Three African Primates announce boycott of ACC meeting

01 April 2016

iSTOCK

Host venue: the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Lusaka 

Host venue: the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Lusaka 

THREE African Primates, those of Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda, have said that they will not be represented at the forthcoming meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Lusaka, which begins next Friday.

The delegation from the Episcopal Church in the United States has said that it will arrive in Lusaka intending to participate fully, in defiance of an agreement at the Primates’ Meeting in January.

In reply to a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury urging all the Primates to be represented in Lusaka, the Archbishop of Kenya, the Most Revd Eliud Wabukala, remarked that the “London-based Anglican Communion authorities” were being used not as instruments of unity, “but as instruments to cajole orthodox Global South provinces of the Communion into acquiescence with the secular sexual culture which has made such inroads into the Anglican Churches of the West”.

The Presiding Bishop in Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Most Revd Anis Mouneer, has written to defend a maximising interpretation of the authority of the January meeting.

On a conservative blog, he argues: “Some are rightly saying that the Primates’ Meeting has no authority in matters of faith and order within individual Anglican provinces. Yet . . . it is clear that the Primates’ Meeting does have the authority and responsibility to oversee the relationships between Anglican provinces with regards to doctrinal, moral and pastoral issues.

“Consequently, while the ACC may have primary oversight for budgetary matters in interprovincial affairs, executive leadership in spiritual matters between the provinces continues to be vested in the Primates’ Meeting, under the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, so that they may fulfil their responsibility as the chief pastors of the Communion to guard its unity in the faith.”

Unity pledge. The Anglican Catholic Church has joined three other Continuing Churches in an announcement that they will work towards full communion by next year.

A joint letter was produced by the Archbishop of the Anglican Catholic Church, the Most Revd Mark Haverland; the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church in America, the Most Revd Brian Marsh; the Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Province of America, the Most Revd Walter H. Grundorf; and the R. Revd Paul C. Hewett SSC, of the Diocese of the Holy Cross.

The Churches will remain separate, the leaders say, but they will work “ to create a sacramental union and commonality of purpose that is pleasing to God and in accord with godly purpose to our respective jurisdictions”.

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