Friday, 27 April 2012

More about GAFCON and AMiE

The Church Times has this report by Ed Thornton We should elect our chair, say Primates (and scroll down for sidebar on Archbishop Wabukala’s keynote address).

…The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, who was chairing the press briefing, sought to clarify that the Primates were suggesting the election of a chairman of the Primates’ Meeting, not “some sort of super-leader of the Anglican Communion. . . We’re not talking about a chairman of the Anglican Com­munion, but a chairman of the Primates’ Council, and one therefore able to gather the Primates.”

Asked if any Primate, such as the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the US, would be eligible to stand as chairman, Dr Wabukala said that the position should be open to “those who subscribe to what the Anglican Communion stands for”.

Asked to elaborate further, he said that the Jerusalem Declaration, which was drawn up at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem in 2008 (News, 4 July 2008), “captures exactly what almost every­body is looking for”. When asked about Primates who would not endorse the Declara­tion, Dr Wabukala said: “That means self-exclusion. It’s not a covenant to sign to ex­clude you, but it is the faith that people pro­fess to which you may not be comfortable.” He went on: “Of course, the fact that one [chair­man] is elected, that means he is ac­cepted by all of us.”

Spokespeople for Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion Office both declined to comment on the idea suggested by the two Primates.

Amaris Cole reported for the Church of England Newspaper Conference: ‘It’s time for us to elect the chairman of the Primates’

…The FCA asserts this leader will not replace the traditional role Archbishops such as Dr Rowan Williams have played, a figure who will still be ‘respected’. Speaking before the conference, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh said: “He will not be an Anglican Pope.” Instead they hope this figure, whom Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Chairman of GAFCON, said would have tenure of four to five years and be elected by the Primates themselves, will be the next step of the ‘forward-looking’ movement. “The Commonwealth has changed and they now elect somebody to lead without prejudice to Her Majesty the Queen and so it is the same thing,” Archbishop Okoh said. “The Church of the independent countries are no longer in the British Empire – we must make some changes.”

The Archbishops hesitated when asked what would happen if the elected chairman were to be a member of the American Episcopal Church, but it was decided as this figure would be elected by all the Primates, it’s unlikely such a chair would be selected. The conference was also used to announce that the FCA is calling for GAFCON II in May next year, although the location is unknown. This meeting has been called ‘in the face of revisionist attempts to change basic doctrines and turn Christianity merely into a movement for social betterment.’ The Archbishops did not deny that these ‘revisionist attempts’ were partly because of the handling of homosexuality, but said: “the Bible is very clear.” The FCA hopes to bring the Communion back to its primary calling – to preach the Gospel, with social action being secondary to this. The Archbishops again argued they are in Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The GAFCON website has some audio, videos and photos of the event all linked from here.

This Statement at the Celebration of the Anglican Communion at Emmanuel Centre, Westminster was issued by the Anglican Mission in England yesterday. The full text is copied below the fold.

According to this report LONDON: FCA Leaders will not break with Canterbury

Fellowship of Confessing Anglican leaders meeting at St. Mark’s Battersea heard Bishop Michael Nazir Ali say that the intention of the FCA is not to break with the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Anglican Communion but they will continue to support orthodox dioceses and parishes in liberal and revisionist provinces like the US and Canada.

Despite a media blackout, VOL has learned that the 200 global Anglican leaders including archbishops from Australia, (Peter Jensen) Nigeria, (Nicholas Okoh) Kenya, (Eliud Wabukala), the US (ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan) Latin America (Hector “Tito” Zavala), Congo, (Henri Isingoma), and (Onesphorus Rwaje) Rwanda and a slew of bishops from the US, Canada and the Global South, FCA’s goal is to ensure that orthodoxy prevails and those who are suffering as a result will be supported and given spiritual and ecclesial aid even though the days of cross border “violations” has ended.

Some of the US bishops included Mark Lawrence of South Carolina and Keith Ackerman formerly of Quincy. The largest contingent is from Nigeria.

While it has not been publicly raised, the intention is that the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) will, in time, be recognized as a legitimate province of the Anglican Communion…

And this:

…Asked what the group thought of the possibility of the 62-year old Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York becoming the next Archbishop of Canterbury the reviews were mixed.

Sentamu is seen as a black evangelical twin of Dr. Rowan Williams, that is, he is evangelical and orthodox as well as socially conscious but he is an institutionalist at heart and he won’t rock the boat. “I don’t see him disciplining the American or Canadian Anglican provinces for their heretical acts. He will not come down on them; he will continue to support them for the sake of maintaining Anglican unity. The FCA will provide the needed support in the ongoing realignment and they will continue to support the faithful.”

Writing at Changing Attitude Colin Coward comments on the parish venue for the conference:

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans Leaders Conference is meeting from 23 to 27 April at St Mark’s Battersea Rise, South London.

St Mark’s is the next parish to St Barnabas Clapham Common where the Revd David Page was the Vicar for 17 years. David was the first chair of Changing Attitude trustees and Changing Attitude’s first office was in St Barnabas vicarage.

The congregation of St Mark’s Battersea Rise know little about the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans or the GAFCON movement. The Vicar, the Revd Paul Perkin, chooses not to inform the congregation of his key involvement with these groups. St Mark’s is a congregation which includes a number of lesbian and gay people, including couples in civil partnerships. Paul Perkin is fully aware of their presence. They worship there because at the grass roots, they experience St Mark’s congregation as being open and welcoming.

The Church is the people. The people are defining the nature of Christian ethos and witness in each parish, not the clergy (though this is a great fantasy for clergy). The people, not the hierarchy, are building in each place a church of the people and for the people, inspired by the Spirit of God working in the heart of each person…

AMiE Statement from here:

The next few months will increasingly reveal the direction being taken by the Church of England regarding two matters:

  • its position regarding issues of marriage and sexuality, especially in the light of the church’s response to the government consultation and recent letters from a small group of mainly retired bishops,
  • and secondly the provision or not for the inclusion of those who hold to traditional understandings of the bible on matters of ministry.

We have established, and this week confirmed the principle that orthodox Anglicans who despite repeated efforts cannot receive oversight in the Church of England can continue to belong together with other orthodox Anglicans and minister with recognition within the global Anglican communion.

The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in this region is a fellowship of those anywhere in the UK and Ireland, including the Diocese of Europe, who can affirm the Jerusalem Declaration. Within it the Anglican Mission in England is not an institution, but a framework that is taking shape as it responds to those needing to receive help in their own dioceses. AMiE has two particular features:

  • It is a registered Mission Society dedicated to support growing and planting churches, and providing ministers and oversight for those churches, and secondly
  • It has a Panel of Bishops authorised by the FCA Primates Council to provide that oversight

The Primates of the FCA have assured us that, through instruments now available in this country, including the panel of bishops of the Anglican Mission in England and the FCA UK, those who might otherwise have been under pressure to leave the Church of England can remain within the family of global Anglicanism and be recognized by that body as faithful to the Church of England itself.

At the FCA Leadership Conference this Monday, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala reported in his Chairman’s keynote address: ‘Last year, it became clear that provision needs to be made for England too. The Anglican Mission in England was formed last June after four years of discussion with senior Anglican leaders in England had failed to find a way in which those genuinely in need of effective orthodox oversight in the Church of England could receive it’.

The AMiE has already acted to provide oversight to churches, including arranging the ordination of some ministers. For the future it is ready to extend this ministry, and to expand its panel of bishops accordingly. Parish Incumbents who affirm the Jerusalem Declaration are invited to meet on Wednesday 27th June to pray and make progress together.

So we pledge our support for all those who are orthodox in faith, who are experiencing pressure, and who wish to continue as Anglicans with international affirmation from the worldwide Anglican church. You have a clear identity as Anglicans through our common commitment to the faith contained in the Jerusalem Declaration.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 9:48am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion | Church of England
Comments

>> Asked if any Primate, such as the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the US, would be eligible to stand as chairman, Dr Wabukala said that the position should be open to “those who subscribe to what the Anglican Communion stands for”.

Sorry but from a Canadian point of view, the Anglican Communion seems to stand for hands open for money from North America but telling them to shut up otherwise.

Posted by: Randal Oulton on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 10:42am BST

Well now we know..the Anglican Communion is now a confessional body based on the Jerusalem Declaration. Anyone told the C of E?

Posted by: Perry Butler on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 11:28am BST

'that the intention of the FCA is not to break with the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Anglican Communion'

Too late for that. They HAVE already broken with Canterbury and therefore, with the Anglican Communion.


Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 1:33pm BST

I am glad that Colin Coward has revealed how the St Mark's parish and buildings and name, is being used without the knowledge of the congregation; and I assume without the permission of the PCC.

I see how FCA works on the ground as well as in the stratosphere.

A very arrogant approach.

David Page was a marvellous minister and person.


Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 1:36pm BST

Anybody hear of Minns lately? He's the London office director, no?

Posted by: John B. Chilton on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 2:05pm BST

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that a house (or houses) built on a foundation of disciplining by exclusion the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church in the US is bound to be weak?

As Rowan made encouraging noises to ACNA, did he not foresee that the chickens would come home to roost in England?

Posted by: Grandmère Mimi on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 6:58pm BST

'St Mark’s is a congregation which includes a number of lesbian and gay people, including couples in civil partnerships. Paul Perkin is fully aware of their presence. They worship there because at the grass roots, they experience St Mark’s congregation as being open and welcoming.'

Jolly good. This is very widespread. So often 'spokespersons' speak only, or largely, for themselves.

Posted by: John on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 7:07pm BST

Rather disingenuous when they say that the chairman of the Primates' Meeting is not going to be "some sort of super-leader of the Anglican Communion". Don't they want the Primates to be the only body that matters, to wield disciplinary power, to define doctrine, etc.?

As to the choice of venue, it provides a very concrete example of just how out of step this so-called leadership is with the People of God.

Posted by: Jim Pratt on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 7:41pm BST

"Spokespeople for Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion Office both declined to comment on the idea suggested by the two Primates."
Dr Peter Jensen is not a Primate TBTG.
Dr Phillip Aspinall, Archbishop of Brisbane is Primate of Australia and is far more worthy of the post.

Posted by: Brian Ralph on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 8:20pm BST

Asked if any Primate, such as the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the US, would be eligible to stand as chairman, Dr Wabukala said that the position should be open to “those who subscribe to what the Anglican Communion stands for."

Which of course only FCA can discern.

Posted by: Jeremy on Friday, 27 April 2012 at 8:33pm BST

Yeah ... I can see a major blowup coming if the GAFCON Primates try to take over the Primates Meeting and force everyone to hold to their line. I wouldn't even care to bet in their favor on their ability to get Canterbury to surrender the prerogative of calling the meeting.

Posted by: Jonathan on Saturday, 28 April 2012 at 4:58am BST

Such hubris from Messrs. Nazir-Ali and Jensen would be risible, if not for their clear intention to undermine the Unity in Diversity ethos of the traditional Anglican Communion.

Perhaps these so-called 'confessing anglicans' ought be given their come-uppance speedily, before they further infiltrate into the very heart-land of the Church of England.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 28 April 2012 at 7:12am BST

So was this a Gafcon conference, as some official pronouncements would indicate, or a "FCA" one (seems we've shed an "O" along the line, for some reason - penny dropped?) as others state? And is there a difference?

Posted by: Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer on Saturday, 28 April 2012 at 12:33pm BST

"I can see a major blowup coming if the GAFCON Primates try to take over the Primates Meeting...."

Jonathan that's precisely what happened at Dar es Salaam. It signified the end of the "rule by Primatial Communique" period. It was very short-lived.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Saturday, 28 April 2012 at 5:05pm BST

Lapin., you are correct in associating FoCA with Gafcon. They are two sides of the same coin with very little currency in the traditional world of Anglicanism as has been identified under the 3-legged stool of S., T., and Reason. It was probably more convenient for their recent clan meeting to call it under the FCA banner - this seeming to be more domesticated than the Gafcon association.

Ex-Bishop Minns is, indeed, at the head of the new corporate quasi-Anglican sodality in the U.K. The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), with clergy ordained by Archbishop Wakabula of Kenya, seems well-positioned to mount a Gafcon/FCA bid for control of the Communion from the Home Counties. And now that former Bishop Venables isd in the U.K., with his recent message to the Church of Ireland, there may be much more overt activity by the undercover agents of reform in the U.K. that may have been realised by H.O.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 29 April 2012 at 10:43am BST

Reading this only served to deepen my growing conviction that perhaps it's now time to let the Anglican Communion, a piece of Victorian imperialism anyway, go quietly to its rest. The context within which provinces have to operate has changed but some are rather less willing to move with the times than others. I'm not saying that the churches of the Global South should necessarily take on board English, Canadian or North American ideas. However they could at least be prepared to "live and let live."

Posted by: Adrian on Sunday, 29 April 2012 at 7:59pm BST

Perhaps some of these Global South Churches should consider ecumenism on their own patch. After all that is what Lambeth 1948 envisaged..and we have the United Churches of South and North India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, all of whom are part of the Anglican Communion and also have relationships elsewhere...relationships of course which prevent them from signing the Covenant let alone the even more confessional Jerusalem Declaration. It surely makes more sense for the health of ,say, Tanzanian Christianity,for Tanzanian Anglicans to be in full communion with Tanzanian Methodists and Lutherans ( for example) than to be overly fussed as to whether they are in communion with, say, Polynesian Anglicans... a looser "Wider Episcopal Fellowship" (didn't it once exist?) would be quite adequate.

Posted by: Perry Butler on Monday, 30 April 2012 at 11:14am BST

What a load of rubbish that St Mark's did not know about hosting GAFCON.

It could not happen without the support of St Mark's.

St Mark's may have a few practising homosexual members of the congregation.

That is v different to saying the PCC/leadership did not approve of the GAFCON conference.

This is a thread of your own spinning.
No more.

Posted by: JJ on Monday, 30 April 2012 at 7:45pm BST

What Perry Butler said.

Posted by: LaurenceR on Monday, 30 April 2012 at 8:53pm BST
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