade in response to the innovations of doctrine and discipline by the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada. He closed his remarks by expressing his weariness, noting “we do not need another resolution from this gathering. We need to act in accordance with what we know the Lord has said to us.”

A videotaped presentation from the Archbishop of Canterbury calling for patience and no precipitous action from the meeting closed the morning session.

Leaders from the different deputations paid a courtesy call on the President of Singapore during the afternoon, and a closed executive session was held in the evening. The 15 primates attending the gathering met with Archbishop Jeffrey Driver of Adelaide, Bishop Richard Ellena of Nelson (New Zealand), Bishop John W. Howe of Central Florida, Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina, and Archbishop Robert Duncan of the ACNA and the other “Western Associates” present to discuss the situation in the Episcopal Church.

A number of primates pressed the Americans to explain why there were two delegations: one of bishops from the Anglican Church in North America, and the other from Bishops of the Episcopal Church who are part of the conservative Communion Partners coalition.

Archbishop Duncan and Bishop Howe gave a summary of recent church history in the US, and Bishop Howe noted that while it traditionalists were facing hard times in the Episcopal Church, there position had not yet become untenable.

The Communion Partners group of bishops and dioceses disputed US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s contention that only the General Convention could adopt the Anglican Covenant. Bishop Howe told the gathering that the polity of the Episcopal Church gave that authority to the dioceses.

The Communion Partner dioceses would adopt the Covenant and seek to forge closer ties with the wider Communion, and would not sacrifice their doctrinal principles in the face of pressure from the present majority in the US church, he explained.

The conference concludes on April 23.

Dr Williams’ plea for patience falls on deaf ears in Singapore: The Church of England Newspaper, April 23, 2010 p 7. April 29, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England Newspaper, Global South.
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Dr. Rowan Williams addressed the 4th South to South conference in Singapore on April 20 via video

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged patience and forbearance upon church leaders attending the Fourth Global South to South Encounter in Singapore, asking them not to take any hasty decisions over the future of the Anglican Communion.

However, the reception accorded Dr. Rowan Williams’ pleas for restraint from the leaders of the Evangelical wing of the Communion was muted, with no applause or outward show of appreciation from the delegates at the close of his address. For most of those present, his words were too little, too late.

Delegates tell The Church of England Newspaper that Dr. Williams has exhausted his political and personal capital with the overseas church in the wake of successive disappointments in his leadership over the past few years. While the Global South continues to honour the office, Dr. Williams’ stock has reached a nadir with many of those present.

In a video address broadcast on April 20 at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Singapore to the 150 archbishops, bishops, clergy and lay leaders gathered from 20 provinces of the Communion, Dr. Williams conceded that the American and Canadian churches were a source of turmoil within the Communion.

There was “tension within our Anglican family – a brokenness and a tension that has been made still more acute by recent decisions in some of our Provinces,” he said, adding that the “election and consecration of Mary Glasspool in Los Angeles” was of concern.

“All of us share the concern that in this decision and action the Episcopal Church has deepened the divide between itself and the rest of the Anglican family,” he said.

There would be action, he said, stating “and as I speak to you now, I am in discussion with a number of people around the world about what consequences might follow from that decision, and how we express the sense that most Anglicans will want to express, that this decision cannot speak for our common mind.”

However, he urged the Global South leader to stay on-side and proceed with caution. “But I hope also in your thinking about this and in your reacting to it, you’ll bear in mind that there are no quick solutions for the wounds of the Body of Christ,” he said.

“It is the work of the Spirit that heals the Body of Christ, not the plans or the statements of any group, or any person, or any instrument of communion.”

“Naturally we seek to minimize the damage, to heal the hurts, to strengthen our mission, to make sure that it goes forward with integrity and conviction. Naturally, there are decisions that have to be taken,” he said, adding that “we must all share in a sense of repentance and willingness to be renewed by the Spirit.”

Dr. Williams urged those present to endorse and participate in the Anglican Covenant process, arguing that it was the best way forward under the current circumstances.

