Archive for April, 2010

SINGAPORE: Ecumenical Council is the Future of the Anglican Communion. A Global South Perspective

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
April 22, 2010

Rwandan Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini has called for an Anglican Ecumenical Council of the worldwide Anglican Communion which he believes will bring to an end a dozen years of primatial communiqués, reports and endless talk of “process” and “listening” that has achieved nothing to resolve the crisis of faith and leadership within the Anglican Communion.

Norms adapted from the ancient apostolic canons (35 & 38) on how a council should function offers a legacy rooted in Sacred Scripture and Tradition that results in a significant expression of apostolic authority. The urgency of this matter could result with Archbishop Kolini addressing this with his fellow primates in various ecclesiastical gatherings over the next few months.

As the Global South’s Senior Primate, Archbishop Kolini, through his consistent modeling of pastoral leadership, possesses international respect from his fellow African leaders, which equips him with authority to call for an Ecumenical Council framed on the experience of Acts 15 and the Early Church Councils such as Nicea and Chalcedon and would address and seek to resolve some of the Culture Wars that have raged inside the Anglican Communion for nearly two decades.

Historically, Councils would be ecclesiastically binding based on the ancient models, said Kolini. Where Lambeth conferences, Indaba groups, regional Synods and Conventions, have been found lacking, the conciliar norms would seek to resolve the ecclesial deficit that has furthered the Anglican crisis and has crippled the Anglican Communion’s four Instruments of Unity. In this ecumenical conclave, what is bound on earth will be bound in heaven, says Kolini.

This historic ecclesiastical solution will finally address with clarity years of debate over homosexual practice and the ordination of homosexuals to the priesthood and episcopacy as well as rites for same sex marriage and much more. The question of conciliarity and Women’s ordination remains unclear as a matter that may be considered, but this writer could not get an exact reading on that issue at this time.

Here in Singapore this week, 130 representatives from 20 Anglican provinces met to endorse a Covenant and vent their frustration over years of unresolved Anglican disputes. Numerous speakers called for planning new mission and ministry strategies, do evangelism, and uplift economic conditions in poor areas of the world. Self-reliance was a key theme of the Encounter.

In an earlier groundbreaking speech to some 130 delegates to the Fourth Global South to South Encounter, the Archbishop of the Middle East said that the Anglican Communion is dysfunctional, at war with itself and that a new structure is needed for a new communion. In remarks to the global Anglican leaders The Most Rev. Mouneer Anis proposed a new global Anglican structure to sustain and enhance Christ’s mission. He blasted the North American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada saying that a new structure is necessary to compensate for the ongoing ‘ecclesial deficit’ in the communion, homosexual unions, litigation, depositions of bishops and threats from TEC bishops and the undermining of the authority of bishops and primates who made vows to guard the faith. The result, he said, has been the breaking off of ecumenical partners, and cessation of dialogue, especially with the Roman Catholic Church the Oriental churches and the Greek Orthodox Church.

In later remarks, Mouneer clarified his views saying that he was proposing a new structure for the global South only and not the Anglican Communion.

Kolini’s argument, reiterated on several occasions, is that the renewing of the Anglican Communion through such an ecumenical council would be binding on the church with Scripture as the church’s supreme authority. Those provinces and dioceses that would not accept the Council’s authority would place themselves outside the communion. For years orthodox Episcopalians and Anglicans have argued that they have not left the church, the liberal and revisionist wing of the church has left them propagating “strange and erroneous doctrines.”

Many of the Global South bishops here are new to leadership roles in the Anglican Communion and are not completely familiar with some of the personalities and the nuances of the Anglican Communion. This was borne out in a discussion the 130 leaders had with representatives from North America. A third did not appreciate the differences between a Communion Partner bishop and ACNA bishop, with two thirds of the bishops asking why an orthodox bishop would stay in TEC if the church was ordaining homosexuals to the episcopacy.

For some African bishops, the advent of a lesbian becoming a bishop was a shock to the system, as most African Anglican provinces do not even ordain women. Some bishops called it “horrific.”

