Thinking Anglicans

Updates from the Global South and from GAFCON

As some of our commenters continually remind us, it’s important to keep straight the distinction between the Global South and GAFCON. They are two separate, albeit overlapping, groupings.

Global South Primates’ Communique, September 9, 2017 (Cairo)

[GAFCON] Chairman’s September 2017 letter

Is Gafcon divisive? by Peter Jensen

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FrDavidH
FrDavidH
3 years ago

Peter Jensen’s letter is breathtaking in its sense of spiritual superiority and bigotry. Talk about the tail wagging the dog! Jensen claims the Anglican Communion has broken away from GAFCON. As former leader of a Puritan Sect, he is quite deluded when he believes this bible-bashing group of fundamentalists is not divisive. Its very existence causes mischief and disunity.

Shamus
Shamus
3 years ago

In his piece, Jensenj refers to GAFCON as a “movement”. Throughout my 30+ years of ministry, I have chosen not to join any Church “association”, although there may have been ones with which I was sympathetic. I have chosen to do this in the belief that they do not add to the harmony of the broadness of the CofE, and merely help to propagate some of our deep divisions. I am perhaps naïve or misguided in this, but at present, have no regrets about all my non-memberships of such “movements”.

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
3 years ago

Global South: “we are obsessed with homosexuality and it is the only topic we see fit to write about at any length”. GAFCON: “we are obsessed with homosexuality and it is the only topic we see fit to write about at any length”. Sorry, you said these are separate groupings which need to be distinguished? Why, given they have precisely the same bigoted opinions? “When we knowingly have fellowship with those whose teaching endangers the gospel itself, we are in danger of catching the same disease and at the least endorsing it and putting others at risk.” What a delightful… Read more »

badman
badman
3 years ago

Jensen’s fear of catching something from associating with the wrong people is a little weird although undoubtedly sincere. It wasn’t Jesus’s way of seeing things either although I know the proof texts he would cite to the contrary.

Revd Dr Charles Clapham
3 years ago

Interesting to note that Bishop Bill Musk, appointed to be the Anglican Communion representative on the co-ordinating group for the bishop’s ‘teaching document’ on human sexuality was an official speaker at last year’s Global South Primates meeting in Cairo, where the final communique described the blessing same-sex civil unions as a clear departure from orthodoxy, and criticised ‘the inability of existing Communion instruments to discern truth and error and take binding ecclesiastical action’, and their unwillingness ‘to discipline those leaders who have abandoned the biblical and historic faith’. So not exactly a neutral appointment.

Father Ron Smith
3 years ago

“We rejoice and pray for the upcoming meeting of Gafcon in June 2018 in Jerusalem and give thanks for this renewal and reformation movement.”

Statement from the recent ‘Global South Primates’

We are constantly being urged by ‘moderates’ to distinguish between the sexism and homophobia of the GAFCON Primates and the so-called moderation of the Primates of the Global South.

However, when push comes to shove, in statements like the above; their objectives are the same: Intentional schism on the basis of institutional homphobia and sexism.

crs
crs
3 years ago

“We are constantly being urged by ‘moderates’ to distinguish between the sexism and homophobia of the GAFCON Primates and the so-called moderation of the Primates of the Global South.”

No, Ron, you are individually being urged not simply to refer to the groups as one and the same thing. This is important because the GS group is a sizable conservative bloc of more than half of the entire AC.

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
3 years ago

“Jensen’s fear of catching something from associating with the wrong people is a little weird although undoubtedly sincere”

I’m sure it is. Does that make it better than people who merely go along with bigotry for career advancement or out of an inability to speak out? I’d never really thought about it like that: that it’s better to a sincere bigot than a superficial one. Sometimes we can treasure honesty a little too much, I think.

Revd Dr Charles Clapham
3 years ago

Those with a taste for church history may find Bishop Bill Musk’s talk to the 2016 Global South gathering interesting, in that he uses the Donatist controversy to reflect on current Anglican communion politics. Musk seems to have considerable sympathy for the Donatists’ moral rigour, and for attempts by African bishops to assert the independence of the African church from interference from overseas (Rome at the time, Canterbury now, by implication). But rather ironically, given that the Global South regards itself as defending orthodoxy, in subsequent church history and theology it is the Donatists who are regarded as schismatics, and… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
3 years ago

“”We are constantly being urged by ‘moderates’ to distinguish between the sexism and homophobia of the GAFCON Primates and the so-called moderation of the Primates of the Global South.” No, Ron, you are individually being urged not simply to refer to the groups as one and the same thing. This is important because the GS group is a sizable conservative bloc of more than half of the entire AC. “ If it walks like a duck…why try to treat it as some other form of waterfowl? And again I ask, as I often do: The GS primates may lead “more… Read more »

