Thinking Anglicans

Primates meeting update

This week’s Church Times carries a report of the recent GAFCON primates statement, which was linked here on Wednesday, while the General Synod debate on the Anglican Covenant was still in progress, but which was not known to synod members prior to the voting. (The GAFCON/FCA Primates’ Council met in Oxford from October 4th through October 7th, 2010.)

The story, Empty seats in Dublin as Primates opt out, by Ed Beavan lists a total of ten primates who will not be attending.

AT LEAST ten Primates from the Global South are now expected to boycott the Primates’ Meeting in Dublin in January.

In a statement released on Wednesday, five African Primates, members of the GAFCON Primates’ Council, confirmed that they would not attend the two-yearly meeting. In addition, it is understood that the Primate of South-East Asia, Dr John Chew; the Primate in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Dr Mouneer Anis; and the Primate of the Indian Ocean, the Most Revd Ian Ernest, will not go to Dublin.

Furthermore it is expected that two new Primates, Presiding Bishop Tito Zavala, Primate of the Southern Cone, and the Most Revd Onesphore Rwage, Primate of Rwanda, will also boycott the meeting…

The names appearing on the GAFCON statement are (my annotations added)

The Most Rev’d Gregory Venables, GAFCON/FCA Chair former primate of the Southern Cone
The Most Rev’d Justice Akrofi, Archbishop, Anglican Province of West Africa
The Most Rev’d Robert Duncan, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America not a primate of the Anglican Communion
The Most Rev ‘d Emmanuel Kolini, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda former primate of Rwanda
The Most Rev’d Valentino Mokiwa, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Tanzania
The Most Rev’d Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
The Most Rev’d Henry Orombi Archbishop, Church of Uganda
The Most Rev’d Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya

The Most Rev’d Peter Jensen, Archbishop, Diocese of Sydney, Secretary not a primate

The Church of England Newspaper carries this report by George Conger Canterbury rejects African call to postpone Dublin primates meeting.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has rejected Africa’s call to suspend the Dublin primates meeting, a spokesman for Dr. Rowan Williams’ tells The Church of England Newspaper, and the meeting will go on as scheduled.

On Nov 17 Lambeth Palace confirmed that Dr. Williams had received a letter from CAPA chairman Archbishop Ian Earnest. This letter raised a “concern about the planning process for the Primates’ Meeting and request[ed] that it be postponed.”

“However, given the closeness of the time, and the fact that the majority of Primates have already indicated that they will attend, the Archbishop of Canterbury is not minded to postpone the meeting whose date was set two years ago,” the Lambeth Palace statement said.

Dr. Williams’ decision not to postpone the Dublin meeting, will likely cause a quarter to a third of the primates to stay away, replicating the divisions surrounding the 2008 Lambeth Conference where a majority of African bishops boycotted the meeting…

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Cynthia Gilliatt
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Cynthia Gilliatt

Can we just go ahead and drop the Covenant now?

Let them form their own “Orthodox” Communion (although how the bloke from Down Under belongs with these self-proclaimed Ultra Othodox guys baffles me).

I do wish I had their frequent flyer miles. Good thing they all have churches in financially stable countries with excellent public health service and no poverty to speak of.

pete
Guest
pete

How can Bobby Duncan boycott something of which he’s not a member? He’s a deposed bishop. Regarding the others, whether or not they attend should not affect the Primates Meeting one iota. They’ve voted themselves off the island, they choose to stay away, and therefore they should reap the consequences of this and every other divisive action they’ve taken.

Bill Moorhead
Guest

Cynthia: Right!

We all are responsible for our own decisions. Our decisions are not somebody else’s fault (assuming we are not under compulsion; and there is no compulsion here). Make it clear that the porch light is on and the door is open. There will always be a place for them at the table, but we are not going to wait until the food is cold. It’s time to get on with the work of the Gospel.

(The bloke from Down Under has to find friends where he can; the rest of Australia doesn’t like him much.)

