CONGO: Anglican Archbishop ends Partnership with AMIA
TEC Reprimanded, Anglican Covenant Tabled
By David W. Virtue
October 1, 2012
The archbishop of the Anglican Church of Congo, the Most Rev. Henri K. Isingoma has sent a formal letter to Canon Kenneth Kearon, General Secretary of the Anglican Communion, saying that the Congo will not grant any canonical license to any clergy from [the] AMiA nor will it ordain any priest or consecrate any bishop from AMiA.
"The Province of the Anglican Church of Congo is a full member of the Anglican Communion; thus the individual actions from Bishop Bahemuka Mugenyi William (Diocese of Boga) in this regard with AMiA are illegal and he will solely account for them."
The letter was sent to the General Secretary on Sept. 30, 2012. A copy was obtained by Virtueonline.
On April 13, The Rt. Rev. Charles H. Murphy, III wrote AMIA bishops and friends that he had secured the Province of the Congo which he said is validly attached to the global Anglican Communion. The Anglican Mission's connection with the Congo began at Winter Conference 2012 when Bishop William Bahemuka Mugenyi generously made provision for scheduled ordinations to go forward, he said. Murphy later wrote that he had received an official letter from Archbishop Henri Isingoma of the Anglican Church of the Congo, receiving him as a Bishop of the House of Bishops in his Province and offering the AMIA a new canonical residence
Archbishop Isingoma has now formally rescinded that offer.
"The period for the temporary canonical residence conditionally granted to some of its ministers will expire as soon as they get another guest-Province and this within a relatively short time. Therefore, the Province of the Anglican Church of Congo encourages AMiA to join other conservatives' movements such as ACNA or any other Anglican ecclesiastic structure in North America if they cannot rejoin TEC or the Province of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda or simply to move from its status of Church Structure to the one of Missionary Society as promised."
The archbishop said his House of Bishops would work with the AMIA as a Missionary Society "hundred percent but not as an ecclesiological structure within parishes and/or dioceses."
The archbishop concluded his statement concerning the AMIA saying he would pray for any move towards eventual reconciliation among Episcopalians or Anglicans in the USA.
"The Province of the Anglican Church of Congo advises a sincere dialogue among the Anglican orthodox movements in North America for their unity based on a common cause against the rapid spread of secularism and humanism in the context of western churches."
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The Congolese archbishop expressed deep concern over the direction of the Episcopal Church. "The Province of the Anglican Church of Congo expresses its great anxiety as to the path it is taking by provoking a serious doctrinal crisis within the Anglican Communion. The Province estimates this as a contextual humanitarian attitude and an expression of excess of tolerance in a liberal way; also there is a lack of courage in facing the challenges from the rise of secularism in its relative context. Through its deliberate and deciding orientation, TEC keeps itself away from the doctrinal angle that defines the Anglican Communion in its original meaning."
Isingoma said that it would keep its traditional partnership with some organizations, dioceses and parishes within TEC. The Province of the Anglican Church of Congo will only cooperate with TEC in terms of friendship in social matters.
The archbishop said that after a lengthy discussion his province would continue to study the Covenant document but would table a final decision until an appropriate time in the future.
The archbishop and the House of Bishops strongly reaffirmed their ties with the Anglican Communion and committed themselves to prayers. Based on the character of its Communion's roots, they believe the Communion has a bright future that goes beyond the current crisis.
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