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Global South Primates meeting in Cairo issue communique

Global South Primates meeting in Cairo issue communique

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;


  1. 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.

  2. 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.”
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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
    • Youth
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


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Rod Gillis

The January meeting is internal politics. For Canada and TEC it is a requisite participation in optics for the home town crowd. For ACNA the whole GAFCON thing is a proxy issue for a rump obsessed with social conservative identity sexual politics.For the GAFCON crowd its a podium for patriarchs to play up to their local constituency.The whole thing, a bunch of male patriarchs getting together to settle the issues on behalf of “their people” is yesterday’s church, yesterday’s paradigm, yesterday’s world. Its the Wizard of Oz syndrome.

Rod Gillis

You are referring to what these gentlemen may have done/are doing in their own context, which to some degree simply illustrates my point about which audience these lads are really addressing when they meet. It’s a kind of foreign policy as domestic policy kind of analogy.

I am not, by the by, suggesting that any of these chaps are not good or dedicated guys who know their own local setting. However, hagiography from fans does not blunt a politcal critique of the overall mechanism under discussion with reference to the January meeting for example.

But like I said, and as David has explained, its like the Wizard of Oz, smoke and mirrors, with power over us only if we are willing to remain quiet and suspend disbelief.

Jeremy Bates

I’m not so sure.

We’ll see, of course.

But my guess is that the GAFCON primates will demand discipline! discipline! for “wayward” provinces (as they point to PB Curry).

Then the ABC is going to say that the Communion does not work that way. (At least this was what his staff was telling the English press he will say.) And that it would be better if the Communion can focus on issues where it is in agreement.

Then what? That’s the question.

Marc Vance

I’m happy to hear that, Christopher, but I’m dubious for the reasons pointed out by a couple of others. Taking you at your word, though, I’ll be equally happy for you to join your voice just as vociferously as you criticize the EC to a chorus rising loud enough for Archbishop Welby to hear before next year’s meeting about GS/GAFCON clergy’s complicity in the human rights abuses you say you condemn (and using your influence to bring other conservatives along with you).

Prof Christopher Seitz

Dr Seitz, you have had your 4 for today, 21 OCT. – ed

My ACI colleague Ephraim Radner has written a stinging critique of human rights abuses in Africa. He was a missionary in Burundi in the 80s and can speak with some authority.

Prof Christopher Seitz

Human rights abuses should be condemned every bit as much as redefinitions of marriage. Most conservatives I know who wish to respect the teaching of the church on marriage are not interested in human rights abuses of the vulnerable.

Cynthia Katsarelis

Well, this explains it. My marriage, that brings joy to me, my spouse, and my friends and fellow parishioners, and hurts no one, is just as evil as violations of human rights. My very existence as a Child of God is an abomination equal to condemning people to jails where we know the fate is horrific. My joy is just as bad as fomenting the hate that results in hate crimes like murder.

It matters not that gay love has no victims and human rights violations is all about creating victims.

This is the theology, the morality, and the ethics at work here. Call it what you like, but it has nothing to do with Jesus or the OHCAC.

So I’m glad this is exposed. We can follow Jesus, or we can follow GAFCON, but they are clearly mutually exclusive.

Mark Mason

“My joy is just as bad as fomenting the hate that results in hate crimes like murder.”

Christ said murder is sin and that the anger that leads to murder is sin. He said the same about the lust that leads to adultry. Moses was a murderer. King David was a murderer and adulterer. Christ calls us to both repentance and forgiveness. Is there a line he drew between unrepentance and unforgiveness?

Philip Snyder

Dr. Seitz – Most conservatives I know ARE interested in human rights abuses of the vulnerable.

Many, however, have been taught by the multi-culturalists that we have no right to criticize the culture of another nation. We don’t even have the right to criticize sub-cultures in the USA as that is racists and/or xenophobic.

To the others here, are you saying that we have the right to criticize the culture of other nations or peoples or is it just when those rights touch on your favorite subject that we can criticize them? Are you saying that one culture may be superior to another?

I completely condemn the efforts of other nations to put people into prison (let alone to death) due to their sexual orientation or for adultery, fornication, or other consensual sexual activity. But I don’t get to vote on those laws.

Harry M. Merryman

Cynthia’s point is on target. The fact that, for example, +Wabukala has consistently supported laws criminalizing homosexuality in Kenya goes unaddressed by conservatives. Understandably, one might conclude that conservatives support his position.

David Allen

No Dr Seitz, human rights abuses should be condemned, period. It isn’t even on a par with what you call redefining marriage.

David Allen

Suppose a married male couple move into the home next to yours and over the next six months your neighbors continually vandalize their house and their car, finally attacking one of the men as he walks their dog one evening and putting him in the ICU with possible permanent traumatic brain damage. Is the two men legally married and so redefining marriage and the insidious hate crime on a par with one another for you?

Prof Christopher Seitz

And this is where the disagreement amongst worldwide Anglicans takes it character.

For the majority of Anglicans, two wrongs are two wrongs. Rank them as you wish. It doesn’t make one any less wrong or another more right.

I accept this is not your view. But here is the great divide within Anglicanism. People can oppose redefinitions of marriage and still also oppose human rights abuses.

