GAFCON dumps Saint Andrews Draft (SAD)...why are we not surprised?

Just in time for the Lambeth Conference, GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference) now transmogrified into the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FOCA) has issued its attack on the St. Andrew Draft of an Anglican Covenant.

We should not be surprised. The GAFCON final Statement and Jerusalem Declaration makes no mention at all of any sort of covenant, much less an Anglican Covenant. As far as GAFCON is concerned any attempt to make covenant with the Provinces of North America and Brazil are out of the question. I don't think they are very interested in England either.

Primates related to GAFCON /FOCA who seemingly constitute the Primates Council recommended by GAFCON, signed off on a message to the Archbishop of Canterbury as follows:

"We assure the Archbishop of Canterbury of our respect as the occupier of an historic see which has been used by God to the benefit of his church and continue to pray for him to be given wisdom and discernment.


The Most Rev Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria
The Most Rev Justice Akrofi, Primate of West Africa
The Most Rev Emmanuel Kolini, Primate of Rwanda
The Most Rev Valentine Mokiwa, Primate of Tanzania
The Most Rev Benjamin Nzmibi, Primate of Kenya
The Most Rev Henry Orombi, Primate of Uganda
The Most Rev Gregory Venables, Primate of The Southern Cone"

As close as they could come to any acknowledgement of the person of the Archbishop of Canterbury is to say, he is "the occupier of an historic see which has been used by God to the benefit of his church." Nothing present tense, nothing about the function of that office now simply referred to as "an historic see."

It's a kiss-off.

In that letter reference is made to the appended critique of the St. Andrew Draft. These Primates then are issuing their first collective challenge to the Communion. They write, respectfully of course, to let the Archbishop of Canterbury know that the Covenant is dead in the water, and that he, by the way, is simply the office holder of an historic see.

A bit insulting, wouldn't you say?


  1. A bit insulting?

    Are you kidding? These folks, and I mean ALL of them including the hanger-ons who are looking for a pot-of-gold throne/mitre instead of a heavely gate, haven't shown a moment of good manners, or a ounce of good judgement. It's been nothing but madness since their rabis shots lapsed!

    Insulting is nothing compared to the REAL fear and hate these ill-balanced, spiritually/emotionally, dudes have been cranking out for years now...besides, they wanted to play PRETEND that they disapproved of the COVENANT before it fades into nothingness/failure (even though their CAPA gang and pal ++Gomez of The West Indies hatched the whole failed "loyalty oath" off-with-their-heads attempt at excluding *others* at The Anglican Communion).

    Failure, more failed leadership as Gafconners sail/sale into the sunset of wholesome Christianlife.

  2. What I find interesting about the response is that these historically reformed and evangelical bodies seem to want to enforce "alien Episcopal supremacy" in a way that would make the English Reformers spin a bit.

  3. Yes, a bit insulting. And just as much to the rest of us as it is to ++Rowan Williams. Their conclusion says it all:

    "Given the profound and fatal difficulties identified in the draft covenant, the legal framework of the appendix will likewise be open to overwhelming objection. The proposed legal framework in any event exhibits the same flaws as the parent document, notably in the way unity is abstracted from biblical faithfulness and no account is taken of the possibility that the instruments of Communion themselves might be the focus of objection. Two other objections must be mentioned. First, the document describes four instruments of Communion, which it proposes will provide solutions to disputes. It fails to recognise the disproportionate influence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who invites to the Lambeth Conference, chairs the ACC and calls the Primates’ Meeting. The problem of this undue influence is compounded by the lack of formal accountability on the part of the Archbishop and the prominence the document envisages for this Primate is frankly colonialist. Secondly, the prominence given to the Joint Standing Committee of the ACC and Primates raises problems in increasing further the ability of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the ACC to exercise disproportionate influence over the Primates, thereby tending in effect to silence dissentient primatial voices."

    And no mention that those "dissentient primatial voices" would silence the voices of women and our GLBT brothers and sisters.

    I would really like to see a press blackout on their shenanigans during the Lambeth Conference. If they wanted their voices to be heard, they should have come to the table.

  4. Mark - Just above "It's a kiss off," I would suggest "referred" rather than "refereed."

    In some soccer-loving nations the phrase "refereed to" may make some sense, but the "nuance" may be lost on the rest of us.

  5. ed...again, thank you. are you by chance ed of delaware? or do I find in you another?

  6. Mark, just this. This is the blog spot of "my" bishop. What Lambeth can bring to us. Those good and gentle voices we need to hear right now. For his sake, for HIS sake, for all our sakes, for the sake of our own rector--brilliant, gracious, and good--,for The Rev. Dr. Clare Barry, who was selected to represent initiatives to improve the status of women, and is at Lambeth.

    This is the "news" we need to hear. I salute and honor them.


    And this is an aside p.s. to Ed. My husband's name is Ed and he has a Ph.D. in English. So, everytime I see one of your comments I immediately think it is my Ed. (Two 'eds are better than one?)

  7. There is something essential in both the criticism of the "liberal" and "conservative" wings of the church as it pertains to the Covenant, draft II (SAD): No one wins.

    There is something essential in both the criticism of the "liberal" and "conservative" wings of the church as it pertains to GAFCON/FOCA and their new "communion saving" devices: No one wins.

    There doesn't seem to be a majority of the communion that likes either route, which thrills me silly.

    The very day that any mention of "correct" Biblical interpretation is accepted in TEC... well, door/fanny you know the words.

    Neither is going anywhere so that means we are to stay in this tension, I believe, until the FOCA folks blink because the majority of the communion won't.