Supporters of the archbishop’s approach in Singapore understood him to say that patience was not an absence of a response. Time would allow the American Church to come to its own decision that it did not want to be part of the Anglican Communion, one bishop explained in an email to CEN.

However, other leaders, including former Archbishop of Nigeria Peter Akinola, told the conference that the time for talk was done, and action was needed now to ensure the communion’s survival.

A participant in the Third South to South Conference in Egypt in 2005, Dr. Williams had been expected to attend the Singapore meeting. However, last month his office informed the planning committee that he would not be attending the meeting do to calendar conflicts. Were he free to attend, however, Dr. Williams would have missed the first three days of the five day gathering due the fallout from the Iceland volcano. Uganda’s Archbishop Henry Orombi, one of the key speakers and organizers of the meeting, is not present at the meeting as he was in London when the volcano’s ash closed British airspace.

Bermuda meeting for Gafcon primates: The Church of England Newspaper, April 16, 2010 p 7. April 23, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, GAFCON, Global South.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Anglicanism isn’t working, the leaders of the Gafcon movement said last week at the close of the Primates Council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GAFCON/FCA).

Meeting from April 5-9 in Bermuda, the Archbishops of Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, the Southern Cone, Sydney, Tanzania, West Africa as well as Archbishop Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America and a representative bishop from the Church of Uganda released a statement of highlighting their concern with the direction taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury in resolving the splits within the Communion.

“We recognise that the current strategy in the Anglican Communion to strengthen structures by committee and commission has proved ineffective. Indeed we believe that the current structures have lost integrity and relevance.”

The way forward for Anglicanism was to pursue a “theologically grounded, biblically shaped reformation such as the one called for by the Jerusalem Declaration that God’s Kingdom will advance. The Anglican Communion will only be able to fulfill its gospel mandate if it understands itself to be a community gathered around a confession of faith rather than an organization that has its primary focus on institutional loyalty.”

The meeting discussed common areas of interest concerning Christian education, mission and evangelism, and also discussed the rise of persecution faced by many Christians. “We are mindful of those who live with the threat of violence because of their Christian faith, such

as Nigeria, Iraq and Sudan,” and noted that in a “number of nations, such as Kenya, Uganda and now the United Kingdom” the voice and views of Christians were “marginalized or ignored. We stand with all those in such circumstances and assure them of our continued prayers,” they said.

The primates also observed the election of a partnered lesbian priest as suffragan bishop of Los Angeles had made “clear to all” the Episcopal Church was not serious about being part of the Communion and had “formally committed itself to a pattern of life which is contrary to Scripture.”

The election of Mary Glasspool ended “any pretence that there has been a season of gracious restraint,” they said, urging “all orthodox biblical Anglicans, both in the USA and around the world, to demonstrate a clear and unambiguous stand for the historic faith and their refusal to participate in the direction and unbiblical practice and agenda” of the Episcopal Church.

The primates thanked Archbishop Peter Akinola for his leadership of the Gafcon movement and wished him well in retirement. The Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, Bishop Gregory Venables of Argentina was elected chairman of the primates’ council, and Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda and Eliud Wabukala of Kenya were elected as vice-chairmen. The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Peter Jensen continues as General Secretary.

Archbishop blamed for Vatican offer: CEN 11.13.09 p 7. November 20, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England Newspaper, Global South, Roman Catholic Church.
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The Archbishop of Canterbury’s shameful failure of leadership lies behind the Pope’s offer of a home for alienated Anglicans, the primates’ council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GAFCON/FCA) said in a statement released on Nov 10.

While Pope Benedict XVI’s offer of an “Apostolic Constitution” for those Anglicans wishing to be received into the Roman Catholic Church was a “gracious one” that “reflects the same commitment to the historic apostolic faith, moral teaching and global mission” proclaimed by GAFCON in 2008 in its Jerusalem Declaration, it was also profoundly embarrassing and shameful for the Anglican Communion, the GAFCON primates’ council said.

