In an article published by the Church Times June 28 (note it’s behind a paywall), Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town urges everyone, including the GAFCON-aligned bishops who have previously said they will not attend next year’s Lambeth Conference, to attend.
“I’m urging everyone to say really, really that boycotts have never helped any of our nations to attain freedom. Boycotts never helped us to agree on the creeds in the Anglican tradition. Boycotts fuel breakages.
“But, if we all come around the table at Lambeth, and African Christians have a say, all other Christians have a say. Let’s all come and sit around the table, acknowledge our pain, try to remedy our brokenness, try to remove the tensions. But we can’t just say, ‘Let’s vote: are you in or are you out?’ That’s not how the Church works.”
… “It is really my prayer that if those who are in GAFCON are not on board, we have not started the debate fully,” he said. “We need those in GAFCON to be around the table, we need those who are in the Anglican Church in North America [ACNA] to be around the table. We need those who have just quietly left, or those who don’t understand what we are talking about, around the table, so we can hear every possible voice; and what is our obligation to God in such a time like this.”
In a book published last week, Faith and Courage: Praying with Mandela (SPCK), Dr Makgoba writes: “The Anglican Communion is not at present setting a good example to the world of how to achieve reconciliation.”
He argues that same-sex unions should not be treated “as a church-dividing matter but as one of Pastoral accommodation to the needs of each individual Province: we can do this by adopting a new Anglican via media, a middle way that bridges the divide.”
He said on Monday: “We have to acknowledge that most Provinces still agree that the canon of marriage is between man and woman, and most Provinces do not have a particular design to change that particular canon. But all Provinces realise that we need to minister in a context in which same-sex unions are not accepted in other countries by law… I’m not saying, ‘Change the canon of marriage.’ I’m saying, ‘What is our pastoral obligation? What is our mission? What is the faith and the heart of the reconciliation?’”