As if to give a TRUMPET SOUND for its relationship to GAFCON and the GSFA, in the ongoing spat with the Church of England, Sydney’s Diocesan paper ANGLICAN CHURCH LEAGUE is hot off the press with this article below. However, like parents titillating their children’s excitement for what ‘Santa’ might be bringing down the chimney at Yuletide; ACL has very little of any substance to reveal at this time. Maybe the GSFA/GAFCON Prelates have to find a more secure communal trysting ground, before they can go full trumpet blast with their proposed decision-making at the ‘EMERGENCY GSFA PRIMATES MEETING’ after which, on Monday, 1 Feb., they can agree on the contents of their new anathema/fatwa against the Mother Church of England?
One might have cause to wonder what all the fuss is about this time. With GAFCON’S last 3 (or is it 4?) TRUMPET SOUNDS (now added to by this latest GSFA instrument adding to the cacophony, they have had no compunction in setting up their own ‘Jerusalem Statement of Faith’, which is out of synch with the wider, more pastoral, Anglican Communion’s own long-term reliance upon the 3-legged stool of an inclusive ‘SCRIPTURE, TRADITION, and REASON’ – from which, formerly we have been content to pursue our intention of the Communion-wide charism of UNITY in DIVERSITY. It seems, though, now that there is a new solitary basis claimed by GAFCON and the Global South Prelates that relies solely on their own interpretation of ‘Sola Scriptura’, which, to say the very least has the tendency to exclude any new revelation from the Holy Spirit, whose work, Jesus promised, would BRING the Church into ALL THE TRUTH, which has still a way to go to be ultimately proclaimed at Christ’s Coming Again In Glory at the end of time as we now experience it.
There have been other spats within the world-wide Anglican Communion, the most recent being (1) the issue of women’s Ordination (Sydney Diocese, for example, still does not recognise the ministry, for instance, of the female Archbishop of Perth, The Rt. Revd. Kay Goldsworthy, who serves in the same ecclesiastical Province but – so far – without going into schism about it.) GAFCON is not of a common mind about Women’s Ordination – but without actually withdrawing in an act of schism about it.
However, having said that; it was notable that the GAFCON bishops elected not attend the most recent of what may be recognised as the most longstanding of the A.C. ‘Instruments of Unity’ – the 2023 LAMBETH CONFERENCE. This latest GSFA declaration may make a case for at least a whisper of intentional schism, by the Gafcon/GSFA Primates, from the parent body.
There were some GSFA prelates at Lambeth 2023, who had hopes that fellow Anglican bishops from around the world would agree to their request to ‘set in concrete’ a Statement made at a former Lambeth, in which the Conference – largely at the instigation of bishops from Gafcon and the Global South – voted to demonise homosexual activity; with a commitment to dispense with the ministry of clergy who were in an active Same-Sex Relationship, believing this to be contrary to Scripture and to the Will of God.
To bring light to the reason for present activity by the Global South Prelates (GSFA), after the defeat of their request to perpetuate the homophobic intentions of a previous Lambeth Conference: At Lambeth 2023; there was a distinctive movement by the GSFA prelates present towards their convergence with the schismatic intentions of the GAFCON Primates. This is now been borne out by this challenge to the Archbishop of Canterbury (and the Lambeth/Canterbury – based Anglican Communion) that the combined GACON/GFSA bishops are – at long last, after a great deal of drama – going to try to usurp the soul of the Unity in Diversity ethos of the world-wide Anglican Communion by setting up their own quasi-Anglican jurisdiction, which will no longer look to Lambeth/Canterbury for leadership. Currently, Gafcon’s leadership is being provided by the Archbishop of ACNA in North America, which, as a schismatic entity already, is not part of the worldwide Anglican Communion
Schism has long been thought to be ‘a horrid thing”, but, maybe, for the mental and spiritual health of mainline Anglicans around the world – who look to the Church for the pastoral exercise of God’s truth, mercy, and justice for everyone – no-one can ever quench the primitive desire of some puritanical rigorists for dogmatic purity, albeit in a religion firmly based on ‘The One who had nowhere to lay his head’ and was crucified for his loving mission of the Reconciliation of Sinners – that’s ALL of us.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand
Posted on February 18, 2023 by the ‘ANGLICAN CHURCH LEAGUE’, SYDNEY
Filed under Church of England, Global South
Emergency GSFA Primates Meeting — Statement coming on Monday, 20 Feb. 2023
From The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches:
“Emergency GSFA Primates Meeting following CofE General Synod decision (Feb 2023)
The GSFA Primates met virtually on the 13th of February 2023 to reflect on the Church of England’s recent decision to bless couples in same sex union and make the appropriate response towards this innovation. After discussing the matter, the Primates agreed that the Church of England has departed from the historic faith of the Church.
The GSFA will issue a Statement on Mon 20th February of what was decided at the said meeting.”
Photo: GSFA Press Conference during the Lambeth Conference, July 2022.