In his Lenten message, Archbishop of Uganda, The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali expressed his disappointment that the Episcopal Church was not being punished for its moves towards full inclusion of LGBT persons and declared that his church would not be represented at the upcoming Anglican Consultative Council meeting in April.
Saying that the atmosphere was the same as in 2003, when Bishop Gene Robinson was consecrated, the Archbishop insisted that the Communion is fundamentally broken and in open defiance of God’s will as expressed in Scripture;
Brothers and sisters in Christ, it is like we are back in 2003 where we continue to be betrayed by our leaders. The Primates voted to bring discipline to TEC and, yet, we now see that the leadership of the Anglican Communion does not have the will to follow through. This is another deep betrayal.
As you know, I excused myself from the Meeting before the Primates voted. My sense of the meeting at the time was that the leadership was not serious about restoring godly order in the Communion. Even after the vote was taken, I confess I was not convinced that it would have any impact on the common life of the Anglican Communion and, therefore, would not restore Biblical faith and godly order in the Anglican Communion.
Unfortunately, this is what we are seeing. A spirit of defiance against Biblical faith and order has infected the structures and leadership of the Anglican Communion. It is a very sad season in the life of our Anglican Communion.
The Archbishop went on by saying that GAFCON will be holding a meeting, also in April, and suggests that the future of the Anglican Communion would be those Provinces aligned around acceptance of the Jerusalem Declaration, which is a sort of conservative Anglican confessional formula.
The 2008 GAFCON Jerusalem Statement observed that the Instruments of Communion themselves were broken and incapable of doing the needful… For this reason, GAFCON laid the foundation for a conciliar approach to global communion through the creation of a Primates Council for oversight and the legitimising of authentic expressions of Anglicanism around the world.
…There will be a GAFCON Primates Council meeting in Chile in April, and we will discuss how to continue advancing the mission of GAFCON as a renewal movement within the Anglican Communion. As I have stated previously, we are not leaving the Anglican Communion; we are the Anglican Communion. We uphold the Biblical and historic faith of Anglicans and have come together in fellowship with other Provinces and national fellowships that have made the same decision.
…At the same time, I look at our beloved Anglican Communion and can only conclude that it needs a new “constitution” – the way the so-called Instruments of Communion work together is broken. Our GAFCON Fellowship seeks to bring renewal to the Anglican Communion through the Jerusalem Declaration – keeping the Word of God Incarnate and the Word of God written at the centre of our fellowship, upholding the historic Anglican confessions of faith, and using a conciliar model to order our common life.
At this point, no other Provinces have said they would not attend the Council meeting. Archbishop Ntagali has been outspoken in his criticisms of the Communion and relatively frank in his desire to re-order the Communion along lines of confessional conformity rather than relationship with the See of Canterbury. It remains to be seen whether his vision or the desire to remain in relationship, even under great strain, will prevail.