Friday, 10 April 2015

GAFCON primates to meet in London

Updated Friday

In his Easter Pastoral Letter Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council notes that:

…The GAFCON Primates Council will soon meet in London, from the 13th to the 17th April, and we shall take counsel together so that our movement can grow strongly and be equipped to fulfil the vision of restoring the Anglican Communion’s commitment to biblical truth. It will also give us a special opportunity to meet with leaders of the British and Irish branch of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and the Anglican Mission in England. Please uphold us in prayer during this time…

George Conger reports in AMiE on the agenda for London GAFCON primates meeting that the ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach will be among those attending, and he writes:

Next week’s London meeting is expected to discuss the issue of whether to support a parallel Anglican jurisdiction akin to the Anglican Church in North America for England, and how such support should be shown.

In his 23 September 2014 pastoral letter to the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA), the group’s leader, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya wrote: “It is becoming clear that we must see the once missionary nations of the West as now themselves mission fields.” He further stated “the focus of the struggle for biblical faithfulness has shifted from North America to England.”

To achieve this end, the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) had been “authorised by the GAFCON Primates to work within and, where necessary, outside the structures of the Church of England as a missionary society”.

Details of the Anglican Mission in England were reported previously, here.

Update
A communiquè has been issued. The full text is available here. The portion relevant to England is reproduced below the fold.

FCA UK & Ireland, formed at our initiative, continues to welcome and provide support for faithful Anglicans in the British Isles. We are particularly concerned about the Church of England and the drift of many from the Biblical faith. We do not regard the recent use of a Church of England building for a Muslim service as a minor aberration. These actions betray the gospel and discourage Christians who live among Muslims, especially those experiencing persecution.

We support Bishop John Ellison in resisting the unjust and uncharitable charges brought against him by the Bishop of Salisbury, and in view of the Great Commission, we note the sad irony that this former missionary bishop to South America now finds it necessary to defend himself for supporting missionary activity in his own country. We continue to encourage and support the efforts of those working to restore the Church of England’s commitment to Biblical truth. Equally, we authenticate and support the work of those Anglicans who are boldly spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and whose circumstances require operating outside the old, institutional structures.

We remain confident in the great good of gospel ministry, and we see what happens when actions impacting the Communion are taken without the priorities of the faith once delivered.

Wherever they are and whatever their circumstances, GAFCON continues to unite faithful Anglicans under a common confession of Christ’s Lordship and a desire to make disciples.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 10 April 2015 at 6:39pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion
Comments

"Biblical truth..."

Does that include the truth that the universe was created in six days? Or that there was a worldwide flood with only eight human survivors?

Or just the "truth" of the clobber verses?

Posted by: Pat ONeill on Friday, 10 April 2015 at 9:08pm BST

So, GAFCON is coming to plant its tanks on our lawn, is it? I think "the focus of the struggle for biblical faithfulness" might also include the poisonousness of seeking to sow dissension, the unbiblical nature of the schismatic behaviour of some Anglicans and former Anglicans and their fellow travellers, and the wickedness of the shameless power grabs that some clergy make over the heads of their congregations, who have supported them as part of the Church of England for a long time. None of which is supported by any teaching from the Scriptures.

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Friday, 10 April 2015 at 10:15pm BST

When it comes to biblical truth, I always liked how the god of the judges told the Israelite generals to hack their enemies to pieces, killing every single man, woman and child. I don't suppose GAFCON supports such violence - unless, of course, it's directed at homosexuals.

Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC on Saturday, 11 April 2015 at 12:27am BST

The camel is now inside the tent.

Will the ABC show him the door, or welcome him to the larger assembly?

There seems to be no middle ground here.

Posted by: JNWALL on Saturday, 11 April 2015 at 2:26am BST

OK, I don't expect GAFCON to call themselves "homophobic" but why couldn't they fairly call themselves the "Fundamentalist Mission in England"? They cannot honestly pretend that they are MORE "Anglican" than the CofE. Does Not Compute.

