Thinking Anglicans

Some reports on the Gafcon Assembly

The Global Anglican Future Conference which has been meeting this week in Jerusalem has issued a communiqué. The full text is here: Letter to the Churches – Gafcon Assembly 2018. The full text of the Presidential Address by Archbishop Okoh is available: Proclaiming Christ Faithfully to the Nations God’s Gospel.

The Church Times has two reports: GAFCON participants lay claim to Anglican orthodoxy and Two thousand meet at GAFCON conference in Jerusalem.

Covenant has some commentary from Esau McCaulley of ACNA, including Kenya Ponders Future with GAFCONThe Living Church reports: ACNA Archbishop Named GAFCON Chairman.

The Anglican Communion News Service was refused accreditation to cover this event. See Third Gafcon conference underway in Jerusalem and then also Facts, fiction and fake news.

There was also a row about this letter to the GAFCON primates from the Secretary General which led to this Response to the ACC Secretary General’s Criticism of Gafcon’s Ministry Networks.

Prior to the conference there had been the regular monthly letter from the then Chairman: Chairman’s June 2018 letter.

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dr.primroseCynthia KatsarelisRichard GrandCRSStanley Monkhouse Recent comment authors
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Father Ron Smith
Guest

My view of the Gafcon Statement, which includes a specific reference to our Province of the Anglican Church in Aotearioa/New Zealand – is less than hopeful of an eirenic outcome from the secessionist Conference leadership. The text promises ‘assistance’ to those Anglicans in N.Z. who have not accepted a decision of our General Synod to allow for same-sex legally-married couples to receive a Church Blessing. What can this mean – except to provide ‘alternative espicopal oversight’ through the ordination of a bishop to oversee a rival pseudo-Anglican Church in our country? After all, this is what has happened in North… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I forgot to say – in my earlier comment – that the new Chair of the Gafcon Provinces is the ‘Archbishop of ACNA’ who is not ‘in communion’ with Canterbury, Lambeth or the Primates’ Conference or any of the ‘instruments’ of the official Anglican Communion! This facile development of Jensen and co in Jerusalem will fool no-one – except those who simply do not know what is going on, whether part of the Gafcon Provinces (they probably haven’t been consulted) or further afield where Anglican Churches are busy with ‘being’ the Good News of Jesus Christ in works of pity,… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

The seemingly parallel ministry structure may or may not be a big deal. However, naming Foley Beach chair of GAFCON is definitely throwing down the gauntlet. At least they understand that they are seen as a one issue organization. It is also most unfortunate that Okoh didn’t denounce human rights violations of LGBTQI people, violations that have often come about with the support of the church. Essentially, each paragraph has variations on the theme of “we hate gay people, acceptance of gay people screws up your salvation, even associating with those people and their supporters is an attack on the… Read more »

FrDavidH
Guest
FrDavidH

One can take a ‘Gamaliel’ approach on matters concerning Garfcon. If the answer to the question “Is Peter Jensen in favour of this subject” is “Yes”, then it is not of God.

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

This is a most worthy strategy and one that I commend unreservedly. In my former career, and now as a PP, I’ve been fortunate to be able to identify colleagues and even parishioners to assist in my deliberations. When I’m in a quandary, I approach one such person for advice. Then I do the opposite. Works every time. I never give GAFCON a thought, except when provoked by TA, instead getting on with my PP-ing as best I can. Some diocesan advisers are in the same category, always dreaming up things to make me feel guilty for not doing because… Read more »

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

I find it troubling that they are hosted in Jerusalem, since the optics and ethos of this is designed to enhance their credibility. I understand why the Bishop of Jerusalem has no alternative, since he can’t be seen to be against them in the delicate place he inhabits in world Anglicanism. These people also bring lots of cash to the city itself. Where some of it comes from would be an interesting study. Nevertheless, having been to St. George’s College and Cathedral and seeing that the Bishop of Jerusalem has been generously hosted in dioceses of the Anglican Church of… Read more »

Andrew John
Guest
Andrew John

Remember, Gafcon represents the majority of the Anglican Communion. If England, USA, Canada and New Zealand want to have a minority communion so be it. What we saw in Jerusalem was the gathering of the vast majority of Anglicans in the world. That is just fact.

