10 Global South Primates shun Dublin Meeting

This week’s Church Times carries a report of the recent GAFCON primates statement, which was linked here on Wednesday, while the General Synod debate on the Anglican Covenant was still in progress, but which was not known to synod members prior to the voting. (The GAFCON/FCA Primates’ Council met in Oxford from October 4th through October 7th, 2010.)

The story, Empty seats in Dublin as Primates opt out, by Ed Beavan lists a total of ten primates who will not be attending.

AT LEAST ten Primates from the Global South are now expected to boycott the Primates’ Meeting in Dublin in January.

In a statement released on Wednesday, five African Primates, members of the GAFCON Primates’ Council, confirmed that they would not attend the two-yearly meeting. In addition, it is understood that the Primate of South-East Asia, Dr John Chew; the Primate in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Dr Mouneer Anis; and the Primate of the Indian Ocean, the Most Revd Ian Ernest, will not go to Dublin.

Furthermore it is expected that two new Primates, Presiding Bishop Tito Zavala, Primate of the Southern Cone, and the Most Revd Onesphore Rwage, Primate of Rwanda, will also boycott the meeting…

The names appearing on the GAFCON statement are (my annotations added)

The Most Rev’d Gregory Venables, GAFCON/FCA Chair former primate of the Southern Cone
The Most Rev’d Justice Akrofi, Archbishop, Anglican Province of West Africa
The Most Rev’d Robert Duncan, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America not a primate of the Anglican Communion
The Most Rev ‘d Emmanuel Kolini, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda former primate of Rwanda
The Most Rev’d Valentino Mokiwa, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Tanzania
The Most Rev’d Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
The Most Rev’d Henry Orombi Archbishop, Church of Uganda
The Most Rev’d Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya

The Most Rev’d Peter Jensen, Archbishop, Diocese of Sydney, Secretary not a primate

The Church of England Newspaper carries this report by George Conger Canterbury rejects African call to postpone Dublin primates meeting.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has rejected Africa’s call to suspend the Dublin primates meeting, a spokesman for Dr. Rowan Williams’ tells The Church of England Newspaper, and the meeting will go on as scheduled.

On Nov 17 Lambeth Palace confirmed that Dr. Williams had received a letter from CAPA chairman Archbishop Ian Earnest. This letter raised a “concern about the planning process for the Primates’ Meeting and request[ed] that it be postponed.”

“However, given the closeness of the time, and the fact that the majority of Primates have already indicated that they will attend, the Archbishop of Canterbury is not minded to postpone the meeting whose date was set two years ago,” the Lambeth Palace statement said.

Dr. Williams’ decision not to postpone the Dublin meeting, will likely cause a quarter to a third of the primates to stay away, replicating the divisions surrounding the 2008 Lambeth Conference where a majority of African bishops boycotted the meeting…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 27 November 2010 at 3:23pm GMT
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You will notice, at the end of the first posting on this thread, that Peter Jensen, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, though not Head of a Province within the Communion (Sydney is just an Archdiocese),  is joined together with the ‘Global South’ Primates,  as the Secretary of GAFCON (its governing body) and has signed up to their (schismatic?)  breakaway from the Primates Council, which is  scheduled to hold the Anglican Communion Primates Meeting in Dublin next year.  They will be having their own separate meeting some time later!
 
While the Australian Anglican Province seems largely supportive of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada‘s inclusivness of women and gays within the life and ministry of the Church, the SYDNEY Diocese has stuck out like a sore thumb in our part of the world, by protesting loudly against the priestly ordination of women and the ordination of gays. The interesting reality is that, within the Sydney Diocese there are several pockets of Anglo-Catholic  liberality (one thinks of St. James and Christchurch St. Lawrence in the Ciity) that would claim to be rather more accepting of plurality within the Church, while yet being totally supportive of the catholic, apostolic and reformed characteristics of the world-wide Anglican Communion.
 
When one considers that the Sydney Diocese under Archbishop Peter Jensen, has already announced its intention to allow Lay Presidency at The Eucharist, it will be understood that  the (Arch) Diocese is intent on becoming every bit as disruptive in the Anglican Communion as they would consider the Provinces of TEC and the anglican Church of Canada to have been – in their Blessing of Same-Sex Unions and the Ordination of Gay Bishops.
 
The sort of redical Inclusivity (of the complementarity of lay and ordained men only) that the Diocese of Sydney is advocating, is a direct breach of Catholic Order; while the Inclusivity being advocated by TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada has been described – in the Canadian St. Michael’s Report on Sexuality – as ‘not a  First Order Faith issue’. However, despite that description of the gender and sexuality debate going on in the Communion today, some of us, who disagree with Sydney on other issues, would say that the proper acceptance of people’s gender and sexual orientation is of vital importance to the integrity of mission in the Church Today.  
 
Several of the G. S. Primates who are signatories to the Statement mentioned in the first article here, have already conspired to undermine the integrity of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada – by ordaining their own bishops to displace the ministry of  the bishops of TEC and the A.C.of C. – in order to found a brand new ACNA – ‘Anglican Church in North America’ – a wilful act of schism that has been unmatched in the Communion since the formation of a separate faux-Anglican Church in asouth Africa after the Colenso fiasco. ACNA is not a recognised Church within the Anglican Communion!
 
Ther most interesting fact about all of this, from a New Zealand Anglican point of view, is that our Provincial Anglican neighbours in Australia are now seen to harbour a dissident faction within the Sydney Archdiocese – through the direct involvement of the Sydney Archbishop. This could only have been allowed to happen because of the peculiar way in which the Sydney Archdiocese was set up independently,  in the first place.  Sydney’s Evangelicalism is directly formed and founded through its relationship to Moore College, the Sydney Provincial Theological College  in Australia, which is largely funded by a Foundation worth many millions of dollars (much of it lost in the recent recession)  – separately from the Province. Sydney has informal,  interchange of ministry, links to N.Z.’s Diocese of Nelson.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch.

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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