Posted January 22, 2015
A Consultation of GAFCON Primates and Bishops of Africa was held in Nairobi on 3rd & 4th December 2014 to consider a response to the ”˜Transformation Through Friendship’ communiquÃ© released from New York on 28th October, signed by five African Primates, including the Chairman of CAPA (the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa), Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States.
A letter was sent from the Nairobi meeting to Archbishop Ntahoturi, copied to the other African Primates and as no reply has been received, the letter is now being made public in order to avoid misunderstanding.
The New York CommuniquÃ© does not speak for the Anglican Provinces of Africa and it is a matter of very great regret that the ”˜Continuing Indaba’ strategy has led to the division of African Anglicans.
The text of the Nairobi Consultation letter follows. Click here for a copy of the letter as sent and the New York CommuniquÃ© can be found at there.
The Archbishop of Rwanda was unable to attend the Nairobi Consultation or send representatives as the House of Bishops were meeting at the same time.
The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi
Archbishop of Burundi
4th December 2014
Dear Archbishop Bernard,
Please receive our greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus.
We write with a profound sense of distress about your actions in regard to the ”Transformation Through Friendship” gathering. We take strong exception with numerous points.
First, the document itself is a manipulation. It is in fact, not principally about “Friendship” but is in fact an attempt to further advance the unbiblical and false teaching of The Episcopal Church.Second, we reject the characterisation that the communiquÃ© represents “African Primates and Bishops.” Given that there is absolutely no acknowledgement that there are other African Primates and Bishops who do not agree, the document, of which you were a collaborator and signatory, presents itself falsely. It does not represent the faith of the overwhelming majority of African Christians. This is particularly offensive given your position as Chairman of CAPA. If you are to be able to continue in your position with integrity, we would need both an explanation and an apology. If you are not able to do so, we would ask you to step down as Chairman.
We are particularly grieved because “it is not an enemy that reproaches”¦ but it was you.” (Psalm 55:12-13) Given the fact that you are the Chairman of CAPA, and are supposed to represent the agreed positions of African Primates, your actions have created a tremendous obstacle to our participation in any CAPA gatherings until this can be properly sorted out.
Third, the theologically superficial approach of the “Friendship CommuniquÃ©” attempts to effect reconciliation without repentance. Not only did your presence validate unbiblical teaching and practice of The Episcopal Church (USA), but seeks to give momentum to a process which does not solve issues of salvific import. This is an example of teaching that is socially grounded rather than Biblically substantiated. By your presence, you validate unrepentant, unbiblical teaching and practice.
Fourth, we reject the process of “Indaba” as it is being implemented. Rather than seeking true resolution, it has been consistently manipulated only to recruit people to unbiblical positions. “Indaba” as currently practiced, is a fiction advancing human desires that are not informed by Gospel truth.
Fifth, the meeting uncritically proposes “Mission,” without recognising that there must be theological agreement about what purpose the mission pursues, as opposed to Biblical Mission which furthers the redemptive love of Christ through repentance and conversion.
Sixth, while we are certainly aware of the problem of poverty in Africa, we reject alliances that seek to capitalise on economic vulnerability to advance an agenda.
Dear Brother, we know that this agenda does not represent the faith of your Province, Diocese, or even your own heart. We call you to repentance and restoration to join with us in fellowship that is founded on Christ’s truth and is faithful to His Word. In keeping with our East African Revival heritage of repentance and confession, we long to have this resolved. Please know this letter comes not from malice but from a desire for godly fellowship to be restored.
The Most Rev’d Eliud Wabukala
Primate, the Anglican Church of Kenya,
Chairman GAFCON Primates Council
The Most Rev’d Nicholas D Okoh
Primate Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion),
Vice Chairman GAFCON Primates Council
The Most Rev’d Henri Isingoma
Primate, The Anglican Church of Congo
The Most Rev’d Stanley Ntagali
Primate, Church of Uganda
Bishop Isaac Ater
For the Most Rev’d Daniel Deng Bul
Primate, the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan
CC : The Most Rev. Albert Chama, ”¨Archbishop of Central Africa; The Most Rev. Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Southern Africa; The Most Rev. Jacob Chimeledya,”¨ Archbishop of Tanzania, The Most Rev. Daniel Sarfo, Archbishop of West Africa; Rev Canon Grace Kaiso.