RPNewark
Guest
RPNewark

That is not “just fact”. To use a popular term, it is “fake news”. Just how many of the members of the provinces that were represented at the GAFCON meeting have ever been consulted by their “leaders” as to their views on the issues? Ah, I thought not. The people at Jerusalem represent themselves and have no mandate from the wider membership of their churches or provinces – with the possible exception of the schismatic body in North America.

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

So their numbers validate their objective and point of view? They must be taken seriously because there are so many of them? Would you then say that their policies about rejecting gay people and supporting their criminalization-or worse-must therefore be correct? That this view of the Christian faith and of Christ’s ministry must be the only valid one? We really don’t know what their numbers mean anyway. How they count and report numbers may be quite different than we would expect.

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

The ACC represents the vast majority of the Anglican Communion and is far more inclusive. They chose not to make sexuality a central issue or to fall in line with the divisive proclamations of the primates. This is just fact. The women of the ACC wrote a “walking together” statement saying as much. In 2018, those men in Jerusalem are not representing the whole communion. That is just a fact. Jesus said to love your neighbor, including your gay neighbor. Loving all of your neighbors is difficult and costly, if GAFCON ever asks its membership to do that, they will… Read more »

etseq
Guest
etseq

Church membership – or really any quantitative data about religion – is notoriously difficult to measure and sociologists of religion are generally skeptical of self-reports from institutional churches. The best data is population wide studies as selection effects are minimized and large sample sizes allows for fine grained comparisons of sub-groups. Due to the expense, most population studies are government funded (such as national censuses or CDC epidemiological surveys) or joint ventures (GSS, British Social Attitudes, etc) in the developed nations but reliable data for the developing world is almost non-existent. Pew and Gallup attempt some international surveys focusing on… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Gafcon does NOT represent the majority of the Provinces of the Anglican Communion, It DOES represent the radical ‘Sola Scriptura’ disciples, for whom the Anglican virtues of Tradition and Reason seem to bear little weight in their anxiety for the primacy of Law against Love.

Chaplain Bunyan
Guest
Chaplain Bunyan

My being a supporter of traditional marriage – and of same sex union, I don’t always agree with Fr Ron, but do so here and in general. An ancient (82) licensed priest of Sydney Diocese, still very active, I am only too well aware of the intolerant, extremely un-Anglican ways so evident in the great part of my diocese now – very different to the Diocese under fine conservative evangelicals Archbishops Loane, Robinson, and Goodhew, let alone under liberal evangelicals such as Archbishops Wright and Gough. But perhaps the name of the organisation being discussed is mis-spelt : I think… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

One major development is the statement of the Province of SE Asia. They, like Indian Ocean, Middle East, Burundi and others were not full-throated members of Gafcon. They have declared themselves out of communion with liberal provinces and in communion with Gafcon. I was in Singapore lecturing at St Andrews Cathedral 2 years ago and they were not then at this point.

CRS
Guest
CRS

And by the way, which is it, 1) the numbers are false, 2) the numbers are true but that doesn’t matter, 3) the numbers are true but the leaders of represented provinces do not reflect the REAL numbers and they aren’t governed in a democratic way, like ‘we’ are. As for the ACC, they claim to be the representatives of the Provinces which precisely are the ones claiming they no longer believe in the ACC. So it isn’t ‘ACC v. something else’ but whether the ACC has the allegiance of those it claims to represent. You don’t have to agree… Read more »

Nigel LLoyd
Guest

I don’t think it was the vast majority of Anglicans that met in Jerusalem. By my calculation it was nearer to 0.0023%, which falls somewhat short of 50%. It is too easy for church leaders to get something voted through their own synods and then talk as if they held a block vote of millions when attending such a conference. I have seen parishes in England that have been staunchly anti the ministry of women, until their parish priest moves on, at which point it turns out they did not actually believe that. One such parish in my area had… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

