Anglican Communion II... I don't know why we bother. (Corrected)

The GAFCON/ FCA Primates Council have just met in Bermuda and have published a communique. It can be read HERE. The Primates Council is now billed as "The Primates Council of GAFCON / FCA." But it is the same self appointed righteous remnant of the past, claiming to be Global South Anglicans but not including Brazil, IARCA and Mexico. I have been corrected in not calling the GAFCON / FCA Primates Council the Global South Primates Steering Committee. Indeed, the GAFCON /FCA Primates Council is a larger group, with two of its members -Akinola and Kolini - also part of the Global South Steering Committee. However, just for the record, I believe the two are intimately related.

Here is the list of those Primates who attended.

The Most Rev’d Peter J. Akinola, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
The Most Rev’d Justice Akrofi, Archbishop, Anglican Province of West Africa
The Most Rev’d Robert Duncan, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
The Most Rev’d Emmanuel Kolini, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda
The Most Rev’d Valentino Mokiwa, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Tanzania
The Most Rev’d Gregory Venables, Presiding Bishop, Province of the Southern Cone
The Most Rev’d Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya
The Most Rev’d Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
The Most Rev’d Henry L. Orombi, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Uganda, represented by Bishop Nathan Kyamanywa
The Most Rev’d Peter Jensen, Archbishop, Diocese of Sydney

There are two notable quirks in this list: (i) Henry Orombi did not attend, some one else attended for him. This is of note because Archbishop Orombi is often absent from various Primates gatherings. (ii) The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Robert Duncan, is listed as present with no qualifying remarks at all.

This second quirk is telling. Duncan is included in the list as a Primate. Period. And indeed he is. ACNA of course is not one bit "Global South," but it is only and precisely there that ACNA and its Archbishop is recognized as the Anglican presence in North America. So Duncan's presence tells us something rather useful - as far as GAFCON / FCA is concerned, it is ACNA that is the Province in North America and the Global South GAFCON / FCA Primates have indeed begun a new world wide Church endeavor.

The upcoming Global South Encounter will no doubt keep up the pretense of being part of the Anglican Communion as we know it. But it in reality will be making a clear break, and establishing a different sort of Anglican Communion, let's call it ACII, with a Primates Meeting with teeth, a leader elected from among those Primates (not automatically the ABC), with a very different style of operation, and a total excommunication of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada. Contrary to the GSE4 statement supporting the Covenant, the Covenant as it stands will not make the cut. There will be proposed revisions and contention about its value. I believe that GSE4 will not finally be of one mind on the Covenant.

The cooperation with the Anglican Communion as it is currently constructed is coming to a close. That's the way I see it. I don't know why we bother thinking that these Primates and their churches are part of the Anglican Communion at all. We all knew that "the Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of His Church" would lead to division precisely because of the various needs of peoples and nations. So it is.


  1. One wonders if Bishop Orombi is actually functioning, is someone in his office speaking for him in his absence? If he is absent from the Global South Encounter, it may be proposed that he is simply a front for Stephen Noll. Mark, this may not make it into public inclusion, but it's a question I'm pondering.

  2. A correction. The GAFCON/ FCA primates council is not the Global South Primates Council though some of the primates are leaders in both.

  3. I suspect Anglican Communion I is more likely to be the 80% that do not accept TEC unilateralism (aka 'local adaptation'). Commonwealth Anglicans like +Indian Ocean (see his recent letter), +SE Asia, +Middle East, and their colleagues in the GS do not see the choice as Mark Harris does. They will stick with the ABC and indicate the kind of consequences that should attend a Glasspool bound direction (even one the Ch of Ireland did not support!).
    It would far more accurate to see the terms as does someone like Mark Brunson or Lionel D. 'We're outta here'. 'We are thrilled to be Communion II.'
    Of course this is always the way local unilateralism should have seen the issue: we are the minority and proud to be outside the Anglican Communion because they are not with us.

  4. I think you are a bit wrong here. One needs must keep one's schismatic organizations straight.

    The Gaf(fe)Con / FCA structure is not the "Global South" which isn't global. That is, the Gaffers are a seperate structure of the ritually pure homophobic and not directly tied to the "South." So including Mr. Duncan (sorry he has been deposed right?) does not impact geographic structure.

    Clearly the meeting, like ABp Orombi's rant letter, is designed to influence the "South to South Encounter" next week but while they intend to become the curia, the are not yet outside of Gaf(fe)Con / FCA.

    It is a measure of how far out of communion (Can I say "schism" now?) these folks stand that they recognize a deposed former bishop of the US as a primate. Clearly they have left ACC, and Dr. Williams as they move to their curial world. After all, fellowship with Canterbury and admittance as an ACC province are what define "anglican" so they are now clearly something else.


