Despite the unseemly whiff of rebellion surrounding the latest Statement by the GSFA/GAFCON, the ABC (+Justin Welby) – out of the koinonia/fellowship of the recent A.C.C. meeting, which committed its members to ongoing ‘research and development on issues of Gender and Sexuality – speaks the obvious when he reminds the G.S. Prelates that there can be no substantive changes to the relationship between the provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion without the agreement of each of its four ‘Instruments of Communion’. In other words: There can be no takeover bid by dissident provinces.
Intentional schism, however, is quite another matter. If GSFA wants to follow in the footsteps of the GAFCON/ACNA sodality – in drawing away from the Instruments of Unity in a common cause of differentiation from the provinces that remain loyal to the Canterbury/Lambeth Foundation of the ACC – then that is their concern and on their own conscience as one-time members of the ACC.
A salient point here, is that the ACC is the only one of the 4 Instruments of Unity that includes the Faithful Laity among its members – making it the most representative in the Anglican Communion.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand
Lambeth Palace responds to GSFA statement
Lambeth Palace responds to the recent statement by the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA).
A Lambeth Palace spokesperson has said:
“At last week’s meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Ghana, there was widespread support for working together patiently and constructively to review the Instruments of Communion, so that our differences and disagreements can be held together in unity and fellowship. The Archbishop is in regular contact with his fellow Primates and looks forward to discussing this and other matters with them over the coming period.
“The Archbishop of Canterbury commented last week at the ACC in Ghana that these structures are always able to change with the times.
“We note the statement issued today by some Anglican Primates and we fully appreciate their position. As was reaffirmed in multiple discussions at the ACC in Ghana however, no changes to the formal structures of the Anglican Communion can be made unless they are agreed upon by the Instruments of Communion.
“The deep disagreements that exist across the Anglican Communion on sexuality and marriage are not new. The 42 member Churches of the Anglican Communion are independent and autonomous, but at the same time interdependent. It is a fundamental principle of the Anglican Communion that no province can bind another province, and no Instrument of Communion has any jurisdictional authority over any province.
“In a world of conflict, suffering and uncertainty, we must remember that more unites us than divides us. Despite our differences, we must find ways to continue walking and working together as followers of Jesus Christ to serve those in need. It was clear at this week’s global Anglican gathering in Accra that many Anglicans share this view. It remains the Archbishop’s prayer and his call to Anglicans around the Communion.”