Thinking Anglicans

Global South Primates visit China

Updated Friday evening

Global South Anglican has published Communiqué of the Global South Primates during their visit to China in September 2011.

A large number of primates of Anglican provinces visited China from 30 August to 10 September 2011. The attendance list is:

Most Rev Dr John Chew, Most Rev Henry Luke Orombi, Most Rev Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis, Most Rev Justice Ofei Akrofi, Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi, Most Rev Nicholas Dikeriehi Okoh*, Most Rev Stephen Than Myint Oo, Most Rev Hector Zavala, Most Rev Eliud Wabukala, Most Rev Onesphore Rwaje, Most Rev Albert Chama. (*Note: Abp Okoh left a day earlier before the Communique was finalised.)

The text of the communique deals in part with their perceptions of China, but also contains their views on the Anglican Communion. This section is copied below the fold.

Updates

Press coverage in the Church Times: Instruments lack backbone, Primates of Global South say.
And in the Church of England Newspaper: Canterbury’s international agenda in tatters.

11. In our reflections, we found that our Anglican Communion has also undergone a tremendous transformation in recent decades. Today, the majority of Anglicans are found no longer in the west, but in churches in Africa, Asia and Latin America that are firmly committed to our historic faith and order.

12. At the same time, it grieves us deeply to observe many Anglican churches in the west yielding to secular pressure to allow unacceptable practices in the name of human rights and equality. Beginning with the undermining of Scriptural authority and two millennia of church tradition, the erosion of orthodoxy has gone as far as the ordination and consecration of active gay and lesbian clergy and bishops, and the development of liturgies for same-sex marriage.

13. We are wholeheartedly committed to the unity of Anglican Communion and recognize the importance of the historic See of Canterbury. Sadly, however, the Anglican Communion’s Instruments of Unity have become dysfunctional and no longer have the ecclesial and moral authority to hold the Communion together. For instance:

13.1. It was regrettable that the Lambeth Conference 2008 was designed not to make any resolutions that would have helped to resolve the crisis facing the Communion.

13.2. The Primates’ Meeting in Dublin in January 2011 was planned without prior consultation with the Primates in regard to the agenda. There was no commitment to follow through the recommendations of previous Primates’ Meetings. The responsibility given by all bishops at the 1988 and 1998 Lambeth Conferences for the Primates’ Meeting to “exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters” seems to have been completely set aside.

13.3. The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), the Anglican Communion Standing Committee, and Communion-level commissions such as the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) and the Anglican Communion Liturgical Commission no longer reflect the common mind of the churches of the Communion because many members from the Global South can no longer with good conscience attend these meetings as issues that are aggravating and tearing the fabric of the Communion are being ignored.

14. We have devoted much time to discuss the Anglican Communion Covenant and the Preamble by the Province of South East Asia documenting the historical events leading up to the Covenant and insisting that the Primates should be the proper moral and spiritual authority for the monitoring of the Covenant. The Covenant with the Preamble have been commended to our respective Provinces for further study and decision.

15. We are committed to uphold the apostolic faith and traditions that define us as Anglicans. This commitment compels us to adopt a proactive stance with respect to our common mission and witness.

15.1. We are planning a Missions Consultation with the theme “Decade of Mission and Networking” as proposed in the Fourth South-to-South Encounter, as a unifying vocational platform on which we realize and build up our common life and witness. Orthodox Anglican churches and groups will be invited to join hands with us in missions.

15.2. We commend the initiatives of theological education carried out in some of our provinces to strengthen the theological foundations and deepen theological reflection among future leaders of the Church.

15.3. We are developing economic empowerment strategies and networks to enable churches in the Global South to be more economically self-sustaining using the resources God has blessed each of our nations.

15.4. We are committed to support faithful orthodox Anglican churches and groups in the west which share our historic faith and order.

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Father Ron SmithSimon SarmientoLapinbizarreJCFChris H. Recent comment authors
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Leonel Abaroa B.
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Leonel Abaroa B.

These “Global South’ primates don’t have a clue, do they? I say this because, I dunno, the following words are not to be found anywhere in this pompous, shallow, self-deluding document?

.poverty
.gospel
.AIDS
.prayer
.corruption
.love
.hunger
.Jesus
.health care
.poor
.Christ

While God only gets one mention

Instead, we are left with a pretty shallow document that screams of being loaded with sexual superstitions, completely issue-driven and otherwise disengaged from the reality of the actual people these guys (pun intended) claim to represent in any way.

Priorities, priorities. Jesus would not be amused.