Writing on behalf of the group of seven archbishops representing some 50 million Anglicans, Archbishop Peter Akinola said we are “grieved that the current crisis within our beloved Anglican Communion has made necessary such an unprecedented offer.”

The Pope’s offer is a “grave indictment of the Instruments of Communion:” the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Anglican Consultative Council, the Lambeth Conference and the Primates Meeting. “Their failure to fully address the abandonment of biblical faith and practice” by the American and Canadian churches has “now brought shame to the name of Christ.”

However, it was not yet time to write off Anglicanism they said. The Anglican Communion had a “bright future” so long as it remained “grounded in the Holy Scriptures” and was obedient to its call to evangelize those who did not know Christ.

Anglicanism was doing quite well within the GAFCON churches of the Anglican Communion they said. “We are convinced that this is not the time to abandon the Anglican Communion. Our Anglican identity of reformed catholicity, that gives supreme authority to the Holy Scriptures and acknowledgement that our sole representative and advocate before God is the Lord Jesus Christ, stands as a beacon of hope for millions of people,” they said.

“We remain proud inheritors of the Anglican Reformation,” Archbishop Akinola said, and now was the “time for all Christians to persevere confident of our Lord’s promise that nothing, not even the gates of hell, will prevail against His Church.”

Traditionalists plan rival summit: CEN 12.21.07 p 7. December 20, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Global South, Lambeth 2008, Primates Meeting 2005.
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akinola-and-williams.jpgPlans are underway to hold a global gathering of traditionalist Anglican bishops next June under the auspices of the Global South coalition of primates, sources tell The Church of England Newspaper.

However, Archbishop Rowan Williams’ Advent letter to the Primates may give organizers of the rival meeting occasion to pause, as they digest Dr. Williams’ statement that unity for unity’s sake will not be the purpose of Lambeth 2008.

Meeting in Nairobi last week, the Global South Steering Committee, under the presidency of the Primate of Nigeria Archbishop Peter Akinola, discussed plans for a gathering of bishops to be held weeks before the start of the 2008 Lambeth Conference at the University of Kent in Canterbury.

The meeting would not be a shadow Lambeth Conference, but would include traditionalists who may boycott Lambeth. Bishops from Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda and other global south provinces are likely to sit out Lambeth 2008 due to Dr. Williams’ invitation to the liberal American bishops and his rejection of the African consecrated bishops to the US.

Dr. Williams has urged all of the Communion’s bishops to attend Lambeth. In an Advent letter released after the Global South Nairobi meeting concluded, he used his strongest language so far in making the case for all those invited to come. A refusal to attend Lambeth “can be a refusal of the cross – and so of the resurrection,” Dr. Williams said.

Plans for a Global South-led gathering of bishops have been in the works for over a year. However they have gained momentum in recent months as the pace of the disintegration of the Episcopal Church quickened, and as the perception that delay and obfuscation were all that could be expected from the central bodies of the Communion took hold among traditionalists.

 

 

Primates back Chinese Christians: CEN 11.16.07 p 8. November 19, 2007

Posted by geoconger in China, Church of England Newspaper, Global South.
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The Global South coalition of Primates has commended the work of the government-backed China Christian Council and the “Three Self Patriotic Movement”, saying China’s post-denominational protestant Church could serve as a model of Christianity in the developing world.

The Oct 30 statement “wholeheartedly commend” the Chinese government for its “openness and desire to extend sustainable support to the work of the church here.”  The primates noted with approval the “significant amendment” made by the 17th National Party Congress of the Community Party that “resolves to strengthen the work for the full implementation of the policy of freedom of religion in China.”

The creation by the Communist government of a “post-denominational institution with Chinese characteristics” was an “area where the churches in the Global South and the Church in China can work together so that the apostolicity and catholicity of the Church may be upheld,” the primates wrote.

