THE Primates of Kenya,
Nigeria, and Uganda did not attend a meeting with the Archbishop of
Canterbury last Friday, which was attended by other Primates from
the Global South.
The Archbishop of Kenya,
Dr Eliud Wabukala, the Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Revd
Nicholas Okoh, and the Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Revd Stanley
Ntagali, had attended the inauguration service on the previous day.
But they left before the Friday meetings between Archbishop Welby
and Global South Primates.
A spokeswoman for Lambeth
Palace said that the Primates had "commitments" in their various
provinces, and had to leave Canterbury soon after the service to
catch flights. The other Primates "spoke on behalf of the absent
Primates" at the meeting with Archbishop Welby, she said.
However, Dr Wabukala, who
is chairman of the conservative Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans
(FCA) Primates' Council, had a "very good private meeting" with
Archbishop Welby before he left Canterbury.
In an interview last week
Features, 22 March), Archbishop Welby said that he intended to
adopt a "relationally based" approach to the FCA and the Global
Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON). "We've got to find good ways
of listening to what they have to say, and them listening to what
others have to say."
The Primates of Kenya,
Nigeria, and Uganda signed a letter that was delivered to
Archbishop Welby on the day of his inauguration. It was also signed
by the Primates of Rwanda and of Sudan, and the Presiding Bishop of
the Southern Cone of America.
The letter said in part:
"We are grateful for this opportunity to worship in Canterbury
Cathedral and be reminded of our historic faith that is grounded in
the revealed Word of God. We encourage you to stay true to the
'faith once delivered to the saints', and as you do we will stand
with you for the sake of Christ. We do look forward to a future
opportunity to meet and discuss how we can work together."
The Archbishop of Sydney,
Dr Peter Jensen, said in an interview last Friday with the
Australian broadcaster SBS that Archbishop Welby would be
"enormously welcomed" if he visited the Anglican Church of
"But he has no
jurisdiction here. He is not a person who is going to lay down the
law and say: 'We must believe this; we must believe that.' We will
test him, as we do everyone in that position, in accordance with
how we understand what the Bible teaches."
Dr Jensen said that he disagreed with Archbishop Welby's
position on women bishops; "but it's not an issue over which we're
going to go into a fight with each other." He said that he
understood that Archbishop Welby took "what I regard as the
biblical view" on sexuality.