Three statements have been issued from the meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) :
Eleven of the twelve provinces of CAPA were represented: Burundi, Central Africa, Congo, Indian Ocean, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and West Africa.
Here is part of that:
4. While meeting in Mauritius we received a copy of the report of the Joint Standing Committee (JSC) of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council. On first reading we find it to be unsatisfactory. The assurances made are without credibility and its preparation is severely compromised by numerous conflicts of interest. The report itself appears to be a determined effort to find a way for the full inclusion of The Episcopal Church with no attempt at discipline or change from their prior position.
5. We are convinced that what is at stake in this crisis is the very nature of Anglicanism – to understand it simply in terms of the need for greater inclusivity in the face of changing sexual ethics is a grave mistake. It is not just about sexuality but also about the nature of Christ, the truth of the Gospel and the authority of the Bible. We see a trend that seems to ignore the careful balance of reformed catholicity and missionary endeavor that is our true heritage and replace it with a religion of cultural conformity that offers no transforming power and no eternal hope.
6. In our considered opinion, however, there is a possible way forward. The Anglican Communion Covenant is the one way for us to uphold our common heritage of faith while at the same time holding each one of us accountable to those teachings that have defined our life together and also guide us into the future. We therefore propose the following actions:
a. Call a special session of the Primates Meeting.
We believe that meeting together is essential if we are prayerfully to allow the Holy Spirit to work through our interactions and bring us to a common mind. We would need to:
i. Review the actual response made by The Episcopal Church – both their words and their actions.
ii. Finalize the Covenant proposal and set a timetable for ratification by individual provinces.
b. Postpone current plans for the Lambeth Conference
We recognize that such an action will be costly, however, we believe that the alternative – a divided conference with several provinces unable to participate and hundreds of bishops absent would be much more costly to our life and witness. It would bring an end to the Communion, as we know it. Postponement will accomplish the following:
i. Allow the current tensions to subside and leave room for the hard work of reconciliation that must be done.
ii. Ensure that those invited to the Lambeth Conference have already endorsed the Covenant and so can come together as witness to our common faith.
7. We make these proposals in good faith believing that they provide an opportunity for us to reunite the Communion consistent with our common heritage and give us a way forward. We also stand ready to work with the various instruments of the Communion to ensure their success.
The signatures on this statement are:
The Most Rev’d Peter J. Akinola, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
**The Most Rev’d Justice Akrofi, The Church of the Province of West Africa
The Rt. Rev’d Philip Baji*, The Anglican Church of Tanzania
The Most Rev’d Fidele Dirokpa, Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo
The Most Revd Ian Ernest, The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean
The Most Rev’d Emmanuel Kolini, L’Eglise Episcopal au Rwanda
The Most Rev’d Bernard Malango, The Church of the Province of Central Africa
The Rt Rev’d Trevor Mwamba*, The Church of the Province of Central Africa
The Most Rev’d Bernard Ntahoturi, The Anglican Church of Burundi
The Most Rev’d Benjamin Nzimbi, The Anglican Church of Kenya
The Most Rev’d Henry Orombi, The Church of the Province of Uganda
**The Rt Rev’d Johannes Seoka*, The Anglican Church of Southern Africa
The Rev’d Canon Dr. Sami Fawzy Shehata*, Diocese of Egypt
*Representing the Province
** Absent during discussion of Communiqué due to travel schedule
A Statement from the Most Rev’d Ian Ernest, Bishop of Mauritius, Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, the newly-elected Chairman of CAPA
For some background on Archbishop Ernest, see Episcopal Café African Primates wrap up meeting.