As one Western bishop who has a foot in both North America and Africa observed, “We have a situation here where there are different levels of understanding among the bishops. When you don’t have a complete understanding of what is going on, you will have division, but it is not of the same magnitude or order as the moral divisions within the Episcopal Church.”

In an interview, Kolini likened the emerging situation to the image of a tree trunk. “The tree represents both the ‘known and unknown’ orthodox in the Anglican Communion and sees the Kingdom of God at work. The tree has several new shoots one of which includes GAFCON/FCA. Our role is to find each other.”

Seven Primates and their Provinces, along with a number of church and parachurch ministries and their leaders, were represented at the Jerusalem GAFCON meeting. The Global South Encounter here in Singapore has representatives from 20 provinces.

“This is the 4th trumpet. This is a larger and more representative group of people,” said Kolini. We have a larger number of provinces here, he said.

THE COVENANT

The Anglican Communion Covenant, now in its final draft and which it is understood delegates to the Fourth Global South Encounter are expected to endorse, has not gone unchallenged.

In a heavily nuanced, thoughtful address, South East Asian Archbishop John Chew said this, “How then to recover the vocation life of being “covenant for the people, and light for the nations”? In the first instance it has to begin with a life lived to God in covenantal love and obedience. How then would or should our path be taken, road be journeyed?”

Clearly this is not happening in North America and Chew was clearly conscious of that in his long examination of the theological foundations of the Covenant.

Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola likewise red flagged the Covenant by saying that it requires absolute loyal commitment and faithful adherence to its terms and conditions. “A Covenant is not to be taken lightly, wantonly, or entered into unadvisedly. In our Anglican Communion, we have worked very hard in the last three years trying to agree and sign up to a new Anglican Covenant. Covenant is a very serious and weighty matter. Be it between God and his people or between business partners and even in the context of marriage, the terms and conditions of any covenant must never be taken lightly.” That too has not happened in North America.

“Initially, it was felt that a comprehensive Anglican covenant would help heal the wounds and restore confidence in our relationships within the Anglican family, as it would provide for accountability. But as things stand today in the Communion, this Encounter gathered here in Singapore needs to assure itself if the proposed covenant offers any such hope.”

The name of the game is accountability. With no disciplinary procedures in place that is impossible.

ANGLICAN COMMUNION

“I am in communion with the Anglican Communion and not with an individual or province,” Kolini told VOL. When we call for a gathering of the Anglican Ecumenical Council, those who are in broken communion may desire to come to be part of the restoration process or not. It is their call.

“If they come and resolutions are passed excluding certain behaviors and they do not abide by “it seemed good to us and to the Holy Spirit” then they will be excluding themselves. What they do in their own provinces will be of no consequence to us. They will go their own way, apart from a biblical orthodox Anglican witness to the faith. ”

CONCERNS

Some archbishops and bishops privately expressed concern to VOL that Rowan Williams will try to exploit, conquer and divide the Global South bishops because many are new and inexperienced and will roll over to his authority. “The old guard stood firm against the innovations of North America and told Rowan so. They know the communion is “impaired” in some quarters, and “broken” in others, but the younger ones are still on a learning curve. He could exploit that,” said one archbishop.

Williams is trying to wait them out. The next generation needs a learning curve. Williams knows that and he will exploit it and hopefully prevail. He can drag his heels with endless talk of “process” and “listening”.

The older generation of archbishops of Nigeria, Kenya, Central Africa and Rwanda are retiring and it will be important to get the new archbishops and bishops up to speed so they won’t be blindsided by the power of the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other Instruments of “unity”. This will be attempted to some degree in Kampala in August when the All Africa Bishops Conference (AABC) meets. (VOL has been invited to cover this event.)

Many of the archbishops and bishops have not read the deadlines given TEC by archbishops meeting at Dromantine, London (the Windsor Report) and Dar es Salaam with discipline in place for provinces that flagrantly disobeyed and stepped over the line with innovations unacceptable to them. Many do not know that TEC and Canada were told they should withdraw from the Communion and repent of their actions. Bureaucrats in London and Lambeth can exploit that lack of knowledge.

