FOCA not exactly taking the world by storm

Archbishop Akinola in a recent interview opined that, "The secretary (of GAFCON) spoke with me recently and said that about 300 people have logged on to our website and registered. That is in addition to those that met in Jerusalem ."

The "sign on" is to the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FOCA). So in five months since the GAFCON conference some three hundred people worldwide have found it of some value to sign on to GAFCON, whatever that means.

300? No great sign of the groundswell of support for GAFCON and its declarations, etc. 300 out of some 70 million seems pretty slim pickings.

FOCA is another shell in the shell game. The shells in motion give us the sense that GAFCON and others are interested in being a fellowship within the Anglican Communion. The prize is to take it over. Meanwhile the diversions continue so that we might be fooled.


  1. It is the nature of extremists to create ever more grandiose names and titles for their organizations. Thus the schismatic movement has several operative names at the moment (FOCA, GAFCON, ACNA for a start), not to mention the dozens of previous incarnations of their movement (ESA for just one example).

    When I was at university, there were campus clubs for the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), the Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist) and the Revolutionary Group In Struggle. Collectively, the CPCM-L. the CCLM-L and In Struggle had fewer members than the moribund university branch of the Communist Party of Canada - the real one.

    Yet nothing was more fun than to get one of the petty functionaries of these tiny groups wound up over the perceived doctrinal departures of one of the other tiny groups.

    It rather made this video look like a serious discussion (language warning):


  2. “Yet nothing was more fun than to get one of the petty functionaries of these tiny groups wound up over the perceived doctrinal departures of one of the other tiny groups.”

    Malcolm – how big is your group?

    Mote & Beam.

  3. Hmm, I can the future splits now:

    1. Anglican Traditionalist Liberation Front
    2. Traditional Anglican Liberation Front
    3. Front for the Preservation of Traditional Anglicanism
    3. Front for the Preservation of Traditional Anglicanism (No Gay or Girl Cooties Allowed)
    4. The REAL Church of Traditional Anglicanism
    5. The REAL Church of Traditional Anglicanism (1552 Book of Common Prayer)

  4. Frankly, who cares about the other clammoring groups? We've been preached to again and again how they are nothing but a passing fad that will fade away. If they are nothing to TEC's leaders (and bloggers here) then why do they keep getting so much distracting time on this blog? Tearing THEM down doesn't enhance the image of TEC, nor does it address pertinent issues. How about subjects INSIDE TEC that affect it's survival, standing with the majority who stay away on Sundays, and our place in the Anglican Communion? Of interest in TEC's Province:

    Didn't Bishop Bruno just finally admit via the LA Times that he now officially endorses SSBs? Let's see: to get invited to Lambeth he had to agree with the moratoria in Windsor. Now that Lambeth is done, another face can be put on. All supposedly because Caesar said that marriage is now something that it never was? Are we chaplains for the government now?

    Gotta love that New Thing!

  5. Hi Mark--I recently suggested, tongue in cheek, on another blog that we should create a new dance, "The Gafcon/Foca" To the tune of the hokey pokey:

    You throw the numbers in
    You throw the numbers out
    You throw the numbers in
    and shake them all about
    Do the Gafcon/Foca

    TA has an interesting post quoting ++Akinola in a Nigerian paper and I found the bits about how much money they actually have rather interesting and wondering how much he is spending on alleviating the misery in Nigeria. Maybe he'll give ++Rowan a quid or two to pay off Lambeth.

  6. 300 out of some 70 million seems pretty slim pickings.

    Just to play Devil's Advocate, Mark: I'm sure the argument will be made that a goodly percentage (if not the majority) of the claimed 70 million, don't have internet access.

    [Which begs the question: if they don't have internet access, how can we be so sure whom they side with, in a largely internet-generated fracas?]

  7. rt - more than some, it seems.

    Hard to tell for sure. My group publishes membership criteria, while another simply makes grandiose claims in newspaper interviews.

  8. Here is what seems to me at least a straightforward attempt to get to the bottom of the numbers for the"new" province. I could not hear the sound of an axe being ground as i read it anyway.


  9. Thank you, obadiahslope. Fr. Greg Jones's analysis gives us both membership numbers and estimated ASA numbers. In both cases, he says, the strength of the "new province" is about 5% of the strength of the Episcopal Church.

    This is consistent with what I know about the sociology of extremism. In a crisis, as much as 18% of a group (almost never more) may be attracted to extremist positions, but when the crisis has passed, only the committed 5%-8% of extremists will be left.

    Compare the figures for membership in extremist Anglican organizations with, for example, the numbers of French voters who voted for LePen and the extreme rightist nationalists over the years. LePen's numbers fluctuated between exactly the same percentages over many years.

    The extremist core of 5-8% are never dangerous as such, but the 18% can be, and in the right circumstances, guided by the committed few, can mount a coup or takeover. Part of the art of governance is to ensure that the percentage of extremists remains low; the other part is to ensure that, if they suddenly rise, the newly powerful extremists will be prevented from carrying out a coup. It is always disastrous for the organization or nation to allow extremists to come to power. Whether the extremists are the Anabaptists of Munster, or the Taliban of Afghanistan, the Bolsheviks, Fascists, or Jacobins, the result of permitting them to come to power is disaster for the entire group.

    I sound as though I am talking politics -- and I am. It's been my belief for a long time now that the attempted takeover of the Episcopal Church/ Anglican Communion has little or nothing to do with faith, and everything to do with the American right-wing extremist politics of the past 20-30 years.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.