Thinking Anglicans

seven Global South primates refuse communion

The following statement has been released via the website of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

SITTING AT THE LORD’S TABLE:
Statement from Global South Primates – This line has now been changed to read: Primates explain absence at Holy Eucharist

A number of the Global South Primates have not shared in the Holy Eucharist today with their fellow primates. They include Abp. Peter Akinola, Abp John Chew, Abp. Benjamin Nzimbi, Abp Justice Akrofi, Abp. Henry Orombi, Abp. Gregory Venables, and Abp. Emmanuel Kolini. They represent more than 30 million faithful Anglicans. They have released this statement:

“We each take the celebration of the Holy Eucharist very seriously. This deliberate action is a poignant reminder of the brokenness of the Anglican Communion. It makes clear that the torn fabric of the Church has been torn further. It is a consequence of the decision taken by our provinces to declare that our relationship with The Episcopal Church is either broken or severely impaired.

Scripture teaches that before coming to sit with one another at the Lord’s Table we must be reconciled. (Matthew 5:23-26 and 1 Corinthians 11:27-29) We have made repeated calls for repentance by The Episcopal Church and its leadership with no success. We continue to pray for a change of heart.

We are unable to come to the Holy Table with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church because to do so would be a violation of Scriptural teaching and the traditional Anglican understanding, “Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith” (Book of Common Prayer)

This is a painful decision for us and also for our host and brother, the Most Rev’d Donald Mtetemela. He understands our painful dilemma and accepts our decision. Pray for the Church.”

Friday, February 16, 2007
White Sands Hotel, Jangwani Beach, Tanzania

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NP
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NP

They have done the right thing, according to their consciences and to the scripture to which they refer

(remember the cause of this dates back to the actions of TEC is 2003)

Pete
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Pete

It is interesting that they have chosen to say “Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your
neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith” (Book of Common Prayer). Is this a sign of their recognition that they are not in “love and charity”, or do not “intend to lead a new life”?

Pete

Mrs. Patricia Hamilton
Guest
Mrs. Patricia Hamilton

Members of Global South should be reminded that we are all sinners of one kind or another. Not only are we all sinners, but we are also all made in the image of God, and all loved by Him. Praise be to Him for ever.

jeffreypeter
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jeffreypeter

The only real news is that there are fewer primates grand-standing than there were last year when they pulled this stunt.

The Global South seems very fond of throwing around numbers, in this statement, that they represent 30 million Anglicans, which one must assume is every single Anglican in their own province. By this logic, then ++Katharine represents every single Episcopalian in the USA. Additionally, if strength in numbers is the criterion for having Truth, we should all become Roman Catholics.

Roger Stokes
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Roger Stokes

It is unfortunate that a number of the Primates have decided not to receive communion at the same service as Katharine Jefferts Schori. They quote the Book of Common Prayer in justification of their action but perhaps they need to study it more carefully. Those who are not meant to receive communion are those who do not seek reconciliation. Are we to assume that Archbishop Akinola and the others do not seek reconciliation with the Episcopal Church? The implication of that is that they do not want to remain in the Communion and will continue to refuse aid from the… Read more »

James Dugan
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James Dugan

Does anyone know if the Primates who have declared a ‘broken’ communion attended the Eucharistic and heard the Word proclaimed and preached but did not receive the life giving sacrament? or do they have no need to even hear the Word?

badman
Guest
badman

I agree with Pete. None of the passages these Primates cite enjoins them to pass judgment on their fellow communicants; only on themselves. It might be different if these Primates were presiding at the eucharist in question; but that was not the case. The only passage which applies to their position is the one which condemns themselves, not their fellow communicants, for not being in love and charity with their neighbours. If they are so condemned, they should not be taking communion anywhere, from anyone, until they have reconciled themselves with their neighbours. Yet it does not seem that they… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Are people deliberately misunderstanding the actions of thes Primates?? They recognise that TEC and KJS are UNREPENTANT with regard to their actions in 2003 and so did not want to participate on that basis – knowing that there was an openly unrepentant attitude at the table and that others were turning a blind eye in their desperate attempt to try and hold everyone together – they did not pretend all was well for this fudged “unity” because it is not worth it and will not last long…..in fact, it lasts at most until the next VGR gets elected in TEC,… Read more »

Tobias Haller
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Tobias Haller

Pete, this would, then, no doubt be consistent with Archbishop Akinola’s statement reported in the New York Times, “Many people say I embarrass them with my humility.”

