Global South Primates: next ABC must ‘address the ecclesial deficit’ of Communion

A letter to Lord Luce of the Crown Nominations Commission from the Global South of the Anglican Communion expresses Global South Primates’ desires for traits they wish to see in the next Archbishop of Canterbury.


In a widely released communiqué issued the day after writing to Lord Luce, the Primates write:

We have written to the Crown Nominations Commission with concerns from the Global South and important principles for consideration as it nominates candidates for the appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury.

In cooperation with the Telegraph, which offered coverage of the letter this week – making allusion to its contents and partially quoting from it – Episcopal Café has obtained a copy of the letter, whose text appears in full below.

Two brief notes apply: (1) material in boldface simply preserves the original of the letter; and (2) although there is a signature block for The Right Reverend Peter Bartlett, “Representing the Primate of Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America,” Bishop Bartlett for whatever it is worth has not signed the copy of the letter we saw although others listed as “representing” the primate of their province did.

__________

20 July 2012

The Rt Hon the Lord Luce KG, GCVO

Chairman

Crown Nominations Commission

Appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury

The Global South of the Anglican Communion, comprising more than fifty-five million of the eighty million members of the Anglican Communion, deeply appreciate our historical relation with the See of Canterbury. We therefore commend the following to the Crown Nominations Commission for your serious consideration.

It is the reality of the Anglican Communion in the 21st Century that the majority of Anglicans are found within the Global South, especially in Africa. Resulting from the faithful witness of Western missionaries over the past two hundred years, Anglicans today stand in worship and witness amidst diverse cultures, among ancient traditions and often in inter-religious tensions.

As noted in the media release of the Church of England on the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, one of his responsibilities is to be “the Focus of Unity of the Anglican Communion… primus inter pares among the bishops.” This role calls for the new Archbishop of Canterbury to always act in a conciliar and collegial manner with his fellow Primates because his decisions will affect the life and witness of Provinces worldwide.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury should have the experience and cross-cultural sensitivity to understand the concerns and conflicts in the worldwide Communion. He has to be able to communicate effectively with, and gain the respect and confidence of, his fellow Primates in the Global South. He has to be able, together with his fellow Primates, to more effectively restructure the Anglican Communion Office and the Anglican Consultative Council to better serve the Communion.

At a time when the Christian faith faces challenges from other religious as well as secular worldviews, the new Archbishop of Canterbury must be committed to uphold the orthodoxy of the Christian “faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). To fulfil his calling and vow as Guardian of Faith, he must have the capacity to collectively put into effect the decisions taken at Lambeth Conferences and Primates Meetings, especially on issues that have led to the present crisis in the Communion.

To secure the future and unity of the Communion at a foundational level, the new Archbishop of Canterbury has to work with his fellow Primates to address the ecclesial deficit of the Anglican Communion highlighted in the report of the Windsor Continuation Group.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is also responsible to work with ecumenical partners for the unity of the “one holy catholic and apostolic Church”. The new Archbishop of Canterbury must be able to build upon the work of his predecessors while avoiding any further actions that may widen the gap between us and these partners.

In conclusion, the Global South Primates expect to be consulted on this decision of great importance for the Communion, and look forward eagerly to the new Archbishop of Canterbury to uplift God’s people in the Anglican fold worldwide in obedience to God’s Word.

We wholeheartedly pray and hope that the unity of our beloved Anglican Communion will be restored and strengthened.

Faithfully in Christ,

Most Rev Dr Mouneer Anis

Primate, The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & Middle East

Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Nicholas Okoh

Primate, The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

Vice-Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Ian Ernest

Primate, The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean

Honorary Secretary, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Bolly Lapok

Primate, The Church of the Province of South East Asia

Honorary Treasurer, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Stephen Than

Primate, The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma)

Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Henri Isingoma

Primate, Province de l’Eglise Angicane du Congo

Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Daniel Deng

Primate, The Episcopal Church of the Sudan

Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala

Primate, The Anglican Church of Kenya

Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev David Vunagi

Primate, The Church of the Province of Melanesia

Most Rev Joseph Kopapa

Primate, The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea

Most Rev Onesphore Rwaje

Primate, Province de l’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda

Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi

Primate, The Anglican Church of Burundi

Most Rev Valentino Mokiwa

Primate, The Anglican Church of Tanzania

Right Rev Dr Chad Gandiya

Representing the Primate of The Church of the Province of Central Africa

Right Rev Dr Johannes Seoka

Representing the Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa

Right Rev Matthias Medadues-Badohu

Representing the Primate of The Church of the Province of West Africa

Right Rev Peter Bartlett [not signed -ed.]

Representing the Primate of Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America

cc: Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan

Primate representing the Anglican Communion, Crown Nominations Commission

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7 Comments
  1. Clint Davis

    Butt out.

    Faithfully in Christ,

    Clint Davis

  2. David Allen

    And once again the fossilized remains of the monarchical episcopate rears it ugly head.

    The ABC may organize the Anglican Communion Office, but the constituent Anglican churches which are the members of the ACC, are responsible for its own organization, not the ABC.

    Neither the Lambeth Conference, nor the Primates Meeting, make decisions, as the PM reemphasized during the last meeting, which many of these guys chose not to attend.

    Another “it’s our way of the highway for us” letter.

    Bro David

  3. John B. Chilton

    Same old, same old without the threat of walking if they don’t get their way.

    My eye, too, was caught by the sentence “He has to be able, together with his fellow Primates, to more effectively restructure the Anglican Communion Office and the Anglican Consultative Council to better serve the Communion.”

    They want a college of cardinals. Guys — there’s a church with one of those. It’s not the Anglican Communion.

  4. The foundation of this argument seems to be theology by majority rule (as interpreted by a cadre of hierarchs). Our equally venerable and (at our best) vibrant theology and ecclesiology suggest otherwise. If there’s consulting about this crown appointment perhaps Anglicans who share significant perspectives (open to gay marriage, desiring inter-religious dialogue even with Muslims) should demand WE be consulted too.

  5. Bill Dilworth

    “he must have the capacity to collectively put into effect the decisions taken at Lambeth Conferences and Primates Meetings, especially on issues that have led to the present crisis in the Communion.”

    Someone really should send these guys descriptions of the roles of Lambeth and the Primates Meetings.

    The notion of authority creep that this letter operates under should be strenuously fought against by the Provinces, regardless of where they fall on the issues of “the present crisis.”

  6. tgflux

    “The Global South of the Anglican Communion, comprising more than fifty-five million of the eighty million members of the Anglican Communion”

    Attempting to use numbers, w/o benefit of democratic process: they really give the game away in that first sentence, don’t they?

    JC Fisher

  7. Roger Mortimer

    I’m sure that “expect to be consulted on this decision” cut a lot of ice with the Nominations Committee.

Comments are closed.