Leonel

Steve Lusk
Guest
Steve Lusk

“it grieves us deeply to observe many Anglican churches in the west yielding to secular pressure to allow unacceptable practices in the name of human rights and equality.”
We’re not yielding to secular pressure. We’re following the call of the Gospel, as interpreted in light of a growing body of scientific evidence and the best of post-19th century textual and historical studies. Which, come to think of it, puts us in the position of Martin Luther, and them in the position of Leo X.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

I liked Colin’s comment on an earlier thread where he rather naughtily parsed the communique from the Global South showing us all how little a part “Jesus” plays in their thinking.

It was/is a favourite tactic of the self-described “orthodox” when seeking to discredit TEC.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

Self glorifying purified junktalk…these not-so-gentlemen damage fellow Anglicans, Christians and millions of LGBT human beings worldwide with their excluding, marginalizing and arrogant attempts to know the Heart and Soul of others. The whole grandstanding and *excluding* event reeks of selfseekers demanding truth to lie dead.

RobinD
Guest
RobinD

Either we heard nothing of the real content of the meeting, or it was just a photo-op for the Global South Primates to claim another area as ‘theirs’. I would hope the first, and that more information might be forthcoming, but I’m not holding my breath.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

The sheer hubris of the ‘Global South’ primates, in taking this unilateral initiative towards the official ‘Church in China’, is surely a mis-step – away from the rest of the Anglican Communion.

However, I suppose that this action now clearly delineates the Mission of the Global South Provinces as separate from the Global Mission of the world-wide Anglican Communion. Never mind. That probably marks out the theological and philosophical differences that exist between conservative and innovative Provinces, where social justice issues are a bone of contention.

“What I require is mercy – not sacrifice”.

DannyEastVillage
Guest
DannyEastVillage

The “communique” can be boiled down to this:

1. Everybody in China was so nice to us; and boy what an economic powerhouse it has become! We liked everything we saw and heard while we were there.

2. The Chinese print a lot of bibles.

3. But the real reason we’re writing this is to tell you guys in the West once again what scumbags you are. We really don’t care, though, because the Chinese hate gays just as much as we do and want to be our FRIENDS FOREVER.

CP36
Guest
CP36

I hope the Chinese of China will not fall for all these gimmicks. It is true that there is very little interest in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost nowadays in our sermons. So very unAnglican.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Those who ride the tiger ought to be careful about not getting swallowed up. They are hardly enhancing their own reputations by seeming to endorse a church controlled by an atheistic state. Stalin called people such as these ‘useful idiots’.

Stephen Bates
Guest
Stephen Bates

Why did these African bishops have to go all the way to China? Why issue a communique there repeating ad nauseam what they have said before about the wickedness of the western church? And who paid for their visit?

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Interesting that the attendees include the Archbishop of Burundi, the Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi, who is also the Chairman of IASCUFO. Does he really subscribe to the text of section 13.3?

http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/news.cfm/2011/1/27/ACNS4680

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Don’t you see? China is exactly the kind of society the GAFCON folks like–authoritarian. Everybody does what their told.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Thank you, Simon, for that insight into Archbishop Bernard’s position in the Communion in his capacity as Chair of IASCUFO. It may be that his visit with the Global South Primates to China gave him an opportunity to forge his own particular missionary outreach to their state-sponsored Church. One might ask, was he commissioned to do this by IASCUFO? Or was he acting in a private capacity there? If the Chair of a pan-Anglican Commission opens up dialogue with an outside entity – without reference to his colleagues on IASCUFO – what does that say about his relationship to the… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

At their individual national levels, the Gafcon primates tend, willingly or compliantly, to a level of Erastianism unseen in the Church of England since the Glorious Revolution. The communiqué is of a piece with this.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Yes there seems to be a disconnect between the propaganda and the practice.

Nigeria amongst others attended the provincial secretaries gathering, Bolivia amongst others attended the Anglican Communion Liturgical Commission – and all just a few short weeks ago ……….

Does anybody know who was on the support team?

Chris H.
Guest
Chris H.

Leonel, please don’t start a “How many times is “Christ,Jesus,God” mentioned” tit for tat. Apparently you haven’t read some of PB Jefferts-Schori’s speeches,letters, etc. There are a couple of conservative bloggers who regularly watch how few times she even mentions God, let alone Christ, etc. If mentioning them made what was said right or wrong, she’d lose-often.

Leonel Abaroa B.
Guest
Leonel Abaroa B.

Chris,

Which is precisely why I am pointing it out.

Also, you conveniently left out of your rebuke my allusion to ‘poor, poverty, corruption, hunger and healthcare’. Why?

Leonel

DannyEastVillage
Guest
DannyEastVillage

@ Chris–the difference is that the PB is constantly talking about openness of hearts and our duty to our neighbor–in our communities and in terms of national and international relations. That is a true witness to the ministry of reconciliation. What is the communique discussed here a witness to?