It is not without its significance that Rowan Williams has not called a meeting of the Primates this year. The primates have asked for it, but he has declined so far. And he has the authority. One suspects that he has nothing to say and because he would have to hear for the umpteenth time that he has failed in his leadership obligation to exercise the necessary discipline against TEC and Canada, he is not going to have one.

How many more times does Dr. Williams have to be told to do something? We are tired of the one issue being on the agenda all the time – the issue of homosexuality, said another bishop. Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyoyo, the former Anglican Archbishop of the Province of the Church of Uganda, once stormed out of a meeting of the primates in London crying out, “How many more meetings do we have to have to decide what to do.” TEC will no longer be on our agenda, said Kolini.

One bishop likened the situation to the wheel of a ship. When VOL asked if Williams is trying to divide the Communion one bishop answered that in an age of confusion and absence of leadership a power vacuum is created. “Lambeth is a failed leadership and the instruments of unity have failed. If they had done what they intended to do, this thing would not have gone on for 15 years. In the absence of leadership there is a power vacuum.

“So many want to grab the steering wheel. The Communion Partner bishops, the ACI, the FCA, the Covenant crowd, the Lambeth bureaucracy loyalists. Everyone is fighting over the steering wheel. Turning Lambeth into Indaba groups was yet another grab for the wheel. There has been no action or discipline going back to George Carey leaving various voices to step up to the plate and making a play for the wheel. All who went to GAFCON knew what was going on. But here at the 4th Encounter we are making it clear to the Anglican world where it all stops.”

Said an archbishop to VOL; “Kolini has had it. The Ecumenical Council is the way forward. This is an unstoppable movement not another communion. We will prevail.”

“With the ecumenical council we come full circle. It was in North Africa that the first ecumenical council was held and it is now out of Africa that we will have another one. It is historically irresponsible not to take action. The trumpet blast is the call for a new Council. The hope is that we can get it done this year.”

END

Singapore: Shadow and Substance

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010


Charles Raven 21st April 2010 in Spread

Although not attended by great fanfare and ceremony, something quite remarkable seems to be happening in Singapore at the fourth Global South to South Encounter. We are seeing the emergence of a global Anglicanism of substance, displacing the shadow Anglicanism of institutional pragmatism. Institutions which until recently had the appearance of substance – the Anglican Consultative Council, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates meeting and the Archbishop of Canterbury himself – are now taking on an unreal quality as shadows of a discredited past while the GAFCON movement, dismissed by many at its inception in 2008, is turning out to have foreshadowed a fundamental realignment which is now beginning to express itself in new structures.

The shadow quality of the old order was inescapable in both the medium and the message of Rowan Williams’ address. Due to a ‘full diary’ his was a virtual presence by video and his message was so devoid of specific content beyond a call to continue with ‘careful listening’ that delegates were reported to be left shaking their heads and rolling their eyes in despair.

It is perhaps not surprising that that Dr Williams politely absented himself this time because it is clear that he has nothing new to say. At the previous South to South encounter at the Red Sea in 2005, the Global South primates held him to account for his well known sympathy for the homosexual agenda and when a private request to repudiate those views failed to elicit a response, they were reiterated in a public letter which also called on the Archbishop to be more decisive: ‘We are disappointed’ they wrote ‘with your deferring to “process.” You seem to keep saying, “My hands are tied.” We urge you to untie your hands and provide the bold, inclusive leadership the Communion needs at this time of crisis and distrust’. In response, Dr Williams reaffirmed the Covenant process as the only way forward and concluded rather crisply: ‘If this letter is a contribution to that process of debate, then it is to be welcomed, however robust. If it is an attempt to foreclose that debate, it would seem to serve very little purpose indeed.’