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 11 April 2015 at 3:46am BST

From Lambeth... silence. From Bishopthorpe... silence. From the Bishop in whose Diocese this schismatic jamboree is being staged... silence. This is the best front I've ever seen for a blackmailing, bullying crusade. If AMiE is "authorised by the GAFCON Primates to work within and, where necessary, outside the structures of the Church of England..." we must assume that the silence - and lack of canonical intervention - means that this initiative is being welcomed from the very top.

Posted by: James A on Saturday, 11 April 2015 at 8:46am BST

I am pleased the evangelicals of GAFCON are coming to England to spread their ludicrous and out-dated teachings. Not only will this give the Archbishops of Canterbury and York the opportunity to repudiate them, it will show to these AMiE dinosaurs how the vast majority of the English people will completely ignore their irrelevant rantings until they pass into extinction.

Posted by: FrDavidH on Saturday, 11 April 2015 at 10:25am BST

I don't agree that silence equals agreement in the CofE, James A. It's a very effective establishment tactic for destroying your enemies. If the CofE hierarchy spoke out against this lot they'd give them legitimacy. By just quietly ignoring them and getting on with being the established Church Gafcon etc can't get at their real power. It's the tactic that the CofE hierarchy used with the Ordinariate and other threats and is very effective; fighting the Ordinariate would have given it legitimacy, saying what amounts to, go with God and oh look, we've forgotten about you already, has meant that the Ordinariate has never moved from irrelevance. Ignoring those who challenge its power is the establishment's chief weapon and first recourse.

Posted by: Olivia Jones on Saturday, 11 April 2015 at 11:05am BST

No-one can say the hierarchs of the Church of england were not warned! already the dromedaries are circling. Once they have publicly embraced the Alternative Anglican Church in the U.K. (A.M.i.E.), the situation suffered by TEC and the Anglican Church in Canada may quickly be understood.

We in other Provinces of the Communion will be watching for any sign of welcome from the ABC and the ABY. This would engender thoughts about whether we want to belong to a repressive Church Family.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 11 April 2015 at 11:35am BST

Alas, I doubt that we will hear ++ Canterbury or York publicly raise their voices against the fundamentalist fanatics. It might alienate Church leaders in Africa. Also, after departing from tradition by joyfully consecrating women to the episcopate the bishops cannot with consistency plead inviolable tradition as an excuse for their continued discrimination against faithful gay Christians here, so they themselves are reduced to various kinds of literalist scriptural pleading to support their increasingly desperate position.

However, let us at least hope to be spared any further episcopal or archiepiscopal lectures on the need for justice in society until we see that justice becoming effective in the Church of England. And let us pray for our bishops, that they may be delivered from "the insane passion for narrowing the Church which terror and faithlessness seems increasing in many quarters, and even among the Bishops". (F. J. A. Hort, 1870)

Posted by: Barry on Saturday, 11 April 2015 at 1:25pm BST

It's too late to reconsider the actions taken by the archbishops in the last decade, but you might consider what happened to the Church in North America. For our efforts at peaceful accommodation we received betrayal and broken vows. Then since they couldn't get what the wanted canonically they turned to law suits. While we sought peace they secretly schemed. They didn't get much for all their effort, but it measurably damaged the Church and continues to do so.

Posted by: Tom Downs on Saturday, 11 April 2015 at 2:33pm BST

Where are they meeting?

Posted by: peter kettle on Saturday, 11 April 2015 at 3:01pm BST

Peter Kettle, I was wondering the same thing. And who among the deluded and heretical have been invited to attend? Have any mechanisms been set up for greetings, correspondence, perhaps even shared worship (not eucharist, of course)? Has +London been given any official notice that such a meeting is taking place in his diocese?

And, finally, just what IS a "confessing Anglican"? I thought that, after discussing it with Luther's followers, we'd decided that a "confession" was something we could do without.

Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC on Saturday, 11 April 2015 at 7:27pm BST

In answer to Daniel, I have understood their claim to be "confessing" intended to evoke memories of heroic resistance, the Confessing Church of Niemoeller and Bonhoeffer. Which I guess makes anyone who disagrees with them not merely an apostate but a Nazi apostate. Look up "Godwin's Law" for more about this rhetorical device. Of course I may be doing Confessing Anglicans a disservice...

