Thinking Anglicans

African Anglicans meet together

ACNS has a report of the recent meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (Capa) which is headlined African Anglicans concerned by lack of “sustainable peace”.

The full text of the CAPA communiqué is available here.

At this event, Archbishop Josiah Idpwu-Fearon gave an address. The full text of that is over here.

There is a detailed discussion of this speech in an article by Mark Harris entitled Secretary General Josiah Idowu-Fearon speaks his mind.

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John BunyanLeonel Abaroa BolonaDaniel Berry, NYCInterested ObserverRichard Ashby Recent comment authors
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Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Dare I suggest that the African churches would be much better and more effective if they directed their concerns to the manifest ills and problems of their own continent rather than tell western Christians how to live their lives.

Bill Ghrist
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Bill Ghrist

@Richard Ashby: Actually, that is pretty much the message of Archbishop Idowu-Fearon’s address.

Father Ron Smith
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Fr. Mark Harris’ piece, on the ACC Sec.General’s CAPA Address is pretty insightful and not over-critical of the S.G.’s seeming critical assessment of the Western Churches’ current influence on African Churches. Bishop Idowu-Fearon is addressing Africans from a uniquely African point of view, while yet doing his best to represent the whole Anglican Communion. Regardless of the colonial (British) emergence of Christianity in Africa, there is, undoubtedly, some strong influence now being exercised there by, primarily, American Right Wing conservative interests, that are aiming to consolidate the Victorian values system brought by the early missionaries. It is this new situation… Read more »

Lorenzo
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Lorenzo

The man says one thing then its exact opposite to different audiences. Whatever happened to ‘let your yes be yes and no, no?

S Cooper
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S Cooper

Lorenzo seems to be right – different messages to different groups all in the name of institutional unity…. What or who will you sacrifice for that idol?

cseitz
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cseitz

The other way to look at it is: he has now had time to see North America first hand and up close.

As I noted elsewhere the odd thing is his being invited to speak to CAPA at all, given his previous tensions with Nigeria.

So we may not be seeing ‘saying different things to different audiences’ but rather tracing out a learning curve.

Nicholas Henderson
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Nicholas Henderson

Spot on Fr Ron. The American right has a lot to answer for in Africa and they’ve got the money to do it.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

I would like to ask a very simple question about same-sex marriage of conservative African bishops, and those that give them credibility. “What do you want, and do you think it is likely?” I presume that what they want is same-sex marriage criminalised. But that isn’t going to happen in the USA without a constitutional amendment (the Supreme Court have ruled, and as I understand US law neither the legislature nor the executive can alter that) and it isn’t going to happen in the UK (ie, the repeal of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013) in any imaginable political… Read more »

cseitz
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cseitz

“I presume that what they want is same-sex marriage criminalized.” I think you are gravely mistaken. Can you listen to an alternative take? 1. They do not believe that marriage can happen between two members of the same gender; 2. They believe that marriage is what scripture and tradition have held it to be in rite and in law; 3. They may well come to a view that sex outside of these realms ought not to be criminalized, including sexual relations between two men or between two women. But to say “I presume that what they want is same-sex marriage… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

Idowu-Fearon’s strictures against western decadence, headlined in another report as saying that African Christians would never accept same sex relationships are countered the next day by moves in the South African church to do exactly that. Well well.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“They may well come to a view that sex outside of these realms ought not to be criminalized”

I didn’t actually say that they did.

Daniel Berry, NYC
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Daniel Berry, NYC

I believe the only thing that will change the views of the African churches toward sexual non-conformists is the experience of their own children and the work of their own scholars. That is what it has taken in every other “christian” nation. Unfortunately, it means that many lives will continue to be sacrificed. But our attempting to intervene more strenuously will not change that anyway–in fact, may make it worse, driving the price even higher than if we butt out and leave them to themselves and their own.

Leonel Abaroa Bolona
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Leonel Abaroa Bolona

As it has been pointed out, this was a CAPA meeting, for CAPA members.
Overall, I think archbishop Fearon is doing what is right. And the good Lord knows that I so disagree with his over generalizations and false equivalences. But still.

John Bunyan
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John Bunyan

There are some rather broad generalisations here about the various Churches of the African continent and about the rest of the Anglican Communion, and about who do and do not support the traditional understanding of marriage (myself among those who support it, although a very liberal Anglican in many respects). There are other Churches of the Communion that support it and individuals within all its Churches, and I think the Australian General Synod – that meets only every four years – may do the same. And of course most of the Anglican Churches not formally in communion with Canterbury. Regarding… Read more »