Present at the Oct 25-30 meeting in Shanghai were Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Archbishop Bernard Malango of Central Africa, Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean, Presiding Bishop Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Archbishop Justice Akrofi of Wes Africa, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda, Archbishop Fidèle Dirokpa of the Congo and Archbishop Francis Park of Korea.

While lauding the Communist government’s new openness to Christianity, the Global South primates remained quiet on the persecution of Chinese Christians outside of the approved denomination.  While no public statements were issue, conservative leaders in the US and Britain were taken aback by the Global South primates’ backing of the Communist regime and its silence over the country’s “House Churches,” home to the majority of China’s Christians.

Global South Primates: Postpone Lambeth: TLC 11.13.07 November 13, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Global South, House of Bishops, Lambeth 2008, Living Church.
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The House of Bishops’ statement following their Sept. 20-25 meeting in New Orleans failed to answer the primates’ Dar es Salaam communiqué, according to nine Global South leaders who met Oct. 25-30 in Shanghai, China.

In a statement posted on the Global South Anglican website, the archbishops wrote that The Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops “has not given an unequivocal response to the requests of the primates.” However, the Global South group stopped short of calling for immediate disciplinary action against The Episcopal Church.

They called for an “urgent meeting of the primates to receive and conclude the draft Anglican Covenant and to determine how the Communion should move forward,” and also urged the postponement of the Lambeth Conference in 2008 to a date when all of the Communion’s bishops could “participate in a spirit of true collegiality and unity in the faith.”

Primates present at the Shanghai meeting were Archbishops Peter Akinola of Nigeria, Justice Akrofi of West Africa, Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East, John Chew of South East Asia, Fidèle Dirokpa of the Congo, Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean, Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Bernard Malango, (retired) Central Africa, and Henry Orombi of Uganda. The Primate of Korea, Archbishop Francis Park, was present for the consultation but did not endorse the final communiqué.

Archbishop Akinola subsequently sent an open letter on All Saints’ Day to the primates of all 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion. He defended his province’s decision to offer temporary oversight to parishes and individuals who have left The Episcopal Church (TEC). A report prepared by the Joint Standing Committee of the primates and the Anglican Consultative Council, who met jointly with the House of Bishops in New Orleans, severely criticized those primates who have welcomed former Episcopalians into their provincial structures.

“These pastoral initiatives undertaken to keep faithful Anglicans within our Anglican family have been at a considerable cost of crucial resources to our province,” Archbishop Akinola wrote. “There is no moral equivalence between them and the actions taken by TEC.

“Until the Communion summons the courage to tackle that issue headlong and resolve it, we can do no other than provide for those who cry out to us. It is our earnest prayer that repentance and reconciliation will make this a temporary arrangement. One thing is clear, we will not abandon our friends.”

Published in The Living Church.

Gospel has ‘economic role,’ say Ghana leaders: CEN 10.05.07 p 8. October 6, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of West Africa, Development/Economics/Govt Finances, Global South.
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The Gospel of Jesus Christ speaks not only of personal transformation, but of economic empowerment and community development, a gathering of Church leaders in Ghana stated last week.

Representatives from nine Provinces gathered in Accra from Sept 19-22 for the second Global South Economic Empowerment Consultation. Delegates from the Congo, Indian Ocean, Jerusalem and Middle East, Kenya, Nigeria, South East Asia, Uganda, Papua New Guinea and West Africa along with speakers from the UK, US, Tanzania and Kenya, and conference secretary Bishop Martyn Minns of CANA released a statement calling for the Church to develop the human capital found in the developing world.

Beginning their work with an examination of Scripture, the consultation observed Jesus “speaks more often about money and the right use of financial resources than he does about prayer.”

By building upon a Scriptural and moral foundation that honors God, the Churches in the developing world could develop their greatest resource: “the men and women, young and old, who make up its active membership and are the primary source of income for our churches.”

Business education and managerial training were essential tools for the transformation of the developing world, they argued. The consultation “developed specific action plans for Economic Empowerment for each Province represented” and called for the creation of “Peer Review Teams” to bolster oversight of the church’s economic redevelopment programs.

