Thinking Anglicans

Primates Meeting: further reports

Updated yet again Saturday

See previous reports here.

ACNS has published these reports:

The Primates have issued this communiqué: God’s Church for God’s World.

Primates’ Meeting [Final] 2017 Press Conference (video)

GAFCON earlier published this press statement: We Are Not Walking Together.
In response to the communiqué linked above, GAFCON has issued this “initial response”: Can Two Walk Together Unless They Are Agreed?
GAFCON UK also issued a statement: Response from Bishop Andy Lines to the Primates’ Communiqué.

Church Times Primates’ Meeting ends with call to avoid narrow-mindedness and focus on ‘total gospel’

ENS Primates conclude Canterbury meeting ‘renewed in their ministry’

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Anne
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Anne

The GAFCON statement says, “…..The presence of the Primates from Canada and the United States and the absence of Archbishop Foley Beach whose Church is recognised by Anglicans around the world …..” this is clearly an inaccurate statement and possibly deliberately misleading. The Church of England is in communion with the Episcopal Church in Canada and the United States. It is not in communion with ACNA. I wonder who is out of step with whom? The good news of Jesus Christ is that whilst we were yet sinners, he loved us. He also said ‘judge not, that ye be not… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Amen, Anne. It’s impossible to see the Love of Christ and hear the Good News in that misleading, sanctimonious, and hateful statement. Most of the time, I live in the Western US. I won’t soon forget that in the midst of anguish over Las Vegas, ACNA (ostensibly speaking for GAFCON) prioritized their petty agenda. Combined with this statement, all I can conclude is that GAFCON is obsessed with having power over others and wielding it like a club. And that most certainly is not the Gospel of Jesus. Jesus never asked them to be judges and gatekeepers. Never. In fact,… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“to “make the linkage between social justice and climate justice.””

Amen.

The statements on climate justice from the Archbishop of Southern Africa, Thabo Makgoba, and from the Bible study lead by Archbishop Moon Hing actually give me hope. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the Anglican Communion at work. There’s the Good News and the call to care for God’s Creation as it provides for us and our sisters and brothers.

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

The GAFCON Statement is the same-old-nothing new. The promotion of their ACNA entity is not only misleading, it is intended to do damage to the Episcopal Church in the U.S., and the Anglican Church of Canada, since “Archbishop” Beach isn’t there to replace them. They are playing the game to win and they don’t care how they do it. ACNA has no qualms about calling the Episcopal Church apostate and evil. One of their spokespeople present in Canterbury said that asking Presiding Bishop Curry to pray for Las Vegas was wrong because the GAFCON primates would have to pray with… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Anne: “The really important thing is that we keep on loving each other, talking and listening to each other… See how these Christians love each other is what we should be hearing from the rest of the world.” Amen. Cynthia: “The statements on climate justice from the Archbishop of Southern Africa, Thabo Makgoba, and from the Bible study lead by Archbishop Moon Hing actually give me hope. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the Anglican Communion at work.” Exactly. And I’d add poverty and health. The obsession with sex seems so disproportionate and judgmental, when there’s a world in distress… Read more »

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

Archbishop Suheil Dawani obviously has an important work of reconciliation in the context of the Middle East where it’s needed urgently. Claiming that reconciliation was “a priority” for Anglicans, one can only surmise what the Archbishop thinks about the nonsense spouted by GAFCON. Attempting to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians is a much more worthy vocation than simply existing to spread hatred towards gay people. GAFCON is absurd.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

The “total Gospel.” I’m onboard with that! What a breath of fresh air.

Rev Dr Ellen M Barrett
Guest
Rev Dr Ellen M Barrett

GAFCON’s statement that ‘we are not walking together’ is only a statement of the blindingly obvious. One suspects that the reasons they do not leave the AC and form their own independent church have to do with potential loss of publicity and the revenue they receive from other, somewhat less bigoted, members.

Susannah Clark
Guest

Andy: The Scottish Primus “showed no concern for those under his care who cannot accept the decision to redefine marriage.” Firstly, that is fabrication: almost certainly the Primus feels sincere concern for those who struggle with marriage being open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The SEC has struggled with the wound and pain involved when Christians disagree. Moreover, the SEC has sought to protect conscience by building caveats in the system: ‘conservative’ ministers/priests do not have to conduct same sex marriages. Differing conscience is recognised, but unity and fellowship are upheld, a unity in diversity which… Read more »

Susannah Clark
Guest

Finally Andy, you speak as if England and Scotland have ‘African’ views on sexuality. They don’t. The increasing majority of people in the UK are generous and decent and accepting of tender fidelity regardless of gender. We are not Uganda or Nigeria. And therein lies a key point: there is NO worldwide Anglican Church. Each province explores God’s love for its people in diverse ways and addressing very different cultures. That’s why I think the Covenant-style impulse to impose Communion-wide uniformity is doomed to fail. It will simply alienate millions of people who recognise greater magnanimity and generosity in secular… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Reading the Communiqué is all I have had time to get to so far. There have been reports of prayer and foot washing. Did the Primates gathering include a celebration of Holy Communion?

