12/13/2013

Anglican Communion Faith and Order, and where are reps from the Global South

The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order just had its meeting in  Jamaica and has reported out.

Two things to note:

(i) IASCUFO wrote:

We recognise the need to discern and embrace new and life-giving interventions of the Holy Spirit in our Communion worldwide during the past half-century, with particular reference to the churches in the southern continents.
 
Reflecting on the discussions and resolutions of ACC-15, IASCUFO has focussed on the need to strengthen Communion relationships in the 21st Century and has again noted the importance of the Instruments of Communion as signs and servants of our common life. We believe face-to-face encounters are essential for the well-being of our Communion and that the Lambeth Conference, in particular, constitutes a crucial part of our life together in taking common counsel and in expressing our common identity."

IASCUFO has put it to the Churches... face to face encounters are essential, and the Lambeth Conference is crucial to life together in the Communion.  The Commission is pushing for a next Lambeth Conference.  It also makes a peculiar and somewhat mysterious comment about the Holy Spirit and churches in the southern continents. It is hard to know what IASCUFO meant by this remark.

(ii) The communique notes who was present and who was absent.  They were labled, "unable to be present."

The missing are:
The Rt Revd Dr Georges Titre Ande, Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo
The Rt Revd Dr Dapo Asaju, The Church of Nigeria
The Rt Revd Kumara Illangasinghe, Church of Ceylon, Sri Lanka
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)


 That's five from Africa, one from South America and one from Sri Lanka.  All "Global South" churches.

No doubt some could not attend for matters having to do with church life in difficult circumstances. But the fact that seven of the twenty four to be absent, and all those from the Global South, raises the question of what make them "unable to attend."  

If the instruments of Communion are being stressed, absence from Commissions that grow from those instruments, and in particular the Angican Consultative Council, is important to note.

The Communique does not spell all this out, but the subtext seems clear - life in the Communion requires participation in its consultations. Being there is important.

5 comments:

  1. I'm not sure why anyone is surprised they didn't show. The description of the meeting given while vague and positive lends one to believe that it was really all about why the church should throw out the old conservative theology and accept the new liberal vision of the future. Why go to a meeting when you know it's going to be spent explaining why everything you believe is wrong, but everyone still loves you even though you're completely wrong and rather like Neanderthals. When was the last time someone in TEC or the CoE said, "Maybe we need to strengthen some of the traditional faith ideas or become more literal or follow the BCP or be more like those in the Global South"? Won't happen.
    If you know that nobody at the meeting is going to listen to you, but only wants you there to lecture you, why not save the money and time and get on with your life? When there is no real communion of faith and order; everyone does what they want, then why lie and pretend?

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  2. Choosing not to attend is completely consistent with the Gafcon strategy of boycotting Lambeth, and their attitude that they hold the truth and thereby should dictate the rules all abide by.

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  3. Savi Hensman14/12/13 6:23 PM

    I do not think the Church of Ceylon has ever been part of Global South Anglican.

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  4. Savi Hensman17/12/13 3:48 PM

    I should add that it is unhelpful to make assumptions about people and churches simply because they are African or Asian. Far from being part of a Gafcon boycott of Lambeth 2008, both Sri Lankan bishops were present and Duleep de Chickera gave the opening sermon, saying that 'the Church is called to be... an inclusive communion, where there is space equally for everyone and anyone, regardless of colour, gender, ability, sexual orientation. Unity in diversity is a cherished Anglican tradition'.

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  5. TEC already follows the BCP 1979 and the Baptismal Covenant contained therein. Respecting the dignity of every human being will always get us into trouble with the Global South.

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