It is encouraging to see this as an act of public penance by the seven primates involved. It is up to the rest of the Primates then, to assure them they have been forgiven, and are welcome at the table, and that they have no need of further qualms or demonstrations.

Pepper Marts
Guest
Pepper Marts

By now we should be used to a subset of the GS Primates presuming to speak for all. (Sometimes that subset has contained but a single member.) Perhaps if I were to make a statement as thoroughly uncharitable as this opne I’d not want to appear alone, either.

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

We should note that at least four of these seven are not Windsor compliant in that they sponsor and encourage violations of another province’s boundares.

Perhaps they will choose to walk apart. That would be sad.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

So, there are the hardliners, and the basis of the new Fundamentalist Communion of Akinola

Thomas+
Guest

>They represent more than 30 million faithful Anglicans.<

Naturally, the primates represent their provinces in the same way that the Bishop (or a Standing Committee) is the Canonical Authority of a diocese. It is not an authorization to do whatever they want.

However, may be there is a group of primates believing in “L’eglise cest moi”!

David H.
Guest

So far, this is just a bunch of melodramatic, political grandstanding. “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (Macbeth)

Now if these holier-than-thou Princes in Purple really decide to withdraw from the AC, we might actually have some real news 😉

Rudy
Guest
Rudy

So what about this? 23-24″This is how I want you to conduct yourself in these matters. If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God. Matthew 5:23-24 (The Message) I’m serious — Katharine Jefferts Schori knows these guys have a grudge against her — shouldn’t she be the one abstaining and trying to work things out? This isn’t an idle question,… Read more »

Spiro
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Spiro

Mrs. Patricia Hamilton says: “Members of Global South should be reminded that we are all sinners of one kind or another.” Roger Stokes says: “Those who are not meant to receive communion are those who do not seek reconciliation.” And I ask: Is our current disagreement NOT stemming from the fact that ECUSA/TEC is pursuing a Cause, namely accepting Homosexual sex as a Blessing instead of a sinful conduct? As far as everyone can see, ECUSA/TEC is not regarding its actions as sinful and as needing repentance, so why are you guys casting a Guilt Robe on them when they… Read more »

Mark Bennet
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Mark Bennet

Sadly the text cited does not tell anyone to absent themselves from the table if they believe they are right and others are wrong. It is a call (based on the teaching of Jesus recorded in scripture) on each of us to respond to God’s initiative in relation to us by taking our own initiative in relation to others. When the human race ‘walked away’ from God, we didn’t see God walking in the opposite direction, but coming in Christ to meet us – the incarnation. There is deep theology here in relation to sin and repentance, and it is… Read more »

Curtis
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Curtis

If I’m following the logic of the Nigerian nay-sayers, and there’s no guarantee that I am. They are refusing communion with the American church, but the other primates that took communion with them are NOT refusing communion with them. Does that mean they’ve walked away from the Church of England also? Or more to the intent of my thought…do they VIEW the Church of England as apostate for not refusing the Episcopalians? Have they taken on the onus of “walking apart”?

cryptogram
Guest
cryptogram

I fear those bishops are so wrong. 1 They have spurned God’s invitation to his table 2 They have abused His sacrament for their own ends 3 They have examined others rather than themselves 4 They have deliberatley cut themselves off from the means of grace. Years ago I refused to take part in a Eucharist because Christian of other denominations had been invited to receive (this was long before it was a regular and accepted thing). I was utterly wrong and have regretted it ever since. The good that flowed from it was that I began to be committed… Read more »

Jay
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Jay

And here I thought only God has authority to judge.

Not only are they fancying themselves as God’s great authoritarian defenders and speaking for Him, they are judging themselves as having no need for repentance, blind to the sour fruit they often bear, and the many teachings of Scripture they downplay or ignore.

Bill Weems
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Bill Weems

At its convention last year The Episcopal Church compromised its own beliefs in reaching out to the conservatives of the Anglican Communion. Yet it is never enough. The coercive forces arrayed against TEC are engaged in a spiritual tyranny with its intellectual roots in the Inquisition. TEC has not made threats against those who seek power over us. TEC’s arms are open and there is always another seat at the table. While those who seek to deny us a seat and a place at the table continue their angry threats to harm TEC and the Anglican Communion if TEC does… Read more »

Priscilla Ballou
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Priscilla Ballou

Since they have acknowledged their sinfulness and the fact that they are in need of reconciliation, perhaps there should be an opportunity to confess and receive their penance and absolution? That is what they are, in effect, saying — that their knowledge of their sin is keeping them from receiving with their brothers and sister.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Roger, I somehow don’t think the economic effects will be as bad as you fear. First, it sticks in the craw of +Akinola et al to be on the receiving end of charity, understandably so. Indeed, looking beyond homosexuality, he has been very vocal in the African churches finding self-sufficiency. He uses his anti-colonialism for good as well as evil:-) He can always claim, as would I, that God will provide. Finally, don’t think that the only American money he has access to is that of TEC.

JPM
Guest
JPM

An appropriate act, since the Akinolans are most certainly not in love and charity with their neighbors.

Charlotte
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Charlotte

The seven Primates refusing Communion are those who are in too deep to draw back from schism. I think we can expect them to announce their break with the Anglican Communion before or shortly after the Primates’ Meeting is over. (Let us hope they don’t announce themselves as a schism of the “Global South,” while their American backers fiddle with the numbers implied.) However, since Archbishop Akinola is due to retire shortly, his attempt at schism can be ignored by the rest of the Communion, who can resolutely count him as “not present” at future meetings. Once his retirement date… Read more »

Spiro
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Spiro

Roger Stokes says: “The implication of that is that they do not want to remain in the Communion and will continue to refuse aid from the Episcopal Church.” Dear Roger, You really don’t get it! Do you think the Episcopal Church has any material thing of its own to offer to anyone? Do you think Genuine Christians look up to man, (especially morally bankrupt and Christ dishonoring people) for sustenance instead of God? The Lord of Hosts who feed His people in the Desert still feeds His people everywhere. He has the Wealth of the Nations in the Palm of… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith” (Book of Common Prayer) This is the BCP which I grew up with. I took – and take – these words to be a serious invitation to an examination of conscience, not an invitation to judge others. So may I assume – as some have suggested – that ++Akinola and his companions have performed an examination… Read more »

James
Guest
James

I sense the communion service went something like this: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this… Read more »

matthew hunt
Guest
matthew hunt

Thank you, Thomas+, for referring to that. I was (and still am) going to ask, sincerely: where does this idea come from that archbishops ‘represent’ those people in their ‘juristiction’ (as it were))? Is this strictly ‘Biblikcal’? They speak as if it were a democracy. Who are they kidding? Akinola represents Akinola and Akinola’s take on Christianity. For some reason he and his fellow ‘representatives’ seem to think that every single name associated with anglican Christianity in thier diocese agree with them absolutely. I’m English Anglican (barely still). Williams does not represent me, nor does Santemu. I thought priests were… Read more »

EP
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EP

i know there is disagreement regarding whether tec has lapsed into sin but assuming (for the moment — some must suspend their disbelief) that tec has lapsed are you now saying that priests are no longer to discpline by withholding Communion ? have we forgotten the bcp ? Quoting: If a Minister be persuaded that any person who presents himself to be a partaker of the holy Communion ought not to be admitted thereunto by reason of malicious and open contention with his neighbours, or other grave and open sin without repentance, he shall give an account of the same… Read more »

Tobias Haller
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Tobias Haller

By the way, I thought the Primates were not supposed to be releasing statements or otherwise commenting on the meeting until after it was over. Could this explain the rather late revision to the title — which in no way changes the fact that a statement was released?

BobinWashPA
Guest
BobinWashPA

I would think it is GOD’s Job to acknowledge if TEC has truly made ammends (if it needed to in the first place). Be you conservative or liberal we must remember that Judgement is God’s and God’s alone. Imagine a conversation in which we say to the Almighty, “God, you didn’t inflict enough pain on that sinner, or “God, don’t you think you need to smite this or that person, maybe send a tornado to do some harm?” How about, “God, they really don’t love you, I know that for a fact.” Do we really think we can do the… Read more »

Weiwen Ng
Guest

Spiro, “And I ask: Is our current disagreement NOT stemming from the fact that ECUSA/TEC is pursuing a Cause, namely accepting Homosexual sex as a Blessing instead of a sinful conduct?” the problem is right here. these Primates and their followers are obsessed with “homosexual sex”, more so than most of the actual homosexuals I know. it’s so dirty to them that they can’t stand to be in the same room with people who don’t share their opinion. This is not about sex. this is about people, and it is about relationships. the Episcopal Church did all it could to… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

I weep that ++Akinola (and the other self-excommunicated primates) have so much hatred in their hearts.

The deny themselves the One Kind of Food which might nourish their souls, and fill the God-shaped hole deep inside them.

Indeed, as the excommunicate urge, I will pray for the Church—that the Church continue to reach out to ALL in need of Christ’s Love.

Lord have mercy!

[Beyond that: it is a small (but significant) comfort, that fewer self-excommunicated here, than 3 years ago at Dromantine. I chalk that up to ++KJS clear, powerful witness—and the Holy Spirit’s! ;-)]

Spiro
Guest
Spiro

Weiwen Ng says: “the Anglican Communion has always survived with diverse theological views.” and then continues: “…but if you insist on walking, I suggest that if you can get past the transubstantiation bit, the Roman Catholic Church might be a better place for you.” (End of Quote) Friends and Foes, therein is the problem with this whole issue: On one hand the Revisionists say Theological Issues/Differences are not Communion-dividing matters, and then, without blinking an eye, they remind everyone that THEOLOGICAL differences, such as “transubstantiation,” are the reasons why we are not in full communion with the RC. Either theological… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Charlotte wrote “The seven Primates refusing Communion are those who are in too deep to draw back from schism.” This is why it is best to avoid extreme responses one paints oneself into a corner where one has to surrender ones pride for true healing to begin. I have found myself contemplating the parallel with the Iraq war in the last few days. Australia’s PM commented the other day that the US can’t withdraw now because it will look they will have lost and that is unacceptably humiliating for the most powerful nation in the world. So here we have… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“It did answer a question concerning our episcopal visit in March. I had made up my mind I would not take communion from my bishop, Bob Duncan. I will receive communion with Robert Duncan when he visits.” Good for you. I do believe that Christ can reconcile us when we come to the Table even as we might be unaware. There is a man in my congregation who worked for a state senator who was aggresively anti-gay. He – the legislative assistant – and I could not be further apart on that and other political issues. We had some heated… Read more »

bls
Guest

“Do you think Genuine Christians look up to man, (especially morally bankrupt and Christ dishonoring people) for sustenance instead of God?”

I see you have a very, very high opinion of yourselves as Genuine Christians®, and a very, very low opinion of certain people who sit in the pews and pray with you.

I think there’s a little story about that somewhere, isn’t there? Ah, yes. It’s found in Luke 18, and is one of the most wonderful of passages….

