Canterbury strikes back

“For Anglicans, communion with the See of Canterbury – and with its Archbishop – is the visible expression of our communion with one another.

In his advent letter to GAFCON, the Primate of Nigeria says: ‘the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration clarified that the Anglican Communion is not determined simply by relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury’.

However, the relationship with the See of Canterbury is essential for Anglicans. You cannot be in the Anglican Communion without it. …”

– ‘Secretary General of the Anglican Communion’, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, responds to the December pastoral letter from Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council, and probably also to this week’s statement from the Global South Primates.

(It’s worth remembering that The Episcopal Church of the USA, and The Anglican Church of Canada are regarded as full members, in communion with Canterbury, despite their doctrine and behaviour.)

A Statement from the Global South Primates regarding the ACNA

“In 2015, the Global South Primates stated in their communique ‘We rejoiced to welcome the Anglican Church in North America as a partner province to the Global South, represented by its Archbishop, the Most Reverend Foley Beach.’

This decision of the Global South Primates came after more than a decade of successive events, and gave the Anglican Church in North America seat, voice, and vote in Global South.

In 2016 the Global South Primates elected the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, to the Steering Committee of Global South. We will hereby discuss the events that led to our affirmation of the Anglican Church in North America. …

In light of recent events within the Anglican Communion, we unashamedly remain in full communion with our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church in North America.”

– Read the full statement from The Global South Anglican Primates.

Resignations in the Scottish Episcopal Church

“Following the selection and appointment by four Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church of the Reverend Canon Anne Dyer as Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney on 9 November, there are now serious questions being asked about the process.

Following the appointment, the Rector of St Margaret’s, Aberdeen, the Very Reverend Dr Emsley Nimmo … on account of his duty of care for the diocese, immediately resigned from his role as Dean of the Diocese.

The Revd Canon Ian Ferguson, Rector of Westhill Community Church also resigned from the Cathedral Chapter on Wednesday. …”

– News from The Scottish Anglican Network.

Remote Scottish church accepts oversight from Bishop Andy Lines

“The people of Christ Church, [on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides], announced today that they can no longer remain under the oversight of the bishop of Argyll and the Isles, the Right Reverend Kevin Pearson. This follows his decision to support the change to the canons of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) which introduced the innovation of same-sex marriage.

At a meeting with Bishop Pearson, … [t]he bishop insisted that the SEC would retain all assets.

In response the congregation made it clear that they would walk away rather than submit to a decision which departs from scripture, tradition and the teaching of Jesus Christ…”

– Read the full story from The Scottish Anglican Network.

(Map courtesy Google Maps. Photo: The Rev. Daniel Davies and the vestry of Christ Church, Harris.)

Archbishop of Canterbury to lunch with the Pope today

“The Archbishop of Canterbury will meet and have lunch with Pope Francis today, in what will be the pair’s fourth meeting together in in the Vatican.

Archbishop Justin Welby travelled to Rome to formally commission his new Personal Representative to the Holy See and Director of the Anglican Centre, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, which took place during evensong last night. 

This morning Archbishops Welby and Ntahoturi will meet with Francis and will then go to the Pope’s residence, the Casa Santa Marta. It is not common for Francis to invite people he meets for official audiences to lunch so the gesture can be read as a sign of the warmth and ease of the relationship that exists between the Pope and Welby. …”

– Just in time for Reformation Day. Report from The Tablet.

Related:

Why the Reformation is Definitely Not Over – Mark Gilbert.

Is the Pope a Catholic? Understanding the Catholic Church – Mark Gilbert.

How should I share the gospel with a Roman Catholic? – Sugel Michelén (9Marks)

GAFCON Chairman’s October 2017 letter

“Let me humbly advise Canterbury here to take urgent steps to recognise ACNA as an authentic Province of the Anglican Communion before new realignments make that need unnecessary.

It appears that the Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) and other revisionists have now got what they failed to get at the 1998 Lambeth Conference. It seems it is now ‘officially’ possible to teach the opposite of what the Bible teaches and still be fully part of the Communion, with the only penalty being a few procedural handicaps which in practice amount to very little.

Is this now how the Primates of the Anglican Communion understand ‘Walking Together’? It has become clear that the Communiqué does not represent the reality of the meeting. …”

– Read all of GAFCON Chairman Archbishop Nicholas D. Okoh’s October 2017 pastoral letter at this link.

Related:

Ferrying the Primates across the rubicon: Lambeth Resolution I.10 and the 2017 Primates Meeting – Dr Stephen Noll.

Can Two Walk Together Unless They Are Agreed? – GAFCON’s Initial Response to the Primates’ Meeting 2017 Communique.

Communique? from the Primates’ Meeting Canterbury Cathedral, England, 2-6 October 2017 (PDF).

Sydney Synod on the Scottish Episcopal Church decision

At the last night of Sydney Synod this motion, proposed by the Dean of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, was passed with strong support. It is the same motion he brought to the General Synod. It was passed there with some amendments.

