ENTEBBE: Two African Anglican Provinces Say Abandoning US Episcopal Church is "Wrong"
Central Africa and Southern Africa reject ACNA's legitimacy
By David W. Virtue in Entebbe
August 29, 2010
Two African Anglican Provinces - Central Africa and Southern Africa - say they will not go along with CAPA's call to disassociate itself from the Episcopal Church for its actions in consecrating a non-celibate homosexual and a lesbian to the episcopacy.
In a letter VOL has obtained, the two provinces say that notwithstanding, the impression being created at the Conference that all Provinces in Africa are of one mind to abandon our relationship with TEC, [we believe this] is wrong. "Painful as the action is it should not become the presenting issue to lead to the break-up up of our legacy and this gift of God - the worldwide Anglican Communion."
The statement from the two CAPA provinces throws as an ecclesiastical spanner in the works, but did not derail the overwhelming majority of some 10 (out of 12) Anglican provinces who believe TEC has strayed far from the theological and ecclesiastical fold and should no longer be associated with.
"We are mindful that the Anglican Communion is under severe strain because of certain actions taken by the Episcopal Church (TEC) by their ordination of openly gay bishops.
"TEC's recent action of consecrating an openly lesbian person as a bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles against a moratorium in the Communion of consecrating openly gay bishops reflected a gross insensitivity to the feelings of the rest of the Communion.
"We are therefore sympathetic to the deep hurt and pain and indeed anger that some Provinces in Africa have expressed.
"We recognize that all the Provinces and diocese in Africa do not condone TEC's action. However, Provinces differ in their relationships with TEC in light of their actions. Some Provinces continue to value their historical partnerships with TEC and its organs. To discard these relationships would be tantamount to abandoning our call of the gospel to struggle with each other's failure as we journey with Christ in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation as we were passionately reminded and to live with our rich diversity.
"In pursuit of its objective to form a new "province" in North America, ACNA has been successful in bringing together most of the splinter groups within the Anglican tradition.
"We recognize that the common factor that holds all the coalition partners of ACNA is TEC. We do not support ACNA's position for legitimacy through the elimination of TEC.
"Three of the instruments of Unity have already stated their position on the matter and we believe they represent the mind of the vast majority of the Communion including CAPA.
"The majority of the African Provinces at this Conference are being ambushed by an agenda that is contrary to the beliefs and practices of our various Provinces. We have come to this conference to share ideas on critical issues in the development of our continent and provide spiritual leadership for our people.
"Any thought of abandoning our Communion with any member of the body will hurt; for when one part of the body is injured the whole suffers. CAPA must not be sued as A pawn in battles it is not party too. CAPA as you all know is not an organ of the Anglican Communion but a fellowship of Provinces of Africa. Therefore, issues of doctrine are better addressed as it has always been by individual provinces."
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