March 25, 2017

April 22, 2016

GAFCON Primates Issue Communiqué - “A Global Family of Authentic Anglicans”

The GAFCON Primates have met this week in Nairobi and have issued their closing communiqué which focuses on a number of programs to grow the movement; the announcement of plans for GAFCON 2018, training for bishops, an increase in permanent staff, a new chair and vice-chair and a response to the events of the Lusaka meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council.

  GAFCON Primates Communique 2016 FINAL Letterhead by David Ould

The appendix is worth paying attention to.

The recent meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka, Zambia has again highlighted the inability of the current instruments to uphold godly order within the Communion. Delegates from the Episcopal Church, by their own admission, voted on matters that pertained to polity and doctrine, in defiance of the Primates.

GAFCON’s claim is clear. TEC made a deliberate choice to go against the will of the Primates and they freely admit to it. Here Rebecca Wilson (the communications officer that TEC brought with them to the ACC) confirms that TEC understood themselves to being voting on Doctrine and Polity contrary to the express wish of the Primates.

So get your head around that. TEC is deliberately choosing to advertise the fact that it rejected the Primates’ request. They also voted on amendments to the ACC’s constitution which are clearly matters of polity. Hence the Primates’ claim that

This action has damaged the standing of the Anglican Consultative Council as an instrument of unity, increased levels of distrust, and further torn the fabric of the Communion.


What others have failed to do, GAFCON is doing: enabling global fellowship and godly order, united by biblical faithfulness. This unity has provided us with great energy to continue to work for the renewal of the Anglican Communion.

Big days ahead. In particular look for news later this year of the location of GAFCON 2018. I hear some hope that Archbishop Mouneer Anis of the Middle East will sign up and open up the possibility of Alexandria as a meeting location. Others have suggested there is symbolic value in going to the USA to further signal the redundancy of TEC or, perhaps, to Australia or New Zealand to make a show of support in two provinces where the same issues that led to the break-up of TEC and the formation of ACNA are now pressing upon those two national churches. Stay tuned.

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So is the ACNA the duly recognized GAFCON presence in the United States?  If not is there a recognized GAFCON presence in the United States?

[1] Posted by Br. Michael on 4-22-2016 at 04:47 AM · [top]

Yes, the Acna primate serves as a Gafcon primate

[2] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 4-22-2016 at 05:00 AM · [top]

Are irreconcilable differences, when the basis is two different gospels, grounds for separation? I think it has to be after a call for repentance has been rejected.

[3] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 4-22-2016 at 08:00 AM · [top]

Right. That’s general convention 2006

[4] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 4-22-2016 at 08:29 AM · [top]

“The reality is that they are deliberately walking away from the Anglican Communion and the authority of Scripture at a distance that continues to increase”. I agree and that was the case years ago. The ADSJ didn’t leave the Anglican Communion. We left the Episcopal Church.

[5] Posted by Fr. Dale on 4-22-2016 at 09:41 PM · [top]

TEC simply ignored the Primates and told them to ****off.  So what are the Primates going to do now?  Nothing of any consequence I expect.  Of what value is a so called communion when a province like TEC can do what it wants, when it wants and ignore its fellows?

[6] Posted by Br. Michael on 4-23-2016 at 07:25 AM · [top]

I’m exhausted by all the yammering on both sides about “walking together.”  The time is long past to admit that it is a farce.  Among protestants it’s no big deal that the entire “brand” be unified in a single fellowship, it fact it’s an oddity!  I also wish the Leftists would stop droning on about “the baptismal covenant” by which they ONLY mean the social justice clause to respect the dignity of every human being.

[7] Posted by Nikolaus on 4-23-2016 at 10:45 AM · [top]

7, and where respecting the dignity, means accepting any perversion they can come up with.

[8] Posted by Br. Michael on 4-23-2016 at 04:30 PM · [top]

“So what are the Primates going to do now?  Nothing of any consequence I expect.  Of what value is a so called communion when a province like TEC can do what it wants, when it wants and ignore its fellows?”

So far, what has happened is that the Primates of 15 churches are no longer in communion with TEC (those that voted for ++Uganda’s motion to remove TEC from the Communion).  An additional 11 to 15 (depending on whose estimate you accept from the Primates meeting) are in sufficiently serious impairment of communion to cause the primates to vote in favor of the compromise motion for “consequences.”  You could add to that a couple additional are in impaired communion due to past actions of TEC, such as “deposing” a bishop of the CoE.