“We have gathered in Ghana, formerly the Gold Coast, as this nation celebrates fifty years of independence as a sovereign state after its years as a colonial territory of Great Britain,” the consultation stated. “At the time of independence there were high hopes for freedom and prosperity that are only now beginning to be realized,” they added, commending market-driven models of economic development that break with the failed policies of the last century that had squandered much of the continent’s resources.

The end is nigh warns Archbishop Akinola: CEN 8.24.07 p 7. August 24, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria, Global South, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue.
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The end is nigh for the Anglican Communion’s divisions over doctrine and discipline, the Primate of Nigeria Archbishop Peter Akinola has written in an Aug 20 pastoral letter, saying the decisions taken in the next few weeks will shape the future course of the Communion.

“All journeys must end someday” the Nigerian church leader said in a letter entitled “A Most Agonizing Journey” that summarized the history of the Anglican Communion’s sex wars.

“These past ten years of distraction have been agonizing and the cost has been enormous. The time and financial resources spent on endless meetings whose statements and warnings have been consistently ignored is a tragic loss of resources that should have been used otherwise,” the letter, released during Archbishop Akinola’s visit to the Nigerian parishes of Northern Virginia said.

However the “journey is coming to an end and the moment of decision is almost upon us,” he noted. Archbishop Akinola stated the Nigerian Church would compromise no further and would not chase after a mirage of unity and abandon sound doctrine.

“We want unity but not at the cost of relegating Christ to the position of another ‘wise teacher’ who can be obeyed or disobeyed,” he said, adding that the Nigerian Church “earnestly desire the healing of our beloved Communion but not at the cost of re-writing the Bible to accommodate the latest cultural trend.”

The head of the Communion’s largest church laid out an eight-point list of non-negotiable conditions that require “an unequivocal acceptance.”

The Church must conform to the “authority and supremacy of Scripture”; the “doctrine of the Trinity”; “the person, work and resurrection of Jesus the Christ”; “the acknowledgement of Jesus as Divine and the One and only means of salvation”; “the Biblical teaching on sin, forgiveness, reconciliation, and transformation by the Holy Spirit through Christ”; “the sanctity of marriage”; “teaching about morality that is rooted and grounded in the Biblical Revelation”; and the “Apostolic Ministry.”

A Communion that does not hold to these beliefs would not contain the Anglican Church of Nigeria the letter suggested.

The US House of Bishops has been asked to respond to the Primates requests to clarify its stance on the Windsor Report and gay bishops and blessings by Sept 30. Failure to give an adequate response may prompt the discipline of the American Church by the Primates—of if no discipline is forthcoming, then it is likely a number of Provinces would withdraw from the Communion in some fashion.

Global South Leaders ‘doubtful’ over Lambeth: CEN 7.27.07 p 6. July 26, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Global South, Lambeth 2008.
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Up to a third of the Bishops of the Anglican Communion are prepared to boycott the Lambeth Conference should the Archbishop of Canterbury invite to the 2008 gathering the American and Canadian bishops who consecrated Gene Robinson, and who have authorized same-sex blessings in their dioceses.

Following a meeting in London last week, the Global South Steering Committee said their churches’ participation in the 2008 Conference was in doubt. They further voiced concern that the gathering of bishops from across the Communion was being altered out of all recognition from past gatherings into an expensive episcopal jamboree packaged as a ‘prelatical training course’.

It would be “impossible for us to see how, without discipline in the Communion and without the reconciliation that we urge,” to participate in Lambeth 2008, the committee said.

The decision not to include the American bishops of the Nigerian and Rwandan churches had “exacerbated” the situation, they argued, “while those whose actions have precipitated our current crisis are included” in the conference ranks.

Attending the London meeting were the committee’s chairman, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, secretary Archbishop John Chew of South East Asia, treasurer, Archbishop Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East, and Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda, Drexel Gomez of the West Indies, Bernard Malango of Central Africa, Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone, and Henry Orombi of Uganda.