Here is the text passed by Sydney Synod on 17 October 2017:

Synod –

a. notes with regret that the Scottish Episcopal Church has amended their Canon on Marriage to change the definition that marriage is between a man and a woman by adding a new section that allows clergy to solemnise marriage between same-sex couples as well as couples of the opposite sex,

b. declares that this step is contrary to the doctrine of Christ and the doctrine of our Church, and therefore inconsistent with the Fundamental Declarations of our Churches,

c. notes with sadness that the Scottish Episcopal Church has thereby put itself out of fellowship with the wider Anglican Communion,

d. expresses our support for those Anglicans who have left or will need to leave the Scottish Episcopal Church because of its redefinition of marriage, or who struggle to remain in good conscience, and

e. prays that the Scottish Episcopal Church will return to the doctrine of Christ in this matter and be restored to communion with faithful Anglicans around the world.

Ferrying the Primates across the rubicon: Lambeth Resolution I.10 and the 2017 Primates Meeting

“Nearly one year ago I wrote an essay titled ‘Crossing the Rubicon: Lambeth Resolution I.10, the Church of England, and the Anglican Communion,’ which began this way:

Earlier this year I was speaking with an English friend concerned about the direction of the Church of England. ‘Where do we draw the line?’ he asked. ‘That’s easy,’ I replied: ‘It’s called Lambeth Resolution I.10.’

I then analyzed (‘fisked‘) a letter by Mr. William Nye, the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, who had clearly been authorized to speak for the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. In this letter Mr. Nye attempts to relativize the 1998 Lambeth Resolution I.10 on Human Sexuality as speaking for that Conference only, hence having no ongoing normative authority.

In the light of the Communiqué from the October 2017 Primates’ Meeting, I would go a step further and say that in the view of the Lambeth Establishment, Resolution I.10 was a huge mistake and aberration, the effects of which will be undone at Lambeth 2020. …”

– On the GAFCON website, Dr Stephen Noll takes a look at what really happened at the 2017 Primates’ Meeting.

Scottish Anglican Network statement on the Meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion

“The Scottish Anglican Network is grateful to the GAFCON primates who gave courageous leadership by not attending the meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion this week. We are thankful too for the GAFCON Primates and others who did attend and who robustly supported the complementary nature of biblical marriage. …”

– Read the full statement here.

Also from the Scottish Anglican Network:

Secxit (or why I must leave the Scottish Episcopal Church) – Daniel Davies.

Can two walk together unless they are agreed?

“Today’s Communique from the Primates’ Meeting 2017, in Canterbury, England, is very disappointing, but it is not surprising.  As we have consistently said, the current ‘Instruments of Unity’ are broken, and as Archbishop Ntagali, Primate of Uganda, has said, ‘every attempt to repair the torn fabric and heal the betrayal has made the situation worse.’ This has again proved true.

When the leaders of Gafcon and the Global South, representing the majority of the world’s Anglicans, met in Cairo last month it was their prayer that ‘the outcome of the upcoming [Primates] meeting would be decisive and lead to coherent and responsible action regarding the issues which continue to tear apart the fabric of the Communion, issues that have eternal consequences.‘ Judging by the Communique, their hopes for the meeting have been disappointed. …”

An initial Response to the Primates’ Meeting 2017 Communique from GAFCON.

Are we surprised, really?

“It was confirmed that the Anglican Church of North America is not a Province of the Anglican Communion. We recognised that those in ACNA should be treated with love as fellow Christians.”  Statement of the Primates Meeting 2017

The Primates Meeting of 2017 has issued its final statementWho wrote the statement—the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Anglican Communion Office, the Secretary General or the whole body of the Primates?

If the whole body of the Primates wrote the final statement, where are the signatures of the Primates who consented to all of these statements?  When did the Primates come together and write this statement?  How many drafts did they have to go through before they came to this statement?  Which Primates were actually involved in writing it?  When did they discuss and redraft?  How many Primates were present to approve the final draft?  Was it even shown to the Primates before they departed?”

– Canon Phil Ashey, President of the American Anglican Council, asks some questions about the final statement from the Primates’ meeting.

Response from Bishop Andy Lines to the Primates’ Communiqué

“The Primates’ Communiqué appears to continue promoting the narrative of Anglicans ‘walking together’ despite the absence of four Provinces representing millions of Anglicans, and despite profound disagreement expressed within the meeting on understandings of what it means to be Christian, and how we know what is right and wrong.

The Bishop Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church played a leading role in the Primates’ Conference. Although there was talk of ‘consequences’ for SEC’s action, he was unrepentant, and showed no concern for those under his care who cannot accept the decision to redefine marriage. They now feel betrayed and de-churched. Meanwhile millions of Anglicans will be concerned that the Communiqué does not appear to express any view on the actions of SEC or the thinking behind it.

The document does not criticise false teaching, but focuses on ‘border crossing’ as if it is more harmful. I take the long-established view of orthodox Anglicans across the world, that we cannot make an equivalence between Provinces who choose to abandon key aspects of biblical theology and ethics, tearing the fabric of the Communion and putting souls in danger, and those who respond to calls for help from faithful Anglicans within those Provinces. My role as Gafcon missionary Bishop is clearly needed more than ever: to provide ministry to and encourage emerging congregations of faithful Anglicans in Britain outside the official structures.

They, along with many within those structures want to be part of a global movement based on the unchanging truths of God’s word, and obedience to that word which includes ministry mentioned in the Communiqué: evangelism and discipleship, and also  compassionate response to those suffering in contexts of violence and poverty; ministry of which Gafcon-aligned provinces are at the cutting edge.”

– From GAFCON UK.

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