GAFCON chairman criticises CofE bishops for support of same-sex marriages
The Primate of Kenya, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, writes in his capacity as Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council to the “Faithful of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and friends”. The letter includes the following passage:
…After the praise that greeted the news that Oxford University is to honour the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States with an honorary Doctorate in Divinity, it was helpful to be reminded of the sober facts in the Statement issued by the Global South Primates Steering Committee last week. It was recognized that ‘the fabric of the Communion was torn at its deepest level as a result of the actions taken by The Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada since 2003’ and the Communion’s London based institutions were described as ‘dysfunctional’.
The breadth of the wide gate can be dangerously appealing as an easy choice, avoiding the need for theological discernment and church discipline. This is why I have already written a response (http://gafcon.org/news/a-response-to-the-statement-by-the-archbishops-of-canterbury-and-york) earlier this month to the Statement of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York about pastoral care for people who engage in same sex relationships.
Sadly, the lack of clarity in that statement about the biblical understanding of such relationships has been repeated in the pastoral guidance issued subsequently by the Church of England’s House of Bishops as same sex ‘marriage’ becomes legal in England and Wales next month. While the Church’s official teaching on marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman is affirmed, it is effectively contradicted by the permission given for prayers to be said for those entering same sex ’marriages’…
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 27 February 2014
This article by Simon Sarmiento of ‘Thinking Anglicans’, is linked with the odd statement by the Chair of Gafcon, Kenya Archbishop Eliud Wabakula, that:
“The lesson I believe we have learned from the failure of institutional attempts to restore unity by accommodation is that we must be more radical. We must return to the ‘narrow gate’ and come together on a strong and clear doctrinal basis. The GAFCON movement has been able to act as an instrument of unity in the Communion because it has the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration which together give us a clear, faithful and contemporary statement of Anglican identity.” – Abp. Wabakula, Chair -Gafcon –
From the above, it would seem that +Wabakula and the Gafcon Primates are throwing down the gauntlet to the rest of us in the Anglican Communion who do not agree with the criminalisation and oppression of LGBTI people in our provincial Churches.
This overt threat of return to the narrow gate of sola scriptura evangelization – which rejects the evidence of modern scientific understanding of gender and sexuality by the Gafcon Provinces can only be taken to mean that they are now ready to shake off their links with Traditional Anglicans and go it alone – on the sole basis of their claim to represent what they see as true Orthodoxy in matters of Faith and Morals in the Anglican Communion.
The seeds of schismatic separation from the more liberal Churches of the Anglican Communion have already been sown in the Gafcon-spawned para-churches of ACNA, in the U.S.A. and Canada; and AMiA, in England – each of which implants have been calculated to undermine the jurisdictions of T.E.C., The Anglican Church of Canada, and the Church of England. These Gafcon offshoots were planted in direct defiance of the Lambeth Conference embargo on Border-Crossing within the Communion.
This aggressive piratical incursion into the territory of legitimate Anglican Churches within the Communion will no doubt now be exacerbated by this new threat of separation promised by the Gafcon Chairperson. It will be interesting to see the response from the Anglican Communion Office.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand