Thursday, 20 February 2014

Statement from some Global South Primates

Statement from the Global South Primates Steering Committee, Cairo, Egypt 14-15 February 2014

The Nigerian representative at the meeting abstained from signing, I have no idea why. The main body of the statement is copied in full below. Emphasis as in original.

Go to the original and scroll down to read an FAQ – The Global South of the Anglican Communion.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3).

1. The Global South Primates Steering Committee met at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014. We were delighted to have The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, the Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), and Canon David Porter, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director for Reconciliation, as guests joining this important meeting in which we discussed the way ahead for the Anglican Communion and other matters. The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala, the Primate of Kenya, and The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, the Primate of Congo, apologized for not being able to attend.

2. We thank God for the times of fellowship, Bible study and prayer together. We also appreciated the frank discussion, open sharing, and spirit of unity among us. We are also encouraged by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s emphases on renewal, mission and evangelism within the Church of England and the rest of the Anglican Communion.

3. As we reviewed the current situation, we recognized that the fabric of the Communion was torn at its deepest level as a result of the actions taken by The Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada since 2003. As a result, our Anglican Communion is currently suffering from broken relations, a lack of trust, and dysfunctional “instruments of unity.”

4. However, we trust in God’s promise that the “gates of hades will not overcome” the church. Holding unto this promise, we believe that we have to make every effort in order to restore our beloved Communion. Therefore we took the following decisions:

a) We request and will support the Archbishop of Canterbury to call for a Primates Meeting in 2015 in order to address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion. It is important that the agenda of this Primates Meeting be discussed and agreed upon by the Primates beforehand in order to ensure an effective meeting.

b) We decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dromantine in 2005 and Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.

c) We realize that the time has come to address the ecclesial deficit, the mutual accountability and re-shaping the instruments of unity by following through the recommendations mentioned in the Windsor Report (2004), the Primates Meetings in Dromantine (2005) and Dar es Salam (2007), and the Windsor Continuation Group report.

5. We appreciate the costly decision of the House of Bishops of the Church of England, as well as the pastoral letter and pastoral guidance of The Archbishop of Canterbury and The Archbishop of York, in regard to the decision of the Westminster Parliament for same-gender marriage. The faithfulness of the Church of England in this regard is a great encouragement to our Provinces, and indeed the rest of the Communion, especially those facing hardships and wars.

6. We stand in solidarity with The Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul and the people of South Sudan and Sudan, calling for the cessation of fighting, an end to violence, and for a process for peace and reconciliation. We call upon the international community to give every help and support to those displaced as a result of fighting. We commit ourselves to pray for the people of Sudan.

7. We were encouraged to learn about the new constitution of Egypt and how the interim government is achieving the roadmap that was decided by its people on the 3 July 2013. We support the people of Egypt in their efforts to combat violence and terrorism.

8. We decided to activate the Task Forces established at the 4th Encounter of the Global South, which are: Economic Empowerment (coordinated by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala), Theological Resourcing (coordinated by Archbishop Bolly Lapok), Emerging Servant Leaders (coordinated by Archbishop Ian Ernest), and Inter-faith Relations (coordinated by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh).

9. We decided to hold the 5th Encounter of the Global South in 2015 and also organize a seminar for Global South leaders on “How Africa shaped Anglicanism”.

This statement is approved by:

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt and Chairman of Global South
The Most Rev. Ian Ernest, Primate of the Indian Ocean and General Secretary of Global South The Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Primate of Myanmar
The Most Rev. Hector “Tito” Zavala, Primate of the Southern Cone
The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, Primate of Burundi and the Chairman of CAPA
The Rt. Rev. John Chew, representing the Primate of South East Asia
The Rt. Rev. Francis Loyo, representing the Primate of All Sudan

This statement was abstained by:
The Most Rev. Nkechi Nwosu, representing the Primate of All Nigeria

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 3:44pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion
Comments

Sections 1 and 2: housekeeping, thanks to the returning officer, aren't the bridesmades lovely, big hand for the road crew without whom our concerts can't happen, etc (165 words).

Sections 3, 4(a), 4(b), 4(c), 5: same-sex marriage including the frankly astounding claim that if you're being shot at, knowledge that gays are being kept down is "a great encouragement", and threats to support and sustain schism over the topic (332 words)

Section 6: there's some bad stuff happening in Sudan, it's all a bit complicated (69 words)

Section 7: there's some bad stuff happening in Egypt, it's all a bit complicated (46 words)

Sections 8 and 9: safe journey home, bless the ships at sea, etc (77 words)

Total 689 words, of which 35% are housekeeping, 17% are platitudes about civil wars (!), and fully 48% are about same-sex marriage and/or homosexuality more generally (on the assumption that that's the basis for (4), which seems a pretty safe bet).

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is global Anglicanism today.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 4:29pm GMT

Summary in my mind: It's all Canada's and America's fault. The only problems in the world are to do with gay stuff. Thanks Canterbury and York for that anti-gay missive, more of the same please. Oh yes, there's one or two minor other issues in Africa as well.

Anyway, ignoring them -- what exactly might have been meant in Ephesians by "bond of peace." And does the "the" imply that there's only one (as opposed to "a" bond of peace.)

Posted by: Randal Oulton on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 4:36pm GMT

"We appreciate the costly decision of the House of Bishops of the Church of England". At least they recognise that it was costly. Unlike me, they obviously think that the cost to the Church of England's mission and voice, and to its laity, ordinands and clergy is worth paying. Sacrificed to appease a group of bishops among whom there are those who would support extreme punishments for those who as much as admit to being gay, sounds about the size of it.

Posted by: David Vyvyan on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 4:40pm GMT

"The faithfulness of the Church of England in this regard is a great encouragement to our Provinces, and indeed the rest of the Communion, especially those facing hardships and wars."

Advice to GS: Don't count on it.

Posted by: Jeremy on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 4:41pm GMT

No-one there from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Nigerian rep doesn't agree to the communique. What is going on? Were they boycotting Cantuar, as Ebor was boycotted in Kenya? Or is the Global South lobby falling apart? Interesting times indeed.

Posted by: cryptogram on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 5:37pm GMT

"And that, ladies and gentlemen, is global Anglicanism today."

Well said,Interested Observer. And Justin Welby was congratulated for helping to keep it just so.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 5:47pm GMT

Interested Observer: Break your analysis into 6 categories and we could make a pride flag pie chart.

Posted by: John B. Chilton on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 6:12pm GMT

Sounds like they had a jolly nice time together.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 6:12pm GMT

So there we have it in a nutshell- the bishops statement appears at the same time the ABC meets with Gafcon. He can show how the CofE is getting tough on the gays,. As for the "cost" - cost to whom? This has been paid by LGBT folk, without their consent. I think I am even more appalled. I just hope the ABC will now cut the platitudes about how awful homophobia is, because nobody will believe a word of it.

Posted by: sjh on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 6:16pm GMT

Can someone explain to the Global South Primates the difference between a 'costly' decision by the C of E House of Bishops and a decision by the House of Bishops that is costly for loyal hardworking clergy, clergy partners who'll be sacrificed (again) for their partners' ministry and potential ordinands the C of E can ill afford to do without.

Oh, and it's pretty costly in terms of the credibility of the Gospel in this country.

All that compromise with wickedness and homophobia, and they still didn't get the Nigerians to sign; the Ugandans weren't even in the room.

Posted by: The Rev'd Mervyn Noote on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 6:22pm GMT

7. We were encouraged to learn about the new constitution of Egypt and how the interim government is achieving the roadmap that was decided by its people on the 3 July 2013. We support the people of Egypt in their efforts to combat violence and terrorism.

Nice to know they're encouraged. Down with terrorism:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-26268692

Posted by: ExRevd on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 6:29pm GMT

For all the grand words and resolutions, I sense that this is a rather tired movement, floundering and losing its cutting edge.

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 7:00pm GMT

Interesting to note that South East Asia was represented by Bp John Chew from Singapore rather than Archbishop Bolly Lapok from the more traditionally liberal catholic Diocese of Kuching.

Posted by: Graham Ward on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 7:20pm GMT

The idea that the Global South take on lesbian and gay sex is acceptable to "The Church of England" is fantasy.

The idea that US and Canadian takes on lesbian and gay sex are excoriated by most members of "The Church of England" is fantasy.

The idea that some kind of redefined Covenant and imposed uniformity is going to happen is... fantasy.

The idea that the Anglican Communion can hold together, unless we accept university in our diversity, is fantasy.

This report, like the episcopal statement last week, is out of touch with reality.

These are realms of fantasy, and the end-times of the myth that we must all believe the same.

"The Church of England" is not the bishops. It is ordinary people who mostly have no problem with lesbian and gay love. It is local churches and PCCs who live their faith and decency, regardless of edicts that they must discriminate. It is communities that no longer want to exclude LGBT people from full blessing and participation.

This is the reality.

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 7:39pm GMT

Tanzania and Uganda are not part of the GS Steering Committee. Kenya sent apologies. Nigeria abstained.

Posted by: cseitz on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 8:07pm GMT

Pandora is out of the box and doesn't want to get back in. Ever since 2002 Anglican Communion leaders have encouraged 'global south' primates to push their weight around, specifically with respect to gay sexuality. Primates' Statements, Windsor Report, etc. Much talk of how most Anglicans are Africans so therefore... Now, England has defeated the Anglican Covenant, so we think we can go back to where we were before; but they don't see why we should. They quite like running the show. This aggro is going to run and run, because of the crazy misjudgements of Anglican leaders since 2002.

Posted by: Jonathan Clatworthy on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 9:09pm GMT

+Chew was present *on behalf of* the Archbishop.

Posted by: cseitz on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 9:09pm GMT

"Sounds like they had a jolly nice time together."

Indeed.

You can picture them, swapping stories about what the Godless Homosexualists (TM) have been up to, getting progressively more and more aerated as the stories become more lurid, more offensive and more unhinged.

Meanwhile, actual real gay people are in work, in church, at home with their children, living their lives. Most managing to get through the day without corrupting civilisation, plotting to bring about the downfall of society, dancing naked in sordid rituals, etc, etc.

It's like anti-Semitism. Anti-semites erect elaborate fantasies about the activities of the global Jewish cabal (TM), without consideration of how actual Jews find the time and energy in between making a living and getting a good night's sleep.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 9:26pm GMT

For the record TECUSA, our major most excellent relief organization, Episcopal Relief & Development, and numerous other ministries are working on South Sudan with direct assistance, supporting refugees, trying to keep the schools, health projects and whatnot going, and with a call for prayer.

I just love Interested Observer's breakdown of the amount of words and energy given to the various topics.

Everybody, The Episcopal Church Welcomes You, if you are LGBT, an LGBT supporter, a South Sudanese refugee (such as the Lost Boys), British, even a traditionalist there is a place for you (unless you're a traditionalist who insists that everyone else has to be exactly like you and if we aren't, you're taking the buildings…).

Posted by: Cynthia on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 9:34pm GMT

My understanding is that there is a gap between the bulk of Global South and the even more extreme within Gafcon, who probably feel that the C of E should be pursuing mass excommunication of partnered LGBT people, lay and clerical, if not trying to get them arrested! Successive Archbishops of Canterbury have tried to keep certain overseas primates on-side by not challenging them too strongly over their own failures to reflect core Anglican, and indeed Christian, values in their dealings with LGBT people in their own countries.

Posted by: Savi Hensman on Thursday, 20 February 2014 at 10:15pm GMT

Welby is treading on dangerous ground here.

Only the ACNA has anything to gain from these moves.
The days of rule by Primates are gone, the bishops at Lambeth shared their concerns and it does no good now to resurrect outdated proposals.

The Nigerians are probably against any return to Primates meetings and Uganda, unless America and Canada are excluded and I guess there has been no such guarantee.
But it is amazing how being a bastard to us helps him there, it just makes you want to puke!

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Friday, 21 February 2014 at 1:15am GMT

"Successive Archbishops of Canterbury have tried to keep certain overseas primates on-side by not challenging them too strongly over their own failures to reflect core Anglican, and indeed Christian, values in their dealings with LGBT people in their own countries."

If that has really been the strategy, it is deeply flawed.

Archbishops of Canterbury would do much better to enunciate core Anglican, and indeed Christian, values clearly and publicly.

To do otherwise just stores up trouble.

Posted by: Jeremy on Friday, 21 February 2014 at 2:22am GMT

"Successive Archbishops of Canterbury have tried to keep certain overseas primates on-side by not challenging them too strongly over their own failures"

There's hardly a violent extremist that can't get the backing of an Archbishop of Canterbury these days.

http://hurryupharry.org/2014/02/20/rowan-williams-hails-the-khomeinist-ihrc/

I'd like to think it's just naivity. I'd like to think that Welby believes that by keeping GAFCON onside by failing to criticise violent homophobia leaves them open to reform. I'd like to think that Williams praising people who think that Jews are "children of monkeys and pigs" who all stayed home on 9/11 is either because he is such a good man he doesn't recognise anti-Semitic tropes or he believes his influence will trigger reflection and repentance.

I'd like to think that.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Friday, 21 February 2014 at 8:15am GMT

Martin:
++Welby is doing a Chamberlain! Peace in our Communion at the price of submission to evil forces.

Posted by: Commentator on Friday, 21 February 2014 at 7:16pm GMT

"Welby is doing a Chamberlain! Peace in our Communion at the price of submission to evil forces."

The problem is that he isn't doing a Chamberlain.

Chamberlain sued for peace but prepared for war, and the UK economy was on a war footing from
about 1935 onwards. Welby is not appeasing to buy time to build more warships, he's appeasing as an end in itself.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Friday, 21 February 2014 at 9:46pm GMT

But while I think Welby is walking on thin ice his name is nowhere at the bottom of this document, nor has he agreed to any of the proposed outcomes and the absence of the names of the other Primates is even more significant than that of the Nigerian lad.
This is no more than a PR stunt. Smoke and mirrors and we can all guess who is drafting this nonsense.
But it is harmful even if we must not take it seriously.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 23 February 2014 at 12:15am GMT

'...absence of other names' --who are not on the Steering Committee, of course.

Posted by: cseitz on Sunday, 23 February 2014 at 2:37pm GMT

'...we can all guess who is drafting...'.

So someone snuck into a private meeting of the GS Steering Committee and the Arcbishop of Canterbury and drafted this statement? Is this because +Egypt and +Indian Ocean and their colleagues are not able to formulate their own thoughts? How very odd.

Posted by: cseitz on Sunday, 23 February 2014 at 7:21pm GMT

And just when one (not me of course, but one) might be tempted to write off an entire continent.... then there's Desmond Tutu...

"Last month, Desmond Tutu spoke to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni urging him to not sign the heinous "kill the gays" bill. Tutu released a statement today wherein he expressed his disappointment regarding news that the leader is still considering signing the bill into law.

Said Tutu:

"When President Museveni and I spoke last month, he gave his word that he would not let the anti-homosexuality bill become law in Uganda. I was therefore very disheartened to hear last week that President Museveni was reconsidering his position....We must be entirely clear about this: the history of people is littered with attempts to legislate against love or marriage across class, caste, and race. But there is no scientific basis or genetic rationale for love. There is only the grace of God. There is no scientific justification for prejudice and discrimination, ever. And nor is there any moral justification. Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, among others, attest to these facts."


http://www.towleroad.com/2014/02/tutu.html

Posted by: Randal Oulton on Monday, 24 February 2014 at 4:38am GMT

re Bishop Desmond Tutu's observation about the flip-flop behaviour of President Museveni; this seems to be his current political road-show.

However, his subsequent determination to sacrifice Gays and their families and friends in his dominion matches well with his cohort - President Mugabe's 90 Birthday Bash, where he used the occasion to once again pronounce his homophobia to the world.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 24 February 2014 at 11:37pm GMT
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