Archive for August, 2010

ENTEBBE: Two African Anglican Provinces Say Abandoning US Episcopal Church is “Wrong”

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Central Africa and Southern Africa reject ACNA’s legitimacy

By David W. Virtue in Entebbe
www.virtueonline.org
August 29, 2010

Two African Anglican Provinces – Central Africa and Southern Africa – say they will not go along with CAPA’s call to disassociate itself from the Episcopal Church for its actions in consecrating a non-celibate homosexual and a lesbian to the episcopacy.

In a letter VOL has obtained, the two provinces say that notwithstanding, the impression being created at the Conference that all Provinces in Africa are of one mind to abandon our relationship with TEC, [we believe this] is wrong. “Painful as the action is it should not become the presenting issue to lead to the break-up up of our legacy and this gift of God – the worldwide Anglican Communion.”

The statement from the two CAPA provinces throws as an ecclesiastical spanner in the works, but did not derail the overwhelming majority of some 10 (out of 12) Anglican provinces who believe TEC has strayed far from the theological and ecclesiastical fold and should no longer be associated with.

“We are mindful that the Anglican Communion is under severe strain because of certain actions taken by the Episcopal Church (TEC) by their ordination of openly gay bishops.

“TEC’s recent action of consecrating an openly lesbian person as a bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles against a moratorium in the Communion of consecrating openly gay bishops reflected a gross insensitivity to the feelings of the rest of the Communion.

“We are therefore sympathetic to the deep hurt and pain and indeed anger that some Provinces in Africa have expressed.

“We recognize that all the Provinces and diocese in Africa do not condone TEC’s action. However, Provinces differ in their relationships with TEC in light of their actions. Some Provinces continue to value their historical partnerships with TEC and its organs. To discard these relationships would be tantamount to abandoning our call of the gospel to struggle with each other’s failure as we journey with Christ in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation as we were passionately reminded and to live with our rich diversity.

“In pursuit of its objective to form a new “province” in North America, ACNA has been successful in bringing together most of the splinter groups within the Anglican tradition.

“We recognize that the common factor that holds all the coalition partners of ACNA is TEC. We do not support ACNA’s position for legitimacy through the elimination of TEC.

“Three of the instruments of Unity have already stated their position on the matter and we believe they represent the mind of the vast majority of the Communion including CAPA.

“The majority of the African Provinces at this Conference are being ambushed by an agenda that is contrary to the beliefs and practices of our various Provinces. We have come to this conference to share ideas on critical issues in the development of our continent and provide spiritual leadership for our people.

“Any thought of abandoning our Communion with any member of the body will hurt; for when one part of the body is injured the whole suffers. CAPA must not be sued as A pawn in battles it is not party too. CAPA as you all know is not an organ of the Anglican Communion but a fellowship of Provinces of Africa. Therefore, issues of doctrine are better addressed as it has always been by individual provinces.”

END

ENTEBBE, Uganda: CAPA Primates Communiqué

Monday, August 30th, 2010


Posted By David W. Virtue in Entebbe

1. In a spirit of unity and trust, and in an atmosphere of love the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) as well as Archbishop John chew, the Chairman of the Global South, which represents the majority of the active orthodox membership in the entire Anglican Communion, met during the 2nd All Africa Bishop’s Conference in Entebbe, Uganda. We enjoyed the fellowship and the sense of unity as we heard the Word of God and gathered around the Lord’s Table.

2. We gave thanks to God for the leadership of the Most. Rev. Ian Ernest, Archbishop of the Indian Ocean and Chairman of CAPA and for the abundant hospitality provided by the Most Rev. Henry Orombi, Archbishop of Uganda and the entire Church of Uganda.

3. We were honored by the presence of the His Excellency General Yoweri K. Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, for his official welcome to Uganda and for hosting an official state reception for the AABCH. We are very grateful to him for his support of the work of the Anglican Church in Uganda and for his call to stand against the alien intrusions and cultural arrogance which undermines the moral fiber of our societies. We recall his admonishment to live out the words and deeds of the Good Samaritan. We are also grateful to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister of Uganda for his presence and words of encouragement to us.

4. We were very happy and appreciated that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Dr. Rowan Williams, accepted our invitation to attend the 2nd All Africa Bishop’s Conference. We were encouraged by his word to us. We also appreciated the opportunity to engage face-to-face with him in an atmosphere of love and respect. We shared our hearts openly and with transparency, and we have come to understand the difficulties and the pressures he is facing. He also came to understand our position and how our mission is threatened by actions which have continued in certain provinces in the Communion. We therefore commit ourselves to continuously support and pray for him and for the future of our beloved Communion.

5. We were very saddened with the recent actions of The Episcopal Church in America who went ahead and consecrated Mary Glasspool last May 2010, in spite of the call for a moratorium(1) and all the warnings from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion and the 4th Encounter of the Global South.

