Despite moratorium, Gafcon has a female bishop


The Rt. Rev. Elizabeth Awut Ngor was consecrated assistant bishop of the Diocese of Rumbek in the Province of South Sudan in December 2016. She is the first female bishop in Gafcon movement. Gafcon has a moratorium on female bishops.

Archbishop Deng Bul informed fellow members of the Gafcon Primates Council in April 2017. He retired in January 2018.

It was only last week that Bishop Ngor’s consecration became widely known although Catholic Radio Network (of South Sudan) had a report in January 2017. Gafcon has now issued a statement notable in that it does not name her.

A Statement on the Consecration of a Female Bishop in South Sudan

From the beginning of the Gafcon movement there have been a variety of understandings among our members on the question of consecrating women to the episcopate. Recognising that this issue poses a threat to the unity we prize, the Primates agreed in 2014 to do what was within their power to affect a voluntary moratorium on the consecration of women to the episcopate. They then set up the Task Force on Women in the Episcopate, chaired by Bishop Samson Mwaluda which presented a report to the 2017 Gafcon Primates Council.

In discussion at this Council, the Primate of South Sudan, Archbishop Deng Bul (who had not been present when the moratorium was agreed) shared with us that his personal decision to consecrate a female bishop was an extraordinary action taken in the midst of civil unrest in a part of his country where most of the men were engaged in armed conflict.

The Gafcon Primates chose to not allow this anomaly to change the course followed since 2014. The Task Force was asked to continue to provide theological resources, and the Provinces were urged to continue the study of Scripture, to consult with one another and to pray that God will lead us to a common mind. The voluntary moratorium remained in place.

In accordance with these decisions, the Task Forces’ Report, which can be read here, is now being discussed at the regional level in advance of the April Gafcon Primates Council and the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem this June. Our hope is that the newly elected Primate of South Sudan will join us in these discussions as we seek to find a common mind, looking to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Peter Jensen, General Secretary
February 2018

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Kurt Hill
Kurt Hill

Maybe the ACNA schismatics can explain this one to us Episcopalians/Anglicans...

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