Laurie Roberts
Laurie Roberts
3 years ago

This is important because the GS group is a sizable conservative bloc of more than half of the entire AC.(sic) Posted by: crs on Wednesday, 20 September 2017 at 8:51am BST The size of this appalling anti-lgbti grouping means nothing to me, and the millions of us whom they oppress, and whose lives they demean and endanger. Yes, am not one bit impressed with their use of their power and influence either…. The Lotus Sutra speaks of a dark age, such as our own, and points to ways going forward… As John Keble said, “You will always find the Church… Read more »

Iain Baxter
Iain Baxter
3 years ago

I have personal experience of two “Global South” provinces: Jerusalem and the Middle East, and SouthEast Asia, having lived in the former for twelve years, and the latter for five years.

I can categorically state that in Egypt and North Africa most Anglicans (excluding the Sudanese refugees) do not support the Presiding Bishop’s position on sexuality.

In SouthEast Asia, I also know of priests in Singapore and elsewhere who are inclusive.

Remember, the “Global South” does not include a host of global south provinces including, Hong Kong, South Africa, the Philippines, Brazil, and many more.

Laurie Roberts
Laurie Roberts
3 years ago

I find Iain Baxter’s comment very helpful and interesting.

It is good to have first-hand, on the ground information. And in this instance that information is encouraging to me. I should welcome further up-dates, as and when possible.

Laurie Roberts
Laurie Roberts
3 years ago

What authority or role do these Evangelical bishops feel they have I wonder ?

They do not believe in apostolic succession as understood by Catholics, but nor do they believe, it would seem, in representing, speaking for or entering into dialogue with their priests and people.

Passing strange….

Laurie Roberts
Laurie Roberts
3 years ago

‘ “When we knowingly have fellowship with those whose teaching endangers the gospel itself, we are in danger of catching the same disease and at the least endorsing it and putting others at risk.” What a delightful metaphor for your fellow Christians! That their prayerful and honestly held opinions are a “disease”!’ Posted by: Interested Observer on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 at 11:15pm BST They give the impression that they have no faith in God, and no belief the redemption of life. Or to use other language, they believe neither in Incarnation nor Resurrecion… In theory maybe — but in… Read more »

Laurie Roberts
Laurie Roberts
3 years ago

‘..endangers the gospel itself,’

A weak gospel is this, and hard to credit it with much power at all, if it needs so much cosseting.
A weak fretful message – hardly a rapier-like blade of truth and love !

This is why these bishops fail their dioceses and the world, as they cower away from modern life and the world of today, in some attic that is no Upper Room – let alone Cenacle.

Tragic waste…

Father Ron Smith
3 years ago

It is time the ‘Global South’ Primates actually declared their hand. By their most recent statement – despite crs’ protest – they are still involved in the now discredited polity of institutional sexism and homophobia. My question is: How representative are they of the Anglicans they purport to represent?

crs
crs
3 years ago

Ron, you don’t read well. My ‘protest’ is not your take on it.

Once upon a time there were serious disagreements between Gafcon and the other GS provinces. The point of grasping that they are different entities is that this is now coming to an end. This marks a significant development, esp vis-à-vis the ABC. This is why properly grasping their history enables one to understand the development over the past 5 years. That is my consistent and only point, which has nothing to do with LGBT advocacy or lack thereof. The myopia around this single theme is exhausting.

Cynthia
Cynthia
3 years ago

“My question is: How representative are they of the Anglicans they purport to represent?”

Lusaka 2016 demonstrated that the broad rank and file are not onboard with the homophobia/misogyny project of GS and GAFCON leaders.

Interested Observer
Interested Observer
3 years ago

“How representative are they of the Anglicans they purport to represent?”

Suppose, arguendo, the answer to that is “entirely”. Then what? Should we persecute LGBT people on the basis of a majority vote in another country? If the Church of England’s leadership wants to make that argument – that we’d love to be inclusive, but unfortunately we are more concerned with the homophobic violence of our friends in other countries than with the ethics and morals of the country in which we are the established church – then let them do so. I suspect it wouldn’t end well.

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
3 years ago

“That is my consistent and only point, which has nothing to do with LGBT advocacy or lack thereof. The myopia around this single theme is exhausting.”

The myopia is entirely on the side of the GS and GAFCON. When do they ever make statements or issue pronouncements on any other subject?

crs
crs
3 years ago

Thank you for a good morning laugh, Pat!