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Subsequent to my post at 2:21 pm, I came across what appears to be an answer to my own question in an ACNS article published on Michaelmas: “Prayer and Bible study continue to be the bedrock of the meetings: next week the Primates are expected to start their gathering with a spiritual retreat; and their daily pattern will include morning prayer and evensong as they join with the daily offices at the cathedral. They will also share a daily eucharist.” http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2017/09/anglican-leaders-head-to-the-communions-mother-church-for-2017-primates-meeting.aspx Given the Eucharist and the detailed description of The Communion described by the Primates in their closing Communiqué, they… Read more »

Jim Naughton
Guest
Jim Naughton

Kind of interesting that the GAFCON statement doesn’t quote any GAFCON primates who took part in the meeting. Especially in light of the Kenyan primate’s participation in the closing news conference.

Nigel LLoyd
Guest
Nigel LLoyd

Until 2012 there were two parishes in my deanery in which the ministry of women priests was unacceptable. It so happened that in both parishes the incumbent retired and, in the following vacancy, each Church Council asked the wider deanery for some help and said they would welcome the chance to have some services taken by women. Subsequently one of the parishes appointed a female incumbent and the other a female curate. In each case it had been the incumbent who had determined the policy for the whole parish. Some years ago, talking to some people from Belfast after a… Read more »

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

I agree with Susannah that Gafcon haven’t been fair to the Piskies, but unfortunately, truth’s irrelevant to politics: lest we ever forget, Gafcon primates aren’t the cowed managers of decline seen in the West; they’re bossmen, prince bishops who rule millions of zealous believers from whom they draw the power radiated with every breath. Truth’s whatever they say it is. We should, I guess, be thankful that they haven’t done near as much as they’re capable of doing. What more can be said? Power as awesome as theirs plays by its own rules; and their patience is fast running out.… Read more »

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

@James Byron: It’s true that the GAFCON Primates could wilfully decide to separate as a group from the churches of the Global North and be their own Church. The fact that they haven’t done this by now is curious. They may be biding their time, but even their ACNA entity in the U.S., isn’t gaining the ground they expected within the Communion. The GAFCON Primates may be modern Prince-Bishops, but they have largely been manipulated by right wing conservatives in the USA. Whatever one may say about the decline and so-called irrelevance of the Church in the West, parting ways… Read more »

T Pott
Guest
T Pott

Perhaps a minor point, but is seems that “Gafcon UK” is in reality no more than Gafcon GB. No organisation limiting itself to England, Scotland and Wales, should ever pretend to the designation UK.

crs
Guest
crs

“The fact that they haven’t done this by now is curious.” I think the wild card here is the wider GS bloc and how they decide to evaluate things. The other side of this is what you mean by “separate and be their own church.” I strongly doubt this is the conception (with which you may disagree of course). The GS looks at (portions of) the CofE and liberal anglicanism in the west as the outlier. They wonder whether the present configuration by which the AC understands its identity and workings will survive. This is not “separation to be a… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

It’s a little silly to refer to a consensus when the whole reason the issue is being discussed is that there isn’t consensus and you’re attempting to impose uniformity.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

“Even the Primate of Australia confidently referred to a consensus about the doctrine of marriage…”

Except there no longer is one. Saying brave things because one wants to be brave is not unheard of.
Who knows, deep down inside his confidence may be shaken.

crs
Guest
crs

He’s a public figure. Address him. View the accesible briefing and ask him what he means.

To say you know what is his confidence ‘deep down inside’ is lazy or just rude.

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

So, crs, you are saying that they will just bide their time until there is no longer a church in the “West” or “Global North”. Then their ultra-right, homophobic, fundamentalist Anglicanism will be all there is. That’s’ a sad and cynical prognostication. One thing’s for sure-it will not be a form of Anglicanism that has ever existed. (I will not go into the finer points of that statement). It will be (and is) essentially a different religion.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re: CRS, “To say you know what is his confidence ‘deep down inside’ is lazy or just rude.” Well someone is rude, pal The comments from Archbishop Philip Freier, come at about 11:15 minutes in , “There is a strong consensus in the middle as I’ve affirmed in Australia that the doctrine of the Anglican Church concerning marriage is clear….” He goes on (13:59) “…in the center there is a strong consensus that the doctrine of Marriage in the Anglican Communion is clear and unchanged….” Freier’s remarks taken as a whole are in fact worth listening to. They are more… Read more »

crs
Guest
crs

Thank you for accurately stating what he said.

This helps us avoid the conjectures about his ‘deep down’ this or that.

grace and peace

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

“This helps us avoid the conjectures about his ‘deep down’ this or that.”