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has rejected Africa’s call to suspend the Dublin primates meeting, a spokesman for Dr. Rowan Williams’ tells The Church of England Newspaper, and the meeting will go on as scheduled.”

Well good for the ABC! Hope this display of guts prefigures more of the same in the future. Maybe he’s figured out what Neville Chamberlain never did about appeasement.

JCF
Guest
JCF

Vaya con Dios, GAFCON. The Anglican Communion will leave the porch (and sanctuary) lights on for you when, in God’s Good Time…

john
Guest
john

It seems lamentable that the C of E Synod has endorsed (sort of) the Covenant. On the other hand, the departure (in some sense) of the GAFCON lot, the people whom the Covenant was most designed to placate, surely in practice draws many of the teeth of the Covenant. In England (where I live) there seems to be some sort of ‘Evangelical’ drive for ordination, but this is balanced by ever-increasing ordination of women, who are generally much more sensible about … just about everything. So, although C of E ‘adoption’ (sort of) of the Covenant seems to be some… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

If they form their own communion, will it be like the time there was one Bishop of Rome in Rome and another in Avignon?
One Archbishop of Canterbury in Canterbury and another in Africa?
Neat, huh?

Anonymous
Guest

So glad that Robert Duncan let them know that he will not be at a meeting which he was not invited to…

Father Ron Smith
Guest

How interesting to note the signatories of the G.S. Primates Statement of dis-affiliation: They include 2 ‘odd-fellows’:

1. faux-archbishop Robbie Duncan of ACNA (non-Anglican), and
2. Archbishop Peter Jensen (non-Primate)

Other odd-bods include Primates who have helped set up the schismatic ACNA, which is not a member of the Anglican Communion anyway.

Not to mention the assorted bodies in ACNA.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Stephen Bates on Radio 4s ‘Sunday’ programme this morning said that the decision to reject the Covenant was made in October. Martyn Mimms on the same programme said that the rejection was because the Gafcon Primates ‘don’t trust’ the rest of them and clearly wants more sanctions. ‘See how these Christians love one another’. What a way to start the new Church year.

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

For several years now the battle has really been fought over the centre ground. As others note the majority of Primates above have been the main border-crossers, absented themselves from Lambeth and have been among the leaders of the “power struggle” which as Andrew notes could well move to a complete split in the near future. Let us not forget that while the leader of TEC may attend, she will be there almost as an observer already, isolated in a room with only her staunchest allies – her Church having been stripped of any membership and influence of vital committees… Read more »

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

I still wonder how representative these Primates are of their Provinces.The Middle East for example..a tiny province which includes Cyprus and the Gulf and Jerusalem both of whom think ifferently to their Primate. Again;West Africa…I dont think Akrofi represents all Ghana let alone Sierra Leone.Will these GAFCON provinces hang together? Though as yet we havent heard much internal dissent..though it must be there in some places at least.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

while important bishops
meet or non-meet
the wind rustles the leaves

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Martin Reynolds wrote of our Presiding Bishop, “Aware, as she must surely be, that her rebels have brought her own Church to the point of exclusion, on the edge of bankruptcy, while putting the rest of the Communion at each others throats.”

Who are “her rebels?” And who is “on the edge of bankruptcy?” And how have “her rebels” put “the rest of the Communion at each others’ throats?”