Posted by: ExRevd on Sunday, 12 April 2015 at 12:38am BST

Ron, you said, 'Once they have publicly embraced the Alternative Anglican Church in the U.K. (A.M.i.E.), the situation suffered by TEC and the Anglican Church in Canada may quickly be understood.'

It's nice of you to be sympathetic to my suffering, but I assure you that I'm a member of the Anglican Church of Canada and the presence of the ACNA in my city (Edmonton) is not causing me any suffering at all.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Sunday, 12 April 2015 at 6:08am BST

Good for Tim, but in the English context I continue to think that this development is dangerous, because there are plenty of Evangelical churches, currently loosely attached/loyal to the C of E, who might well choose to transfer their affiliation. Some stout chaps (and chapesses) here might welcome this, but I wouldn't.

Posted by: John on Sunday, 12 April 2015 at 12:32pm BST

Tim, I think you might realistically have added the words: "for me", to your allegation that no-one in the Anglican Church of Canada is suffering from the invasion of ACNA into the Anglican landscape there.

The fact that there are some Anglicans in North America who go along with the alternative Church, competing with the label of 'Anglican' on their patch does not necessarily mean that the majority are sanguine about the take-over bid by conservative claimants to 'true orthodoxy'.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 13 April 2015 at 12:59am BST

Ron, read my comment again. I did.

Posted by: Tim Chesterton on Monday, 13 April 2015 at 2:29pm BST

ExRevd, THANK YOU for putting me right about that obvious implication of the word, "confessing" which I missed. Undoubtedly AMIE's use of the term indicates protest in the face of gross malfeasance by the established ecclesiastical institution. Unlike Niemoeller and Bonhoeffer, however, AMIE believes itself put upon because the greater institution won't share their hatreds - instead of vice-versa.

Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC on Monday, 13 April 2015 at 11:32pm BST

I note the communique from this meeting (http://gafcon.org/news/gafcon-primates-communique) is signed by just seven Primates;
The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, Archbishop, Anglican Church of the Congo
The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Uganda
The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Nigeria
The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda
The Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya (Chairman)
The Most Rev. Tito Zavala, Presiding Bishop, Province of South America

Has the Province of South East Asia left GAFCON, or did Archbishop Bolly Lapok choose to stay away?

Posted by: Graham Ward on Friday, 17 April 2015 at 3:17pm BST

SE Asia is not in Gafcon.

Posted by: cseitz on Friday, 17 April 2015 at 9:41pm BST

Some excerpts from the communique:

"We are excited to announce that the next GAFCON conference will be in 2018. This global gathering now serves a critical function in the life of the Anglican Communion as it is an effective instrument of unity which is capable of gathering the majority of the world’s Anglicans."

"FCA UK & Ireland, formed at our initiative, continues to welcome and provide support for faithful Anglicans in the British Isles. We are particularly concerned about the Church of England and the drift of many from the Biblical faith. We do not regard the recent use of a Church of England building for a Muslim service as a minor aberration. These actions betray the gospel and discourage Christians who live among Muslims, especially those experiencing persecution.

"We support Bishop John Ellison in resisting the unjust and uncharitable charges brought against him by the Bishop of Salisbury, and in view of the Great Commission, we note the sad irony that this former missionary bishop to South America now finds it necessary to defend himself for supporting missionary activity in his own country. We continue to encourage and support the efforts of those working to restore the Church of England’s commitment to Biblical truth. Equally, we authenticate and support the work of those Anglicans who are boldly spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and whose circumstances require operating outside the old, institutional structures.

"We remain confident in the great good of gospel ministry, and we see what happens when actions impacting the Communion are taken without the priorities of the faith once delivered."

Posted by: Jeremy on Friday, 17 April 2015 at 10:03pm BST

I understand, from a recent posting on 'Anglican Down Under', that the GAFON Primates have expressed a determination not to secede from the Anglican Communion. How this will work out is yet to be proclaimed.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 18 April 2015 at 11:18am BST
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