  5. Sir, they are the Archbishops of most Anglicans in the world.....perhaps it is the AC that is moving on the political stagnation of the last 7 years, led by the Primates of its largest provinces....with the ABC running to catch up so that the CofE is not left behind?

  6. So now the Archbishop of the Province of the Indian Ocean (and bishop of Mauritius) is at it writing to Rowan. Guess that those obsessed with TEC's "insignificant" membership, vis-a-vis titans like Nigeria, will turn the same blind eye to Indian Ocean's size that they already turn towards Bishop Venables Southern Cone.

    FWIW this cropped up on Anglican Mainstream.

  7. Yeah,

    I don't know why we keep bothering either....with the current push and shove tactics of those in charge of TEC. You wreck our Church then protest who points it out. The damning proof that you won't escape or get to revise? Well..word has just leaked off of Listserve that Louie Crew, the archhero of TEC, is trying to help a 15 year old boy get in touch with local communists. What is also troubling is how many "helpful" fellow-travelers there are on Listserve that have fascinating ideas.

    I'm going to print that link of Louie's and pass it around in our parish to show just WHAT is in charge of this Church these days.

    This game is over. The hands that have rocked the cradle of this Church for too long have showed themselves very clearly to be duplicitous and deceitful with an agenda that is hiding behind the respectability of religion. This blatant stumble on Listserve just shows the blind what they wanted not to be true.

    And we should keep listening to the revisionists why?

    Game over.

  8. As far as I'm concerned, the Anglican Communion ended when some bishops refused Table fellowship with others at Dar Es Salaam.

    Nothing says "The Communion is over" like refusing communion.

    I say Vaya con Dios.

  9. Let's just get on with it and let the guys play. They have no interest in the work of the laity or clergy; it's all about primatial power grabbing. I am so disgusted with the recent emissions (today it is the Bishop of Bermuda echoing Jerusalem and Uganda about having a primates' meeting sans Canada and TEC) that I can barely articulate a coherent sentence.

    wv: scringle, a squinted cringe

  10. In a friendly spirit I would like to point out that your column here proceeds from a mistake. The Primates Council of GAFCON/FCA is what it says on the tin: The Primates Council of GAFCON/FCA.

    Global South has published their communique (the link you give) but that does not change the label on the tin!

    Global South is a grouping of 20 Anglican churches throughout the world, but mostly 'south' and, yes, (for reasons I do not personally know) not including Mexico, Brazil, IARCA. As far as I can tell there is no Global South Primates Council.

    There is overlap between Global South and GAFCON, but GAFCON includes a greater range of representation from 'north' and 'south' in the Communion. ACNA is part of that, but is not part of Global South. Archbishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt a leading light in Global South did not attend GAFCON. It is noticeable that the GAFCON Primates Council includes no primate from the Middle East/Asia.

    In short, the GAFCON Primates Council speaks for GAFCON, not for Global South.

    Your conclusions are not necessarily imperilled by this confusion, but I think you will find that Global South is more carefully committed to the life of the Communion than GAFCON/FCA!

  11. Can't wait for the time TEC can evangelize those mens' countryfolks with the love of Jesus rather than the hate they teach.

  12. Peter Jensen is primate of nothing, though he is Archbishop of Sydney and Metropolitan of New South Wales. The Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia is the Most Rev'd Phillip Aspinall. If Archbishop Jensen is in this list, he may represent his diocese, but not more than that.

  13. I want to thank the several writers who pointed out that the GAFCON /FCA Primates Council and the Global South Encounter Primates Steering Committee are not the same, but have significant overlap. I wrote this note in a hurry on my way to deal with taxes and medical stuff (the dynamic duo). Confusing the two is sort of like confusing the American Anglican Council with The Anglican Church in North America. (Sigh)

    Allen... haven't heard from you for a while. Try not to spit in the soup too often.

  14. The recess bell is ringing, ..time for the Children to come in from recess and get back to their Kindergarten classes.

  15. Of course this is always the way local unilateralism should have seen the issue: we are the minority and proud to be outside the Anglican Communion because they are not with us.

    And they are absolutely, unequivocally wrong.

    That's the only thing I would add.

  16. So, what will happen now?

    a) the PB of TEC will do what she says she will do (clearly aware of the consequences re the ABC's attitude to unilateral change);

    b) the ABC will have to accept that his calls for "restraint" have been met with rejction finally, and he will align the CofE with all those who uphold what he calls "the mind of the Communion" - it's a matter of order for him;

    c) TEC can lead an intl, liberal group and be free of trying to stay in Rowan's club;

    d) the AC can be free of some wanting to stay in but retain the freedom to go against the mind of the Communion (given it does not accept that attitude).