Please be more specific. Thanks.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

@ Martin Reynolds:I thought you did not accept that TEC was one of two “extremes” opposed to a “sensible middle”? “Isolated” and “bankrupt” are not words I’d apply to TEC here in the US. Here we are quite in the center of mainline Protestantism. It is true that all mainline denominations have declined in membership — but then, how is the Church of England doing in that regard? And how is your budget doing? However, if our exclusion is as complete as you say it is, and for the reasons you say, then it’s past time for us to get… Read more »

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

Martin Reynolds’ comments about The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in America were, to me, both disrespectful and misleading. Implying that she or “they no longer share the faith and order of the rest” is about as far as you can go from the inclusive love of Jesus. The misogyny and homophobia inherent in the “border-crossers” represents just about everything that Jesus is not about. I do not believe the ten “stayaways” from the Primates meetings are giving up and walking away. I think they have something up their sleeves that we have perhaps not seen yet. I base… Read more »

Jonathan in New Zealand
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Jonathan in New Zealand

How many Martin Reynolds are there? These comments about TEC surely cannot have been made by the author of some of the other contributions made under the same name. I thought I knew who Martin Reynolds was but I was obviously mistaken, or maybe the real one has been abducted by aliens along with the real Rowan Williams.

Doxy
Guest

I do believe that Martin Reynolds was stating that it was the Secretary General who had declared that TEC no longer shares the faith and order of the rest of the Communion. I also understood that, by “her rebels,” he meant the ACNA gang that have caused TEC so much trouble and have both fomented and financed much of the unrest around the Communion.

Of course, I could be wrong….

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Chris Smith writes: “I do not believe the ten “stayaways” from the Primates meetings are giving up and walking away. I think they have something up their sleeves that we have perhaps not seen yet. I base this on the tactics and track records of the fundamentalist Christians in America.” These are the tactics of IRD and others. Martyn Minns and those with him are also subtle in their machinations. Their flight from TEC and attempt at theft from the were carefully calculated so thet the fleeing parishes all held “40 days of discernment,” using guidelines that made the final… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Let us not forget that while the leader of TEC may attend, she will be there almost as an observer already, isolated in a room with only her staunchest allies – her Church having been stripped of any membership and influence of vital committees and with the words of the Secretary General ringing in her ears….etc” – Martin Reynolds, above – Exactly where do you stand on the issues, M.R? I find your words here a little confusing to say the least. I am aware that you, personally, have some sort of problem with TEC Presiding Bishop Katherine – but… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

I don’t think Martin Reynolds is saying that the PB of the Episcopal Church “no longer shares the faith and order of the rest.” I think he’s saying that Gregory Cameron (was it he?) said so when he removed TEC from various ecumenical committees earlier this year +Martin Reynolds been for many years an advocate for gay and lesbian clergy in the Church of Wales and in the Communion at large, at some risk to himself and his career. It does seem to him, though — and to me also, I must admit — that TEC has already been suspended,… Read more »

Lister Tonge
Guest
Lister Tonge

There’s more than a little hypersentitivity going on here. Chris Smith seems to think that Martin Reynold’s (referring to the Gen Sec of the Anclican Communion’s comments) agrees with Kenneth Kearon. I see no sign of that. Smith: ‘Implying that she or “they no longer share the faith and order of the rest” is about as far as you can go from the inclusive love of Jesus’. Surely it is just an alternative opinion. We may be ever so inclusive but disagree about whether or not we share the same faith and order. It is no merit to treat TEC… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I am amazed that Dr Gilliatt again asks for clarification, what I write is quite plain to me. Well, Charlotte, I DO think that TEC was amongst those who were viewed at the extreme by those driving the strategy – so what I think seems irrelevant. Chris Smith – it was the Secretary General – Kenneth Kearon – who told TEC they did not share the faith and order of the vast majority of the Communion …… I am at a loss to know what “relational consequences” might be imposed in a post-Covenant Church that are worse than those already… Read more »

Adam Armstrong
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Adam Armstrong

The fact that this decision was made by GAFCON in October and “suddenly” announced on the day of the debate at General Synod speaks volumes about their machinations and lack of integrity. This teels us that they are plotting and planning, they have no shame, and are capable of anything to further their ends. They do not even stay true to their own principles-calling for ‘orthodosy, yet violating church order (Duncan is not in communion with Canterbury and is schismatic and they accept Jensen, so lay presidency is no issue). We can expect to see more. Duncan’s plan to become… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Martin Reynolds wrote “brought her own Church to the point of exclusion, on the edge of bankruptcy” This is a silly comment. The Episcopal Church is not on the edge of bankruptcy. Per capita, it is one of the richest churches, with the richest members in the world. While it is inclusive in many ways, it never has been a church of the poor (unlike several other American denominations.) It is continuing challenge to plant Episcopal churches so that we can include people of all economic situations. As I may have mentioned before, TEC has a huge constituency of people… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