This was a clear departure from the standard teaching of the Anglican Communion as stated in Lambeth Resolution 1.10. We are also concerned about similar progressive developments in Canada and in the U.K. 6. Being aware of the reluctance of those Instruments of Communion to follow through the recommendations of the Windsor Report(2) and taken by the Primates Meetings in Dromantine(3) and Dar es Salaam(4) we see the way ahead as follows:

A. In order to keep the ethos and tradition of the Anglican Communion in a credible way, it is obligatory of all Provinces to observe the agreed decisions and recommendations of the Windsor Report and the various communiqués of the past three Primates Meetings, especially Dar es Salaam in 2007. We as Primates of CAPA and the Global South are committed to honor such recommendations.

B. We are committed to meet more regularly as Global South Primates and take our responsibilities in regard to issues of Faith and Order.(5)

C. We will give special attention to sound theological education as we want to ensure that the future generations stand firm on the Word of God and faithfully follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

D. We are committed to network with orthodox Anglicans around the world, including Communion Partners in the USA and the Anglican Church in North America, in holistic mission and evangelism. Our aim is to advance the Kingdom of God especially in unreached areas.

E. We are committee to work for unity with our ecumenical partners and to promote interfaith dialogue with other faiths in order to promote a peaceful co-existence and to resolve conflicts.

F. We are committed to work for the welfare of our countries. This will involve alleviating poverty, achieving financial and economic empowerment, fighting diseases, and promoting education.

7. Finally, we are very aware of our own inadequacy and weaknesses hence we depend fully on the grace of God to achieve his purpose in the life of his church and our beloved Anglican Communion.

FOOTNOTES:

1. The Windsor Report Section 134.1 The Episcopal church (USA) be invited to express its regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached in the events surrounding the election and consecration of a bishop for the See of New Hampshire, and for the consequences which followed and that such an expression of regret would represent the desire of the Episcopal Church (USA) to remain within the Communion(2) the Episcopal church (USA) be invited to effect a moratorium on the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion energies.

The Windsor Report Section 144.3 We call for a moratorium on all such public Rites, and recommend that bishops who have authorized such rites in the US and Canada be invited to express regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached by such authorizations.

2. Windsor Report. Section D. 157 There remains a very real danger that we will not choose to walk together. Should the call to halt and find ways of continuing in our present communion not be heeded, then we shall have to begin to learn to walk apart.

3. The Communiqué of the Primates Meeting in Dromantine (2005) Section 14. Within the ambit of the issues discussed in the Windsor Report and in roder to recognize the integrity of all parties, we request that the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada voluntarily withdraw their members from the Anglican Consultative Council for the period leading up to the next Lambeth Conference.

4. The Communiqué of the Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007. If the reassurances requested of the House of Bishops cannot in good conscience be given, the relationship between The Episcopal Church and the Anglican communion as a whole remains damaged at best, and this has consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion.

5. Lambeth 1988 Resolution 18.2(a) Urges the encouragement be given to a developing collegial rule for the Primates Meeting under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, so that the Primates Meeting is able to exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters. Lambeth 1998 Resolution III.6 (a) reaffirms the Resolution 18.2(a) Of Lambeth 1988 which “urges that encouragement be given to a developing collegial role for the Primates’ Meeting under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, so that the Primates’ Meeting is able to exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters”.

END

Rwandan House of Bishops Call for Reaffirmation of Jerusalem (GAFCON) Declaration

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Archbishop KoliniBy David Virtue, VOL

Bishops urge new Conciliar Process. Covenant has failed, they say

We write to you with gratitude and humility as we rejoice in our time together in Entebbe, Uganda at the All African Bishops’ Conference.

Blessed is the Church in Africa to have such gifted leadership in our host, the Anglican Province of Uganda and its Primate, the Most Reverend Henry Luke Orombi. Such blessings continue in the CAPA Leadership and its Chair, the Most Reverend Ian Ernest, Primate of the Province of the Indian Ocean.

As we think of this very important gathering we recall that it was only four months ago that many in this gathering arrived in Singapore for the Fourth Global South to South Encounter. Since that gracious time shared, Anglican revisionism in the West continues and the need to “Secure our Future” as Faithful Anglicans has become even more acute.

As the chair of CAPA has articulated in his address, it is in this very moment we have a unique opportunity in the providence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to show the Communion and the world that Africa now sees fit to “unlock our potential” for a faithful witness to the Communion, fellow Christians in other traditions and the world.

Despite these blessings, we the Bishops of Rwanda have great concern about the state of the Anglican Communion and its ongoing disintegration. We ask you to prayer fully consider the contents of our Dispatch for Action for a pastoral plan that will indeed “Secure our Future”.

