Category : Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh’s Gafcon Chairman’s October 2017 letter

Anglicanism claims to be an expression of Reformed Catholic Christianity, but the Canterbury [Partial] Primates Meeting held earlier this month shows once again that the Anglican Communion is in urgent need of a new reformation. I and a number of brother Primates (representing between us over half of practising Anglicans worldwide) did not attend as a matter of conscience. We cannot ‘walk together’ with those who have abandoned the teaching of the Bible, but that is what the Communiqué issued from the meeting encourages us to do. The painful truth is that the authority of Scripture is being replaced by the authority of Canterbury.

There is no mention in the Communiqué of Lambeth Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference where the vast majority of the Communion’s bishops reaffirmed the Bible’s teaching on marriage and sexuality, including the clear statement that homosexual practice is contrary to Scripture.

Same-sex ‘marriage’ is referred to merely as a difference of understanding while the only call to repentance is to those who have crossed provincial boundaries to support orthodox brothers and sisters unchurched by leaders who have rejected God’s Word.

The Conference also affirmed the LGBTI community and their lifestyle, while unequivocally disowning the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), an orthodox Anglican Province.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Nigeria, GAFCON, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017

[Fulcrum] Andrew Goddard on the recent Partial Primates Meeting (II)–Walking Together at Lambeth 2020?

Summary: Building on the analysis of walking together in the first part (which can be found here), this article explores the problems faced by the Lambeth Conference in 2008 and how they continue to be present as we approach Lambeth 2020. In order to enable as close and truthful a walking together as possible it suggests the Conference may combine the two forms of conference we have known and build on the decisions of the Primates in 2016 and 2017 about consequences for unilaterally departing from Communion teaching. This could take the form of a non-resolution gathering (as in 2008) in which all provinces and ecumenical partners walked together despite the significant distance between them followed by a more deliberative assembly passing resolutions (as before 2008) involving those living in a higher degree of communion and committed to intensifying that communion.

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Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, Ecclesiology, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017

[Fulcrum] Andrew Goddard on the recent Partial Primates Meeting (I)–Walking Together?: Past and Present

Summary: The language of walking together to describe the current state and structures of the Anglican Communion needs more nuance and more detailed and theological analysis. This article attempts to begin developing the theme by setting walking together in a wider context than its recent use by the primates, including The Windsor Report’s language of walking apart, and by recognizing that the primates have also acknowledged impairment and significant distance even as they speak of walking together.

It then argues that the language is best approached from a wider, ecumenical perspective as a goal to be sought not just among Communion provinces. As such, within the reality of a fractured Church, we have to acknowledge degrees of communion and different ways of seeking to walk together that also recognize the reality of walking at a distance. By paying attention to this distance within Anglicanism we may be better able to find ways to maintain and even deepen the levels of communion we currently have.

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Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, Ecclesiology, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017

David Ould–Partial Anglican Primates meeting abandons the Scottish faithful

The reality is that the “consequences” agreed to at the 2016 Primates’ meeting have been all but ignored. The Anglican Consultative Council chose to effectively ignore the Primates’ request and the Archbishop of Canterbury, rather than insisting that they were implementing, simply accepted the outcome. Hence the language in this year’s communiqué that he “will take steps within his authority”. i.e., where he has no “authority” there is no chance of anything happening. The Primus of the SEC, Bishop Mark Strange, must have been quaking in his boots at that one.

Worse was to come:

We discussed difficulties arising from cross-border interventions, agreeing that the principles were clearly stated from the Council of Nicaea onwards and in the 1998 Lambeth Conference. We recognised that there were opportunities for joint initiatives and mission partnerships for the benefit of the Gospel where these are agreed between Provinces. However consent was critical to any inter-provincial collaboration and it was essential that courtesy and love should be extended to Provinces at all times.

Attempts to deal with breaches of consent and courtesy should be made in regional Primates’ Meetings and only referred to the Secretary General and the Archbishop of Canterbury as a last resort. We recognised that persistent and deliberate non-consensual cross-border activity breaks trust and weakens our communion.

We recognised that there is a need for a season of repentance and renewal including where interventions may have happened without prior permission having being sought.

These are three paragraphs that expose just how poor the outcome of this meeting was. First note the language used here which refers to the recent GAFCON consecration of Andy Lines. It is a “breach of consent and courtesy” which is “persistent and deliberate” and “non-consensual”. It “breaks trust and weakens our communion” and requires “repentance and renewal”.

Compare to the language used above of the SEC’s actions: “the distance that exists in our relationships due to deep differences in understanding on same sex marriage”. You would think that it was simply a misunderstanding by family members. The language is clearly not as strong. Further there is zero mention of the ongoing position of TEC and the Canadian Church (ACC). If there is persistent and deliberate action then surely it is the absolute refusal of TEC, Canada, Scotland (and perhaps, soon, New Zealand) to desist from their path of deliberately rejecting Jesus’ words on what marriage is. Yet it is not even mentioned, let alone in the tone of language reserved for GAFCON. The remedial action is roundly criticised yet the heresy (for that is what it is) that caused the crisis is treated like a spat between siblings.

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Posted in - Anglican: Analysis, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017

The Scottish Anglican Network Statement on the Partial Meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion

From here:

The Scottish Anglican Network is grateful to the GAFCON primates who gave courageous leadership by not attending the meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion this week. We are thankful too for the GAFCON Primates and others who did attend and who robustly supported the complementary nature of biblical marriage.

The Scottish Episcopal Church now faces the same consequences as The Episcopal Church (USA). Although these consequences are very mild indeed, they indicate that the SEC has departed from the faith once given, and that many provinces are now in seriously impaired communion with it.

We know that, “Godly sorrow brings repentance” (2 Corinthians 7:10a). We hope that the intention of the Primates’ meeting, despite the Scottish Primus’ clear determination to not turn back from the decision of his province, is to allow the Scottish Episcopal Church time to repent of the damage it is doing by its schismatic action. The sad alternative is that this is poor leadership hoping that the problem will somehow go away.

We pray that the Holy Spirit will convict the leadership of the SEC of this need to repent and that the Primates of the Anglican Communion will continue to uphold the orthodox understanding of marriage.

Posted in Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017, Scottish Episcopal Church

Thoughts on the Partial Primates Meeting from Archbishop Gregory Venables

Are The Primates Walking Together?

What was identified clearly in the meeting is that some aren’t walking together, some are walking together but at a distance, and some are walking together. But even those three ways of grouping that situation don’t deal with the issue. The issue is, why aren’t people walking together? And we aren’t walking together because the situation has not been dealt with.

Does it Matter?

People are being led away from the truth. People are being led away from the safe place that God has provided in his Son Jesus Christ who died for our sin. He didn’t just die to affirm us and get on because everything is alright. He died because we were in rebellion and separated eternally from God. So a sort of “sanction” might look fine for those who are looking for some way of saying, ‘well, it’s not right.’

Read it all.

Posted in Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017

(Gafcon Uk) Response from Bishop Andy Lines to the Primates’ Communiqué

The Bishop Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church played a leading role in the Primates’ Conference. Although there was talk of ‘consequences’ for SEC’s action, he was unrepentant, and showed no concern for those under his care who cannot accept the decision to redefine marriage. They now feel betrayed and de-churched. Meanwhile millions of Anglicans will be concerned that the Communiqué does not appear to express any view on the actions of SEC or the thinking behind it.

The document does not address false teaching, but focuses on ‘border crossing’ as if it is more harmful. I take the long-established view of orthodox Anglicans across the world, that we cannot make an equivalence between Provinces who choose to abandon key aspects of biblical theology and ethics, tearing the fabric of the Communion and putting souls in danger, and those who respond to calls for help from faithful Anglicans within those Provinces. My role as Gafcon missionary Bishop is clearly needed more than ever: to provide ministry to and encourage emerging congregations of faithful Anglicans in Britain outside the official structures.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Primates, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017

(CEN) Andrew Carey on the Partial Primates meeting–The big picture behind ‘good disagreement’

The hope of the Anglican hierarchy is to drag the agenda of this week’s Primates’ Meeting away from the…[sex outside of marriage] issue, which has been unresolved since 2003.

Archbishop Justin Welby will undoubtedly have some success in this aim. For one thing, three Primates of the most outspokenly orthodox provinces have confirmed they will not attend the meeting. They are the Archbishops of Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.

For another thing, the powers-that-be have already determined that the Scottish Episcopal Church will follow the North American Churches into the naughty corner. In other words they will not be allowed to sit on the standing committee or represent the Anglican Communion on ecumenical or doctrinal committees.

The fact that this discipline clearly doesn’t work in that it hasn’t brought provinces back into line with Christian teaching is all part of the plan for ‘good disagreement’. In other words, ‘discipline’ is merely a fig leaf to hold enough people at the table until those pesky traditionalists have got bored and wandered off.

–From the Church of England Newspaper, Octpber 7, 2017, edition; subscriotions are ecnouraged

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Gafcon responds to the 2017 Partial Primates Meeting–Can Two Walk Together Unless They Are Agreed?

The Primates’ Meeting has been portrayed as “good disagreement” over issues of sexuality, and that the irreconcilable theological convictions underlying the different positions can be set aside for the sake of institutional unity. But this does not reflect the reality. We are not “walking together.”[3]

Of most significance is the fact that several primates, including the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Gafcon Primates’ Council have refused to attend the meeting. In the words of Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Church of Nigeria, “Attendance at Canterbury would be to give credibility to a pattern of behaviour which is allowing great damage to be done to global Anglican witness and unity.”[4]

The consciences of others led them to attend, to make a robust defence of the Gospel. They bore faithful witness to the authority of Scripture’s unchanging teaching on marriage and human relationships. Unfortunately, the primates’ call to repentance was not heeded by those who have sought to redefine marriage. Without repentance there can be no reconciliation.

Again we have seen the “inability of existing Communion instruments to discern truth and error and take binding ecclesiastical action. The instruments have again been found wanting in their ability to discipline those leaders who have abandoned the biblical and historic faith.”[5] The rejection of Scripture and the changes in pastoral practice which have been initiated by The Episcopal Church, Anglican Church of Canada, and the Scottish Episcopal Church have torn the fabric of the Communion. For this reason we are grateful for those primates who have consecrated a missionary bishop to care for the faithful in Scotland. There is no moral equivalence between border crossing, which arises, “from a deep concern for the welfare of Anglicans in the face of innovation”, and the innovations themselves (Dar es Salaam Communique 2007).

Read it all.

Posted in Global South Churches & Primates, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017

(Archbp Cranmer Blog) Adrian Hilton ‘Anglican Communion News Service smears GAFCON and manipulates Archbishop of Canterbury’

When Canon [Andrew] Gross was asked by a journalist to comment on the matter of Bishop Michael Curry presiding at Evensong, the context was not linked to the Las Vegas shooting. Only later, in fact, was it learned that the Primates had asked Bishop Curry to lead them in prayer for Las Vegas, but he had not presided over anything, as Canon Gross had been led to believe.

When Gavin Drake (who, you must remember, is editor of the Anglican Communion News Service) put his question to the Archbishop of Canterbury (his ultimate boss), it was not a casual query to elicit grace and enlightenment, but a pointed attempt to score a hit against GAFCON. It was not only premeditated slander wholly lacking in Christian virtue and professional journalistic integrity, but an egregious manipulation to elicit outrage from the Archbishop of Canterbury who was asked to respond to a false accusation that GAFCON had said it was wrong for Bishop Curry to lead prayers in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting.

They had said no such thing.

The Rev’d Canon Andrew Gross had never said any such thing.

Apologies to him, once again, for simply trusting the ACNS story, which was, in fact, nothing but Anglican fake news.

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Posted in Anglican Primates, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017

(CEN) Primates at the partial Anglican Primates Meeting ‘should be honest about divisions,’ says Gafcon

A Gafcon spokesman told The Church of England Newspaper:“If trust in the Communion is to begin to be restored, the sanctions need to be deeper, wider, and credible. Provinces that have torn the fabric of the Communion by redefining marriage have chosen to walk apart,” a spokesman said.

“They should not receive Lambeth 2020 invitations. The Episcopal Church made their decision over a decade ago, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada have joined them. They are walking in the opposite direction. We aren’t walking together. We should be honest about those facts….”

Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, the Very Rev Kevin Holdsworth, said this week: “When people talk about the Primates issuing sanctions, they have forgotten that the meeting is not a disciplinary body but is there to allow the Primates to listen to one another.

“The Scottish Episcopal Church decided to stay together over same-sex nuptials and the Communion could decide to do exactly the same,” he said.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Anglican Primates, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(GAFCON) The Anglican Primates are not Walking Together

Archbishop Ntagali, the Primate of Uganda and Vice-Chairman of Gafcon has said, ‘if we are not walking in the same direction, how can we walk together?’

In no way can these leaders, with the Archbishop of Rwanda, be said to be ‘walking together.’ They have chosen to witness to the truth by their absence.

The presence of the Primates from Canada and the United States and the absence of Archbishop Foley Beach whose Church is recognised by Anglicans around the world, is a further testimony to a Communion in which the leaders are not walking together.

Several of the other primates who are attending the meeting are equally concerned about the divisions over the authority of scripture within the Communion, but intend to remain in defence of the Gospel. The Primates are not walking together. At best, they say, “they are walking at a distance.” At worst, they are walking in different directions.

Surely public statements need to reflect reality rather than mere wishfulness.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Nigeria, Church of Rwanda, Church of Uganda, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology: Scripture

(ACNS) Anglican Partial Primates Meeting discussions focus on evangelism and discipleship

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Primates, Evangelism and Church Growth, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017

Anglican Ink’s article on the Partial Primates Meeting as of Last Evening

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017

(AI) Some African Anglicans stooges of some wealthy Americans, affirms Idowu-Fearon

The secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon has reaffirmed remarks given last December to the Church of Ireland Gazette the Anglican Churches in Africa were being manipulated by American conservatives for political ends.

At a 3 Oct 2017 press conference at the primates meeting in Canterbury, Dr. Idowu-Fearon was asked if he stood by his earlier comments. “I have not seen anything to contrary and so I still maintain the statement I made,” he said.

In an interview with The Church of Ireland Gazette, Dr Idowu-Fearon said: “The very strong minority conservatives, not in the UK but in America, they have found a footing amongst some of the leaders in Africa,” he said. “They are the ones that sort of pumped this thing into the leaders, and the leaders decided to make it an African thing. It is not an African thing. There are homo­sexuals everywhere — even in my diocese.”

He further denied that there were tensions between African Christians and Muslims.  “It’s not true. It has not stopped church growth in my part of Nigeria. . . Nobody talks about it.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Africa, Anglican Primates, Partial Primates meeting Canterbury 2017