Among the observers to the meeting were Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan and Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker, while CANA Bishop Martyn Minn served as the group’s assistant secretary.

The committee called upon Dr. Williams to convene an emergency primates meeting to determine the fate of The Episcopal Church. The Primates “must make any determination as to the adequacy” of the response by the American House of Bishops to the Dar es Salaam communiqué, they asserted.

“We strongly urge the scheduling of a Primates’ Meeting for this purpose at the earliest possible moment,” the communiqué, released on the Global South’s website, said.

They urged the US House of Bishops to put aside their “intransigence” and not force the break up of the Anglican Communion, urging them to “reconsider their position” and conform to the recommendations of the February 19 Primates Communiqué by halting the litigation campaign against breakaway congregations and by accepting a primates pastoral council to provide alternate pastoral oversight to recusant clergy and congregations.

The US House of Bishops’ March 25 rejection of the “underlying principles and requests of the Dar es Salaam Communique had “brought our beloved Communion to the breaking point. Without heartfelt repentance and genuine change there can be no restoration of the communion,” they said.

The committee denounced the “continuing and growing resort to civil litigation by The Episcopal Church,” stating it was in defiance of the “urgent plea agreed to by all of the Primates.” Litigation was “enormously costly and doomed to failure”, the Global South Steering Committee said, and urged an “immediate suspension of all such activities.”

The Global South primates stated they had “no choice” but to continue to cross diocesan jurisdictional lines to provide pastoral and ecclesial oversight to congregations and clergy in the United States as the “failure to do so would have resulted in many individuals and congregations lost to the Anglican Communion.”

The Steering Committee statement also criticized the Archbishop of Canterbury for accepting the invitation to attend part of the Fall House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans saying it would undermine the “integrity” of the Primates Dar es Salaam communiqué. The decision by Archbishop Williams to attend the meeting with the members of the Joint Primates ACC Standing Committee, taken without consultation with the members of the Primates Standing Committee was unwise, they said.

The statement also addressed the actions of the June meeting of the Canadian General Synod, saying they were “dismayed” by the decision “that same-sex blessing is not core doctrine”.

Some Canadian bishops continue to defy the recommendations of the Windsor process, the Global South said, and noted the decision not to proceed further with authorizing same sex blessing was only “temporary restraint.”

Conservatives in North American welcomed the Global South statement. The moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada, Bishop Donald Harvey said Canadian traditionalist were “grateful to God that the Primates, once again, have demonstrated their concern for the situation in Canada.”

“We share their grief and distress at the Canadian Church’s defiance of the Windsor process and particularly our church’s ominous decision to declare same sex blessings not in conflict with core doctrine,” he said.

American Anglican Council president Canon David Anderson applauded the statement, saying it “is the best news and the clearest word we have received in a very long while.”

“This is more than a message of hope for weary Christians,” he said, “this is a call to action from the Global South Primates.”

Archbishop’s Warning to Conservatives: CEN 7.27.07 p 5. July 26, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Church of England Newspaper, Global South, Lambeth 2008.
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The Archbishop of York has urged conservative bishops from the Global South not to boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference, telling the Daily Telegraph their withdrawal could shatter the Anglican Communion.

“Anglicanism has its roots through Canterbury,” he said last week. “If you sever that link you are severing yourself from the Communion. There is no doubt about it.”

Dr. John Sentamu’s caution comes after leaders of the Global South Coalition of Anglican provinces, representing a majority of Anglicans in the developing world, released a statement last week following a meeting in London warning that their presence at Lambeth 2008 was in doubt, due to Archbishop Rowan Williams apparent decision not to take action against the American Church for repudiating the primates’ calls for reform and for compliance with the 1998 Lambeth resolutions on human sexuality.

If the Global South breaks with Dr. Williams, “and they think they can then say they are Anglicans, that is very questionable,” he said, urging traditionalists to “come to the Lambeth Conference.”