Graham Ward
Guest
Graham Ward

I do wonder if South East Asia might take a slightly different, and more enlightened, direction given +Bolly Lapok’s election yesterday to serve as the next Archbishop. The first Archbishop to come from Kuching – a very different Diocese from the other three in the province.

MarkBrunson
Guest

I don’t know that it’s tit-for-tat; it’s a game the conservatives started to set the standard for what a Christian communique looks like. It their hypocrisy is pointed out, that’s hardly simply sniping.

Dan O'Connor
Guest

These poor African episcopal jobsworths, sent to China by their English manager and their American paymasters! China’s Christianity will be something very other than they prescribe, grafted onto the sound stock of Confucian morality and blossoming under the Taiping dictum of all things in common.

Chris H.
Guest
Chris H.

That was actually part of my point too. She often sounds like the local secular food bank leader and a couple for other athiest/humanist folks around here; no faith in God is required to help the poor, sick, etc. Most people here don’t go to church and when the only difference they see between the atheists and the clergy is the collar, the point of the church again? To be clear, I agree this meeting, in large part, probably was a “photo op.” On the other hand, the beliefs of many faiths are much more rigid/demanding in countries/areas of conflict… Read more »

leonardo ricardo
Guest

Archbishop Chew and Archbishop Orombi have been prepping/cooking up the ¨China anti-Imperalist Connection¨ for some time (must thrill their American Dominionist pals):

May 21, 20ll, Kampala, Uganda

¨President Museveni/Uganda welcomes ¨Chinese Leader¨ Anglican Bishop John Chew/Singapore (not China) and praises him and Mao tse Tung for contributions ¨against Imperialists¨

http://leonardoricardosanto.blogspot.com/2011/05/from-department-of-say-what-president.html

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“…some Chinese churches may have more in common with GS churches.” – Chris H. –

Like: homophobia, misogyny and ‘sola Scriptura’?

DannyEastVillage
Guest
DannyEastVillage

Well, Chris, since Jesus was similarly preoccupied with our duty to our neighbor (one in three verses of the synoptic gospels deals with this topic) I can’t find anything wrong with that in the presiding bishop.

Chris H.
Guest
Chris H.

Father Ron, If PB Schori or Rowan or any other “Prince” of the church had gone to China and had a meeting instead, it still would have been “just a photo op.” And the conservatives would have been the ones sneering. Problem is, it wasn’t a photo op for your side, they got there first. Both sides use meetings, agreements, international get togethers of all sorts as photo ops. When I heard that a TEC bishop was involved in the release of the hikers in Iran, I thought, “Well, they got a great advertising prop out of that. Don’t know… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“[Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori] often sounds like the local secular food bank leader and a couple for other athiest/humanist folks around here”

Let me see if I can respond clearly and succinctly, Chris H—

BULLSH*T.

Anyone who believes that ++KJS doesn’t speak like the ***Christ-centered*** pastor she IS, is just projecting their own prejudice upon her.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“Problem is, it wasn’t a photo op for your side, they got there first.” Garbage, Chris. Take a look at Stand Firm’s thread on the communiqué. A substantial portion of the conservatives there are as disgusted at GAFCON’s crawling to China’s Communist regime as posters here are. As I suggested above, quite a few of these primates have precious few problems with any sympathetic authoritarian regime. Or maybe ++Rowan is headed to Harare for a “photo op” in which he will reach accommodation with Kunonga and sing Mugabe’s praises?

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

And, Chris, the observation in #12 of the communiqué that “it grieves us deeply to observe many Anglican churches in the west yielding to secular pressure to allow unacceptable practices in the name of human rights and equality” rings just a trifle hollow – even, perhaps, ironic? – issuing from a religious group meeting under the auspices of the state that instituted and enforces the One Child Policy.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Further analysis of this, by Jim Naughton, is now published at the Episcopal Cafe:
http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/anglican_communion/parsing_the_latest_form_the_ga.html

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Michael Poon has written at the Living Church site about this, see

Global South Primates Raise Urgent Questions
http://www.livingchurch.org/news/news-updates/2011/9/29/global-south-primates-raise-urgent-questions

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Theologian Michael Poon has long been one of the more sensible Church Leaders in the Anglican set-up in South East Asia. He is one of the more moderate thinkers of the Communion, who do not necessarily believe that the Leaders of the Global South contingent are on the right trajectory. While faithful to a Biblical perspective on the present impasse on gender and sexuality within the Churches of the Communion, Michael exercises some restraint on the excesses of GAFCON and the divisive tactics of certain G.S. Primates – as witness his caution on the latest China meeting. I’m pretty sure… Read more »