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

++Peter Jasper Akinola, ++John Chew et al., apart from grand-standing, are innovators, ignorant of the Anglican tradition. Would their Graces read the Anglican Divine’s great Poem: “Love bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back…” (by George Herbert)? Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back, Guilty of dust and sin. But quick-ey’d Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning, If I lack’d any thing… You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat: So I did sit and eat. (Love, the Host at every Eucharist, is none other… Read more »

Robert Leduc
Guest
Robert Leduc

And to examine the flip side of the coin….

I guess this means that essentially all but 7 of the primates are quite willing to receive communion alongside the Presiding Bishop [with appropriate disclaimers for those absent from the meeting as noted elsewhere].

It does not appear that a majority of the primates will concur with the Global Seven on extreme sanctions against TEC.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Rudy, your comment “…when my wife and I argue, she tells me I can’t go to communion until we reconcile, even though I feel fine.” has been niggling at me. I think that is one of the problems – lack of empathy. I feel fine, so it doesn’t matter how others feel (especially if they are women and particularly if I am married to them). After all, God told her that she has to love me unconditionally, so of course she will forgive me for my transgressions, callousness and omittance in attending to her needs. As long as I am… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

It is interesting that Akinola and now Michael Poon has broken with the agreed channels of communication for Primates during the meeting.

We may see more of this tomorrow.

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

And just when I thought everyone was going to be gracious and act like adults…

sigh.

Tim
Guest

Well, seems pretty obvious to me that they’re trying to walk apart and pin the blame on TEC. Wouldn’t be the first time in the past year that I’ve been reading about Akinola’s antics.

Of course, the problem for those who wish they’d just finally up-sticks and go, is: if they leave the Communion, what’s to stop these “Global South” folks setting up their stall in the US for real, not just this shim organization CANA?

Shawn+
Guest
Shawn+

They didn’t just refuse to commune with the P.B.–they also refused the +++ABC, which, by definition, places them outside the historical Anglican Communion. My prayers continue to be for all Christians, in and out of the Anglican Communion. We can certainly do that much! There are no winners or losers here, in spite of what radical voices on the far left or far right claim.

Giles Goddard
Guest

It’s sad in so many ways. It’s sad because it’s an abuse of the eucharist. It’s sad because the primates involved have confused their belief in a particular kind of Christianity with the inexhaustible love of God and in so doing cut themselves off from that love as expressed in the sacrament. It’s sad because they feel the need to take this position in order to ensure that their voices are heard. But most of all it’s sad because it’s not an act to with Jesus, it’s a political act, an attempt to regain control over the agenda which they… Read more »

Ann Marie Nicklin
Guest

The Prayer of Humble Access says: We do not presume to come to this thy table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy to gatherup the crumbs under thy table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy: So often we understand these things as relating or focusing on us and our actions or state of being. The point of fact is that they focus on God. It is not our sinfulness that should be the focus but God’s mercy. It’s not other’s… Read more »

Joe H
Guest
Joe H

Tim, there will be nothing to prevent them from setting up their stalls. In the US we have so many stalls that one more will hardly matter. It would also mean that TEC, hopefully through the AC, would be free to bring the truly good news of God’s love to those areas of the Global South were it is apparently not proclaimed.

Pluralist
Guest

Perhaps there is a kind of atonement theology here: that these seven did not go to the eucharist so that others may be able to go (something like that)… It is a lower number than previously, but this comes after the Windsor Report with its 66.7% pass (as the cartoon puts it – but the 33.3% bit was a kind of neutral and in today’s marking a non-negative needs the benefit of the doubt). Plus the press conference indicated difficult discussion ongoing. Clearly Akinola is not going to end CANA, and his Church website wants to announce who was absent,… Read more »

Fr Joseph O&apos;Leary
Guest

“Either theological differences matter or they don’t. Time to make up your polluted mind, you Revisionists.”

The meta-question is: when does a theological difference matter so much that it destroys the unity in faith of a church?

Anglicans have a good record of living together in amity despite a vast spectrum of theological differences.

The current disagreements about gays are the same that are found in every society, family and church in the world today. It is unwise to erect them into make-or-break church unity issues. The debate is fluid and ongoing, and demands from everyone great patience with differences.