Global South Primates discuss the events leading to their affirmation of the Anglican Church in North America
In 2015, the Global South Primates stated in their communique “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.” This decision of the Global South Primates came after more than a decade of successive events, and gave the Anglican Church in North America seat, voice, and vote in Global South. In 2016 the Global South Primates elected the Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach, to the Steering Committee of Global South. We will hereby discuss the events that led to our affirmation of the Anglican Church in North America.
1. At the Primates Meeting of 2003, the Primates warned the Episcopal Church in USA about the consequences of the consecration of Gene Robinson.
“If his consecration proceeds, we recognise that we have reached a crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion and we have had to conclude that the future of the Communion itself will be put in jeopardy. In this case, the ministry of this one bishop will not be recognised by most of the Anglican world, and many provinces are likely to consider themselves to be out of Communion with the Episcopal Church (USA). This will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level, and may lead to further division on this and further issues as provinces have to decide in consequence whether they can remain in communion with provinces that choose not to break communion with the Episcopal Church (USA).”
When the consecration of Gene Robinson as a bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire within the Episcopal Church in America took place, the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) was formed.
The ACN was officially formed in January 2004 at a conference in Plano, Texas attended by several hundred priests and lay leaders, including 12 Episcopal bishops. Retired Florida Bishop Stephen Hays Jecko was a leader. Its main intent was to provide a system to supply theologically conservative leadership and church oversight to Anglicans in the United States and Canada.
2. In 2005, the Windsor Report that was presented to the Primates stated in Section D 157 that:
“There remains a very real danger that we will not choose to walk together. Should the call to halt and find ways of continuing in our present communion not be heeded, then we shall have to begin to learn to walk apart.”
3. At the Primates Meeting in Tanzania in 2007, the Archbishop of Canterbury invited two Orthodox bishops from the Episcopal Church in USA (TEC), Bishop Bob Duncan of ACN and Bishop Bruce MacPherson of the Communion Partner Bishops within the Episcopal Church to speak. After listening to their concerns, the Primates wrote in their communique that:
“It is also clear that a significant number of bishops, clergy and lay people in The Episcopal Church are committed to the proposals of the Windsor Report and the standard of teaching presupposed in it (cf paragraph 11). These faithful people feel great pain at what they perceive to be the failure of The Episcopal Church to adopt the Windsor proposals in full. They desire to find a way to remain in faithful fellowship with the Anglican Communion. They believe that they should have the liberty to practice and live by that expression of Anglican faith which they believe to be true. We are deeply concerned that so great has been the estrangement between some of the faithful and The Episcopal Church that this has led to recrimination, hostility and even to disputes in the civil courts.”
4. In an attempt to solve the crisis within TEC, at the Primates Meeting in 2007 it was suggested that there be a formation of a Pastoral Council.
The Primates will establish a Pastoral Council to act on behalf of the Primates in consultation with The Episcopal Church. This Council shall consist of up to five members: two nominate d by the Primates, two by the Presiding Bishop, and a Primate of a Province of the Anglican Communion nominated by the Archbishop of Canterbury to chair the Council.
5. Unfortunately, the TEC Standing Committee rejected the recommendation of the Primates to form the Pastoral Council. As a result, several dioceses and many individual parishes in both Canada and the United States transferred their allegiances to Anglican provinces in South America and Africa.
6. The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) was founded in 2009 by former members of the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada, many of whom were illegally deposed after disassociating themselves from the revisionist doctrinal and social teachings of The Episcopal Church.
7. In 2010, the Global South Primates meeting in Singapore welcomed the formation of the Anglican Church in North America as a faithful expression of Anglicanism.
“We were pleased to welcome two Communion Partner bishops from The Episcopal Church USA (TEC ) and acknowledge that with them there are many within TEC who do not accept their church’s innovations. We assure them of our loving and prayerful support. We are grateful that the recently formed Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is a faithful expression of Anglicanism. We welcomed them as partners in the Gospel and our hope is that all provinces will be in full communion with the clergy and people of the ACNA and the Communion Partners. GS 2010 Singapore.”
Due to this long and complex history of events and their consequences, many people do not understand how the faithful Anglicans who are currently in the Anglican Church in North America have struggled to keep the unity of the church, and at the same time remain faithful to the Anglican tradition. More than 650 priests and more than ten bishops who were originally ordained and consecrated within TEC were deposed. It became a necessity to form a body that keeps those faithful within the Anglican tradition, hence the Anglican Church in North America was formed, and welcomed as a valuable member of the Global South Anglicans.
8. It is worth mentioning that the orders of priests in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) have been recognised by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.
The decision follows work by the Faith and Order Commission, in consultation with the Council for Christian Unity (CCU), on whether ACNA meets the criteria by which the C of E recognises the ministry of those whose orders are of Churches “within the historic episcopate and with whom the Church of England is not in communion”.
9. In light of recent events within the Anglican Communion, we unashamedly remain in full communion with our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Church in North America.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Bishop of Egypt, Chairman
The Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh, Archbishop of All Nigeria, Vice - Chairman
The Most Rev. Stanley Natagali, Archbishop of Uganda, Secretary General
The Most Rev. Moon Hing, Archbishop of S.E.Asia , treasurer
The Most Rev. Greg Venables, Archbishop of South America
The Most Rev. Ezekiel Kondo, Archbishop of Sudan
The Most Rev. Daniel Sarfo, Archbishop of CPWA
The Most Rev. Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop of Rwanda
The Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Archbishop of Mynmar
The Most Rev . Zacharie MASIMANGO KATANDA , Archbishop of Congo
The Most Rev. Paul Sarker, Archbishop of Bangladesh
The Most Rev. Daniel Deng, Archbishop of South Sudan
You can also view the statement on the Global South website