As has been noted many times, this theme occupies 95% of all commentary here, including yours. I was comenting on nothing to do with LGBTI issues but rather on the more precise evolution of two distinct groups, so as to understand the dynamic at work in the wider communion.

Naturally enough–why should one be surprised–this got immediately converted into LGBTI issues. The gravity pull is simple unstoppable.

Stanley Monkhouse
3 years ago

I’ve said it before … there’s no point getting one’s knickers in a twist about this. Nothing will change their minds. Let them at it. Let events take their course. Stop obsessing. Concentrate on stuff that matters – like bringing as much delight to the world as possible. Life abundant not life resisting (Harry Williams – nobody seems to regard him these days, regrettably).

Laurie Roberts
Laurie Roberts
3 years ago

Is this relevant here ? Do Trinidad and Tobago count ?

an Evangelical contribution ? …………

https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/taking-trinidad-and-tobago-to-court/#gs.e5HhlV0

Cynthia
Cynthia
3 years ago

crs, in the GS letter, paragraphs 6-9 are directly related to their homophobia. Okoh’s letter is all about LGBT acceptance and the failure of the Anglican Communion to accept the homophobic pronouncements of the the January 2016 primate’s meeting. And Peter Jensen’s rant is simply openly homophobic and particularly nasty for a clergy person. The gravitational force is coming from GS, GAFCON, and Jensen. I am grateful that boards like TA and Episcopal Cafe are full of affirming people. To live on the receiving end of this hate, regardless of how ignorant, irrational, arrogant, narrow minded, and unlearned, they may… Read more »

crs
crs
3 years ago

Cynthia, I am sure that is all true. It just was not the point I was making about GAFCON and GS and their histories. Sometimes it is nice to be able to speak about something other than LGBTI issues.

Fr John E Harris-White
Fr John E Harris-White
3 years ago

Laurie,
Your contribution makes a valid point. Growing up in Bristol, the one joy I found was that we Gays were one together regardless of our class, race or religion. We had to be to hold together.
That same spirit is needed today, when in some areas things are easier. We are all one with our Creator, whatever , whoever we are.

Fr John Emlyn

Susannah Clark
3 years ago

@Laurie, and the Pink News article from July: Yes, of course, all people sin, all people can be selfish, but why is there even the need to raise the issue of sin in the context of loving, caring fidelity and commitment? While glossing over the key problematic issue in the human sexuality debate, by saying “All people are sinners”… Justin studiously avoids affirming gay sexuality itself as ‘not sinful’. The question one wants to know, from one charged with the pastoral care of the national Church, is this: “Is gay sex a sin?” He simply never faces up to this.… Read more »

Susannah Clark
3 years ago

Archbishop Nicholas: “a unity that undermines collective decision making as a communion… is a false unity.” Yup. The Anglican ‘Covenant’ all over again. Rule from the centre, and imposition of uniformity. Uniformity enforced over a ‘worldwide’ Church. We’ve been there before. In England, this top-down approach was repudiated when the Covenant was rejected. And yet, even within the local confines of the Church of England, there is a tendency of some bishops and archbishops to try to establish uniformity, where in reality our precious Church has many and diverse views, held in conscientious good faith. Unity is *not* imposing a… Read more »

David Runcorn
David Runcorn
3 years ago

Pat O’Neill “If it walks like a duck…” I am assuming you are not a keen bird watcher then Pat? …. And fine Rod if the rest of us are also happy to be lumped in with actually very varied and conflicted groupings because others presume at a distance are our twins. And not all twins get on either.

Andrew Godsall
Andrew Godsall
3 years ago

As a matter of interest are there any Provinces or Dioceses in the Global South that would be considered liberal or progressive?

crs
crs
3 years ago

Thanks for making my point, Rod. Life as seen through the single lens of LGBTI…

“If all you have is a hammer, everything becomes a nail.”

J.R.Bunyan
J.R.Bunyan
3 years ago

As usual there is virtually only the one subject discussed here. But in answer to Andrew Godsall, the “Global South” (where did that term come from ?) includes the larger part of the Anglican/Episcopal Communion, with a variety of and within provinces and dioceses, the majority I guess moderate or evangelical.

Cynthia
Cynthia
3 years ago

“As usual there is virtually only the one subject discussed here”

You might want to re-read the statements with a highlighter and annotate all of the sentences that are refering to LGBT inclusion. Isn’t that the whole “orthodoxy” bit?

Justice is boring to those who aren’t suffering injustice. For those of us who are, we’ve learned that silence = death.

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