‘Global South Absent’ from Faith and Order Commission Meeting

Anglican Communion Faith and Order, and where are reps from the Global South

The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order just had its meeting in  Jamaica and has reported out.Two things to note:

(i) IASCUFO wrote:

We recognise the need to discern and embrace new and life-giving interventions of the Holy Spirit in our Communion worldwide during the past half-century, with particular reference to the churches in the southern continents.

Reflecting on the discussions and resolutions of ACC-15, IASCUFO has focussed on the need to strengthen Communion relationships in the 21st Century and has again noted the importance of the Instruments of Communion as signs and servants of our common life. We believe face-to-face encounters are essential for the well-being of our Communion and that the Lambeth Conference, in particular, constitutes a crucial part of our life together in taking common counsel and in expressing our common identity.”

IASCUFO has put it to the Churches… face to face encounters are essential, and the Lambeth Conference is crucial to life together in the Communion.  The Commission is pushing for a next Lambeth Conference.  It also makes a peculiar and somewhat mysterious comment about the Holy Spirit and churches in the southern continents. It is hard to know what IASCUFO meant by this remark.

(ii) The communique notes who was present and who was absent.  They were labled, “unable to be present.”

The missing are:
The Rt Revd Dr Georges Titre Ande, Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo
The Rt Revd Dr Dapo Asaju, The Church of Nigeria
The Rt Revd Kumara Illangasinghe, Church of Ceylon, Sri Lanka
The Revd Canon Clement Janda, The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
The Revd Dr Edison Kalengyo, The Church of the Province of Uganda
The Rt Revd William Mchombo, The Church of the Province of Central Africa
The Rt Revd Hector (Tito) Zavala, Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America (Anglican Communion)

That’s five from Africa, one from South America and one from Sri Lanka.  All “Global South” churches.

No doubt some could not attend for matters having to do with church life in difficult circumstances. But the fact that seven of the twenty four to be absent, and all those from the Global South, raises the question of what make them “unable to attend.”

If the instruments of Communion are being stressed, absence from Commissions that grow from those instruments, and in particular the Angican Consultative Council, is important to note.

The Communique does not spell all this out, but the subtext seems clear – life in the Communion requires participation in its consultations. Being there is important.

            Thanks to ‘Preludium’s Fr. Mark Harris for this report on GAFCON‘s absence from the IASCUFO Meeting in Jamaica (just ended).
            Where are the representatives of the so-called GAFCON Churches? And why have they absented themselves from this important inter-Anglican Meeting? Could it be that GAFCON has now considered itself not part of the Anglican Communion’s ‘Instruments of Unity? And, if so, what will IASCUFO do about this situation – in terms of challenging to GAFCON? Are we now to prepare for a New Communion Constitution?
            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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One Response to ‘Global South Absent’ from Faith and Order Commission Meeting

  1. savih says:

    I do not think the Church of Ceylon has ever been part of Global South Anglican, let alone GAFCON, so I expect the absence of Kumara Illangasinghe and possibly some of the others is for practical reasons.

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