Global South puts pressure on Process for the next ABC

Global South Primates: next ABC must ‘address the ecclesial deficit’ of Communion

A letter to Lord Luce of the Crown Nominations Commission from the Global South of the Anglican Communion expresses Global South Primates’ desires for traits they wish to see in the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

In a widely released communiqué issued the day after writing to Lord Luce, the Primates write:

We have written to the Crown Nominations Commission with concerns from the Global South and important principles for consideration as it nominates candidates for the appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury.

In cooperation with the Telegraph, which offered coverage of the letter this week – making allusion to its contents and partially quoting from it – Episcopal Café has obtained a copy of the letter, whose text appears in full below.

Two brief notes apply: (1) material in boldface simply preserves the original of the letter; and (2) although there is a signature block for The Right Reverend Peter Bartlett, “Representing the Primate of Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America,” Bishop Bartlett for whatever it is worth has not signed the copy of the letter we saw although others listed as “representing” the primate of their province did.
__________

20 July 2012

The Rt Hon the Lord Luce KG, GCVO
Chairman
Crown Nominations Commission

Appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury

The Global South of the Anglican Communion, comprising more than fifty-five million of the eighty million members of the Anglican Communion, deeply appreciate our historical relation with the See of Canterbury. We therefore commend the following to the Crown Nominations Commission for your serious consideration.

It is the reality of the Anglican Communion in the 21st Century that the majority of Anglicans are found within the Global South, especially in Africa. Resulting from the faithful witness of Western missionaries over the past two hundred years, Anglicans today stand in worship and witness amidst diverse cultures, among ancient traditions and often in inter-religious tensions.

As noted in the media release of the Church of England on the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, one of his responsibilities is to be “the Focus of Unity of the Anglican Communion… primus inter pares among the bishops.” This role calls for the new Archbishop of Canterbury to always act in a conciliar and collegial manner with his fellow Primates because his decisions will affect the life and witness of Provinces worldwide.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury should have the experience and cross-cultural sensitivity to understand the concerns and conflicts in the worldwide Communion. He has to be able to communicate effectively with, and gain the respect and confidence of, his fellow Primates in the Global South. He has to be able, together with his fellow Primates, to more effectively restructure the Anglican Communion Office and the Anglican Consultative Council to better serve the Communion.

At a time when the Christian faith faces challenges from other religious as well as secular worldviews, the new Archbishop of Canterbury must be committed to uphold the orthodoxy of the Christian “faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). To fulfil his calling and vow as Guardian of Faith, he must have the capacity to collectively put into effect the decisions taken at Lambeth Conferences and Primates Meetings, especially on issues that have led to the present crisis in the Communion.

To secure the future and unity of the Communion at a foundational level, the new Archbishop of Canterbury has to work with his fellow Primates to address the ecclesial deficit of the Anglican Communion highlighted in the report of the Windsor Continuation Group.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is also responsible to work with ecumenical partners for the unity of the “one holy catholic and apostolic Church”. The new Archbishop of Canterbury must be able to build upon the work of his predecessors while avoiding any further actions that may widen the gap between us and these partners.

In conclusion, the Global South Primates expect to be consulted on this decision of great importance for the Communion, and look forward eagerly to the new Archbishop of Canterbury to uplift God’s people in the Anglican fold worldwide in obedience to God’s Word.

We wholeheartedly pray and hope that the unity of our beloved Anglican Communion will be restored and strengthened.

Faithfully in Christ,

Most Rev Dr Mouneer Anis
Primate, The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & Middle East
Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Nicholas Okoh
Primate, The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
Vice-Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Ian Ernest
Primate, The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean
Honorary Secretary, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Bolly Lapok
Primate, The Church of the Province of South East Asia
Honorary Treasurer, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Stephen Than
Primate, The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma)
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Henri Isingoma
Primate, Province de l’Eglise Angicane du Congo
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Daniel Deng
Primate, The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala
Primate, The Anglican Church of Kenya
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev David Vunagi
Primate, The Church of the Province of Melanesia

Most Rev Joseph Kopapa
Primate, The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea

Most Rev Onesphore Rwaje
Primate, Province de l’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda

Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi
Primate, The Anglican Church of Burundi

Most Rev Valentino Mokiwa
Primate, The Anglican Church of Tanzania

Right Rev Dr Chad Gandiya
Representing the Primate of The Church of the Province of Central Africa

Right Rev Dr Johannes Seoka
Representing the Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa

Right Rev Matthias Medadues-Badohu
Representing the Primate of The Church of the Province of West Africa

Right Rev Peter Bartlett [not signed -ed.]
Representing the Primate of Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America

cc: Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan
Primate representing the Anglican Communion, Crown Nominations Commission

Posted by Torey Lightcap on July 29, 2012

______________________________________________________________

This attempt by the ‘Global South’ contingency in the Anglican Communion, to influence the Crown Nominations Commission in the choice of the next Archbishop of Canterbury, must be seen for what it actually is: a calculated effort to push the Anglican Communion in the direction of conservatism in matters of gender and sexuality, and a sola-scriptura interpretation of these, and other, important  issues.

Ironical, in the circumstances, is the fact that at least two of the signatories – Primates of Nigeria and Kenya – are frontrunners in the border-crossing incidents in the Anglican Communion that have been directly contrary to the conservative ethos that they are purporting to promote. Both Primates have set up rival quasi-Anglican churches in other countries, including the U.S., Canada and the U.K., in direct contravention of the Windsor Report that all ‘Global South’ Primates agreed to adhere to. 

How this squares with Nigeria’s and Kenya’s intention to take part in the choice of the new Archbishop of Canterbury will be hard to explain. Both Primates (together with some others among the signatories here) have refused to comply with the present Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to take part in the last Lambeth Conference. Nor have these Primates accepted the ABC’s invitation to take part in the last Primates’ Conference. This does not augur well for their co-operation with the next Archbishop of Canterbury, Their tendencies to invoke schism hardly qualify them for participation in an ongoing relationship with Canterbury as ‘Primus-inter-pares’

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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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2 Responses to Global South puts pressure on Process for the next ABC

  1. Brian Rountree says:

    Somehow I doubt the influence these people will have. After all, the Archbishop of Canterbury is a “local” to England appointment [isn’t it!]

  2. kiwianglo says:

    In’it, Indeed, Brian. However, one can’t blame them for trying.

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