Children and Family Structure

Sunday, August 29th, 2010


By Bill Muehlenberg

The push for same-sex parenting rights is constantly on the boil. Right now the NSW government is looking at a homosexual adoption bill. As usual, the well-being of children is not the focus, but the selfish wants of adults. Children are just guinea pigs in this radical social experiment.

[…..]  Consider this revealing quote from someone who should know. Tammy Bruce is the former president of the LA chapter of the National Organisation of Woman. She is also a pro-abortion feminist and a lesbian. But she is greatly alarmed by homosexual activism. This is what she says about the issue of children and the homosexual agenda: “Today’s gay activists have carried the campaign a step further, invading children’s lives by wrapping themselves in the banner of tolerance. It is literally the equivalent of the wolf coming to your door dressed as your grandmother.”

She continues, “The radicals in control of the gay establishment want children in their world of moral decay, lack of self-restraint, and moral relativism. Why? How better to truly belong to the majority (when you’re really on the fringe) than by taking possession of the next generation? By targeting children, you can start indoctrinating the next generation with the false construct that gay people deserve special treatment and special laws. How else can the gay establishment actually get society to believe, borrowing from George Orwell, that gay people are indeed more equal than others? Of course, the only way to get that idea accepted is to condition people into accepting nihilism that forbids morality and judgment.”

Read here

When Compromise Trumps Apostolic Tradition

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

Dr Robert RuncieBy George Weigel, First Things

Pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral visit to Great Britain next month will unfold along a pilgrim’s path metaphorically strewn with landmines. Headline-grabbing new atheists like Richard Dawkins, along with their allies in the international plaintiff’s bar, may try to have the pontiff arrested as an enabler of child abuse. More subtly, but just as falsely, homosexual activists and their allies will portray John Henry Newman, whom the Pope will beatify, as the patron saint of gay liberation. No challenge facing Benedict in Britain, however, will be greater than the challenge of re-framing the Anglican-Catholic ecumenical dialogue, which is on the verge of de facto extinction.

The death of that once-promising dialogue would have been unimaginable 40 years ago. Then, in the aftermath of Vatican II, it seemed possible that Canterbury and Rome might be reconciled, with full ecclesiastical communion restored. That great hope began to run aground in the mid-1980s, when the Church of England faced the question of whether it could call women to holy orders (a practice already under way in other member communities of the worldwide Anglican Communion). As I discovered when researching the biography of Pope John Paul II, a theological Rubicon seems to have been crossed in a 1984-86 exchange of letters among Dr. Robert Runcie, the Anglican primate, Cardinal Johannes Willebrands, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Pope.

Read here

Staying faithful

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

The Gospel and culture!

We are delighted to announce that the annual conference will take
place at St Saviour’s Church Walmer , Port Elizabeth from 16h00
Wednesday 27th to midday Friday 29th October 2010.

The following comment by a priest of this province at a recent clergy school.

As an African Priest I do not consider myself converted to the
Gospel of Jesus Christ, but a cultural contributor to the Gospel of
Jesus Christ”

This comment went unchallenged by any of the leadership of the
discussion, and we must remember that ‘silence gives consent’.  This
comment is indicative of some of the attitudes around the interaction
of the Christian Gospel and African Cultures in the Southern African
context.  The theme of the conference this year will be these difficult
questions of remaining true to the biblical Gospel within our own
cultural environments.  Discovering what critique of culture is
demanded by the uniquiness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We will also continue build networks and fellowship amongst the
members of the FCA in this Province and together seek to chart a way
forward for the FCA in this region.

Time: Wednesday 27th October Noon (registration opens at 11am) through until 13.00 Friday 29th October 2010.

Speakers will include: More detail here

Archbishop Dr. Eliud Wabukala of Kenya and a member of the GAFCON Primates council.

Archbishop Dr. Eliud Wabukala of Kenya and a member of the GAFCON Primates council.

Rev Dr Vinay Samuel Founder and past Executive Director of Oxford Centre of Mission Studies

Rev Dr Chris Sugden Executive Secretary of Anglican Mainstream

REGISTRATION FORM

For more details contact Fr Gavin Mitchell at frgavin@gmail.com or Neville Lobb at lobbsa@lantic.net

ENTEBBE: Nigerian Primate Takes Firm Stand Against Homosexuality

Friday, August 27th, 2010

By David W. Virtue in Entebbe
www.virtueonline.org

The Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Nigeria, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh underscored the primacy of the family, condemning homosexual practice for his 23-million member Anglican province, the largest province in the Anglican Communion as well as all African Anglicans.