@Martin Reynolds: Yes, I know TEC is seen as one of two extremes in Lambeth Palace. Unfortunately, TEC is not at an extreme among mainline Protestants in the US, or, for that matter, among the secularized residents of the UK. That’s where Lambeth’s calculations have been going wrong, I think; someone ought to bring this to their attention. As for TEC having too much invested in the “Anglican franchise” to give it up — I don’t know that I agree. I’m told that there would be no domestic legal consequences for doing so. That leaves sentiment. Once upon a time,… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“One comes out of a background which did without bishops for ages”

Say-Wha-Huh?

North American Anglicans in the “13 Colonies” repeatedly ASKED FOR bishops . . . and were rebuffed.

There was still gunpowder-smoke on the wind when the newly-independant (U.S.) American “Episcopalians” got their bishops via the Scottish line!

Episcopalians NEVER willingly “did without bishops for ages” . . . or is the fact that we democratically ELECT ours, Lister T, seen as SO different an “understanding of e.g. episcopacy, as (for e.g.) the C of E.” with its “Lords Spiritual”?

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Fr Ron Smith might read Charlotte on Sunday, 28 November 2010 at 10:23pm GMT ….. she grasps this matter very well. Lister Tonge: “There’s more than a little hypersentitivity going on here.” Yes, Lister – but I think it part of a growing problem – and sadly a growing problem here. We have always enjoyed robust debate on TA and last time I checked progressive Anglicanism had a wide and inclusive range of views …. even on TEC! Some of the above comments on my post are to quote Californian Andrew “silly” – some a little more than that….. As… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Martin Reynolds wrote: “As to this same Andrew’s rosy picture of the wealth and stability of TEC, well, all I can say is that we all hope he is right but just three weeks ago Ireland was telling us it was not on the verge of bankruptcy – now we see that was not altogether true!” Oh Good Grief, Martin! How much of a hyperbolic fantasy do you propose that we consider. Ireland and the Episcopal Church; what next. Just in case you are unaware, there are a number of Episcopal parishes throughout the United States which have massive endowments.… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“should the Presiding Bishop utterly a completely condemn the evil and deplorable policy of “gracious restraint” (she appeared to embrace for a while)” Good googly-moogly, ++KJS was the *chief consecrator* at the ordination of +Mary Glasspool! Do only WORDS of “utterly a[nd] completely condemn” suffice for you, Martin? I, too, loathed the “gracious restraint” language (I believe she spoke in the first six months of her term as PB). But for me, the DEED of consecrating +Mary MORE than served to overturn that earlier obscenity. “supply that condemnation with a sound and thoughtful theological reflection. But I doubt she is… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest

Martin R: “I could be moved to a warmer view of TEC…”

Martin, I think it behoves all of us on the Eastern side of the Atlantic who hope for a better Church to stand shoulder to shoulder with TEC and the Presiding Bishop – they are not in the business of sweeping gay Christians under the carpet or of throwing them under a bus, unlike churches in most other places.

I haven’t yet noticed the Church in Wales taking any similarly courageous stands; it could e.g. appoint a prominent eminently-qualified gay Welsh cleric as a bishop, perhaps…

Father Ron Smith
Guest

10 GAFCON Primates, sitting in a row.
1 says Stop and the others say GO.
Let’s all go to Dublin, it should be quite a lark,
Let’s have a go at Rowan; it’ll only take a spark!

