GAFCON Primates wrap up their meeting with a communique

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The GAFCON Primates (Global Anglican Future Conference) met from 13 – 17 APR 2015 in London England.

Attending were the primates of 6 provinces of the Anglican Communion; Congo, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya and South America*. Additionally, the primate of the non-Anglican Communion church, The Anglican Church of North America, was also present and was elected by the 6 Anglican primates to join them as the GAFCON Primates Council.

The GAFCON Primates Council published a communique on Friday 17 APR, summing up their meeting. You can read the full text here.

These are the highlights of the communique;

• The next Global Anglican Future Conference is scheduled for 2018. No further information as to when in 2018 or where was offered. However it was announced with a bold claim;

This global gathering now serves a critical function in the life of the Anglican Communion as it is an effective instrument of unity which is capable of gathering the majority of the world’s Anglicans.

• GAFCON is growing in numbers beyond the Anglican Communion

The Anglican Church of North America is now a full fledged member of GAFCON with the election of its primate to the GAFCON Primates Council.

The Fellowships of Confessing Anglicans has added a new member; FCA Australia, lead by the Archdeacon of Melbourne. Australia joins FCA UK & Ireland whose existence was justified in this manner;

We continue to encourage and support the efforts of those working to restore the Church of England’s commitment to Biblical truth. Equally, we authenticate and support the work of those Anglicans who are boldly spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and whose circumstances require operating outside the old, institutional structures.

• As GAFCON continues to believe that Anglicans outside of their provinces are being led astray of the Gospel, the Primates have planned for GAFCON’s continued expansion.

In order to carry this forward we have put in place the necessary operating structures, people, and financial resources. We invite all of our supporters to be involved in this work.

• The GAFCON Primates wish to assure the Communion that they have no plans to leave the Communion. They claim they are the mainstream heart of the Communion and are dedicated to its renewal.

We invite all faithful Anglicans to join us in renewing the Communion so that united by a biblical and apostolic faith we can defend and proclaim the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

The communique is posted above these signatories;

The Most Rev. Foley Beach, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, Archbishop, Anglican Church of the Congo
The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Uganda
The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Nigeria
The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda
The Most Rev. Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya (Chairman)
The Most Rev. Tito Zavala, Presiding Bishop, Province of South America

* Previously the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America, the province officially changed it name to the Province of South America in SEP 2014. The province consists of dioceses in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

photo from GAFCON

Posted by David Allen

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Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

Carolyn Peet, oh dear. What have I done did? My Spanglish is worse than my Kaqchikel and my REAL English relatives roll their eyes when I say stuff (stuff they usually reserve for pretending isn't ever said at all). So you think I am a racist? Nope, I have often passed for heterosexual (not much lately) and not blinked an eye because some of my best friends are straight, or Black, Brown and/or White! Viva los colores principales! Viva Las Americas! Long live the Anglican Communion (the real one)

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John Bennett
Guest
John Bennett

This is the legacy of missionary imperialism. Missionaries from the global west brought Victorian-era sexual mores with them to the lands they subjugated. This is also a collision with another deeply human shortcoming, our tendency to blindly scapegoat those we believe to more sinful than we.

A Kenyan friend who lives in the US once told me a funny anecdote about coming to terms with living in a monogamous relationship in America. He was raised in a polygamous culture. His father is a devout Anglican, yet has four wives. He goes to church each week. His compromise is to leave wives two, three and four at home. Since my friend was a son of the first wife, he was also raised in the church.

God bless our crazy relationship to human sexuality.

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Cynthia Katsarelis
Member

I think, Carolyn, that it is wildly inappropriate to suggest that anyone here is being racist. There are a number of reasons.

The comment about being "falled over" has to do with one of the three legs of the stool being missing (reason). I've heard that type of speech in the American South from white people. Maybe it is a slur on white Southern speech, but I wouldn't automatically assume so.

GAFCON is not exclusively black. One of the primary drivers is from Australia and there are white North American schismatics in the picture. I have heard that GAFCON is heavily funded by rich, white, ultra conservative, American groups.

GAFCON is driven by homophobia, and for some, misogyny. While that wouldn't excuse racism, the fear of being called a racist should not inhibit people from speaking out in support of oppressed people, women, girls, and LGBT people.

GAFCON members, especially those from Africa, would have us believe that the entire "Global South" is united against gays and churches that support us. And yet there are African religious leaders who are not in that club, recently 40 of them signed a letter saying as much (not to mention +Tutu and South Africa). Opposing GAFCON is not the same thing as opposing blacks. Mr. Ricardo, who I believe hails from the "Global South," does a service in clarifying which countries are in which Province and noting which are inclusive.

Some African GAFCON members are telling the West that Western tolerance for gays is "a problem" for Muslim-Christian relations in parts of Africa. One goes almost as far as saying that peace and reconciliation requires a common scapegoat in gays. And yet, when you read reports by groups like Human Rights Watch, you don't see that at all. You see much more practical and realistic causes and recommendations.

If someone asked me if Mr. Allen's joke was in good taste, I'd probably shrug my shoulders. But calling it racist is over the top. And it detracts from the real issue, a homophobic, misogynist group trying to call itself the real Anglican church.

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Carolyn Peet
Guest
Carolyn Peet

Gosh, you folks sound terribly racist. I hope that's not your intent. Mr. Ricardo and Mr. Allen - are you implying that because these men are black that they cannot speak with correct grammar?

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John Bennett
Guest
John Bennett

Wait a minute. The communique states "We invite all faithful Anglicans to join us in renewing the Communion so that united by a biblical and apostolic faith ..." I thought our Anglican faith was threefold - biblical, traditional (apostolic) and reason-based. What have they done with the third leg of the stool?

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