9/21/2012

Inter Anglican but not Pan Anglican: a note about the IASCUFO report

The Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO) has just had a meeting. The report of that meeting is HERE. There was noting particularly strange about that meeting except to note that  Dr. Katherine Grieb and Bishop Hector (Tito) Zavala, both who had been reduced in status to consultants were happily reinstated (some time ago actually) as full members. 

This is, as they say a GOOD THING, as it was strange that they were excluded from participation in the first place, since they do not represent jurisdictions but are there on the basis of their areas of interest and expertise.  

But here comes the interesting item:


The list of participants is as follows (from the ACNS account):


Present at the Dublin meeting:

The Most Revd Bernard Ntahoturi, Primate of the Anglican Church of Burundi, and Chair of the Commission
The Rt Revd Dr Georges Titre Ande,Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo
The Revd Canon Professor Paul Avis, Church of England
The Revd Sonal Christian, Church of North India
The Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut, World Council of Churches
The Rt Revd Dr Howard Gregory, The Church in the Province of the West Indies
The Revd Dr Katherine Grieb, The Episcopal Church 
The Rt Revd Kumara Illangasinghe, Church of Ceylon, Sri Lanka
The Revd Canon Dr Sarah Rowland Jones, Anglican Church of Southern Africa
The Rt Revd Victoria Matthews, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and  Polynesia
The Revd Canon Dr Charlotte Methuen, Scottish Episcopal Church/Church of England 
The Revd Canon Dr Simon Oliver, Church of England
The Rt Revd Dr Stephen Pickard, Anglican Church of Australia
Dr Andrew Pierce, Church of Ireland 
The Revd Canon Dr Michael Nai Chiu Poon, Church of the Province of South East Asia
The Revd Dr Jeremiah Guen Seok Yang, The Anglican Church of Korea
The Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director for Unity, Faith and Order
Mr Neil Vigers, Anglican Communion Office
The Revd Canon Joanna Udal, Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs
Unable to be present:
The Rt Revd Dr Dapo Asaju, The Church of Nigeria
The Revd Canon Clement Janda,The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
The Revd Dr Edison Kalengyo, The Church of the Province of Uganda
The Rt Revd William Mchombo, The Church of the Province of Central Africa
The Rt Revd Hector (Tito) Zavala, Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America (Anglican Communion)

It turns out that Dr Grieb came, and Bishop Tito Zavala did not. A careful look at the other members absent give us a sense of what might be going on here. Representative from Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, Central Africa, and The Southern Cone absented themselves, They were "unable" to be  present. 
Several African churches were represented, along with churches in the global south including India, Korea,  Ceylon, South East Asia and the West Indies. 
Those "unable to attend" are from core membership in GAFCON, who have apparently decided to carry forward their separation from those meetings that include the terrible and heretical West and North.  Who knows what's going on? For sure this is no coincidence, not everybody had doctors appointments the same glorious week.  
Interesting: The ACNS (Anglican Communion News Service) doesn't opine as to why the five worthies didn't make it to the meeting, and no one else seems to feel it is worthy of comment, but the fact is, they weren't there. Why?

If they are staying away on purpose it is yet another signal in the forward play of the GAFCON gang who, without actually caring one way or another who the next Archbishop of Canterbury is, are pulling together an alternate community (echoed in the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.)  At state is whether or not there will several world wide bodies of Anglicans with the same level of ecclesial rootedness in Anglican polity and roughly the same "passports" from Primates who working forward don't wall together. 

The meeting was apparently a good one, and the regular paid up Anglican Communion seems well served by its efforts.  Who knows what the alternate universe, exactly like this one except for the textual hook of "the faith once delivered..."  In this world the Anglican Communion is grounded in the fellowship of churches. In that world the Anglican Communion is grounded in faith. 

Perhaps we need to ask the new Archbishop of Canterbury to clarify: if members are drawn together because of their expertise then why is absence so clearly related to where those who are absent from?  

If it is about church of origin, then why doesn't the head office say so and say, "they stayed away because their churches are in disintegrating communion with the Church of England."




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