“I am writing from Canterbury, England, where the staff of the American Anglican Council has been on site assisting Archbishop Foley Beach and the GAFCON Primates in their witness at the Primates gathering this week. There is a saying about the fog of war: when it descends, there is often confusion and disorientation in the midst of the fight. Here, it would certainly be fair to say that situations changed on a daily, if not hourly basis. In the fog of war, rarely are battles decisive. More often, they turn out to be one step among many in a long and costly road to victory. Read more
This Communiqué from the Primates’ Meeting was issued early Saturday morning, Australian time.
Here is the full text:
The previously-released Statement is an Addendum to this document.
“Walking Together in the Service of God in the World
The meeting of Anglican Primates, the senior bishops of the 38 Anglican Provinces, joined by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of North America, took place in Canterbury between Monday 11 January and Friday 15 January at the invitation of Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury. The first morning was spent in prayer and fasting.
We came knowing that the 2016 Primates’ meeting would be concerned with the differences among us in regard to our teaching on matters of human sexuality. We were also eager to address wider areas of concern. Read more
Enough has leaked from the gathering to be able to form a picture of what went on. The Archbishop of Canterbury and his staff had tried to direct the progress of the group’s deliberations by resorting to a standby from ++Justin Welby’s corporate days: the RAND-developed group facilitation mechanism known as the ‘Delphi Technique’…”
– The Anglican Curmudgeon, A. S. Haley, gives his take on the washup of the gathering in Canterbury. (There is one more day of meetings scheduled, with a press conference scheduled for 1500BST Friday / 0200AEDT Saturday).
The days ahead will give some clarity, however the Statement issued this morning by GAFCON Chairman Eliud Wabukala and General Secretary Peter Jensen is worth re-reading.
“Once Primates had finally addressed the issue of discipline, it was time for Archbishop Beach to quietly step away from the remainder of the meeting as ACNA had committed itself to only continue at the meeting if TEC and the ACoC had stepped away and until repentance and godly order were restored. The ACoC remained and, although mild sanctions were applied to TEC, its Primate also remained in the meeting.”
Full text below: Read more
“The sanctions are strong, but they are not strong enough, and to my deep disappointment, they didn’t include the Anglican Church of Canada as they should.”
Full text below: Read more
“We at Crossway learned this week that J. I. Packer (who will, Lord willing, turn 90 years old in July 2016) has developed macular degeneration in his right eye. His left eye has had macular degeneration for over a decade. He consented to let this information be shared publicly.”
– Justin Taylor shares some news for your prayers.
Update: Ivan Mesa at The Gospel Coalition shares the text of a phone interview he conducted with Jim Packer.
“I have left the meeting in Canterbury, but I want to make it clear that we are not leaving the Anglican Communion.”
Full text below:
13th January 2016
Dear Bishops, Clergy, and Lay Leaders in the Church of Uganda,
Praise the Lord! Thank you so much for your prayers for me as I traveled to Canterbury, England, for the gathering of Primates called by the Archbishop of Canterbury to address the events that caused the fabric of the Anglican Communion to be torn at its deepest level. We traveled well, and I’m writing to give you a brief update. Read more
“we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies, should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee and that while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.”
Full text below. Emphasis added.
14 Jan 2016
Today the Primates agreed how they would walk together in the grace and love of Christ. This agreement acknowledges the significant distance that remains but confirms their unanimous commitment to walk together.
The Primates regret that it appears that this document has been leaked in advance of their communiqué tomorrow. In order to avoid speculation the document is being released in full. This agreement demonstrates the commitment of all the Primates to continue the life of the Communion with neither victor nor vanquished.
Questions and further comments will be responded to at a press conference tomorrow at 1500. Full details are available here.
The full text is as follows: Read more
Statement by the GAFCON Chairman, The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala and The GAFCON General Secretary, The Most Rev. Dr. Peter Jensen
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight on Monday evening, UK time.
He speaks clearly about the issue being Biblical authority – on which the Anglican Communion has already agreed.
Listen via the GAFCON website. Runs for 4 minutes 15 seconds.
Peter Ould, who was present in Canterbury Cathedral for Wednesday evening’s Evensong, writes,
“With barely a minute to go there were the same number of Primates as yesterday and then suddenly Foley Beach joined them and sat down. The number of Primates in the Quire then doubled as in the remaining leaders processed in full choir robes, liberals and conservatives alike.”
Here’s a prayer you could use.
George Conger, at Anglican Ink, gives his commentary:
“Gathered inside the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral the archbishops and moderators of the Anglican Communion, accompanied by translators, and a few aides, have weathered three days of intense conversation about the shape and future of the church. As of the lunch break on the third day, no one has left and no one has been ejected…”
And John Bingham at The Telegraph writes:
“The Archbishop of Canterbury was last night accused [of] treating African archbishops ‘like children’ in an attempt to avoid a full public walkout during make-or-break talks on the future of the worldwide Anglican church…”
– however, bear in mind that he quotes unnamed ‘sources’.