Portal Home Page Provincial News Home Email this Page Printable Version RSS Feed

 
  Other Articles from THIS province
  News by Regions
and Provinces
CAPA Online News distributed by the
Council of Anglican of Provinces of Africa (CAPA)

 
A Statement from Global South Primates meeting in Nairobi
 
CAPA 050128-1
January 28, 2005

[CAPA - Kenya] 
Statement issued after the Meeting of January 27th/28th, 2005

1. We are gathered in Nairobi, Kenya to strengthen our shared
ministries and in anticipation of the third South-South Encounter that
will take place in Egypt October 25th/31st 2005. We are encouraged by
the reports that we have heard of the transforming power of the Gospel
around the Anglican Communion and yet we are conscious that there are
fundamental issues of faith and order confronting us that threaten the
very existence of our common life.

2. At meeting of the Primates in October 2003, in response to these
concerns, we called for the establishment of the Lambeth Commission on
Communion and we are very grateful for their hard work over these past
months. We also commend the dedicated servant leadership offered by the
Most Reverend Robin Eames. We believe that the Windsor Report offers a
way forward that has the potential of being marked with God’s grace.

3. We agree that the Windsor Report correctly points out that the
Episcopal Church USA and the Diocese of New Westminster have pushed the
Anglican Communion to the breaking point. The report rightly states
that they did not listen to the clear voices of the Communion, rejected
the Counsel of the four Instruments of Unity and ignored the plea of
the Primates in their statements issued on October 16th and November
2nd, 2003. It is our considered opinion that their actions represent a
“departure from genuine, apostolic Christian faith” [TWR 28]

4. We call on the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of
Canada to take seriously the need for “repentance, forgiveness and
reconciliation enjoined on us by Christ” (Windsor Report [134]) and
move beyond informal expressions of regret for the effect of their
actions to a genuine change of heart and mind. We are grieved that
while we all acknowledged that the actions of both provinces have torn
“the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level” to date there have
been no concrete steps taken towards repentance and reconciliation. As
we declared in our statement of April 15th/16th, 2004 failure to do so
within the next three months (i.e. by May 31st, 2005) will indicate
that they have chosen to “walk alone” and follow another religion.

5. We are encouraged by the recent actions of the minority of bishops
in ECUSA who at the meeting of their House of Bishops in Salt Lake City
signed “A Statement of Acceptance and Submission” indicating their
willingness to renounce the actions that have been so injurious to our
common life. We invite other primates to join us in declaring that
full communion with these bishops is maintained.

6. We note with that the Windsor Report calls for a moratorium on the
election and consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is
living in same gender union and the use of rites for the blessing of
same-sex unions. We urge the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican
Church of Canada to take this call to heart mindful that this is only a
first step towards acknowledgement of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 “We
cannot advise the legitimizing or blessing of same sex unions nor
ordaining those involved in same gender unions.”

7. We would also point out that faithfulness to the Holy Scriptures and
to the expressed mind of the Communion requires that non-celibate
homosexual clergy be asked to reform or resign and instead of a
moratorium on same-sex blessings there should be a permanent cessation
of such practices.

8. The Windsor Report acknowledges the great pain that has been
inflicted upon those faithful communities that have resisted doctrinal
innovations within Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of
Canada. However, we reject the moral equivalence drawn between those
who have initiated the crisis and those of us in the Global South who
have responded to cries for help from beleaguered friends. To call on
us to “express regret” and reassert our commitment to the Communion is
offensive in light of our earlier statements. If the Episcopal Church
USA had not willfully “torn the fabric of our communion at its deepest
level” our actions would not have been necessary.

9. We note with approval the recognition that extraordinary episcopal
care is needed for congregations alienated from their diocesan bishops.
While we remain committed to the importance of coherent diocesan and
provincial structures we believe, however, that there are times when
these very structures can and have been used to intimidate the
faithful. We, as Primates, are prepared to make provision for adequate
Episcopal care for those parishes that find themselves alienated from
their diocesan bishops because of their refusal to distance themselves
from the historic faith of the church and embrace the proposed
innovations. We recognize the essential role of the minority bishops
who signed “A Statement of and Submission to the Windsor Report 2004,”
and encourage other primates to do the same.

10. We are encouraged by the suggestions offered for restructuring the
various instruments of unity to strengthen our common life. We look
forward to the day when the voices of the majority of the Anglican
Communion are adequately represented in those various instruments. We
believe that the Primates Meeting is already in place to serve as a
‘Council of Advice’ to the Archbishop of Canterbury and we anticipate
an expanded commitment to this ministry. We believe that there must be
a more collaborative and defined role in appointments to commissions
and task forces established to serve the whole Communion.

11. We note with profound sadness that as a consequence of the actions
of ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada, and their continued
intransigence, the Provinces that we serve are in various stages of
impaired and or broken communion with them. This now makes it
impossible for many of us to share in any formal gatherings or
celebrations of the Holy Communion with their respective Primates since
to do so would be a violation of our own consciences and the
consciences of the people whom we serve.

12. We are committed to the future life of the Anglican Communion, one
that is rooted in truth and charity, and faithfulness to the Gospel of
Jesus Christ. We applaud the proposal for an Anglican Covenant and are
ready to endorse the following statement as an initial step in this
direction:

"Each church shall act in a manner compatible both with its belonging
to the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, and with its
membership of the Anglican Communion. In all essential matters of
common concern in the Anglican Communion, no member church shall act
without consideration of the common good of the Communion.”
--[TWR,
Appendix Two, Article 9]