The Church Times last week had a news report by Pat Ashworth: Global South Primates call for a ‘separate structure’ in USA.
The newspaper also had a leading article: Taking the road from Kigali:
…a determination to “stand against evil” is not a normal starting point for discussions about the better working of the Church Catholic. It helps to explain the Primates’ antagonistic stance towards the leadership of the Episcopal Church in the United States, though this is cloaked as a willingness to respond to those inside the US who have asked for outside assistance and oversight. But, however explicable, the decision to set up a parallel organisation in an existing province – unbidden – is a schismatic act; for what is a “separate ecclesiastical structure” but a Church?
The Kigali Primates speak of proceeding “in consultation with the instruments of unity in the Communion”. This is a perverse idea in the circumstances. None of those instruments – the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates’ Meeting, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Lambeth Conference – could countenance such a move. It is possible that the Global South Primates believe the US Episcopal leadership to be so discredited that the rest of the Communion will allow a new organisation to take its place as the official Anglican body there. It is more likely that they are not particularly interested in seeking permission. The document The Road to Lambeth, endorsed by the Primates of the Global South, hopes that its road ahead “may pass through Lambeth, our historical mother. But above all it must be the road of the Cross.”…
Michael Poon at Global South Anglican had some comments about the most contentious of the documents from Kigali: Quo Vadis? – Questions along the Road from Lambeth – A response to CAPA’s Invitation:
The Road to Lambeth is an appeal for faithfulness to God. It also recommends the way by which we keep this faith. These are two related but distinct summons. It is important to bear this in mind as we read the Report. My purpose here is to heed the Global South Primates’ advice to reflect on this draft report.
I begin with an observation on the status of the Report. The Report states in its Preamble that it was commissioned by CAPA Primates in February 2006. CAPA Primates received it “with gratitude” on 19 September 2006. They did not say they approved it; rather they “commended [it] for study and response to the churches of the provinces in Africa”.
The Kigali Communiqué takes a more reserved view on the Report. In sharp contrast with the enthusiastic language used on the Anglican Covenant processes earlier in Section 7 of the Communiqué, the Global South Primates stated that they “receive” the Report. They noted that “it highlights the crisis that now confronts us” and “commend this report for wider reflection”. In other words, they recognized the depth of the crisis that called for faithfulness. However, they shied away from endorsing the particular solutions the Report offered.
What then is the status of the Road to Lambeth? A CAPA commission drafted it and presented it to their Primates in September. CAPA Primates now officially recommends it for wider study. They have not mentioned how they will follow it up. The Global South Primates takes note of it as a document from CAPA, and commends it for wider reflection within the Communion…