So I put you down for 3. “Our” provinces are genuinely representative but those we disagree with are Church Leaders Getting Things Voted Through. Indulging in anecdotes? I cannot count how many episcopalians I have known who ask in exasperation, “Just who are these people at General Convention and why can’t our Diocese and Bishop and Parishes be left alone?” My hunch is that this argument exists robustly on all sides of the theological spectrum. The idea that the conservative Bishops/Provinces are being misrepresented is nonsense. I’d like to see an event more robustly attended by rank and file than… Read more »

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

Those who are zealous for a cause usually are more robust in their attendance and in expressing themselves. This does not make them right, nor does it say anything about the numbers they claim to represent. It aids their cause to claim high numbers, but we have no idea how they count or even estimate numbers. Even in western countries we have numbers by Census and numbers on parish lists. Even the latter number is not clear. Is is all members, including nominal ones, those who are active, those who support financially, or those who have any connection, however remote,… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

I have to laugh, “those who are zealous for a cause” refers to just whom? There is no shortage of zeal on all sides these days!

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

If the Gafcon bishops are willing to fly/travel from around the world (the source of money allowing them to do so would be worth finding out), then it would be obvious that they have an agenda or cause that they feel strongly about. Remember that this is a voluntary (?) organization. It has been stated here and elsewhere, as is obvious from their issued statements, that fighting for “orthodoxy” and “Biblical authority”, (which are really about the single issue of excluding gay people and opposing all who support them), is a goal that surpasses all others, To attain it there… Read more »

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

While some enthuse about the numbers these people supposedly represent, let’s not forget that one issue, above all, is the reason for their existence-the suppression and banishment of LGBTQ2 people. This article may remind us what is really happening in these bastions of “orthodoxy.”

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/22/opinion/sunday/LGBT-Africa.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Divorce left out of the closing statement and no list of bishops, which would show the Anglican component was outnumbered and augmented by schismatic bodies. 319 indeed. Another waste of Sydney money. “For some time, our Communion has been under threat from leaders who deny the Lordship of Christ and the authority of Scripture. In the late 20th century, human sexuality became the presenting issue.” Notice it didn’t start for them with divorce and remarriage in 1936 abdication scandal or the 1930 contraception compromise. Fact is that several of those bishops are divorced and remarried.

Richard
Guest
Richard

GAFCON itself is fractured. Abp Beach is against the ordination of women, and it is claimed that he does not ordain women. ACNA does not publish, that I know of, a clergy list that would show how many female clergy have been ordained/accepted. Bishop Jack Iker has declared his diocese (Ft. Worth) in impaired communion with dioceses of ACNA which ordain women. That would also put him in impaired communion with most of the provinces of GAFCON. Nigeria, notably, does not ordain women to the priesthood. ACNA’s task force on ordination of women wasn’t definitive; it maintained the status quo… Read more »

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

I don’t like the new format whereby comments are voted up or down. It seems pointless to me to “score” comments this way and is prejudicial. One thing is obvious: that this site can be trolled by those pushing numbers up or down to make it look as if their “side” is in the majority. It’s interesting that, on this “liberal” site, the positive comments about GAFCON’s numbers, influence, etc., have received more approving votes. This is not a welcome addition.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

“I don’t like the new format whereby comments are voted up or down.” I hadn’t noticed the new feature until you pointed it out. I’ll bet if Socrates were posting today, he would smile a wry smile at as many ‘minus’ comments as possible. It’s usually the the unpopular prophet who is right, no? ( :

crs
Guest
crs

Don’t worry, RG, you are in the very popular, non-prophetic majority here at TA!! Have a good day.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

I wanted to give my own comment on your comment a negative vote….but that is disallowed. ( :
Good to know folks cannot vote for ( or against) themselves, I suppose.

Speaking of which, ” …it was a lack which defeated me, although not of words; it was a lack of effrontery and shamelessness, and of a willingness to make you the sort of addresses you would have liked best to hear…”
–Plato, Apology ( W.H. D. Rouse translation).

dr.primrose
Guest
dr.primrose

Concerning the ACNA view on the ordination of women, the FAQ page from its website says: “Q. What is the ACNA’s position on women’s ordination? “A. At the inception of the Anglican Church in North America, the lead Bishops unanimously agreed to work together for the good of the Kingdom. As part of this consensus, it was understood that there were differing understandings regarding the ordination of women to Holy Orders, but there existed a mutual love and respect for one another and a desire to move forward for the good of the Church. This commitment was deeply embedded in… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

How interesting that the bishops of ACNA can “work together” on the subject of female ordination, accepting “different understandings” with “mutual love and respect,” but cannot take the same attitude as to sexual orientation. It does make one think, doesn’t it?

Richard
Guest
Richard

I have read the same comments regarding the phasing out of female priests through death/retirement. I’ve also heard that existing female priests will be “converted” to deaconesses. I believe the FAQs on the ACNA website pre-date the report from September 2017. (http://www.anglicanchurch.net/?/main/page/1519)

An exclusively male priesthood will put ACNA in the minority of GARCON provinces with similar policy.

Jim Pratt
Guest
Jim Pratt

GAFCON makes a point of claiming it is not a one-trick pony, yet then goes on to focus the largest section of the communiqué on that one issue, and give it the greatest level of detail. Everything else is treated with generalities. And then, to underscore their point, they elect the primate of ACNA as Chair. They really are all about sex; everything else is window dressing. I do think Archbishop Ole Sapit’s approach is practical. There is nothing wrong with being in dialogue with not-in-the-communion churches, and even being in communion with them, because there may be some benefits… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Guest
Robert Ian Williams

Its not about sex per se ..its about homosexuality , as they have airbrushed heterosexual immorality out of it. They have no theology of what marriage really is..as evangelicals cannot agree as to what scripture teaches on divorce.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

For me, Jim (Pratt), the basis of communion within the ACC is co-participation in the Eucharist. When a province declares itself unable to share with other provinces at ‘The Table of The Lord’ the object of ‘communion’ is missing.
Returnees from Gafcon to New Zealand have already declared their separation out from ACANZP – on the basis of our acceptance at G.S. of a Blessing for S/S legally married couples (at the discretion of the local bishop). For the FCANZ members, this is their excuse for schism.

Interested Observer
Guest
Interested Observer

“They really are all about sex; everything else is window dressing.” They’re also quite good at getting media coverage in the West, disproportionate to their actual numerical or organisational influence. The impression they manage to give is akin to that which the BBC allowed Anjem Choudary (now in gaol) to give: that their faith is more faithful than others (and, indeed, others’) and therefore that people who don’t agree with them are less genuine. Choudary and the BBC conspired to make Muslims look unreasonable, and to make reasonable Muslims doubt their faith; GAFCON have a similar effect on Anglicanism in… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Re: GAFCON. Insightful article in the Irish Times (link). “Attendance by two Church of Ireland bishops at the conservative Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) meeting in Jerusalem last week has provoked deep anger among the church’s clergy..” https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/bishops-presence-at-gafcon-an-absolute-disgrace-1.3542265 In the Canadian social context, where conventional organized religion is largely moribund, the religious message of GAFCONACNA is selling will only reinforce negative views of religion here. I suspect the same is the case in most western democracies. The Communion, especially member provinces like Canada, ought to be doing more to flag and address the very serious problems with human and democratic… Read more »

Richard Grand
Guest
Richard Grand

Is Gafcon really representative of the global South and the majority of the Anglican Communion? Read this.
http://anglicanfuture.blogspot.com/2018/06/how-western-and-white-is-gafcon.html

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Thank you for posting this link. Unbelievable. It does seem to be the farce I’ve always suspected it to be.

dr.primrose
Guest
dr.primrose

For those without sufficient time to read the whole thing, the point being made is that GAFCON is largely run by white westerners, not third world people: “So taken together, the package of Chair, Secretary General and deputies to the Secretary General for the whole mess of porridge [GAFCON], we have seven persons. Four (three from ACNA and one from Sydney) are white western men, and three are African (Two from Nigeria, one from Rwanda). “Or looked at another way, three are from the US, one from Australia, one from England, and three from Africa.” It’s particularly telling that almost… Read more »