On September 3-4 the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa met and for two months there was no report on the meeting. Yesterday, signed by the Vice Chair of CAPA, Archbishop Kolini, there was finally a statement. You can read the whole statement HERE.
The relation between CAPA, the Global South group and GAFCON is complex, but suffice to say that the GAFCON Primates are, with the exception of the Primate of the Southern Cone are all part of CAPA and some are part of the Global South Steering Committee (GSSC). CAPA and the GSSC represent somewhat broader interests than CAPA and GAFCON leadership groups, although CAPA has the unique advantage of not having Bishop Venables around to muck up matters.
The tone of the CAPA statement reflects its somewhat broader concerns. It closes with this,
"- We shall use all available resources including the catechism, to equip and disciple our flock into the faith and enable them to understand their privileges and responsibilities placed on them in their choice to follow Christ;
- That the new Strategic Plan and ongoing constitutional review process pick up those concerns and aspirations. On matters concerning the Anglican Communion GAFCON is encouraged to maintain its commitment to being a renewing fellowship within the Anglican Communion.
- We remain engaged on issues concerning the Anglican Communion, and in this regard Primates will respond positively to the invitation by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2009.
- Encourage the Global South to speed up the preparations for the 4th Trumpet and mandate them to continue to give us the lead in the on-going dialogue regarding the proposed Covenant."
CAPA wants GAFCON to be a "renewing fellowship within the Anglican Communion."
It is unclear just what invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury is being welcomed - I presume it is the Primates Meeting now being held in Egypt in January 2009. The signal that the African Primates intend to be part of that meeting is good news.
CAPA looks to the Global South "4th Trumpet" meeting as the occasion to have on-going dialogue on the Covenant. In this CAPA seems to clearly understand that the Anglican Covenant is a work in progress and believes that the proper place for those matters to be discussed is the Global South meeting.
It remains to be seen what sorts of struggles have been going on in the background. The change in venue and dates from the Bahamas to Egypt may mean something. The fact that CAPA is pointing more to the Global South group rather than GAFCON Primates for leadership is of great interest. The apparent difficulty in getting the CAPA statement out after their meeting, and that Archbishop Kolini's signature is on the document raises questions about just how united the CAPA Primates are.
My sense is there is a struggle going on among the groups - GAFCON, CAPA and the Global South, and that the Global South is becoming the more attractive coalition.