    Those with decades-old wounds will not be soothed by anything other than their understanding of the Communion which, apparently, is lodged in 1662 never to dislodge again. Ask me whether I would rather use the US '79, or the absolutely gorgeous New Zealand Prayer Book whose prayers are works of art in God.

    I think we can flap our gums all we want, but things will stay as they are now for the majority of the communion and those that remain in complete tirade (and those that truly need to leave, spiritually) may leave... JUST AS PEOPLE HAVE COME AND GONE SINCE ELIZABETH.


  8. One of the clearest examples of life imitating art I've ever seen is Martyn Minns' nearly perfect imitation of Anthony Trollope's Obadiah Slope. The acquisition of the mitre, and whatever power may accrue to it, has always been the goal of both these indivuduals. Minns, however, has been considerably more successful (at least temporally) than Mr. Slope in achieving said goal.

  9. Three of the signatories (Akrofi of West Africa, Mokiwa of Tanzania and Venables of the Southern Cone) are actually at Lambeth IIRC. The timing of this release must make it a tad uncomfortable for them. Particularly so if (as has been bruited about) this letter was issued without their sign-off.

  10. Excuse me!

  11. Let’s be real. Liberals don’t like the SAD (or the very idea of a covenant) either. Moreover, our fondness for the Archbishop of Canterbury is contingent on his having no real power. If we thought Rowan could actually do anything, we, too, would (rightly) see his exercise of power as tyranny. Besides, given the experience of his actions so far as archbishop, is there anyone would would want to trust the future of The Episcopal Church to him?

    P.S. This doesn’s mean that Rowan is not a nice person.

  12. not really insulting.....TEC bishop Chane calling the biblical views of African bishops"demonic" on English TV - now, that is insulting (and just plain upside down thinking....)

    the key thing to note is that without all the GAFCON people who represent well over half of the Anglicans in the world, Lambeth is a conference of a lot of bishops who represent few Anglicans......lots of self-importance (and money spent) but little relevance in the world or even their own countries .......

  13. I'm assuming a "realist" would want to be realistic. Realistically, a majority of those from, say, Nigeria and Uganda WOULD be there, thus allowing greater representation, if not for the threat of assault on vocation and livelihood (and even physical?) from certain archbishops who are more concerned about power than about theology.

    Besides, from the African clergy I have spoken to personally (even from Nigeria, for example), eyes roll at the mention of Akinola's name and the fact (FACT) that most Nigerians don't even know who Akinola is would indicate to me that brutes like Akinola and his (only five or six) pals not only do violence to the Gospel, but hardly "represent well over half of the Anglicans in the world."

  14. Sorry obadiahslope.

    That's why I said "Anthony Trollope's Obadiah Slope."

    You, dear obadiahslope, are no Mr. Slope.

    Uh. I think?

  15. realist, if supporting legislation that seeks to imprison a certain group of people because of their biology isn't demonic, your definition of demonic must be narrow indeed.

  16. I'd like to see a surce for this tale that Chane of Washington called the GAFFEPRONERS "dedmonic."

    All I've seen to date is a headline - with no supporting quote in the story below. (He does say that the American Church has been "demonized" - surely a simple statement of fact. No reference to the schismatics as "demonic," however.)

    Now, I am well aware that the journalist writing a story has little or nothing to do with the headline. The headline is written by some editor who may well have very little idea about the story beyond what was picked up in a cursory read.

    If I see a headline claiming that so and so said such and such, yet I see no supporting quote in the story, I always presume that the headline writer is responsible.

    I suppose it is possible that Chane of Washington called them "demonic." But sans evidence, I am not going to take the word of "realist," thanks.

    Ante up a link to a story that actually has a quote in it.

  17. Heres the article. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/17/religion

    And here's the quote from Chane. You will get a chance to check its context, possibly, when the BBC airs the doco.
    In Jerusalem last month, conservatives launched the Global Anglican Future Conference, a splinter movement for traditionalists.

    Angered by their criticism, Chane denied that the Episcopal church was guilty of leading the Anglican communion into error.

    "I think it's really very dangerous when someone stands up and says: 'I have the way and I have the truth and I know how to interpret holy scripture and you are following what is the right way,'" he said "It's really very, very dangerous and I think it's demonic.

    "The Episcopal church has been demonised. It has been a punching bag, and I'm sick of being a punching bag as a bishop and I'm sick of my church, my province being a punching bag."

    He made the remarks in Battle of the Bishops, a BBC2 documentary to be aired on Monday evening, which follows key churchmen from the US and Africa as they prepare for Gafcon.

  18. Malcom

    You can hear the TEC bishops say the words...

    “Battle of the Bishops” BBC 2 7 p.m. Monday 21 July

    You will be able to watch this or see a replay on the internet at www.bbc.co.uk

  19. Thanks for the links.

    On another matter, Greg of the Southern Cone has revealed that (quel surprise!) he did not sign off on the poisoned pen letter from GAFFEPRONE.

    Yet another GAFFE by poor Marty Minns, failing to do proper staff work.

    I wonder which other signatures were similarly forged.

  20. The key word here, Ob and anon (care to use a name?), is the fine-line but very real distinction between the word "it's" and the word "they're". "It's" demonic is quite different than "They're" demonic. One objectifies the action, which is perfectly acceptable (and accurate, in this case - not unlike what you claim for Bsp Robinson); the other personalizes it (makes it ontological), which is perfectly UNacceptable (still what often happens with Bsp Robinson).


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