This persistent attachment to process is not simply an academic habit. It owes a great deal to Dr Williams’ Hegelian optimism that truth will somehow emerge through a synthesis of opposites and serves to downplay the biblical antithesis between the truth and the lie, creating a climate in which the previously unacceptable gains plausibility. In an interview for the current issue of The New Yorker magazine, questioned about resolving the seemingly intractable problem of women bishops in the Church of England, he observes “I suppose it’s by using as best I can the existing consultative mechanisms to create a climate” and “You can actually ruin a good cause by pushing it at the wrong moment and not allowing the process of discernment and consent to go on”. Given that Dr Williams has consistently refused to disown those writings which provided a theological rationale for the gay lesbian movement within the Church from the late 1980’s onwards, referring to them as his ‘private’ opinions as distinguished from the ‘official’ position he is obliged to articulate in view of his office, it is reasonable to assume that TEC’s sexual agenda also qualifies in his mind as ‘a good cause’. That he can say in his Singapore address that the decision to consecrate partnered lesbian Mary Glasspool to the episcopate ‘cannot speak for our common mind’ is not contradictory; it simply means that given the current state of the ‘common mind’, this is the wrong moment to push the innovation.

Although using ‘existing consultative mechanisms to create a climate’ may have some kind of conceptual integrity in Dr Williams’ thought, there is a long history of these mechanisms being used in a highly manipulative manner. Most recently, three Primates, Mouneer Anis, Henry Orombi and Ian Ernest have all protested the marginalization of orthodox voices in Communion structures and Rowan Williams’ comment in his address that he is ‘in discussion with a number of people around the world’ about the consecration of Mary Glasspool – but apparently not the Primates in Singapore! – will do nothing to restore their confidence that he will sponsor any effective discipline of TEC.

Amongst the delegates in Singapore there seems to be a growing acceptance that new structures must be put in place to act as a kind of new Anglican wineskin. As the GAFCON Primates put it in their Statement from Bermuda on April 10th the current structures have lost integrity and relevance’. Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of Nigeria reflected a sense of urgency about the danger of the false gospel mediated through Anglo-American Anglicanism when he urgedon the opening day We must reject the so-called “Gospel” which encourages a man or woman to remain and feel good and fulfilled in a state of sin from which he/she should seek gracious escape in Christ.’

Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini’s address on the following day set out the basis for new Anglican structures noting “We need a new way forward. We are no longer in communion with Rowan (Williams) or TEC or Canada. After all the biblical reflections we are still in a state of crisis, nothing has been resolved over the years. The Windsor Report, the Primates Meetings recommendations, the Lambeth Conference 2008 and the Windsor Continuation Group have all failed to bring any change in the drastic situation of the Anglican Communion.’ He proposed that the Global South should reconstitute itself to include all orthodox Churches and Dioceses with leadership focussed in a Council of Primates based on ancient Conciliar practice.

There would no doubt be much need for discussion on the detail and whether or not the existing Anglican Covenant could be sufficiently amended to have a meaningful role, but the very fact that such a radical proposal could be voiced and taken seriously is a measure of the extent to which Rowan Williams has become a shadow figure – his only relevance would be negative; the identity of the Global South and orthodox Anglicans generally would include not being in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury!

Of course, since the Global South is a confessionally based movement, such separation from Canterbury could be reversed if a future Archbishop emerged who was orthodox in teaching and practice, but given the extent to which false teaching and indiscipline is embedded in many Church of England dioceses, that is unlikely in the near future. In fact, the shocking possibility that an Archbishop of Canterbury could be out of communion with the majority of the Anglican Communion should seriously concentrate minds about the need to strengthen the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in the UK and prepare, where necessary, for an alternative expression of Anglicanism in England, and no doubt the British Isles as a whole.

In Bermuda, the GAFCON Primates affirmed that ‘The Anglican Communion will only be able to fulfil its gospel mandate if it understands itself to be a community gathered around a confession of faith rather than an organisation that has its primary focus on institutional loyalty.’ Acting consistently upon this principle would profoundly challenge the institutional ethos of English Anglicanism; although Singapore may seem a far off place, the decisions being made there this week could soon pose sharp questions about the choice between shadow and substance at home.

