GAFCON. Chairman writes September 11 letter, re-writes history with abandon.

The Chairman of the GAFCON thingy has taken to the internet again. He has written a September 11th letter to the GAFCON community and the world. In it he makes the following claims:

(I) He rehearses the GAFCON dance, in which the miseries of brokenness in the Communion are all the fault of the bad old Episcopal Church, and that the Anglican Church in North America is the pure and undefined remnant. It is all because The Episcopal Church did not find the 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution 1.10 binding on its life or on the Communion. He compounds the condemnation of TEC by pulling out the cost of litigation. Why? So that his second claim can sound like good news.

(2) He turns to the  possibility of a major break in New Zealand between those who hold to Lambeth 1998, 1.10 and those who want to newer understandings, and writes the following:

"The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, who is also Gafcon’s Deputy General Secretary for Asia and Oceania, met recently with leading bishops of ACANZP and put forward the idea of ‘Distinctive Co-existence’ based on the overlapping jurisdictions of TEC and the Church of England which already exist in continental Europe with their own quite separate canons and constitutions.

This is a proposal for structural separation which acknowledges the reality of irreconcilable differences about the nature of the bible and the gospel, but calls for it to be done peacefully. This is biblical and in line with what the Apostle Paul teaches about the true nature of our warfare, that ‘though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war accord to the flesh’ (2 Corinthians 10:3). Those whose first resort is to litigation betray a love of power and money.”

The Chairman does two things here: links litigation to a love of power and money, and suggests an alternative, a “peaceful” notion of “Distinctive Co-existence, based on the overlapping jurisdictions of TEC and the CofE.” See, he suggests, we can have structural separation and irreconcilable differences without litigation, after all that is what has been done in Europe.

This is, of course, entirely a con job. The CofE is in Europe, as is the Covocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, as are the Church in Spain and in Portugal. They are indeed separate churches, all Anglican, but what divides them are not irreconcilable differencs, but difficult and often complex structural issues of accountability, history and culture. But they are not irreconcilable faith communities at all. Unlike GAFCON churches, who claim communion is broken with TEC, the Anglican Church of Canada, and so forth, the Anglican bodies in Europe are in full communion with one another.

The Chairman is working hard to have in hand a working example of two jurisdictions both being part of the Anglican Communion, but not in communion with each other. This will quickly be followed by gathering the votes in the ACC to kick out the faithless gang, which by that time will no doubt include the Church of England, thereby making GAFCON THE Anglican Communion.

The Chairman is playing fast with history so that he can play faster with the Anglican Communion. Anyone who falls for this trick business of “Distinctive Co-Existence” is in for a rude awakening.


  1. Of course this also admits that they have failed in their initial goal of replacing TEC and Canada with ACNA in the Anglican Communion. Now that other provinces (Scotland, Brazil, New Zealand) have joined TEC by either offering blessings or marriage to same sex couples, GAFCON knows they can't go in directly. This letter is intended to put pressure on the Archbishop of Canterbury to invite the schismatics to Lambeth along with the actual members of the Communion.

  2. Not only does GAFCON misrepresent the overlapping jurisdictions in Europe, but also fails to recognize that there is already a form of "Distinctive Co-existence" in Aotorea/New Zealand, in the 3-tikanga structure of the church with overlapping dioceses.


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.