ACNA Welcomed by Global South Primates

Communiqué of the Global South Primates Cairo, Egypt 14-16th October 2015

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“We rejoiced to welcome the Anglican Church in North America as a partner province to the Global South.”

1. We, the Primates and representatives of twelve Global South Provinces of the Anglican Communion, met in Cairo between the 14th and 16th of October. We represent the majority of the active membership of the Anglican Communion. 

2. While we were disappointed that the general Global South Conference in Tunisia was cancelled at the last minute due to security reasons, we are immensely grateful to God who blessed this rescheduled Primates Meeting in Cairo.

3. We appreciate the support and warm welcome of the Egyptian government, especially in their granting of visas on such short notice. At the same time we are also thankful to the Diocese of Egypt and its staff for all the hard work that made this meeting a fruitful one.

4. We rejoiced to welcome the Anglican Church in North America as a partner province to the Global South, represented by its Archbishop, the Most Reverend Foley Beach.

5. We appreciated the participation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, in our meetings, as he was keen to listen to our concerns and share his own in a collegial atmosphere.

6. We thank God for the wonderful fellowship and times of worship we were able to share together. As we opened the word of God, we reflected on unity (John 17) as well as our responsibility as shepherds and watchmen of God’s flock (Ezekiel 34).

7. We were aware that we were meeting at a critical time in the history of our Communion. A time characterised by impaired and broken relations between Provinces.

8. We began the meetings by reviewing the history of the Global South, which began as a recommendation of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Brisbane, Australia, 1987. We also reviewed the summary of recommendations out of the Global South Meetings in Limuru, Kenya, 1994; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1997; Red Sea, Egypt, 2005; Singapore, 2010; and Bangkok, Thailand, 2012.

9. We, the Global South Anglicans, by God’s Grace, uphold the Biblical, orthodox faith of the Anglican Communion; the faith we received from Jesus Christ through the Apostles. We believe in the communion and unity of the one Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church.

This unity is based on the truth revealed to us in the scripture; it is a unity on the essentials of faith. We also believe in principled diversity in the non-­‐essentials. “In essentials, unity; in non-­‐essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”

10. The nature of the Global South Anglicans movement is this:

• It is ecclesial in the nature of the represented Provinces of the Global South.
• It is geographical as these Provinces are of the Global South.
• It is an integral part of the Anglican Communion.
• It is faithful to the faith received through the Apostles from Jesus Christ.
• It is relational to the See of St. Augustine of Canterbury; we are autonomous, yet interdependent (“autonomy-­‐in-­‐communion”), i.e. we are committed to support, listen, and be faithful to each other.

After much deliberation and discussion we agreed on the following decisions:

1. We discussed the importance of unity among us. We affirmed the importance of blessing and encouraging each other. We are committed to working together for the expansion of God’s Kingdom.

2. We were happy to receive a report from Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina, which receives Primatial oversight from the Global South. We praise the Lord for his faithful stance in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

3. We studied the letter of invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the upcoming Primates meeting. We have agreed to attend the meeting, and welcome the invitation for the Primates to suggest the items of the agenda. We appreciate this very helpful approach, one that gives us a sense of ownership and responsibility to our meeting. We agreed on the agenda items which we will request.

4. We grieved one more time at the unilateral decisions taken by the last General Convention of the Episcopal Church (TEC) in the USA to redefine marriage and to accept same-­‐sex marriages (Resolutions A036 and A054). We see these latest resolutions as a clear departure from not only the accepted traditional teaching of the Anglican Communion, but also from that of the one Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church, which upholds the scriptural view of marriage between one man and one woman. (Lambeth Resolution 1:10, 1998.)

5. We moved to continue the decade of evangelism, discipleship, and networking that we began three years ago and have decided to continue the activity of the different taskforces we established in Bangkok, 2012.  These taskforces are:

• Evangelism, Discipleship, and Mission
• Theological Resources
• Economic Empowerment
• Ecumenical Relations and Interfaith Dialogue
• Youth

6. The Global South Primates re-­‐elected the current chairman, Archbishop Mouneer Anis, as well as the current Steering Committee. These positions will remain in effect until the next Global South Conference. We also gave thanks to Archbishop Bolly Lapok for his contributions as treasurer; he will be retiring in February 2016.

7. We unanimously decided to reschedule the cancelled Global South General Conference in Tunisia to the first week of October 2016. The venue has yet to be decided.

8. As we came to the end of our meeting, we were reminded by the prayer of Jesus that our unity and love witness for Him.

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”  (John 17:22, 23)

Archbishop Mouneer Hanna Anis
Archbishop Ian Ernest
Archbishop Dr. Eliud Wabukala
Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi
Archbishop Bolly Lapok
Archbishop Hector Tito Zavala
Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo representing Archbishop Daniel Deng
Bishop Stephen Kaziimba representing Archbishop Stanley Ntagali
Archbishop Henri Isingoma
Archbishop Foley Beach
Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje
Archbishop Stephen Than
Bishop John Chew, Global South Steering Committee member

________________________________________________________________

Here we have the latest news from the Global South Provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion, whose very first paragraph seems to flaunt the fact that they claim to represent “the majority of the active membership of the Anglican Communion.”

You will notice that certain parts of this communique  from the G.S. Partners are in bold type. This is my emphasis, to record some concerns that some of us in the ‘Global North’ (although we, in ACANZP could be considered to be geographically located in the Global South, we are not part of this select group, which is largely made up of theologically conservative provinces of the Communion – mostly located in Continental Africa) may have concerning the G.S. appropriation of the term ‘orthodox’ – in respect of their suggestion that the rest of us have departed from the acceptable norms of Anglican Provenance & Tradition.

There are several concerns I have, personally, with this communique. Perhaps the first is that the G.S. Primates have decided to invite the schismatic ACNA Church as a ‘Province of the Global South’ – without any regard to whether, or not, the rest of us are happy with the rebuff this offers to TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada; with whom we in the Global North- including the Church of England – have a living relationshop, but whom the GAFCON Primates have presumed to exclude from their ecclesiastical fellowship.

The fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury has been pleased to be present at the Meeting should not be taken too seriously. After all, the Global South Primates – with their boast of numerical strength – still claim to be part of the Communion (the majority, they remind us) – even though some of their members are part of the separatist GAFCON Group, that has dissociated itself from fellowship with TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada, setting itself apart from the rest of us in the Communion with its ‘Jerusalem Declaration of Faith’ – a document which preseumes, for them, to take precedence over the Lambeth Quadrilateral.

No doubt, the ABC will have taken on board the claims of the Global South Primates to be the true heirs of the Anglican Tradition, giving the rest of us the impression that we are less than acceptable to them as bearers of the Anglican claim to apostolicity and catholicity that they appear, in their statement here, to have arrogated to themselves.

Meanwhile, the rest of us in the Anglican Communion are going quietly about the business of inviting all into the fellowship of the Body of Christ, as found in our Anglican Churches in our own Provinces, wondering whether the threatened split in the Communion – between the self-proclaimed ‘Orthodox’ and the rest of us – is really worth worrying about.

Intentional Schism is a very disturbing sign of dis-satisfaction with one’s co-members of the Body of Christ. But, those who seek this resolution to their problems  of co-existence alongside their brethren when the going gets tough, have only themselves to blame for any lack of missional credibility gained by the Anglican Communion around the world that might result from the threatened split

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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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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