    All are better off with an honest split...... I am grateful for the honest, straightforward approach of the PS's letter (no spin, no talking out of both sides of the mouth) .....all are better off if we stop pretending to be united and really get into united groupings.....and get on with our lives.

    Would be great if we stop fighting over bricks and mortar too.....but money does bring out the worst in both sides, it seems

  17. "Contrary to the GSE4 statement supporting the Covenant, the Covenant as it stands will not make the cut. There will be proposed revisions and contention about its value. I believe that GSE4 will not finally be of one mind on the Covenant".

    I agreed in part that current covenant will not make and so is likely to be changed. However the contention that GSE4 wont be of one mind on the convenant is tricky. Its my understanding the the GS steering committee was clear on the positions that the participants should uphold: 1. Uphold resolution 1.10 and 2. support the full Ridley draft (Note this was before ACC, Jamaica). So the December draft will likely float away with Questions on the 'Standing Committee of the AC' being the major issue.

    Also, my thinking is such that the GS primates can be looked more as a spectrum from moderate conservative (who actually lean more towards the GAFCON grp than to the left) all through to the hardline conservatives. Whether it is possible to be of a similar mind (as opposed to same mind) in my view is telling, as all are for Resoultion 1.10. Support for the covenant among the GS is real. Its just its strength that is wanting. Nonetheless I dont see failure on this issue.

  18. Global South is a grouping of 20 Anglican churches throughout the world, but mostly 'south' and, yes, (for reasons I do not personally know) not including Mexico, Brazil, IARCA.

    Peter, we are the Anglican Center (via media), so too inclusive for their tastes. We have historic ties to TEC which also makes us pariahs.

    And most of us would never support the hate agenda they uphold.

    WV = acturd
    Anyone have the gift of interpretation?

  19. "...his calls for "restraint" have been met with rejction [sic] finally." Unlike the calls for border-crossing restraint that have been scrupulously observed for the past ten years by the churches of Uganda, Nigeria and God-Knows-Where? What is it about you people, Observer, that makes you incapable of seeing more than one side to a situation?

  20. Or as we say in South Carolina, David G, from the location where kids lost at the state fair can hook-up with their parents, "Meet your mother at the Rocket".

  21. One gathers that Allen is so small minded he thinks 15 year old people should not have access to information. ;;sigh;; Louie did no harm, and letting 15 year olds think does no harm. I was that kid looking for info 30 or so years (OK 40) ago and I am an economic conservative.


  22. Allen, the folks at SF can't seem to tell the difference between Communism and Christian Socialism. Can you?

  23. I think that, in the view of the current economy, TEC should review its way of handling the property issue. No one has unlimited resources, and lawyers are expensive.

    The references to Pauline writings are invalid, in this instance, as consideration, however.

    The way forward, I think, could work in this way:

    * It must be handles on a parochial level by vote of those baptized and confirmed into TEC.

    * When a parish votes - as it must - on leaving TEC, if the vote to leave is in favor, there must be a buy-out, so to speak, of those who voted against. In other words, since the "orthodox" position is one of investment, rather than gift, all monies and property (or reasonable value thereof), since the election of Gene Robinson (as presenting issue) must be repaid and a new worship space or reasonably-distanced worship community found for those wishing to stay in TEC.

    * For those parishes wishing to depart, there are three options - liquidate and divide assets based on percentage of giving since the election of Gene Robinson; continue as an individual congregation, paying any monies withheld from TEC since the election of Gene Robinson, gaining the property free and clear; or, if joining ACNA or some other church, buy from TEC at FMP less the amount pledged in monies and properties since the election of Gene Robinson and the amount actually given to TEC (not the diocese.)

    * In parishes voting to leave, all claim to official representation as part of the Anglican Communion must be renounced and all reference to the Anglican Communion removed until such a time as officially recognized - undisputably - as a duly-constituted member of the Anglican Communion by the Archbishop of Canterbury - not ACNA, or Uganda, or any province.

    * In parishes voting to remain in TEC, the same arrangements must be made to "pay back" the "investments" since Gene Robinson's election of those wishing to leave, and a worship space/community found for them.

    A diocese cannot be removed, but must be reconstituted as a separate, non-Episcoapalian and (until Canterbury-recognized) non-anglican diocese made up of those parishes/individuals, voting to leave. If the majority of diocese votes to leave, they may do so, but must reconstitute as a new diocese with no claim to any properties remaining in TEC by the above arrangement. Cathedrals are treated as parishes. In addition, anglican is to be treated as a courtesy title - it entitles no one to any property previously settled upon as TEC's or the departing parish's.