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace told The Church of England Newspaper Dr. Sentamu was not speaking on behalf of Dr. Williams, but offering his own reflections on current events within the Communion.

As long as Anglican bishops did not deny basic Christian doctrines they should be able to remain within the same ecclesial structure, he said. While the divisions over sexual ethics were important, the Telegraph reported that Dr. Sentamu believed these were not core issues of the faith.

Writing in the preamble to the July General Synod paper 1661 on the Anglican Covenant, Dr. Sentamu noted that fragmentation within the Communion was being driven by the divisions over human sexuality. “We have to recognize that there are some limits to Anglican ‘diversity’,” the Archbishops wrote.

“It is a simply a matter of fact that some questions – not only the debates over sexual ethics – are experienced as fundamentally Church-dividing issues,” they said.

Dr. Sentamu added that the current invitation list was not fixed. He stated the American bishops could be un-invited from Lambeth 2008 should they not be prepared to engage with the wider Church over the potentially Communion-dividing issues.

Leaders of the Global South coalition tell CEN no hard and fast decision to boycott Lambeth 2008 has been taken. They have called for an emergency primates meeting, akin to the meeting held following the election of Gene Robinson in 2003, to address the American question.

Nor are the Global South primates of one mind as to how to respond to what they see as American intransigence. One faction favors withdrawal from Lambeth if all the Americans attend, while a second group is disinclined to give the left a “rump” Lambeth that could conceivably re-write prior Conference statements.

 

Spanish Summit for US and African Dioceses: CEN 7.27.07 p 6. July 26, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Global South, The Episcopal Church.
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Bishops from 22 American dioceses have joined their counterparts from 29 African dioceses in a six day conference in Madrid to foster closer links between North and South in the Anglican Communion.

The July 21-26 conference underwritten by Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York and hosted by the Spanish Episcopal Church brought bishops from linked dioceses in the US and Africa together for a consultation on “Discovering New Mission Perspectives in Changing Times.”

Ten of the 12 Provinces of Africa are represented at the gathering, a spokesman for Trinity Wall Street told The Church of England Newspaper. At this time we don’t have the permission of the participants to release their names,” the spokesman said, adding the encounter was not open to the media.

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace told CEN the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Assistant Secretary for International and Ecumenical Affairs, the Rev Anthony Ball, was attending the gathering as an observer and had brought a message of support and encouragement from Dr. Williams.

A press hand out from the parish noted the Archbishops of Central Africa, the Congo, Southern Africa, Burundi and Brazil were present for services Sunday at Madrid’s Iglesia Episcopal de España.

The parish said it had convened the gathering “as an opportunity for bishops” from Africa and America “to strengthen relationships, develop mission partnerships, and discover new opportunities to bear witness to the Gospel.”

Canon James Callaway of Trinity Church stated, “The consultation is offering partners in faith and mission a communal space to further existing partnerships and find commonalities on which to build new relationships. This week, as bishops share their hopes and vision for mission as Anglicans in today’s world, we look forward to a stronger communion committed to providing important resources to those in need around the world.”

 

Archbishop Sentamu Links Communion Ties to Lambeth Attendance: TLC 7.25.07 July 26, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Archbishop of York, Global South, Lambeth 2008, Living Church.
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The Archbishop of York has urged Anglican bishops from the Global South not to boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference, telling a British newspaper that by withdrawing they would be removing themselves from the Anglican Communion.

“Anglicanism has its roots through Canterbury,” Archbishop Sentamu said as reported by the Daily Telegraph. “If you sever that link, you are severing yourself from the Communion. There is no doubt about it.”

Read it all in The Living Church.

Trinity Conference Fosters North-South Ties: TLC 7.24.07 July 26, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Global South, Living Church, The Episcopal Church.
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Forty bishops representing 22 dioceses of The Episcopal Church are participating with bishops from 29 Anglican dioceses in Africa at a six-day conference in Madrid meant to foster closer links between north and south in the Anglican Communion.

