News Release, Friday 25th October 2013
The second Global Anglican Future Conference, which concludes this weekend in Nairobi, resolved to expand its leadership role in supporting and recognising Anglicans in places where Biblical faith has been compromised.
A meeting of bishops within the conference this week voted without dissent to affirm the Primates Council in recognizing and overseeing theologically isolated Anglicans. This includes the expansion of the Anglican Mission in England and similar bodies around the Communion.
The text of the GAFCON Bishops‘ resolution follows:
To affirm and endorse the position of the Primates Council in providing oversight in cases where Provinces and Dioceses compromise biblical faith, including the affirmation of a duly discerned call to ministry. This may involve ordination and consecration if the situation requires.
The 331 Bishops and Archbishops attending GAFCON 2013 met at All Saints Cathedral, a greater number than in the first GAFCON in Jerusalem in 2008.
“We came to Nairobi seeking God’s guidance for the future. Should we stop? Should we slow down? The Bishops told us we must go on.” said Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of GAFCON.
The General Secretary of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, Dr Peter Jensen, said “The problems of the communion in the 21st Century were aired last weekend. But this conference, this movement, is not just calling attention to the dysfunction, it’s about building for the future.”
The General Secretary described GAFCON as unique – gathering Archbishops, Bishops and clergy as well as lay men and women.
Those attending also took part in smaller groups discussing issues such as marriage and family, women, Gospel and culture, theological education and Islam.
The conference attracted 1,358 delegates – 871 Clergy, 487 laity.
There will be a final conference communiqué released tomorrow with more detail and further announcements about the future of the movement.
Direct from the GAFCON web-site is this commitment to expand its influence in other territories of the Anglican Communion, through the following resolution: (Gafcon is) – “resolved to expand its leadership role in supporting and recognising Anglicans in places where Biblical faith has been compromised. This bit of hyperbole is directed at Anglican Churches that Gafcon considers to be biblically compromised – presumably, churches like our own in ACANZP, not officially represented at this conference – though yes, there was one bishop (+Nelson) there and 13 other New Zealanders, but they certainly do not represent anything near the mainstream of Anglicans in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Polynesia.
Reflecting on this burgeoning ‘holiness movement’, which rejects the Western Provinces of the Anglican Communion as presenting what they call ‘another Gospel’, it was helpful at Mass this morning to hear the words of today’s Gospel reading from Luke 18: 9-14 – recorded here:
‘Jesus also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt:
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one, a Pharisee and the other, a tax-collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus; ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector here. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income’.
But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner’.
“I tell you”, said Jesus, “this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves with be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted”.
No doubt, the Pharisee was a good person. The trouble was, he knew it and he told God about it. But God was obviously not pleased at this self-advertising, preferring the humility of the known sinner, who knew his need of God – while yet a sinner – and asked for mercy. – Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison
Like Pope Francis, I know that I, personally, am a sinner – but redeemed by Christ. Someone once said that “The Church is not a mausoleum for saints, but a hospital for sinners”. Deo gratias, have mercy of me, a sinner.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand