‘Independent’ Report on GAFCON & the Church of England

Evangelical critics of gay marriage and women bishops meet in London to plot schism

The move away from the ‘mother’ church is being debated

Evangelical leaders from the US and across Africa are meeting in London this week to consider a revolutionary plan to turn their backs on the Archbishop of Canterbury. The meeting will “chart the future of global Anglicanism” and could back the creation of a new evangelical church opposed to the liberal direction of the Church of England, which would cater for conservative Anglicans in Britain.

The move away from the “mother” church is being debated by the seven-man leadership of the Global Anglican Futures Conference (Gafcon), which was formed in 2008 to bring about a return to “authentic Anglicanism”.

Same-sex marriage became legal in Britain last year

Same-sex marriage became legal in Britain last year (Getty)
The socially conservative body – which is against female bishops and has been accused of homophobia – calls for an end to “secularism” in the mainstream Anglican Church, and is expected to make a commitment to defend the “essential truths of the biblical faith”. This could go as far as ordaining new church leaders.

Gafcon declined to comment, but in an Easter message, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, a member of the Kenyan clergy and chairman of the Gafcon council, made clear that the global Anglican faith needed to be restored to “biblical truth” in the face of attacks from Islamic radicalism and “an increasingly intolerant secular culture”.

His intervention came a month after Gafcon supporters courted controversy in Britain by condemning an initiative which let Muslim worshippers hold prayers in a central London church. Archbishop Wabukala said the event, which was praised by cross-faith leaders, was a sign of the “struggle” and “crisis” developing in the Church of England. Mainstream members of the Anglican Church have described the planned establishment of a rival church as an “act of piracy” that will “cause confusion among Britain’s Anglicans”

Linda Woodhead, professor of sociology of religion at Lancaster University, said: “Gafcon are paper tigers, who love to roar and get a reaction but there is no substance to them. The congregation of the Church of England – in its personal morality – is increasingly liberal. And there is nothing Gafcon can do about that.

“They already have their churches at home to impose their views on homosexuality, but they don’t have the money to set up here and pay clergy.”

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The Independent‘s take on the current visitation of the GAFCON Primates to London – and the effect on the Church of England – is a common perception of exactly what the conservative Anglican Communion Provinces (mainly African, apart from their puppet  ACNA ‘Province’ in the USA & Canada – and now their AMiE plant in England) are up to in this latest incursion into the home territory of the Church of England.

Having already set up their ‘Border-Crossing’ mission churches in North America and now England; the GAFCON Primates – under the leadership of the Anglican Archbishop of Kenya – Eliud Wabukala – are all set to ‘reform’ and ‘restore to authentic Anglicanism’ the Church of England and other Western Provinces of the world-wide Anglican Communion.

As has been noted, in both ‘The Independent’ and ‘Christian Today’, this movement on the part of a Sola-Scriptura, conservative organisation, to replace the legally-instituted Church of England is doomed to failure. At best, it could secure a minority following of disaffected Anglicans in the U.K., who are unhappy with the more liberal direction that has been taken in the Ordination of Women Bishops, and the prospect of Same-Sex Blessings that seems likely to follow upon the legalisation of Equal Marriage opportunities in the U.K.

What is somewhat surprising, is that neither the Archbishop of Canterbury, nor the Archbishop of York have yet made any statement of protest against the invasion of the GAFCON Primates, who are in London to affirm their support for their so-called ‘Anglican Mission in England’ (AMiE) – in contradiction of the embargo on Border-Crossing which had been agreed to by the Provinces of the ACC. 

However, as GAFCON has already ignored invitations by the ‘Primus-inter-pares’ of the Anglican Communion (the Archbishop of Canterbury) to attend the last Lambeth Conference and the subsequent Primates’ Conference; no doubt these haughty prelates will not be taking much notice of any advice that might be offered to them by the ABC.

No doubt, also, there will be further news of the consequences of these goings-on in England. But whether they will much affect the everyday business of the propagation of the Gospel in other Provinces of the Communion is a moot point. If there is outright schism, prompted by this provocative action on the part of GAFCON, then each Province of the Anglican Communion may be set free to continue their own way of bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ – Incarnate, Crucified, Resurrected and Glorified to the context of their own missionary situation.

Christ is Risen, Alleluia! He is risen Indeed, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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‘Christian Today’ Comments on GAFCON in the U.K.

Possible ‘parallel Anglican church’ set to highlight divisions

Reuters
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has previously warned that the diversity of the Anglican Communion may prove “too much to manage”.

Conservative evangelical archbishops, bishops and other church leaders from around the world are meeting in the UK this week to discuss whether to back a parallel Anglican church in this country.

The meeting is expected to highlight continuing divisions in the worldwide communion over women’s ordination and homosexuality. It comes as a Nigerian bishop who believes homosexuality should remain illegal in his country has been appointed to the key post of secretary general of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Bishop of Kaduna Josiah Idowu-Fearon is known for his skilled dialogue with Muslims in Nigeria.

Any parallel structure would exist to support Anglican clergy and congregations that are opposed to women’s ordination on the basis of St Paul’s assertion that the man is the head of the woman. The alternative Anglican church would also take a conservative stance on the gay issue and oppose gay marriage.

The plan will be debated by the leadership of the Global Anglican Futures Conference, or Gafcon, when they meet in London this week. Gafcon was launched at a meeting in Jerusalem in 2008 as part of the long-running struggle by conservatives to cater to those opposed to the more liberal direction the western Anglican church was headed in.

In an Easter pastoral letter to supporters, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, primate of Kenya and chairman of the Gafcon primates’ council, said: “We shall take counsel together so that our movement can grow strongly and be equipped to fulfil the vision of restoring the Anglican Communion’s commitment to biblical truth.”

He called for Christians to remain strong.

“If we look just on the surface of things, it is easy to be discouraged. While in Africa and the Middle East Christian communities are being destroyed and intimidated by Islamic radicalism, in the West we are seeing the faith for which these believers are dying being betrayed by compromise with an increasingly intolerant secular culture.”

Two of the greatest challenges to world Christianity and Gafcon itself are Islamic radicalism and the re-evangelisation of the West, he added.

“At the heart of our response to both must be faithful and costly witness to the gospel by people who are deeply convinced that, in season or out of season, their work will not be useless or wasted because it is done for Christ and in the hope of the resurrection.”

He singled out for particular criticism the process set up by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at the 2008 Lambeth Conference as part of his attempt to maintain Anglican unity. “We need an outward looking unity in diversity that serves the truth of the gospel, not the inward looking unity in diversity of projects like ‘Continuing Indaba’ that open the doors of the Church to a false gospel.”

A parallel structure, the Anglican Church in North America, already exists in the US. Influential US commentator George Conger has reported that this church’s Archbishop Foley Beach will be among those conservative Anglicans in London at the meeting this week.

Archbishop Wabukala has previously written: “It is becoming clear that we must see the once missionary nations of the West as now themselves mission fields.”

The Gafcon primates have already told the Anglican Mission in England to operate outside the structures of the Church of England as a missionary society, where necessary.

In his Kiwianglo blog, Father Ron Smith of Christchurch New Zealand, an Anglo-Catholic priest, warns: “If the Church of England stands by and allows this ‘parallel jurisdiction’ to happen, this will surely be the next step in the dissolution of the world-wide family of churches of the Anglican Communion! This can only serve to cause confusion among Britain’s Anglicans – never mind the rest of the provinces that are not aligned with the institutional homophobia of the GAFCON Provinces. The Anglican World watches – and waits – for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s response to this act of piracy in his own jurisdiction.”

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It was surprising for me to log in to a recent article by Ruth Gledhill, Contributing Editor of ‘Christian Today’ – on the situation where GAFCON Primates and others affiliated with them in the conservative Provinces of the Anglican Communion are meeting in London to consolidate their church-plant (Anglican Mission in england) on the doorstep of the Mother Church of England – and find my own New Zealand commentary on this important matter being quoted.

However, such is the overseas interest in this move by the GAFON Primates, to set up their own separate jurisdiction under the noses of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, that members of other Anglican provincial Churches – like ours in Aotearoa/New Zealand and the Pacific (ACANZP)  – are bound to take notice.

Having set themselves up as a separate jurisdiction within the Anglican Communion – by their separatist Confessional ‘Jerusalem Statement’ – the GAFCON Primates seem set on  a take-over bid for the soul of the Communion, based on a Sola-Scriptura theology, that takes no account of the reality of modern understanding of gender and sexuality that has given rise to the Ordination of Women and Gay people within more liberal Churches of the world-wide Anglican Communion.

The other jurisdictions of the Communion that have been the subject of ‘Border-Crossing’ by GAFCON conservatives are the Episcopal Church of the United States (T.E.C.) and the Anglican Church of Canada; both of which Provincial Anglican Churches have moved ahead with the ordination of Women and the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions.

Now that the Church of England has ordained Women Bishops, and has embarked on discussions about Human Sexuality; it seems that the GAFCON Primates are descending on London, with the stated objective of ‘putting right’ the Church of England’s liberal initiatives by setting up their own local and Communion-wide jurisdictional Churches.

However, as the Anglican Communion is not actually a ‘Church’ – in the same sense as the Roman Catholic Church is centrally governed from Rome – these Primates may be mistaken in thinking that their high-handed behaviour will in some way influence other Provinces of the Communion (mainly in the West) to follow their conservative and – some might say, outdated – doctrinal objection to women’s leadership and the acceptance of LGBT people within the Family of the Church.

Each Province of the Anglican Communion is independently founded, with its own synodical government processes and episcopal oversight. Although there is a long-standing relationship with the Church of England, as Founding Church, each Province is responsible for itself, with no legal relationship binding it to either the Province of Canterbury or other Provinces. Therefore, although there are ‘Ties of Friendship’ with both the Archbishop of Canterbury – who is still ‘Primus inter pares’ with Communion Partners – there is nothing compelling the different Provinces to adopt the rules of other Provinces.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Virtue’s View on GAFCON’s next move in the U.K.

Pace Quickens as Pansexuality Pushes Anglican Communion on Fast Track to Realignment

COMMENTARY

By David W. Virtue DD
http://www.virtueonline.org
April 11, 2015

It is becoming increasingly clear that realignment in the Anglican Communion is reaching new levels of intensity and speed as concern for the inroads of pansexual behavior by western pan Anglicanism provinces increases with greater stridency.

Consider the following. In Melbourne, recently, the chairman of GAFCON, the Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, launched a new chapter of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and ripped the “cultural captivity” of North American Anglican Churches. He went on to say that a crisis is developing in the Church of England, which you can be sure Archbishop Justin Welby does not want to hear.

Things have become so bad that a fundamental realignment of the Anglican Communion became necessary, the evangelical African Primate told several hundred orthodox Australian Anglicans gathered at the launching.

“Now we are seeing the same struggle developing in the Church of England, the Mother Church of the Communion itself, and the most recent sign of this is the crisis developing after a parish church in central London was made available for a Muslim prayer service earlier this month. The vicar not only joined in, but also covered up the cross and other Christian symbols in the church. Here we have a warning that controversies about gender and sexuality reflect a deeper problem. Now we are seeing the core Christian commitment to the uniqueness of Jesus as Lord and Savior is being called into question,” opined the GAFCON leader.

The Kenyan primate noted the initiative to launch the FCA would be seen by future generations as a strategic moment for church and society.

“At the heart of the GAFCON movement is a passion for the biblical gospel. Lost people are precious to the Lord Jesus Christ and cannot be seen as anything less than that by us.”

In Sept. 2014, the Kenyan Archbishop and GAFCON Primates authorized The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) to work within and, where necessary, outside the structures of the Church of England as a missionary society.

“As long as the Great Commission is at risk through the promotion and toleration of false teaching and immorality in the Anglican Communion, we must have ‘Continuing GAFCON,” he added.

This came to full flower in March of 2015 with the formation of an AMIE parish in the Diocese of Salisbury. It was viewed by some as a poke in the eye at the institutional church and its bishop the Rt. Rev. Nicholas Holtam, who said he would seek a clarification about the involvement of the Rt. Rev. John Ellison at a service of commissioning for a new church in the diocese that is affiliated to the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE).

Bishop, retired Bishop of Paraguay and chairman of the AMiE Panel of Bishops who took the lead on this said he is still waiting for the other shoe to drop in regards to his future. No matter, he is fulfilling a mandate from GAFCON to plant orthodox Anglican parishes right inside the Mother Church.

VOL Columnist Julian Mann wrote at the time that if the GAFCON Primates were to consecrate two or three English Anglican ministers not currently licensed in any Church of England diocese (or in a position to hand in their licences if they have them), the question of a conflict of interest in confessing Anglican church planting would no longer arise. Perhaps. But you can be sure this is not a welcome intrusion by either the local bishop or by the ABC.

Now contrast what Archbishop Wabukala said with recent actions of the Episcopal Bishop of Western New York, R. William Franklin, who has been invited to travel with 12 Episcopal bishops to reopen international church relations in Cuba.

In the wake of last week’s debate over religious freedom in the U.S., Franklin said he would bring lessons about the church’s stance on welcoming the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender community [to Cuba]. He says it is a fundamental part of the Western New York diocese.

So the freedom of religion debate is mixed up with sexual “freedom,” not the freedom to preach Christ crucified and the gospel drawing people to Christ. No, it all boils down to gay sex. Cuba’s Episcopal Bishop, Griselda Delgado del Carpio invited the group — an indication that for him to get much needed financial assistance he must roll over to TEC’s pansexual agenda. Bishop Franklin will no doubt assist him and walk him through past and passed General Convention resolutions. You can write off Cuba as a place Episcopalians will evangelize, unless you want to go there as a Pentecostal or one of the 5% of Protestant congregations that make up Cuba. (Cuba is 65% Roman Catholic with 5% attendance). Others/African Religions make up 11%, while the non-religious number 24%.

Quoth Franklin, “I can think of nothing better than to spend the week after Easter being inspired by Christian action.” Some action.

There have been other moves afoot nationally and internationally indicating the heat is being turned up to a boiling point.

The CofE/Anglican Communion establishment obviously hoped that with a Ugandan (John Sentamu) as Archbishop of York, he could influence matters. He has turned out to be a company man, first under Rowan Williams, and now under Justin Welby. The Global South does not trust him and he knows it, so he stays well under their radar screen.

The Rt. Rev. James Tengatenga is another black face coopted by both the Church of England and Episcopal Church establishment. He is chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council, a former Bishop of Southern Malawi who is presently a visiting professor at Sewanee’s School of Theology in Tennessee. If he were truly orthodox, he would not have gotten a look in there. He has spent the last few months threading the needle of homosexuality to appeal to his Western paymasters. Think what a certain Sewanee professor of theology did to Dr. N.T. Wright when he came a calling and delivered himself of Wright’s vile orthodox stands.

You might have thought that the African Anglican bishop would have learned a lesson at the hands of Western gay imperialists when he was called to be Dean of the Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. His name was suddenly withdrawn by the college President because of his perceived past and present views on human sexuality.

Latterly, the coopting of the Nigerian bishop of Kaduna Josiah Idowu-Fearon as Secretary General of the Anglican Communion office in the hope no doubt that the Global South will feel more comfortable with him and them and remain in the Communion. Said one commentator, “The idiots just don’t get it. IT’S ABOUT THE FAITH! The Global South leaders are intelligent and (more importantly) discerning enough to recognize and shun a compromiser or a heretic, even if his skin is the same color as theirs.”

And then there is the more dubious recent appointment of Church of England Bishop Graham Kings as Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion. This is a clear attempt to look for a via media between Western progressivists like Katharine Jefferts Schori and orthodox archbishops like Nicholas Okoh. His attempt to fudge if not blur the lines will simply not work. This “innovative seven year post” as mission theologian has the purpose to research, stimulate, connect and publish works of theology in the Anglican Communion, with particular focus on insights from Africa, Asia and Latin America, in their ecumenical contexts. This can only be viewed as demonstrable attempt to “contextualize” and play the culture card in an effort to bring the two sides closer together theologically and ecclesiologically. The Global South will see it as little more than an attempt to water down the faith of African/Asian and Latin bishops and make it more amenable to both them and the growing revisionist west. The Archbishop of Canterbury naturally endorsed it of course but in vain the net is set in sight of the bird. (Prov. 1:17)

Other questions include as to what Bishop King’s relationship is with the Anglican Consultative Council and their theological positions which are at odds with the vast majority of the Global South and how his appointment will be viewed by the GAFCON primates.

The last time the Primates of the Anglican Communion met was in Dublin in 2011; fully one third of the primates were no shows. New Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby dares not take the risk of calling for another one; he knows full well the same third would be no shows. That was four years ago! So four years have come and gone and the Primates have not met annually to weigh the state of the Communion. Does one really think there will be a Lambeth Conference in 2018 if the present issues remain unresolved? For sure no.

For all his vaunted talk of the need for evangelism, Welby remains conflicted over homosexuality; that is his Achilles heel. By prevaricating and refusing to be definitive, he leaves himself open to criticism and hostility from Global South Primates and GAFCON leaders. He is not in a position to repair the net of Anglicanism. Until he takes up the cotton and thread of Scripture there is no reason to think he will any time soon if ever.

The fabric of the Communion like the Temple has been torn from top to bottom. Sadly, there is no theological or ecclesiological sewing machine capable of mending it.

When he was in Melbourne, Wabukala encouraged his listeners to look beyond Australia noting that the Communion faces “great challenges” and the greatest evangelism field is the West, specifically the US and Canada, and the Africans know it.

With CANA and the ACNA now let loose in the US and a “take no prisoners” stance by archbishops like Eliud Wabukala and Nicholas Okoh, there will be no mercy from them, nor, it would seem, at the Day of Judgement when TEC will have to give an account of its lousy stewardship of both souls and money.

END

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Should any Anglican around the world doubt the conservative fundamentalist integrity of Mr David Virtue (former New Zealand Baptist), owner of a blog-site he is pleased to label as The leading Orthodox Anglican Web-site; this latest posting of his, commenting on the outcome of the recent GAFCON Meeting in Melbourne, Australia, headed by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala (Primate of the Anglican Province of Kenya & Chair of GAFCON; will convince them of his dogmatic alignment with this Confessional form of Anglicanism, which seems to have captured some of the African Provinces of the Anglican Communion, based, mainly on the strict observation of the ’39 Articles of religion’ and of a literalist interpretation of the Bible – Oh, and Yes, the outlawing of homosexuals from the A.C..

From the script of this article (having earlier on his web-site dismissed the integrity of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.), it will be clearly perceived that Mr. Virtue is no fan of the C. of E., or the Archbishop of Canterbury, either!

Here is one sentence that stands out in Mr.Virtue’s commentary:

“Things have become so bad that a fundamental realignment of the Anglican Communion became necessary, the evangelical African Primate told several hundred orthodox Australian Anglicans gathered at the launching.

The ‘Launching’ spoken of here is that of an Australasian Chapter of the ‘Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans’ (FoCA), founded in the U.K., but which now boasts of branches in other provinces of the Anglican Communion, where there are conservative Anglicans who feel betrayed by the prospect of  the ordination of Gay clergy and bishops, as well as the possible acceptance of any recognition of Same-Sex hallowed relationships, as being a ‘step too far’ in the more progressive provinces of the Anglican Communion.

The fact that this conference was attended by some 40 Anglicans from ACANZP – including at least 1 bishop – gives evidence of some fear existing here in New Zealand of a movement towards the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions, which is likely to be approved of by our Church in the near future.

What is possibly most threatening, and perhaps misleading, about the GAFCON.FoCA movement, is its arrogant tendency to claiming a sectarian ‘Anglican Orthodoxy’ for its membership. Apart from the fact of this self-definition of what is orthodox about their discrimination against homosexual people in the Church (one of their main complaints), there is the matter of attempting to appropriate the ethos of Anglicanism for themselves.

The current meeting now taking place in London of GAFCON Primates and members of the local ‘Anglican Mission in England’ – headed by a schismatic Anglican Bishop who was appointed by the GAFCON Primates to lead their carefully-nurtured surrogate ‘Church’  on the very doorstep of the Church of England – will no doubt chime in with a Meeting called by the conservative ‘FULCRUM’ on Thursday, 17 April; to be addressed by Dr. Ian Paul a noted conservative blogger in the C. of E., who will be discussing the prospective Future of the C. of E.

Whatever ensues in the wake of these ‘happenings’ on the conservative fringes of the Church of England this week; no doubt Mr. David Virtue – self-appointed local critic of the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada – will be launching his very own version of the proceedings. I look forward to reading and assessing his further recriminations against  our more liberal Western Way of being Anglican.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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FULCRUM to Host Meeting on C. of E.’s Future

Join us this Thursday from 6pm for discussion & debate on the future of the Church of England…

Dear Fulcrum Subscriber,

This is just a quick reminder about out next Pivot^Point event, happening this Thursday, 16th April from 6-8pm.
We’ll discuss the Church of England’s reform and renewal programme, and ask if it has the potential to reverse generations of decline.

Our two speakers are:

The Rt Revd Pete Broadbent – Bishop of Willesden.

The Revd Dr Ian Paul – leading blogger & theologian.

Chaired by The Revd Rachel Marszalek – General Secretary of Fulcrum.

The event is happening in the conference centre at St James the Less, Pimlico – located very close to Victoria tube station. All you need to do to secure your free ticket is to register via eventbrite by clicking here (also click that link for more information).

We are hopeful that future events will be able to take place outside London. Do get in contact with us if you would like to host an event.

Please pass this invitation on to anyone in your church (or anyone else!) who may be interested in this vital topic.

See you soon,

The Fulcrum Team

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This message arrived in my computer In-Box this morning. Its palpable sense of urgency just happens to coincide with a special Meeting of the GAFCON Primates in London, there ostensibly to shore up their schismatic plant on the doorstep of the Church of England, purporting to be the “Anglican Mission in England” (AMiE) under the patronage of the Archbishop of Kenya – Chair of the GAFCON conservative block  that has resiled from meeting with other Primates at the Primates Meeting and at the meeting of Anglican Bishops at the Lambeth Conference.

At least one of the Speakers at this FULCUM Meeting, the Revd Ian Paul – a theologian and minister of the Church of England – is known for his rooted opposition to the ordination of Gay Clergy in the Church of England, and his blog support for GAFCON’s  antipathy towards the same entity.

The other Speaker, Bishop Pete Broadbent, is of a broader bent in his attitude on the subject of gender and sexuality, so it will be interesting to note how the two Speakers sort out FULCRUM’s public attitude towards the meeting of the GAFCON Primates in the U.K. at this juncture of the history of our world-wide Anglican Communion. Of course, Fulcrum only exists in the U.K., so their determination on this matter will only affect the members of the C. of E.

Nevertheless, the timing of this meeting – while GAFCON is seeking to influence the Church of England towards a more conservative approach to matters of sexuality than it sees as being exercised at the moment – one cannot but wonder whether FULCRUM, too, might support the newly planted A.M.i.E on their doorstep, on the grounds of their own attitude towards the subject that is currently dividing the Communion.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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GAFCON Primates about to challenge C. of E. Jurisdiction?

GAFCON primates to meet in London

In his Easter Pastoral Letter Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council notes that:

…The GAFCON Primates Council will soon meet in London, from the 13th to the 17th April, and we shall take counsel together so that our movement can grow strongly and be equipped to fulfil the vision of restoring the Anglican Communion’s commitment to biblical truth. It will also give us a special opportunity to meet with leaders of the British and Irish branch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and the Anglican Mission in England. Please uphold us in prayer during this time…

George Conger reports in AMiE on the agenda for London GAFCON primates meeting that the ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach will be among those attending, and he writes:

Next week’s London meeting is expected to discuss the issue of whether to support a parallel Anglican jurisdiction akin to the Anglican Church in North America for England, and how such support should be shown.

In his 23 September 2014 pastoral letter to the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), the group’s leader, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya wrote: “It is becoming clear that we must see the once missionary nations of the West as now themselves mission fields.” He further stated “the focus of the struggle for biblical faithfulness has shifted from North America to England.”

To achieve this end, the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) had been “authorised by the GAFCON Primates to work within and, where necessary, outside the structures of the Church of England as a missionary society”.

Details of the Anglican Mission in England were reported previously, here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento (Thinking Anglicans) on Friday, 10 April 2015

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Here is a disturbing thought about the coming visitation  of GAFCON Primates to their planted schismatic Church (Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) in the U.K., as reported by George Conger:

“Next week’s London meeting is expected to discuss the issue of whether to support a parallel Anglican jurisdiction akin to the Anglican Church in North America for England, and how such support should be shown.”

Border-Crossing was one of the definite No-Nos agreed to by the full meeting of the Anglican Communion Bishops who were considering the famous ‘Windsor Report’  – setting ground rules for behaviour amongst Provincial Primates.

There were few actual Rules made by the Bishops, but this was one of them – made in response to those Provinces who insisted on piratical invasion of other Provinces of the Communion, with the intention of setting up their own ‘Gay-Free’ Church communities.

The Windsor Report, though expressing disquiet about the ordination of Gay Clergy and Bishops, offered the facilitation of Communion-wide and Provincial discussion of the phenomenon of homosexuality, which, however, certain Provinces (later known as GAFCON affiliates) declined to accept, and immediately set up their organisation of dissenting Churches in other Provinces of the Anglican Communion in protest.

Since the time of their first meetings as GAFCON, certain provinces of the Communion have continued to ignore the banning of Border-Crossing, and have established further satellite Churches in both the USA and Canada – in competition with the local Anglican Church bodies in those countries – ACNA being the amalgamation of those schismatic bodies in North America, in competition with TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada.

Now that the Primate of Kenya has established his own satellite Anti-Gay Church in the United Kingdom – (AMiE) the Anglican Mission in England – he, together with other GAFCON Primates, is about to challenge the local Church of England by this visitation, with the express purpose of considering the establishment of a ‘Parallel Anglican jurisdiction’ on the home turf of the Founding Church of the Anglican Communion.

If the Church of England stands by and allows this ‘parallel jurisdiction’ to happen, this will surely be the next step in the dissolution of the world-wide family of Churches of the Anglican Communion! This can only serve to cause confusion among Britain’s Anglicans – never mind the rest of the Provinces that are not aligned with the institutional homophobia of the GAFCON Provinces.

The Anglican World watches – and waits – for the Archbishop of Canterbury’s response to this act of piracy in his own jurisdiction.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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2013 Toronto Conference Address by Bishop Josiah of Nigeria

Josiah Idowu-Fearon’s views on the Anglican Communion

Titusonenine has published a transcript of a lecture given by Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon in Toronto in 2013 titled The Instruments of Unity and the Way Forward.

The original audio recording can be found here, at the website of The Cranmer Institute.

The transcript can be read from this link.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento (Thinking Anglicans) on Tuesday, 7 April 2015

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Thanks to Simon Sarmiento of ‘U.K. web-site ‘Thinking Anglicans’ for linking the latest insights into the opinion of the newly-appointed Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion. (The radio transmission is worth listening to (Fr.Ron)

As an admittedly Evangelical  Bishop from the Anglican Church of Nigeria, who has been criticised for his seemingly dismissive statements on the thorny subject of homosexuality at various Anglican Church conferences, the new Secretary-General, Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, can now be heard in a recording made at a 2013 Anglican Church Conference in Toronto; wherein he set out to re-define what he feels would be the best way of addressing current strife within the world-wide Anglican Communion.

Freely admitting that African Church culture still looks upon bishops – but especially provincial Archbishops – as monarchical authority figures, Bishop Josiah knows what he is talking about. He, himself, was demoted from his office as an Archbishop in the Nigerian Anglican Church by none other than the previous Provincial Archbishop Peter Akinola. As Abp. Akinola was one of the prime movers in the separatist GAFCON movement, one can guess the reason for Bishop Josiah’s demotion, which was possibly partly connected with the fact that he did not see the office of Archbishop of Canterbury as needing to  fulfil the African concept of an authority figure within the Communion. It is a known fact that GAFCON primates have considered successive Archbishops of Canterbury as being ‘too weak’ on issues of gender and sexuality.

Bishop Josiah, in the Toronto Conference, made the suggestion that the ABC and each of the established ‘Instruments of Unity’ had a purpose and validity. However, he did say that he thought the office of Archbishop of Canterbury could be better understood – both by the Church of England and the rest of the Communion – not as an over-ruling monarchical authority, but rather as the ‘face’ of the Communion in ecumenical affairs.

Bishop Josiah sees the Lambeth Conference as, principally, a forum for discussion by the bishops of the Church – not as the place from which authoritarian decisions are made.

Such decisions could be formulated at the Primates’ Conference, where provincial archbishops should each be accompanied by 2 bishops – one conservative and one liberal bishop. In proposing this, Bishop Josiah was willing to admit that there are two factions within the Communion that both need to be heard. Provisional decisions made at the Primates’ Meetings should then be submitted to the next stage of the process, which is:

The Anglican Consultative Council, which had bishops, clergy and lay-people (across-the-board representation of the A.C.) who would then make the final decisions which could be taken back to the Provinces to be implemented – by common consent.

In this way, Secretary-General Josiah thinks, the solidarity of the Anglican Communion could be best preserved. On the face of its, this might seem the best way to consolidate the Communion – by bonds of love and affection, rather than monarchical rule.

My only question in all of this is: can individual provinces live together with differences in matters of cultural values that are present sources of conflict within the provincial Churches that make up the Communion. This would depend, surely, on the openness with which such differences are allowed to be more widely discussed and dealt with locally, in as  pastoral a method as each Province is allowed to decide?

