CAPA homogeneity challenged by western money, personnel and communications

By David W. Virtue

There is a growing determination by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in consort with the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, that they can divide the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) bishops by exploiting poverty and the need for money to wedge pansexuality into an otherwise solid phalanx of African homogeneity.

CAPA’s underlying alliances are as follows:

Solidly GAFCON-Nigeria, West Africa, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt/Middle East

May appear soft but truly behind GAFCON-Sudan, Indian Ocean

Solidly aligned with TEC/Canterbury-Southern Africa

With or moving toward TEC/Canterbury-Congo, Burundi, Central Africa

Virtueonline has been told that the Global South, which is orthodox, faithful and evangelical, and views Western Anglicanism as progressive, pansexual and revisionist, is having dangled before it the carrot of money, personnel and communications for the stick of homosexual acceptance in the name of inclusivity and cultural diversity.

“One should expect to see the leadership of CAPA move away from Nigeria and its leader Archbishop Nicholas Okoh (who is no Akinola) and towards Archbishop Eliud Wabukala. The strength is [now] in East Africa,” VOL was told. Central Africa, which was solidly orthodox under former Anglo-Catholic Archbishop Bernard Malango, may now be lost and with it, Congo and Burundi.

What this means is that Canterbury and the Episcopal Church are going to take advantage of CAPA’s loss of virtual unanimity. In the past, the orthodox elements could count on some degree of support from every province except Southern Africa; that is no longer the case.

At a cultural level Africans value consensus, so they will be reluctant to push Congo, Burundi, or Central Africa, VOL was told.

While Archbishop Wabukala has the strength of character of both Archbishop Akinola and former Rwandan Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini, he is faced with dealing with at least two provinces (Congo and Burundi) with whom he doesn’t have the connections that Archbishop Kolini (who started out as a Congo bishop) had. Furthermore, there has always been a close if often tense relationship between Rwanda and Burundi.

The recent establishment of an Anglican Communion Communications Office in Nairobi is a sign of the West’s growing confidence in light of these facts. Both Archbishop Dr Daniel Deng Bul, Primate of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, and The Primate of Burundi, The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi endorsed the project, which is being heavily funded by a grant from long-time supporters of communications in Africa Trinity Wall Street. Trinity Wall Street is the single richest church in the world.

The communications officer, we are told, will be hired from Africa and located in the Nairobi offices of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA).

Ironically, just down the road, The Rev. Charles Raven, a solidly orthodox UK vicar who has written a critical analysis of Rowan Williams theology has been invited by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala to take up the post of Programme Director at St Julian’s, Limuru, a retreat center and guesthouse in a rural setting near Nairobi. His brief is to develop St Julian’s as a key study and training facility for the Province and as a resource to support the Archbishop in his role as Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council.

He describes it as a major challenge in the struggle for the global integrity and faithfulness as the Anglican Communion enters a new phase. “The energies of Western liberals are no longer being put so much into the widely discredited ‘instruments of unity’ but into the development of bilateral and relational links which effectively bracket out doctrinal issues through a lack of transparency and the use of ‘indaba’ strategies,” writes Raven.

The Anglican Communications Office in Nairobi is about “Anglicans everywhere hearing about the successes and challenges of fulfilling God’s mission in differing contexts”.

Given that the funding for this post is coming from Trinity Wall Street, a major funding vehicle for TEC projects around the world, it is very unlikely that false teaching in TEC and the West will be presented as anything other than Anglicanism in a “differing context” about which we need “conversation”. This post will be a platform for Western gay and liberal agitprop and the hearing of “stories” of “aggrieved,” “downtrodden” and “excluded” homosexuals from the Anglican conversation.

As well as the increasingly heavily US funded Pro-Gay, now deposed Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, formerly bishop of West Buganda, there is another movement called “Other Sheep East Africa” whose website describes itself as “Gay and Christian in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.”

The recent appointment of the Rev. Pam Strobel, senior associate at Christ Church, Greenwich, CT, to serve as a Mission Partner in the Anglican Church of Congo for two years, working directly under Archbishop Henri Isingoma to set up systems that will allow other mission partners to come work in the DR Congo is another Western liberal intrusion that only serves TEC’s purposes and deepens the ties TEC would like to have in Africa and thus swing it in their theological direction.

The push by western Anglican liberals takes on greater urgency if they are to win the culture wars in the Global South. It is a race against time. Western pan-Anglicanism is numerically withering and dying but still relatively speaking rich.

The bottom line is that it comes down to money for Congo, Burundi, and Central Africa. These are incredibly poor provinces (not that other African provinces aren’t as well), but as long as The Episcopal Church and Canterbury don’t involve themselves too much in their internal affairs and provide these provinces with money, they either will not support GAFCON or their voices will be conspicuously silent.

They will also likely continue to attend Lambeth-originated functions with every show of loyalty to Archbishop Rowan Williams. In time, TEC and Canterbury will make a lot of the fact that CAPA (minus Southern Africa) is no longer cohesive.

If the orthodox in the west want to regain these provinces (remembering Archbishop Fidele Dirokpa of the Congo and Archbishop Malango’s support of AMiA and Common Cause), it’s going to take strategic investment of time, money and education. The biggest areas of need are clergy training and support, and infrastructure development to make churches self-sustaining. Maslow’s hierarchy is very much at work here. In this climate, it is crucial that orthodox Anglicans are in the forefront with their foot firmly in the door and to keep on reminding the Global South that theological and ecclesiological liberalism and pansexuality equals spiritual death.


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