Once a primate or province has excommunicated a church, there are few arrows left in the quiver.  TEC defied somewhere between 26 and 30 primates of the Communion.  The logical outcome of that defiance is that more of them will further distance themselves from TEC.  I hope at the next Primates Meeting, ++Uganda floats his motion to remove TEC from the Communion again.  Maybe next time, it gets 20 votes in favor, instead of 15.  Not sure what Welby does then.  Maybe its only 16, and the next year, 17, and the year after, 18.  No doubt, Welby will come up with something- a variation on Williams “two tiered” communion.  Or the CoE will go over the line itself,  and the Communion ends then and there, as church after church breaks communion with Canterbury.  Then TEC and CoE can go off on their merry way, with Scotland and Brazil and who-ever, and leave the orthodox Christians in the Communion to choose a new see.

[9] Posted by tjmcmahon on 4-26-2016 at 11:32 AM · [top]

There is a civil war between the Anglican Church in North America and The Episcopal Church (formerly the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.) It is not the widespread war that figured in the departure of five dioceses and sixty parishes. Almost all the litigation has been settled, mostly in favor of remnant groups who were awarded the assets, property and funds, of the so-called “breakaway” congregations. A few skirmishes languish in the courts, as described by the Anglican Curmudgeon in his blog.

The war is now at the top level. The Archbishop of ACNA was recognized at the January meeting of Anglican primates as head of something. So was the Presiding Bishop of TEC, who is not actually equivalent to a primate in authority and responsibility. They represent the worst fear of the former Archbishop of Canterbury: Two rival Anglican churches in the U.S. While both the esteemed clergymen have made no mention of their rivals, it is obvious that one church is growing and the other is declining.

History of religious denominations in the the U.S. is full of splits over doctrine, liturgy, or practice, It is not a situation where “Dodge ain’t big enough for both of us!” The same schism is evident in the Anglican Communion, in the metamorphosis of GAFCON to a communion de facto of traditional Anglicans.

We support the leaders of ACNA and GAFCON, while mourning the fall from grace of our formerly beloved church . We accept that the battle for supremacy will probably last for generations.

[10] Posted by profpk on 4-27-2016 at 08:15 AM · [top]

Tjmcmahon, #9, will there even be another Primates Meeting?  The Africans went to the one in January with grave reservations.  Commitments were made which have not been kept, despite Welby’s effort to pretend they have been.  Why bother?

[11] Posted by Katherine on 4-27-2016 at 01:29 PM · [top]

Agreed, Nikolaus. I, too, am tired of all the talk about “walking together”.  While a fine idea, it has very little meaning in reality as most of the provinces are no longer in communion with TECUSA or in broken communion.  We all know it so why does TEC keep making such a big deal of being the “Anglican” province in the US? As best I can see, it is an institutional/historical loyalty to Canterbury at best. They have no desire to do what anyone else thinks even the Archbishop of Canterbury does not get their loyalty.

As often happens, TJ expresses my thoughts especially that last paragraph. I think in time GAFCON will become a new communion. In many ways, it is already acting like it- bringing together many Anglicans from around the world to further the Gospel message not just for the social justice du jour.

Truthfully, I don’t see the need for another Primates gathering/meeting (whatever you want to call it). I think we have had enough of TEC saying one thing and then doing something else.  It is time to not worry about what TEc thinks and get on with doing what we are called to do.

[12] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 4-28-2016 at 08:11 AM · [top]

Yes, I am not sure Welby understands what he has done.  It was already impossible for him to get enough provinces to send bishops for a Lambeth conference so that it had to be cancelled (or was indefinitely postponed so as not to conflict with the crowds for the Chelsea Flower Show or something, I forget the official excuse given) , and now he has made it exceedingly unlikely, due to transparent duplicity, that there will be another primates’ meeting at the behest of the AoC as well.  #9 reflects some of the provincial head count out of the 38 provinces in the “communion” (which I feel I must put in quotes since its members are increasingly no longer taking communion with each other),  but the practical effect is that the vast majority of Anglicans themselves are members of provinces that meet at GAFCON - and are joyful to do so - making it the de facto Anglican communion of provinces actually in communion with each other.  (This causes me to reflect that one of the defining characteristics of official Anglican “communion” gatherings is a lack of joy.)

[13] Posted by pendennis88 on 4-28-2016 at 08:28 AM · [top]

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