    * Both parties sign - upon completion of this process - legally-binding agreements to engage in no future litigation or to make public statements on the parties involved for a period of 10 years.

    In effect, a complete divorce.

  24. David - when you say, "we are the Anglican Center," I guess we will see the ABC say that the GAFCON provinces can all leave if they do not like TEC's direction because ..... you are the "Center"?

  25. Jim & Tobias,

    I guess that since Communism is what the boy asked for that would be the Christian's entre' to talk about Christianity, not Socialism; which is nothing more than Communism that goes to cocktail parties. CHRISTIAN Socialism? Please. That's a farce and has nothing to do with teaching Jesus Christ and everything to do with envy, a lack of industriousness, and a passing off of personal resposnibility. Charity, yes. But Socialism makes one dependent and ultimately a prisoner to others' priorities. Jesus didn't do that, so leave Him out of it.

    The proof that so many TECers like Louie Crew apprently (from their own Listserve accounts) are breaking speed to link this boy with what is antithetical to historic Christianity shows more about the adults than the boy's curisoity.

    If that is spit in the soup, then so be it; but this love of the "alternate" and play with Communism sure ain't excusable nor is it anything that you would dare advertise to the pew sitters. How about bragging about this on ENS? Make it public. Let everybody see what you think and then stand what happens next. But, who am I kidding? This stuff remains out of the public view; which is typical. Deeds done in the dark have ruled TEC for so long that too many TEC leaders don't even know what the light of day looks like anymore.

  26. Observer, I am speaking in answer to the question as a member of the Anglican Church of Mexico. I am Mexican. I have not been a member of TEC since 1995 when we in Mexico became an autocephlus province of the AngCom. We Anglicans in the AC of Mexico, AEC of Brazil and the AC of the Central American Region have always stood in a Central or Center position. We can live with diversity of opinion. We choose to embrace the via media.

  27. Allen,
    You clearly are unfamiliar with the impact of Christian Socialism in the last century. Rather than argue with you about it, and if you are interested in learning about it, I suggest you visit the website I pointed out to Louie Crew -- and remember the boy's question _was_ about Anglican socialist writers.

    You clearly have a political point view of your own, but if you are interested in learning rather than just spouting an opinion, take a look at that website. You will see that many, many Anglican leaders from the late 19th through the 20th century considered themselves Christian Socialists, including Percy Dearmer, author of the famed Parson's Handbook, Frederick Dennison Maurice, Charles Gore, Stewart Headlam, Vida Scudder (now in Lesser Feasts and Fasts), and in our own time, Kenneth Leech.

    There is more to socialism than you seem to think, nor is Anglican connection with Christian Socialism some dark secret just because you are ignorant of it. You may still believe socialism is antithetical to Christianity, but plenty of Christians disagree with you.

  28. dr.primrose15/4/10 6:46 PM

    "All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need." Acts 2:44-45.

    Must be some verses that sneaky ole Louie Crew just slipped into the Bible. Probably Katherine Jefferts Schori was his accomplice. Thanks, Allen, for your skill in spotting this dastardly deed!

  29. Dr. Primrose,

    Your operative words not to miss:

    "THEY would sell...". Like Jesus emphasized the word "GIVE".

    This is not the way of Communism nor Socialism.

    Those ideologies determine value, worth, limits that you are allowed, and what is owed and then an entity will TAKE and REDISTRIBUTE. That's not the same as giving in a Christian sense. In Communism and Socialism the control is no longer yours because it has been taken away from you. In those systems an authority outside of yourself compells under threat of violence your total obedience and conformity.

    Jesus never did that. His love compells us to give freely and under no threat of violence. There is no such thing as Christian Socialism because it is the same thing as saying that there is such a thing as a Loving Threat. You can dress it up prettily for now by trying to reconcile the two but the ultimate ends are going to come out the same: giving is taken away and an outside compulsion intervenes.

    The boy in question is a Communist and it is the Christian's duty to teach the ways of Christ which are not compulsion by violence or threat.

  30. "You clearly are unfamiliar with the impact of Christian Socialism in the last century." And, though you are charitable enough not to mention it, Fr Tobias, evidently unfamiliar with the rudiments of English grammar.

  31. Ah, it looks like our Allen is another one who has mistaken Jesus for Milton Friedman.

    Of course, "reasserting" is mostly about making Jesus conform to the nastiest sort of reactionary politics, so this is hardly surprising.


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.