“We do not believe two women or two men can make a family. We [also] want to correct the impression that we are not sure. We are very sure that a man and a woman is the family unit and by God’s grace add children to it. That is biblical not only for CAPA [bishops] but for the entire Global South. Our position is that if there is anybody who is a lesbian or homosexual they should receive pastoral counseling.”

The newly elected Primate said CAPA bishops are trying to consolidate their position on matters relating to the family, poverty, as well as the life of the church. What is foremost is the unity of the family, which is a man and a woman with children added to it.

PRIMATES MEET ROWAN WILLIAMS

Asked by VOL at a press conference what the mood was like when the CAPA Primates met privately with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Ian Ernest responded describing the fellowship as “warm. We met in a spirit of brotherly love.

“We made it clear to him that we stand for truth as it is revealed in the Word of God and we would be faithful to the word of God.” There will be no compromise on hot button issues.

Dr. Williams understands the challenges of the conference. Bishop Ernest recalled Dr. Williams’ message calling for leadership in health related areas even if it involves risk.

The primates heard Williams talk about the Anglican Communion as a dysfunctional family and like most families he hopes he can hold it together. He gave no indication to the Primates that he has personally changed any of his own positions. In his speech he did not address the subject of homosexuality.

CAPA CONFERENCE

Uganda Archbishop Henry Orombi said the conference had begun well. “There is a great openness. The Primates are thinking together as one. I am very pleased with the services going on.”

Dr. Mouneer Anis, Middle East Archbishop said he was encouraged by the main characteristic of “one spirit” which has not always been the case in many Primates’ conferences.

“At the (first) All Africa conference in Lagos there was one spirit, and here we have the same consistency in the message we are delivering. We are solid. We are unlocking our potential…it is starting to happen. The growth of the church is now showing that Africa is going to take the lead of the church in the whole world.”

Dr Anis stated that the first millennium lead the whole world and shaped the Christian mind. “We wrote the theology now taught in the big universities in America and Europe. We need for the world to wake up and to see Africa shaping the Christian mind once again. I am very encouraged. I am proud to be an African.”

Orombi noted that the element of powerlessness that had marked African Christianity is now gone. “We have a message for the world and the Anglican Communion, no compromise and faithfulness to the will and Word of God.

“Time is now for African Anglicanism to rise up and begin to bring fresh life to the ailing Global Anglicanism. The potentials represented today in this conference must be free to go to Europe and America with ‘fresh wine’ from ‘new wine skins’ to the Mother Church desperate for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I say the church of Africa must rise up. Shake off your fears, shame and superficial dependency. Take hold of this God-given opportunity and use it to His glory. Preach the gospel, evangelize and extend the Kingdom of Jesus Christ,” he added.

UGANDAN PRESIDENT

Uganda President General Y.K. Musiveni, a self described Anglican Christian spoke to the assembled bishops and lauded his nation’s commitment to Christianity.

The president said he felt a sense of historical confluence of events coming together in Uganda. “I am a first generation Christian. This country never saw anybody with a white skin till 1851. The first was an Arab in 1851. The first European was Huntington Street who came in 1864. In 1877 the first church missionary society people came to this country. When the missionaries came my parents were baptized in 1947 and joined the new religion. I joined when I was 3 years old and I was baptized without catechesis.

“This part of the world is unique. There are only three places on the globe like it. The uniqueness of Uganda is it a right on the equator, it is 1200 meters above sea level and you can find snow in Uganda. With our high elevation and high altitude we can make chocolate,” he said to much laughter. “There are only two other places on the globe like this, one is a part of Kenya; the other part is Ecuador in South America.”

SOCIAL ISSUES

The 400 bishops are grappling with the reality that nearly 40 million people are now living with HIV & AIDS. The re-emergence of already controlled TB and Malaria are worsening the effective control of HIV, due to shared vulnerability and determinant, causing increasing numbers of HIV related illnesses and death among individuals especially those who are infected by HIV and have no access to quality treatment and care, delegates were told.

Church institutions are well positioned to show love and care and are capable of bringing succor to people affected by these diseases as well as possessing the capacity of eliminating all forms of stigma and discrimination to those living with and affected by AIDS and TB.

Leonard Okello, International Head, HIV/AIDS programs said that every church leader in Africa and the world needs a response that is based on a simple question, “What would the Lord Jesus Christ himself do if he comes back to a world faced with the AIDS, TB and Malaria epidemic?”

HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria are the leading causes of death along with socio-economic problems in Africa, especially in the Sub-Saharan region. The rise of these diseases affects Africa’s development. Insufficient strategies, insufficient financing commitment has hampered effective prevention and control of these infections within communities and the church, he said.

CAPA has developed and implemented various plans of action to accelerate responses in provinces. Diocesan key actions, practices and attitudes have been implemented that include ownership; capacity building, partnership and sustainability, resource mobilization, program management and financial accountability, research development, monitoring and evaluation.