Leaders of all but two Anglican provinces in Africa have pledged to work with both Communion Partners and the Anglican Church in North America.

That commitment came in a communiqué issued by the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) at the conclusion of the All-Africa Bishops’ Conference. The conference met Aug. 23-29 in Entebbe, Uganda.

“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,” the primates wrote. “Our aim is to advance the Kingdom of God especially in unreached areas.”

In the same communiqué, the primates pledged their commitment to live by the standards of the Windsor Report.

“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,” they wrote. “We as Primates of CAPA and the Global South are committed to honor such recommendations.”

The Episcopal Church has repeatedly criticized support for the ACNA, and its predecessor groups, as disregarding the boundaries of dioceses in the United States.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, have asked Archbishop Gregory Venables to explain his offer of provincial oversight to conservative bishops in the United States.

A letter attributed to the provinces of Central Africa and Southern Africa distanced those provinces from the primates’ pledge, which the statement interpreted as an effort to replace the Episcopal Church.

Even this dissenting statement, however, included criticism of the Episcopal Church’s recent choices in relation to other provinces of the Anglican Communion.

“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,” the dissenting statement said. “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.”

The two provinces added: “We recognize that all the provinces and dioceses 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. … 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 do not support ACNA’s position for legitimacy through the elimination of TEC.”

A six-page conference statement included 26 commitments, some of which were observations. The churches’ commitments included:

  • “shaping the Christian minds of the church worldwide in the third millennium”;
  • realizing “the need for further improvement of the Covenant in order to be an effective tool for unity and mutual accountability”;
  • enhancing “lay participation in the ministry of the church”;
  • supporting “renewed engagement in global mission”;
  • defending “human and constitutional rights of Christians and churches in various countries”;
  • “working with partners at all levels to ensure equal access to medical care, food security and promoting good health practices to prevent the major causes of death on the continent, with particular attention to primary health care for African families, especially mothers, children and elderly”;
  • demanding “the protection of our people, particularly our women and children, from human trafficking, sexual immorality, abuse and violence, and structural, cultural and domestic violence”;
  • contributing to “the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015”;
  • “organizing towards a proactive, pragmatic engagement with good governance and infrastructural development”;
  • responding to HIV and AIDS by “reducing stigma, shame, denial, discrimination, inaction and ‘mis-action,’ and by promoting moral practices such as abstinence and marital faithfulness as well as access and availability of treatment, voluntary testing and empowerment of communities, in addition to other public health measures”;
  • in response to harmful climate change, promoting “existing successful environmental conservation initiatives, including tree planting and bio gas schemes”;
  • calling on “international communities, particularly Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union and the United Nations, to put more pressure on the National Congress Party and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to hold a free, fair and peaceful referendum on the 9th of January and to respect the decision of the people of Southern Sudan as stipulated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement”;
  • expressing “deep concern over the continued sexual violence against women and children by armed groups operating in the Eastern Congo” and calling on United Nations forces “to do more in protecting civilians and assist the government in stabilizing the region.”