The Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chair of GAFCON has written to his Church about the Primates Meeting and said this:
"Flagrant violation of biblical teaching has been punished and this
meeting has shown that the rebuilding of the Communion is not just a
matter for the Archbishop of Canterbury, but a concern for every member
So the Archbishop of Canterbury may say it is not sanctions, but consequences, but the Archbishop of Kenya, who is also the Chairman of the GAFCON Primates is clear - it is punishment. The so-called requirement that TEC be excluded on various levels from engagement with Anglican Communion bodies is a punishment, and the punishing body is GAFCON led, not Canterbury led.
The Archbishop of Kenya has no qualms in telling like it is, or appears, in his eyes. And, he has not doubt that this is only the beginning. He writes,
"An overwhelming majority of the Primates present voted that TEC
should be excluded from all meetings which represent the Anglican
Communion and that it should be suspended from internal decision-making
bodies, initially for three years."
"The GAFCON Primates, of whom I am chairman, worked hard with other
orthodox Primates to achieve this result despite predictions by many
that the meeting would be carefully managed to prevent any firm
"Initially for three years," is an indication that the ABK clearly believes that this is an initial punishment, to be followed one supposes, by other possibilities in the future.
In the rarefied realms of Archbishops and the like it seems there is a dizzying effect, in which they confuse their standing as servants of the servants of God for some sort of office where they rule with the rod. The problem is, at least according to a Canon Law expert, Norman Doe, not the Primates, not the Archbishop of Canterbury and not even the Archbishop Chairman of GAFCON can require TEC to withdraw its engagement with Anglican Communion bodies. And, just to be clear, there is NO provision for any Archbishop of any Province, collection of Provinces or the ABC as first among equals for the whole blessed Anglican Communion, to punish member churches.
There certainly will be consequences for all churches in the Communion as a result of this whole mess. But when GAFCON calls for punishment we need to put the skunk on the table.
Archbishops have been known in the history of the Church to have been bullies. And, unless I can be convince otherwise, the ABK is in this instance, as Chair of GAFCON Primates, speaking as a bully. He has no authority. He speaks with what is in some quarters considered to be a powerful voice, that of the "overwhelming majority of Primates." But does he? Did the other non GAFCON Primates vote to punish? I think not. Sanction, perhaps; reveal consequences, perhaps; but punish, no. And without authority, the punishing voice can sound loud, but only for a time. After a few moments, the voice is that of a bully.