Contrary wise, keeping an open mind about such things can be illuminating, along the lines of Foucault’s analysis of public discourse by public figures who are in positions of power.

MarkBrunson
Guest
MarkBrunson

This is pointless. Separate. The arguments are circular, there is no end to it. One of the right-wing talking heads here has outlined a GS plan in which they will simply wait for us to die. The simple fact is, we are waiting on the same for them. Stop waiting. Withdraw from one another. It isn’t a matter of the hand telling the foot “I don’t need you,” but a matter of the hand insisting the entire body become a hand and the foot insisting the entire body become a foot. It’s useless, it’s embarrassing, it’s childish, and it is… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

Thing is, this isn’t two sides wanting equal and opposite things, this is one side that says differing views can co-exist and the other insisting on uniformity. Nobody is trying to force the Diocese of Sydney or the Church of Uganda to ordain gay people, or indeed individual Priests in TEC or the SEC to marry gay couples. That’s not on the table. All that’s being asked is that conservatives respect that SEC and TEC have found a place that allows for a diversity of views. Because it’s not about SEC and TEC having one view and other churches having… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest
MarkBrunson

Jo, I’m sorry, but that rings rather hollow to those who are on the receiving end of all this “diversity,” and “tolerance,” which promises us haven and respite from discrimination, while ensuring a platform for that discrimination to continue, and demanding that we acquiesce to that. From the conservative side, it would seem to be similar. It entraps us all in an ongoing, self-created and unnecessary warfare. I would also point out that you contradict yourself here, by opening your comment with “. . this is one side that says differing views can co-exist and the other insisting on uniformity.”… Read more »

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

But Jo, there really isn’t one side saying they can coexist. How many times on this site are people saying that anyone who doesn’t believe in SSM or women priests, etc. aren’t real Christians? That they are harming the women who want to be priests and the GLBT. There are a LOT of people saying that Sydney is not really a Christian or Anglican church because they don’t allow gay marriage or that North can’t be a bishop because that would negate women priests Many say anyone who doesn’t approve of gay marriage is an evil bigot. This is not… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

Care for the environment and respect for the rights of all people, particularly the poor and oppressed, are natural outworkings of the Gospel. I struggle to see how you can believe in a God who created the world and everything in it, who entrusted humanity with stewardship over creation and not recognise a Christian duty to protect it; to be “good stewards”. Likewise I can’t see how you can read Galatians 3:28 and not conclude that gender, race and class are not to be relevant categories in the church, and from that flows equal treatment of men and women, and… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest
MarkBrunson

Jo,

You *can’t* exclude them from the Body of Christ. They *cannot* exclude us. To assume that to separate from one another is to “exclude another from the Body of Christ” is incredibly arrogant.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

“How many times on this site are people saying that anyone who doesn’t believe in SSM or women priests, etc. aren’t real Christians?” No Chris H. You’ve missed the point. No one says they aren’t real Christians. Most of us simply say that we don’t want that view to have any power over us. Hold the view, fine. But enforcing it on others is quite a different thing – it’s oppression. Is there some way you can be happy holding your views while those with different views rejoice in SSM and equality? This isn’t about accommodating views. This is about… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

I’m well aware of the impossibility. Doesn’t stop them desiring it or trying to accomplish it. To try and force someone or a group of people out of the church is to do just that.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

If I understand Mark correctly, the arrogance isn’t in trying to push people out of churches but in believing that that will remove them from the Body of Christ.
No human being has that power.
The Body of Christ is made up of everyone who has faith.
People can stomp their feet and shut us out of the room, but they can no more evict us from the Body of Christ than shouting “you’re not by brother any more” actually changes the fact that siblings have the same parents.

Jo
Guest
Jo

I get that, Erika, and I agree. My point is that, regardless of the impossibility, by using words like “apostasy” and “abandoning the Gospel” they’re trying to achieve it nonetheless.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada has published a reflection on the Primates’ gathering. He has a section on the nature of the gathering and the notion of “consequences” as a feature of such a gathering. In that section he writes: “A few of the Primates, including me, continue to struggle with these kinds of consequences. I sometimes wonder if The Meeting of the Primates has in fact moved definitively beyond what Archbishop Donald Coggan intended it to be – a gathering for ‘leisurely thought, prayer, and deep consultation”; an occasion for the Primates to act “as channels… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest
MarkBrunson

Well, all this has shown me is that radical humanists have been right all along. I spent the weekend crying tears of blood over it, but I can see now that religion – even liberal religion – is not only the opiate of the masses, but a real danger. The message of the Anglican Communion – even the Episcopal Church – is not “We’ll fight for those with neither voice, nor power, nor wealth,” but the liberal equivalent of “Sending thoughts and prayers.” It would seem the only truly transformative power in Christianity – in ANY religion – is toward… Read more »