Several Primates of the Anglican Churches from the Global South have concluded a meeting in Cairo where they announced that they would accept the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to meet in the UK next year. They also welcomed the Anglican Church of North America (even though it is in the global North) into the fold as a partner province and ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach was seated as a member of the Global South Primates Council with both voice and vote; participating fully in the meeting.
Not all GAFCON member churches were represented at the meeting, notably Archbiship Okoh of the Church of Nigeria was not present. The meeting had to be moved last minute due to security concerns so it isn’t known if issues such as visa difficulties contributed to some absences or if there were other concerns. Notably, the group did not mention, in any specificity, what issues it hoped to bring up at the Primate’s gathering next year.
The group issued a communique, which is printed in full below;
- We, the Primates and representatives of twelve Global South Provinces of the Anglican Communion, met in Cairo between the 14th and 16th of October. We represent the majority of the active membership of the Anglican Communion.2. While we were disappointed that the general Global South Conference in Tunisia was cancelled at the last minute due to security reasons, we are immensely grateful to God who blessed this rescheduled Primates Meeting in Cairo.
3. We appreciate the support and warm welcome of the Egyptian government, especially in their granting of visas on such short notice. At the same time we are also thankful to the Diocese of Egypt and its staff for all the hard work that made this meeting a fruitful one.
4. 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.
5. We appreciated the participation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, in our meetings, as he was keen to listen to our concerns and share his own in a collegial atmosphere.
6. We thank God for the wonderful fellowship and times of worship we were able to share together. As we opened the word of God, we reflected on unity (John 17) as well as our responsibility as shepherds and watchmen of God’s flock (Ezekiel 34).
7. We were aware that we were meeting at a critical time in the history of our Communion. A time characterised by impaired and broken relations between Provinces.
8. We began the meetings by reviewing the history of the Global South, which began as a recommendation of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Brisbane, Australia, 1987. We also reviewed the summary of recommendations out of the Global South Meetings in Limuru, Kenya, 1994; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1997; Red Sea, Egypt, 2005; Singapore, 2010; and Bangkok, Thailand, 2012.
- We, the Global South Anglicans, by God’s Grace, uphold the Biblical, orthodox faith of the Anglican Communion; the faith we received from Jesus Christ through the Apostles. We believe in the communion and unity of the one Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church.This unity is based on the truth revealed to us in the scripture; it is a unity on the essentials of faith. We also believe in principled diversity in the non-‐essentials. “In essentials, unity; in non-‐essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.”
- The nature of the Global South Anglicans movement is this:
- It is ecclesial in the nature of the represented Provinces of the Global South.
• It is geographical as these Provinces are of the Global South.
• It is an integral part of the Anglican Communion.
• It is faithful to the faith received through the Apostles from Jesus Christ.
• It is relational to the See of St. Augustine of Canterbury; we are autonomous, yet interdependent (“autonomy-‐in-‐communion”), i.e. we are committed to support, listen, and be faithful to each other.
After much deliberation and discussion we agreed on the following decisions:
- We discussed the importance of unity among us. We affirmed the importance of blessing and encouraging each other. We are committed to working together for the expansion of God’s Kingdom.
- We were happy to receive a report from Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina, which receives Primatial oversight from the Global South. We praise the Lord for his faithful stance in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- We studied the letter of invitation from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the upcoming Primates meeting. We have agreed to attend the meeting, and welcome the invitation for the Primates to suggest the items of the agenda. We appreciate this very helpful approach, one that gives us a sense of ownership and responsibility to our meeting. We agreed on the agenda items which we will request.
- We grieved one more time at the unilateral decisions taken by the last General Convention of the Episcopal Church (TEC) in the USA to redefine marriage and to accept same-‐sex marriages (Resolutions A036 and A054). We see these latest resolutions as a clear departure from not only the accepted traditional teaching of the Anglican Communion, but also from that of the one Holy, Universal, and Apostolic Church, which upholds the scriptural view of marriage between one man and one woman. (Lambeth Resolution 1:10, 1998.)
- We moved to continue the decade of evangelism, discipleship, and networking that we began three years ago and have decided to continue the activity of the different taskforces we established in Bangkok, 2012. These taskforces are:
- Evangelism, Discipleship, and Mission
• Theological Resources
• Economic Empowerment
• Ecumenical Relations and Interfaith Dialogue
- The Global South Primates re-‐elected the current chairman, Archbishop Mouneer Anis, as well as the current Steering Committee. These positions will remain in effect until the next Global South Conference. We also gave thanks to Archbishop Bolly Lapok for his contributions as treasurer; he will be retiring in February 2016.
- We unanimously decided to reschedule the cancelled Global South General Conference in Tunisia to the first week of October 2016. The venue has yet to be decided.
- As we came to the end of our meeting, we were reminded by the prayer of Jesus that our unity and love witness for Him.
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:22, 23)
Those participating in the meeting were;
The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America
The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, Archbishop of the Congo
The Rt. Rev. Stephen Kazimba, Bishop of Mityana, representing Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda
The Most Rev. Ezekiel Kondo, Archbishop of Khartoum representing Archbishop Daniel Deng of Sudan and South Sudan
The Most Rev. Bolly Lapok, Archbishop of Southeast Asia
The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, Archbishop of Burundi
The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop of Rwanda
The Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Archbishop of Myanmar
The Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop of Kenya
Joining the primates in their deliberations were: The Most Rev. John Chew, retired Archbishop of Southeast Asia and member of the Global South Steering Committee, the Rt. Rev. Azad Marshall, Bishop in Iran, and the Rt. Rev. Bill Atwood, Bishop of the International Diocese of the ACNA.