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The Anglican Communion: Is it over?

The Anglican Communion: Is it over?

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
Sept. 8, 2010

To all intents and purposes, the Anglican Communion, as it is now constructed, is over.

African bishops and archbishops who spoke privately to VOL in Entebbe, Uganda, believe that the communiqué issued by orthodox Anglican African bishops expressing concern over "progressive developments" in the West was a surface response to the deep fissures and unbridgeable divide that now exists between the Global South and the Global North and there is "absolutely" no way the two can ever come together again. Ever.

Specifically they believe the following:

* The Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) - the fourth Instrument of Unity - has been completely hijacked by the political left.

* The Listening Process is a forum to broker homosexuality into the church and the process being used to desensitize orthodox Anglicans in order to break down their will over time to accept this behavior.

* That Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury's sympathies lie with Western pan Anglican liberalism on issues relating to homosexual behavior and women's ordination. (His pleas for unity have fallen on deaf ears with the left as well as the right, with the left hating him because he won't TOTALLY acquiesce to homosexual behavior even though they know where his sympathies lie. Fence sitting has not worked for Dr. Williams.)

* Diplomacy is dead. Uganda Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi made that clear.

* The bishops said in their communiqué that "in order to keep the ethos and tradition of the Anglican Communion in a credible way, it is obligatory" of all provinces in the global Anglican Communion to continue to observe and honor the moratoria on the ordination of partnered homosexuals, the blessing of same-sex unions, and cross-border interventions. None of them believe that TEC or Canada will ever honor that especially since TEC has twice ordained gays -- a non-celibate homosexual and a lesbian -- to the episcopacy. Frank Griswold in 2003 and Jefferts Schori in 2010 both betrayed them. They will never trust TEC leaders, again.

* If Katharine Jefferts Schori is invited and seated at the next Primates Council, Orthodox Global South archbishops will never ever again sit down with Rowan Williams.

* Leaders of all but two Anglican provinces in Africa have pledged to work with both Communion Partners and the Anglican Church in North America. CAPA bishops will not sit down with TEC or the Anglican Church of Canada.

* A Covenant presently circulating around the Communion will resolve nothing and will be replaced by the Jerusalem Declaration.

* GAFCON will replace the Lambeth Conference as the meeting center of Orthodox Anglicanism.

* Over time, more and more bishops and archbishops from the Global South will cross boundaries in order to bring the gospel back to Europe and North America. They could care less what the ABC; Church of England bishops; Jefferts Schori (or TEC's House of Bishops); Fred Hiltz, the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada or his House of Bishops think. They will ignore them and go about the business of preaching the gospel and planting churches through their surrogate branch churches - the ACNA, the AMIA and the ACiC.

* African archbishops and bishops (that includes Egypt and Southeast Asia) believe that the Anglican Communion has two very distinct and separate understandings of what the gospel is, the exact nature of the message and how it should be proclaimed.

* Global South bishops believe that tackling the social ills of Africa must be seen through the lens of gospel proclamation and not as an end in themselves. They also believe that Jefferts Schori's understanding of the gospel is spelled out in and through Millennium Development Goals and not through The Great Commission.

* Over time, Global South archbishops and bishops will circle around the ABC and other liberal Primates to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

* Global South Anglican leaders believe that they are on the right side of history. They have the growing numbers of converts to prove it. They believe Western pan-Anglican liberal Christianity is in its death throes. They have a gospel to proclaim that contradicts the liberal "gospel."

* Global South leaders will never allow themselves to be bought by TEC dollars and Trinity Wall Street gifts, though they will allow funding for specific projects. There will never be any quid pro quo for accepting Western pansexuality.

* Global South Anglican leaders will never ever compromise on sexual activity outside of marriage that is between a man and a woman.

* Global South Anglican leaders will never compromise on the nature and veracity of the gospel. Ever. Truth is more important than unity.

On some of the aforementioned issues, the following clarifications are offered.

Four orthodox primates have resigned from the Primates Council of the ACC believing they serve no useful purpose as the balance of the ACC is weighted solidly towards Western pansexuality and Western liberal attitudes and theology.

At the most recent meeting of the ACC, a proposal by Malaysian attorney Stanley Isaacs of Southeast Asia that The Episcopal Church be separated from the rest of the global body was nixed. Cutting the U.S. church would inhibit dialogue on sexuality issues and, therefore, would be unhelpful, the majority of the Council, said.

The same attorney wrote to VOL saying, "There are now only two persons left in the Standing Committee (of the ACC) who can be termed 'conservatives' and they are Bishop Paul Sakar of Bangladesh and me. All others including the Chairman, Bishop James Tengatenga of Southern Malawi, Mrs. Phillipa Amable of Uganda, and Bishop Kumara of Sri Lanka and the newly appointed Canon Janet Trisk of South Africa are hawks protecting the position of TEC in the Communion. These people are from countries that believe in the basic teachings of scripture and who shun homosexuality whether culturally or scripturally yet they speak as if they are part of the ECUSA leadership. It is depressing to hear Primates, Bishops and Priests denying the plain truth of the Holy Word merely to accommodate a rich and powerful nation."

He added, "I have challenged them to show me one biblical authority that nullifies or excuses all that is in the written Word against homosexuality. What they give me is reasoning and deductions, PERIOD."

Even the docile, acquiescent Anglican Communion Institute (ACI) weighed in admitting that the ACC is garnering more power to itself than the Primates themselves have with the new constitution. "It is not appropriate for one of the Communion's four Instruments to be an English company regulated by UK and EU law like any other UK company," they said. They believe the Archbishops trump the ACC crowd.

Archbishop Rowan Williams is on this Standing Committee and must be accused of complicity in this apostasy of TEC.

To cap the newfound powers of the ACC, Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the ACC, a man who learned his lessons well from his Irish predecessor Robyn Eames, said the Primates should not meet in January, as it would be too costly. The Primates should meet every two years instead of yearly, he suggested.

The much bally-hoed Listening Process has never been about "listening", but about brokering a variety of pansexual behaviors into the church. Canon Philip Groves, who heads this process has been bought and paid for by a wealthy retired gay Episcopal priest who has footed the "listening Process" with a $1.5 million donation.

It is common knowledge that Rowan Williams' sympathies lie with the West's liberals. He both despises and fears the growth and strength of the Global South. He is doing everything possible to placate western Anglican pansexualists while pleading for unity with the Global South in the hopes that, like Atlas, he can hold the Communion together.

It is now abundantly clear that the balance of power has moved decisively to the Global South (from whence Christianity came). Egyptian Archbishop Mouneer Anis reminded conferees to Entebbe of that fact.

It was made clear to me that many of the Global South leaders see Western Anglican leaders as the "Pharisees and Sadducees" of biblical times - Jewish leaders that Jesus overtly condemned for leading people astray. They believe that archbishops like Jefferts Schori and Rowan Williams have done precisely that.

There is the belief by many African bishops that Jefferts Schori is quite simply not a Christian with any beliefs that are discernibly biblical, while it is thought that Dr. Williams' understanding of the faith and convoluted syntax saves no one and nothing. As one archbishop commented to VOL, "If you cannot explain the gospel to a five year old, what sort of gospel is it that you believe?"

The Anglican Communion will never formally split. There will not be two communions and there will not be a see in Alexandria. What will and is happening is a slow disintegration of the communion, with orthodox Anglican leaders going their own way, refusing to sit down with their liberal Western counterparts, collaborating only with their orthodox counterparts in the West. It is death by a thousand cuts.

To all intents and purposes, a paperless divorce now exists in the Anglican Communion.

END

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