SINGAPORE: Rwandan Archbishop calls for a new Anglican Ecumenical Council

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

This is a new Sinai, said Emmanuel Kolini

By David W. Virtue in Singapore
www.virtueonline.org
April 20, 2010

The Archbishop of Rwanda, the Most Rev. Emmanuel Kolini today called for a new Anglican Ecumenical Council, modeled on the Councils of the Early Church with a constitution taken from the ancient apostolic canons (35 & 38) on how a council should function.

“At this critical time in the life of the Anglican Communion we, the Global South, seek to form a functional movement actively loyal to the historic faith, God’s calling and mission of all Anglicans,” said Kolini in an address to some 130 delegates to the Fourth Global South to South Encounter.

While drawing back from calling for a full separation from the Anglican Communion led by Dr. Rowan Williams the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rwandan archbishop said that a new General Assembly should be formed and should be led by a Primates’ Council in accord with a representative General Assembly.

The retiring African Anglican Primate is the second archbishop to call for new structures in the Anglican Communion, believing that the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada are heretical because they have stepped over the line in faith and morals and should no longer be considered part of, or having a voice in the affairs of the Anglican Communion. Middle East Archbishop Mouneer Anis yesterday called for the formation of a new Anglican Communion arguing that the Anglican Communion is dysfunctional, at war with itself and that a new structure is needed for a new communion.

“The Global South should be reconstituted to include all member churches and Dioceses that assent to the Anglican Covenant, and express formal commitment to the Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998, and an agreed statement focusing our aims and strengthening mutual loyalty,” said Kolini in a prepared text.

The African Primate proposed a Primates’ Council representing all participating members churches would serve as the governing body which would discuss and decide matter s of faith and order, encouragement to mission in submission to the sovereign authority of Holy Scripture in loyalty to the Anglican tradition and formularies. An ad hoc design group would be responsible for formulating a constitution.

SINGAPORE: Mission and Evangelism in East Africa

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010


by The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi
April 21, 2010

This message was presented by Bishop Stephen Kaziimba on Abp Henry Orombi’s behalf. I want to begin my portion of the presentation on Mission and Evangelism by reminding us of a very familiar passage in the Gospels. Mathew 9.35-37 says, 35Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Read here………………

Southern Anglican Leaders Open Fourth Meeting in Distress

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Southern Anglican Leaders Open Fourth Meeting in Distress

Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2010 Posted: 4:44:06PM HKT

(Photo: Global South Anglican)

A historic gathering of worldwide Anglican leaders started yesterday at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. But the fourth ‘Anglican Global South to South Encounter’ (GS4E) was already marked by intense feelings of distress.

The Anglican Global South, grouping 20 provinces in the southern hemisphere, represents three-quarters of the 75 million Anglicans around the world.

“My sisters and brothers from around the world, I am troubled, I am sad; in fact I am confused,” said newly retired Nigerian Archbishop Peter J Akinola.

Speaking at the opening service, Bishop Akinola traced the recent history of the inability of the Anglican Communion to resolve its theological-ethical crisis.

Calls to two erring North American provinces to repent have all been ignored. The Episcopal Church (TEC) had ordained two openly gay bishops, one only recently. The Anglican Church of Canada had blessed same-sex unions.

Many provinces, in turn, declared themselves in ‘impaired communion’ and ‘broken sacramental communion’ with the two provinces. Nonetheless, the Communion at large has vetoed all calls for action for the past eight years, Akinola noted. Instead, the Church has resorted to administrative structures in its attempt to resolve matters.

The African bishop openly expressed his fears that an Anglican Covenant, which Global South leaders are expected to discuss at the meeting, would be another ineffective measure.

The signing of a covenant will not stop TEC from pursuing its own agenda. This is evident from the fact of its recent appointment of a lesbian as a bishop.

“The Communion is still unable to exercise discipline,” said Akinola. “We lack the courage to call a spade a spade.”

Furthermore there is no preventing TEC from signing the Covenant for political reasons and continuing to disregard the ‘mind’ of the Communion on human sexuality.

Even in the case that TEC does not sign it, the cutting of a covenant would not do any good for Anglican unity.