I am wondering whether Bishop Josiah, as a Nigerian Anglican Bishop, whose own Provincial Church is committed to the GAFCON ‘Jerusalem Statement’ with its separatist agenda for conservative Anglicanism, will be present at the upcoming GAFCON Primates'; Meeting in London; where these African Primates will be affirming their sponsors’ relationship with the competing ‘Anglican Mission in England’  (AMiE) Church which they have already planted in the U.K.?

These are questions that might very well influence the future of the Anglican Communion. I wonder, what would Jesus have to say?

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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Pope Francis Washes the Feet of Sinners – in Gaol

Pope Francis washes the feet of TV showgirl who was jailed for fraud

The Pope – who has broken convention by washing the feet of women and Muslims in the past – washed the feet of 12 prison inmates on Maundy Thursday visit

Pope Francis kisses a prisoner's foot during the traditional Washing of the feet at the Rebibbia's jail in Rome
Pope Francis kisses a prisoner’s foot during the traditional Washing of the feet at the Rebibbia’s jail in Rome Photo: L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO/EPA

Nick Squires  By , Rome – 3:09PM BST 03 Apr 2015

During his Maundy Thursday visit to a prison in Rome, the Jesuit Pope knelt down in front of 12 inmates – six men and six women – to wash, dry and kiss their feet.

One of them was a former starlet, Silvy Lubamba, who appeared on Italian television and in gossip magazines before falling from grace when she was jailed for fraud and using stolen credit cards.

The 42-year-old showgirl, who is of Congolese origin but has lived in Italy for years, was arrested in Rome last August and sentenced to three years and nine months behind bars.

Wearing blue jeans and a white shirt, she smiled at the 78-year-old pontiff as he knelt before her and washed her feet.

The Pope also washed the feet of a baby whose mother is incarcerated in the prison and was among the six women he encountered.

The pre-Easter ritual recalls the gesture that Jesus performed on his apostles before his crucifixion.

The Pope asked the inmates, some of whom were reduced to tears, to pray for him, saying that he too needed to be cleansed of “my filth”.

Since being elected two years ago, the pontiff has radically reinterpreted the Holy Thursday foot-washing ceremony.

According to Vatican rules, it should only be performed on men, a reflection of the fact that the apostles were all men.

But the Argentinian pontiff has washed the feet of women and Muslims, in a break with tradition that has caused disquiet among some conservatives.

He said the ceremony was an expression of Christ’s openness to serving and loving all people, regardless of their sins.

“Even I need to be cleansed by the Lord. And for this, pray during this Mass, so that the Lord also washes my filth also, so that I become more slave-like in the service of people as Jesus did,” he said.

As he has for much of his papacy, the Pope showed a disregard for protocol and his own security, allowing prisoners to touch him as entered the prison chapel.

The jail visit marked the start of a hectic Easter schedule for the Pope, who on Thursday admitted in an address that he sometimes feels “tired”.

On Friday night he will perform the Via Crucis, or Stations of the Cross, procession at the Colosseum.

He will preside over an Easter Vigil on Saturday and then celebrate Mass on Easter Sunday.

Holy Week commemorates Christ’s last week on earth and the events leading up to his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

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How like Jesus! No word of condemnation for these acknowledged ‘SINNERS’ in gaol for their offences in a Roman Prison. Not just a simple acceptance of their sinful state, either. Much, much more than that. Pope Francis, much like Jesus, and his own special namesake, Francis of Assisi, this pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church is willing to kneel at, wash and kiss the feet of sinners; asking their prayers for himself, saying that ‘he too needed to be cleansed of “my filth” .’

If only all Christians could emulate this epic charitable treatment of ‘fellow sinners’ in this world; how many more of its inhabitants may not become discipled to the Jesus, whose life and witness Pope Francis so admirably lives out in spiritual and corporeal acts of charity?

This Pope is a person who personifies what Jesus Christ himself would want all Christians to learn of Him – that Jesus Christ came into this world to save SINNERS. “I came not to save the righteous”, Jesus said, “but Sinners”. And the sooner the Body of Christ recognises that reality; the sooner they will be able to present the true intention of the God who, “So loved the world, that he gave His Only-Begotten Son”. This, too, is the mark of a Christian! We are ALL Sinners – redeemed by a loving God, through Christ!

Christ is risen, Alleluia. He is risen indeed, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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