‘Archbishop Ntahoturi has betrayed us’

30 January 2015

ACNS

Communiqué: Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi 

Communiqué: Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi 

THE Primates of GAFCON have accused the Primate of Burundi, the Most Revd Bernard Ntahoturi, of betraying African Christians by attending a gathering led by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, Dr Katherine Jefferts Schiori.

The "Transformation through Friendship" gathering in New York last autumn concluded with a communiqué signed by five African archbishops, including Archbishop Ntahoturi, which committed them to exploring opportunities for partnership in areas including religious freedom, theological education, and human trafficking.

The GAFCON Primates, led by the Primates of Kenya and Nigeria, said that the communiqué is a "manipulation". Their letter reads: "It is in fact, not principally about 'Friendship' but is . . . an attempt to further advance the unbiblical and false teaching of The Episcopal Church.

"Second, we reject the characterisation that the communiqué represents 'African Primates and Bishops'. Given that there is absolutely no acknowledgement that there are other African Primates and Bishops who do not agree, the document, of which you were a collaborator and signatory, presents itself falsely. It does not represent the faith of the overwhelming majority of African Christians."

Archbishop Ntahoturi's presence at the meeting validated the "unrepentant, unbiblical teaching and practice" of the Episcopal Church. But the Primates say they believe that he has been misled: "Dear Brother, we know that this agenda does not represent the faith of your Province, Diocese, or even your own heart. We call you to repentance and restoration to join with us in fellowship that is founded on Christ's truth and is faithful to His Word."

The Primates call on the Archbishop, who is chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), to repent of his actions or resign from this post. Until this happens, the Primates say that they will not take part in CAPA gatherings.

The letter was sent to the Archbishop before Christmas, but the Primates say that they have had no response to it, and are therefore making it public.

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