Akinola said: “If the churches in the Global South sign up, would they then become a new Communion?

“Wouldn’t that further polarise the Church?”

The lack of repentance on the part of those provinces has also distracted the Communion from its real mission to make Christ known.

Akinola said: “We in the Global South cannot continue in this way. Yet, we see no light at the end of the tunnel.

“This Encounter must show us the way forward in all of this.”

His successor Nicholas Okoh delivered the first thematic address in the evening expressing equal anguish mingled with indignation.

“Our identity as Anglicans now is, putting it mildly, confused and confusing,” he said.

Archbishop Okoh called for self-examination and self-repentance.

Speaking in a loud, strict voice, he said: “We in the Global South and the Anglican Communion have sinned.

“We are deeply estranged one from the other. What we are doing is essentially outward and cosmetic. It lacks power and loyalty to God.”

In closing, he emphasised the ‘absolute’ necessity for economic empowerment in the Global South.

Beyond the ethical dimension, the archbishop cited the danger of wealthier members buying the loyalty and compromise of poorer ones.

Okoh also warned of the adoption of another Gospel out of fear, an action he called ‘treachery’.

Although the deity of Christ is ‘increasingly’ becoming offensive in some parts of the Communion, the early Church had witnessed in a pluralistic context.

“To deny these fundamentals is to abandon the way; it is apostasy; it is ‘another Gospel’, which is condemned in Scripture,” he said.

Topics to be broached during the GS4E include Communion structures, missions and ministry and economic empowerment.

Besides the Global South leaders, GS4E is seeing the participation of four Western provinces. Special guests include the Chairman of the National Committee of the Three Self Patriotic Movement of the China Christian Church and a bishop of the Coptic Church.

Primates’ (senior archbishops) meetings will be held concurrently with the GS4E.

The GS4E will conclude Friday afternoon.

SINGAPORE: Middle East Archbishop Calls for New Anglican Communion

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

SINGAPORE: Middle East Archbishop Calls for New Anglican Communion

By David W. Virtue in Singapore
www.virtueonline.org
April 20, 2010

In a groundbreaking speech to some 130 delegates to the Fourth Global South to South Encounter, the Archbishop of the Middle East said that the Anglican Communion is dysfunctional, at war with itself and that a new structure is needed for a new communion.

The Most Rev. Mouneer Anis proposed a new global Anglican structure to sustain and enhance Christ’s mission. He blasted the North American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada saying that a new structure is necessary to compensate for the ongoing “ecclesial deficit” in the communion, homosexual unions, litigation, depositions of bishops and threats from TEC bishops and the undermining of the authority of bishops and primates who made vows to guard the faith. The result, he said, has been the breaking off of ecumenical partners, and cessation of dialogue, especially with the Roman Catholic Church the Oriental churches and the Greek Orthodox Church.

“We need a new structure to face the challenges together. We do not want to create another communion. They (the North American provinces) have departed the faith. They have left us we have not left the faith of the communion. They have made the Anglican Communion dysfunctional. We need to move forward now and not just be reactive.”

He said a new Primates’ Council should be raised up with the function of the council to discuss issues of faith and order. “There are limits to Anglican diversity. We must be under the submission to the authority of Holy Scripture. We should appoint an ad hoc design group to write a new Global South constitution.”

He opined that the Primates Council be drawn from the general assembly. Anis saw two tracks: mission and evangelism and economic empowerment. “They should be put directly under the primates and meet every three to five years. The Primates should take the initiative in restoring unity. Working groups should be formed in accordance with the developing vision of the Global South. We need to have a solid financial commitment. We need to be focused and we must own the Global South movement.”

The archbishop drew from his own area’s history and likened the crisis in the Anglican Communion to that of the 4th Century (325) heretic Arius who wanted to reconcile the Christian Faith with Greek philosophy. “He made Christ less than divine and because of this there was division in the church in Alexandria. There were faithful people and then there were heretics who followed Arius. The faithful got smaller but fought persistently. The heretics started to increase and got the support of the emperor.