The July 21-26 conference is underwritten by the Parish of Trinity Church, Wall Street, with the Spanish Episcopal Church serving as local host. Conference organizers invited all bishops with companion Episcopal-African relationships for what a Trinity press release described as a consultation.

Read it all in The Living Church.

Global South Leaders Urge Emergency Primates’ Meeting: TLC 7.20.07 July 20, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Global South, Lambeth 2008, Living Church.
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The leaders of the Global South coalition of Anglican Primates have called for an emergency primates meeting to determine the fate of The Episcopal Church and have urged the House of Bishops to put aside their “intransigence” and not force the break up of the Anglican Communion.

Meeting in London from July 16-18, the committee urged the House of Bishops to “reconsider their position” and conform to the recommendations of the primates’ February communiqué by halting the litigation campaign against breakaway congregations and by accepting a primates pastoral council to provide alternate pastoral oversight to recusant clergy and congregations.

Read it all in The Living Church.

Row Over Lord Carey’s Letter: CEN 6.08.07 p 7. June 8, 2007

Posted by geoconger in AMiA, Archbishop of Canterbury, CANA, Church of England Newspaper, Global South, Lambeth 2008.
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Lord Carey’s letter to The Church of England Newspaper questioning the rationale used to exclude the Anglican Mission in America [AMiA] from the 2008 Lambeth Conference has elicited strong words of support from American conservatives, as well as dark mutterings from aides to Dr. Rowan Williams.

In a letter to the editor published on June 1, Lord Carey questioned the explanation given by Conference Secretary Canon Kenneth Kearon in excluding the AMiA from Lambeth. “My opposition to the consecration of two AMiA bishops related to the setting up of Episcopal activity in the United States which I regarded as unconstitutional and unnecessary” Lord Carey wrote.

However, this was before the actions of General Convention in 2003 when the “Episcopal Church clearly signaled its abandonment of Communion norms, in spite of the warning of the Primates.”

“Everything has changed in the Anglican Communion as a result of the consecration of Gene Robinson” Lord Carey noted. He urged Dr. Williams not to regard his 2000 statements as “necessarily binding on him in the very different circumstances of 2007.”

AMiA Bishop Chuck Murphy welcomed Lord Carey’s words of support. The former Archbishop of Canterbury’s words “reflect not only his awareness that this crisis has now reached the breaking point for the Communion, but also that, perhaps, his initial harsh criticisms of our work and ‘intervention’ in response to this global crisis may now need to be modified somewhat, or even withdrawn, in the light of the unfolding developments of the last seven years,” Bishop Murphy told the CEN.

There was a “growing international consensus” that the crisis of faith and order within the Anglican Communion had the potential to destroy it. The AMiA’s “outside strategy” in responding to the crisis “has proved to be a most creative and effective model for addressing” the breakdown of faith and order, he said.

The Ugandan and Nigerian warnings that they could not attend the conference in all good conscience if the Robinson consecrating bishops were present was not an idle threat, he noted. “The Global South is firm in its stand that they will no longer accept business as usual,” Bishop Murphy said.

Comment on this story at the AACBlog.

Global South Plans New Anglican Catechism: CEN 5.25.07 p 6. May 25, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Communion, Church of England Newspaper, Global South.
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The Global South Primates coalition has called for a global Anglican Catechism and has commissioned a theological task force to prepare a report in time for the 2008 Lambeth Conference.

On May 15 the Global South’s steering committee based in Singapore announced that a four man committee led by Canon Michael Poon of the Province of South East Asia would meeting Dec 10-14 at St Paul’s College, Limeru Kenya to commence work.

Joining the committee, comprised of scholars from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Singapore, would be three corresponding members: retired Sydney suffragan Bishop Paul Barnett, Dr. Kevin Donlon of the AMiA in the United States, and Professor Oliver O’Donovan of the University of Edinburgh.