Wait for me,says Robbie, I’ll be sitting in the wings.
And let’s all wait for Martyn, he’s got the script and things.
Now Peter from Australia, although he’s not a primus,
He’s got a schedule for us, and he’ll probably want to time us.
So, let’s all go to Dublin, and give ’em all a scare.
We’ve all got lots of Air Points so we might as well go there.

Just Joking!

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

@Martin Reynolds: As several commenters have already noted, one weak point in your argument is the apparent belief that once “the Yanks are coming,” everything in the Communion will be sorted out. Now if Communion liberals in other provinces had mounted a timely and effective defense of TEC before now, the current situation would be quite different. An earlier saying applies: England (and Wales) must save themselves by their own exertions, and the rest by their examples. I would not rely on “bonds of affection” as sufficient to force TEC to submit to the will of conservatives in the Church… Read more »

john
Guest
john

I too am very glad of TEC. The services we/I have attended over the years at St John the Divine have been inspirational. The benevolence is overpowering.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I regret the “bankruptcy” (hyperbole!) line, but only because it has distracted from the main point I was making – that Communion Instruments continue to isolate TEC and their leader, and I think there is more to come in January. I believe those focused on the Covenant have missed far more than a trick or two …. That being said: Jerry Hannon makes a case for why TEC might not go bust, but I am not convinced. An organisation like TEC is not the sum of its constituent parts – large organisations often go bust with many profitable companies on… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

What Fr. Mark said on tuesday, 30 Nov @ 8.47am

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

@Martin Reynolds: I think if you check, you will find that the PB, House of Bishops, and House of Deputies clearly laid out the case for consecrating gay and lesbian persons as bishops before Mary Glasspool was proposed and elected in Los Angeles as a suffragan bishop. For my own part, I wish you might not let your opinion of the previous Presiding Bishop taint your view of the new one. To this observer, +Jefferts Schori has been very straightforward throughout her tenure. But in this whole discussion, I detect a chicken-and-egg problem. As you no doubt noticed, “gracious restraint”… Read more »

Sara MacVane
Guest
Sara MacVane

On Martin Reynolds and some others: I think that the difference between C-of-E (and/or Wales?) and TEC isn’t between having and not having gay clergy and/or bishops. Both churches certainly do have (lots of) gay clergy and yes, gay bishops. The difference is between what we call ‘the closet’, called ‘discretion’ or some such in the C-of-E (and Wales?) and hypocrisy in TEC – counted as a vritue in one church and a sin, or at least a failure in the other. I know quite a few clergy (and/or bishops) in the C-of-E who do everything they can not to… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Sadly, the inclusive Catholics and open Evangelicals, who seem to make up a silent majority in the Church of England, and in Wales, Scotland, New Zealand, and elsewhere, did little or nothing throughout that whole period to defend us.” – Charlotte, on Wednesday – I’m just a wee bit disappointed, Charlotte, that you should say that those of us who come under your heading here (I’m an Inclusive catholic) did nothing to support TEC. Unfortunately, some of us are on the ‘active retired’ list, and therefore unable to directly affect the Corridors of Power. However, what we have done, and… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

Affection *is* sentiment – it is not love. You can feel affection for someone you’ve never met, but love is an act of will. “Bonds of affection: is precisely correct, and the affection has been withdrawn and broken and no longer holds. Don’t count on the politicking of bishops for holding TEC in the AC – the bishops in TEC are more answerable to the laity than one might expect. Laity can even remove a bishop, in some cases. In any case, it becomes very difficult for a bishop to exercise authority he/she is no longer granted by obedience. The… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I am always willing to be convinced by good argument and evidence.

But I find the slavish admiration and unquestioning praise I see being doled out on those who are supposedly “orthodox” in other places like this makes me vomit.

Our strength lies in NOT accepting or encouraging the “you must vote for this out of loyalty” we now sadly see Rowan Williams has fallen into (and some seem to be encouraging above). Our strength is in our honest and fair appraisal of what is before us and straight speaking.