“The Arians became the bigger church. The Church Fathers of the orthodox church stood for the faith were discipled in the desert and later became leaders of the orthodox church. By 600 AD there were no Arians in Egypt. Where is Arianism today? There are none.”

Anis urged that the Anglican Communion not waste its time reacting. “We should spend our time bringing the Good News to the world, discipling and baptizing people for Christ.”

FOOTNOTE: VOL was troubled by the archbishop’s call for a new communion as he made no reference to the GAFCON/FCA communiqué put forth recently in Bermuda – a communiqué that answers most of the archbishop’s concerns and offers a collective orthodox Anglican response to the failed North American Episcopal and Anglican provinces.http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=12388

END

SINGAPORE: Nigerian Archbishop Says TEC’s Actions Makes New Anglican Communion Inevitable

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Covenant will not stop The Episcopal Church’s Innovations, says Akinola

By David W. Virtue in Singapore
www.virtueonline.org
April 19, 2010

The former Primate of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Peter Akinola lashed out at the Episcopal Church today telling delegates to the Fourth Global South Encounter that the continued actions of the Episcopal Church, especially the forthcoming consecration of an avowed lesbian to the episcopacy, makes a new Anglican Communion almost inevitable.

“If the churches in the Global South sign up, would they then become a new Communion? Wouldn’t that further polarize the church? On the other hand, the Churches in the Global South cannot forever continue to merely react to the actions of the Western churches. If TEC for political reasons chooses to sign, and we can’t stop them, but continues to disregard the mind of the Communion on these matters that have caused us so much grief, it will make nonsense of the whole exercise.”

Akinola blasted the Episcopal Church saying that the Communion leaders have worked very hard over the last three years trying to agree and sign a new Anglican Covenant, but it is clear that the Episcopal Church will never honor it, even if they did sign it.

“Initially, it was felt that a comprehensive Anglican covenant would help heal the wounds and restore confidence in our relationships within the Anglican family, as it would provide for accountability. But as things stand today in the Communion, this Encounter gathered here in Singapore needs to assure itself if the proposed covenant offers any such hope.

“Has the torn fabric of the Communion been addressed? Can the Covenant address the problem? There are those who are in what they call ‘impaired communion’ and others in what is called ‘broken sacramental communion’ with The Episcopal Church in North America and the Anglican Church of Canada. All calls for accountability and repentance have not been heeded. Decisions taken by the Primates to resolve the problem at their meetings in Brazil, Dromantine and Dar es Salam have been jettisoned. Consequently, the Communion has not been able to mend the ‘broken net’,” he roared to some 130 stunned archbishops, bishops, clergy and laity from 25 countries that make up the Global South.

The Covenant is a very serious and weighty matter, he thundered from the pulpit of St. Andrew’s cathedral. “Be it between God and his people or between business partners and even in the context of marriage, the terms and conditions of any covenant must never be taken lightly.

“It is the eighth year since we have not all been in communion with one another, globally, in the same Anglican Church. It appears that some of our leaders value the ageing structures of the communion much more than anything else, hence, the illusion that with more meetings, organizations and networks the crises will disappear. How wrong.”

Akinola tore into The Episcopal Church. “We all know that signing the covenant will not stop TEC from pursuing its own agenda. In fact only recently, it elected and confirmed another openly gay priest (this time a woman) to the episcopate. The Communion is still unable to exercise discipline. We are God’s Covenant to the world, yes, but we are divided. We lack discipline. We lack the courage to call ‘a spade a spade’. Our obedience to God is selective.

“Our desire in the Global South is for a genuine healing of the Church. Our desire is for the restoration of sacramental communion among all the churches in the global Anglican family. Much precious time has been spent, or maybe wasted, on this crisis. The real mission of the church, which is to make Christ known to all is suffering and in some cases neglected. We in the Global South cannot continue in this way. Yet, we see no light at the end of the tunnel. Time is God’s precious gift for which we are accountable to God as His stewards. This Encounter must show us the way forward in all of this.”

“Where do we go from here?” he cried.