SITTING AT THE LORD'S TABLE:
Statement from Global South Primates
A number of the Global South Primates have not shared in the Holy Eucharist
today with their fellow primates. They include Abp. Peter Akinola, Abp John
Chew, Abp. Benjamin Nzimbi, Abp Justice Akrofi, Abp. Henry Orombi, Abp.
Gregory Venables, and Abp. Emmanuel Kolini. They represent more than 30
million faithful Anglicans. They have released this statement:
"We each take the celebration of the Holy Eucharist very seriously. This
deliberate action is a poignant reminder of the brokenness of the Anglican
Communion. It makes clear that the torn fabric of the Church has been torn
further. It is a consequence of the decision taken by our provinces to
declare that our relationship with The Episcopal Church is either broken or
Scripture teaches that before coming to sit with one another at the Lord's
Table we must be reconciled. (Matthew 5:23-26 and 1 Corinthians 11:27-29) We
have made repeated calls for repentance by The Episcopal Church and its
leadership with no success. We continue to pray for a change of heart.
We are unable to come to the Holy Table with the Presiding Bishop of The
Episcopal Church because to do so would be a violation of Scriptural
teaching and the traditional Anglican understanding, "Ye that do truly and
earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your
neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of
God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith"
(Book of Common Prayer)
This is a painful decision for us and also for our host and brother, the
Most Rev¹d Donald Mtetemela. He understands our painful dilemma and accepts
our decision. Pray for the Church."
Friday, February 16, 2007
White Sands Hotel, Jangwani Beach, Tanzania
This is not surprising, except to note that the Global South group gets smaller every day. Now there are not twenty primates stepping back, but seven, five from Africa, one each from South American and Asia.
This then is not a statement from THE Global South Primates, but from some Global South Primates. Actually, mostly from the Steering Committee of the Global South Primates.
I continue to be amazed at their read of the requirements for coming to communion. These, as I understand it, have nothing to do with the sins of my neighbor at the rail, but with my own sins. If I have not been reconciled, then I should not come.
And, if they do not wish to associate with notable sinners (not so recognized by the priest at the table) then remember the Lord was willing. The gang at the Last Supper were pretty notable in their falling away.
The remnant of the Global South Leadership claims to represent 30 million Anglicans. But they do not represent either the Global South, or much else except themselves at this point. Thirty million Anglicans did not stay away. Seven did.