Marc Vance

Philip and Christopher: What I want to know is if you will apply your criticisms of the Episcopal Church evenhandedly, namely to what degree do you see Communion being broken by GS/GAFCON bishops and other clergy who, hardly faithful to the faith-received by the OHCAC, are complicit in human rights abuses, sometimes severe enough to result in unjust incarceration and death (e.g. homosexuals and religious factionalism) – far more serious a matter for Communion than the love two people share?

Cynthia Katsarelis

Thank you for that reminder, Marc. I can’t fathom why it is that gay love can supposedly break up the Anglican Communion but egregious violations of human rights is A-OK, in line with the majority, and the true holy and apostolic church!!! Good Lord, deliver us!

Until the human rights violators are called out, I won’t be taking GAFCON seriously as Christian leaders.

Philip Snyder

Jeremy – the point is that some Christians want to be one with other Christians. Some only want to be one with Christians that think and act like them. The first was a true Communion where what affects all is decided by all and what affects only local provinces affects only the local provinces – where the Holy Orders and Sacraments celebrated by one member of the communion are recognized as valid and licit in all the other churches of that communion. The second only want to have vague fuzzy feelings of friendship (maybe) and share a common ancestry of faith – no matter how far one may have departed from that faith.

Dr. Seitz is saying that both will get what they want and that TEC, who doesn’t really care about international communion with the rest of the communion – only with Canada, parts of Australia, and most of England, will get what it wants and will be part of an Anglican Federation while the Global South and ACNA will continue to be a true communion of autonomous churches.

David Allen

Some only want to be one with Christians that think and act like them.

That is the active definition of the Global South and GAFCON. They are the ONLY ones who have declared themselves out of communion with anyone else. And their stated reason for doing so is because the folks with whom they have declared themselves out of communion think and act differently from them.

What is interesting is that you, Philip, and Dr Seitz, have agreed that your definition of Communion is the correct definition. So all your arguments are based on your definition. I submit that your definition is inaccurate and doesn’t represent what communion is intended to be.

I also find your statements about TEC quite disingenuous. TEC has NEVER cut anyone off. TEC still strives to have relationship throughout the AC, even with dioceses and parishes which are in provinces that have broken communion with TEC.

Cynthia Katsarelis

TEC has displayed cultural arrogance but the human rights violators are A-OK and acting perfectly within the heart of Christian doctrine! Would!

So the expectation is that TEC and Canada continue to violate human rights in order to be “in communion?”


GAFCON are the abusers, the excluders, and the people “breaking up the Anglican Comunion” (that never had a central authority until GAFCON primates started agitating to exclude churches that won’t violate the human rights of LGBTQ people, or women either, by the way).

Sorry the cultural arrogance is that of the misogynists and homophobes trying to enforce their vision of paradise on the rest of us.

Marriage is not one of the essentials of faith. But we aren’t only discussing marriage. Some of the Primates advocate vociferously for the “jail the gays” bills that send our LBGTQ brothers and sisters into an utter hellhole.

How anyone can defend that and call it the one true and holy catholic church is beyond me.

David Allen

Philip, like most everything that you spout about TEC, this is also a false analogy because there is nothing abusive about TEC’s relationship with the AC. The AC is not a marriage and it never will be. If the AC is anything similar to family dynamics, then it is the autonomous and independent relationship of adult siblings. And it ends there. For each sibling directs & leads their own life in conjunction with the love and affection they share with & for their siblings. Sometimes siblings agree and sometimes siblings disagree. Hopefully they agree to disagree when they disagree and continue to maintain their shared love and affection. Occasionally though, because they disagree, some siblings try to bully one or more of the others, shunning them and committing other abusive forms of punishment so that what should be a healthy adult relationship, built upon mutual respect, devolves into disfunction and unhappiness.

Philip Snyder

TEC has demonstrated, through its actions, that it does not care what the rest of the Commuion thinks about how TEC redefines the Faith. TEC has show appalling cultural arrogance in its decisions. It believes that IT (and IT alone) knows better than the rest of the Anglican Communion and the Universal Church.

I never said that TEC cut anyone off. Like an abusive spouse, it didn’t file the divorce papers, but only accepted the other spouse if he/she was willing to live with the abuse that TEC kept giving to the spouse.

Here is an analogous situation. If I really want to purchase a 2016 Mustang 5.0 V8 and my wife doesn’t and we discuss it and as a couple decide that is not the best way forward in our marriage and we can’t really afford to make that purchase and THEN, I drive home in the new Mustang and want to continue to discuss the purchase of a new Mustang, what have I shown to be more important in my life – My desire for a new car or my wife’s love or my concern for our married life together?

TEC bought the Mustang after promising it would not. It rubbed that into the face of the rest of the communion and didn’t care what the communion thought about it.

Prof Christopher Seitz

The decision about what the communion will be, will be made by the Communion provinces.

Not by me.

Some will want independent national churches, each with distinctive views of polity, practice, theology. They should embrace that. Let that be a federation.

If the majority of provinces want ‘interdependence in Communion’ — this includes gracious restraint, subsidiarity, accountability to one another — they should be free to embrace this.

TEC has made it clear that it regards itself as a progressive, enlightened, forefront denomination, with its special charism of new truth. It can assemble around it those who view themselves likewise.

Ann Fontaine

Many of the churches and bishops who have Primates/Archbishops who cut off TEC and Canada – still work with us through various channels from companion relationships and women’s organizantions to less formal networks. The top, aka the Primate may speak but the relationships go on.

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