5/05/2018

GAFCON alternative universe expands

GAFCON, a conference that spawned an alternative universe in Anglican-land, is tooling up for its next GAFCON in Jerusalem. As part of the run-up to that meeting, the Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council announced the following:
"We will therefore continue to endorse new missionary initiatives and jurisdictions where necessary to take forward the work of the gospel. 
Accordingly, we shall recognize the Anglican Church in Brazil, currently the Anglican Diocese of Recife, as a Province in the Anglican Communion when it is inaugurated on May 21st and in Jerusalem we shall welcome Archbishop-elect Miguel Uchoa as the first Primate. This new Province will provide for orthodox Anglicans in Brazil just as the Anglican Church in North America provided for orthodox Anglicans in the United States and Canada ten years ago."
The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria and Chairman, the Gafcon Primates Council, (my, that is a wealth of titles), continues the GAFCON strategy of recognizing alternatives to the Provinces of the Anglican Communion in those places where existing Provinces don't conform to their sensibilities concerning what is Anglican and Christian.  
In the land of smoke and mirrors that GAFCON has produced, "Provinces" are announced by GAFCON as part of the Anglican Communion by fiat. But of course, that is serious BS. The Anglican Communion does have a structure, and Provinces are formed in that structure by a reasonably defined process. And, just as a reminder, it does not provide for alternative provinces. 
Still, In these days, when lies are repeated again and again in the hopes that after a while no one will notice, GAFCON plays the game.. If GAFCON says the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is a Province of the Anglican Communion or the so-called "Anglican Diocese of Recife" is a Province of the Anglican Communion, and keeps saying it, maybe after a while no one will mind. And after a time the phrase "Anglican Communion" will indeed come to mean more what GAFCON envisions, and less what the current Anglican Communion crowd understands it to be. All that is required is for the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Anglican Communion Office, and existing Provinces to say and do nothing.
At the moment that seems what is happening.  Where is the pushback? Does anyone give a damn that GAFCON is playing fast and loose with the idea of an Anglican Province? Do any of the existing Provinces of the Anglican Communion demand that GAFCON primates stop messing around in jurisdictions other than their own?  And, here in Episcopal-land, where is the support of the Anglican Episcopal Province of Brazil? When will our own leadership move to demand an accounting from GAFCON primates who in this latest coup attempt have declared the Anglican Episcopal Province of Brazil to be defunct and heretical and have replaced it (in their own minds) with some new thing? 
If there is no objection from the existing Anglican Communion provinces or from some part of the Anglican Communion "instruments of unity", GAFCON primates will pretty much get away with whatever they want.  This whole thing stinks of bad church politics, learned at the hands of dispossessed American Episcopalians, the same crowd that produced the ANCA "province of something."  
ACNA is not a province of the Anglican Communion, nor will the "Anglican Church of Brazil" be a province of the Anglican Communion.  But we won't know that, will we, unless the leadership of the Anglican Communion and/or member provinces (like, say The Episcopal Church) speak up.
The Episcopal Church meets this summer  in General Convention.  Will it speak out? Will it stand with the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil? 
Who knows?



4 comments:

  1. Good thing we have some wonderful leadership at the Episcopal Church, TEC, because it kind of keeps one on a wholesome track. My first thought was to contract truckloads of rotting tomatoes to hurl at tha greedy and ill mannered gaggle of ++betterthanothers heading toward Jerusalem to try and validate, then honor, then praise, themselves. Really a tiresome lot of pontificating-tip-toeing-tuliping-shady types if you ask me...still. Leonardo Ricardo/Leonard Clark

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  2. GAFCON is so full of hot air...

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  3. At the same time, Chile is going through the formal process of applying to the Anglican Consultative Council to be recognized as a new Province when it divides into 4 dioceses (and South Sudan went through that process a year or two ago. So it is not that none of the GAFCON primates know about the formal mechanisms by which a new province is formed. But I guess, following Lewis Carroll, words mean what they say they mean.

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  4. I have spent some years researching the twisted relationship between GAFCON and Anglican Orthodoxy. Readers may be interested to read my book:
    S. L. Green, ‘Beating the Bounds: A Symphonic Approach to Orthodoxy in the Anglican Communion’, Wipf & Stock, Eugene, Oregon, USA. 2013.
    I would be very happy to discuss my findings with anyone who is interested.

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