Well there it is: Now there are Thirteen signatures more or less for real attached to the Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury from certain Primates at the South to South Encounter in
None of this would be of much importance if it did not signal several things: (i) a bit of disarray in the management of things by the administration of the Global South meeting; (ii) at least misleading and perhaps false advertising of the unanimous action of the Primates present at the Encounter; and (iii) rudeness and exclusionary activity on several fronts that on the face of it support the charge that the South to South Encounter has indeed determined that it will discriminate against those whose theological views its leadership find wanting.
In addition the chief delegate from the Province of Southern Africa, Bishop Seoka stated in a letter quoted in an article in the Church Times that he had “found himself excluded from meetings, including those at which the letter was discussed - despite the presence, it appeared, of others who were neither Primates nor, indeed, from the Global South.”
So the wider list of excluded and disavowing folk included the representative from:
The Southern Cone (although the name is still on the list), none singled out as “Present but had to leave before the final draft was circulated”
So now there are 13, and some of that is a bit weak.
About the persons reported by the Southern African Bishop as “others who were neither Primates nor, indeed, from the Global South”: one could hope they were there only to observe, staff the meeting or assist in some non-intrusive way. But I believe such hope is in vain. It must have been at least irksome for Bishop Seoka, attending on behalf of the Province, to be excluded from the meeting and know non-Primates not from the Global South, were there.
Rudeness and discrimination know no boundaries, and no organization or party is excluded from criticism. Still, when it happens the criticism is in order. Once the planning committee for the South to South Encounter had decided that Provinces of the Global South could be excluded because their theological views were incorrect, and that went unchallenged, there is no end of possibilities for exclusion, rejection and manipulation to follow.
The Brazilian bishops in their letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, reported in The Living Church online, correctly chides the Archbishop for attending the South to South Encounter without objecting to the way in which
The letter to the Archbishop has been roundly criticized on many levels. This is both deserved and unfortunate - deserved because of its references to such propositions as “Europe is a spiritual desert,” (see the article by David Edwards in the Church Times, brought to us all by Thinking Anglicans; and unfortunate because there are sections of its critique to which attention ought to be paid.
More importantly the letter to the Archbishop has been handled in such a way as to expose a serious problem with the exclusionary activities of those managing the workings of what is now called Global South Anglicans. The Chair of that work, the Archbishop of Nigeria, and the General Secretary, now the Primate of Singapore, bear the responsibility for this.