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LAGOS: GAFCON Primates Will Consecrate Missionary Bishop in England

LAGOS: GAFCON Primates Will Consecrate Missionary Bishop in England
AMiE priests will now have episcopal oversight
Primates fear Scottish Episcopal Church will formalize their rejection of Jesus' teaching on marriage
No "single solution" but only true failure would be to waste time through inaction, say Primates

By David W. Virtue, DD
April 30, 2017

GAFCON Primates, led by the Most Rev. Dr. Nicholas Okoh meeting in Lagos this past week, released a communique saying they will consecrate a missionary bishop in England tasked with providing episcopal leadership for those outside the structures of any Anglican province, especially in Europe.

The primates have long railed against the softening stand taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, over homosexuality in the Church of England and released the 'nuclear option', saying they will now consecrate a bishop on English soil.

"During our meeting, we considered how best to respond to the voice of faithful Anglicans in some parts of the Global North who are in need of biblically faithful episcopal leadership. Of immediate concern is the reality that on 8th June 2017 the Scottish Episcopal Church is likely to formalize their rejection of Jesus' teaching on marriage. If this were to happen, faithful Anglicans in Scotland will need appropriate
pastoral care.

"Within England there are churches that have, for reasons of conscience, been planted outside of the Church of England by the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE). These churches are growing, and are in need of episcopal leadership. Therefore, we have decided to consecrate a missionary bishop who will be tasked with providing episcopal leadership for those who are outside the structures of any Anglican province, especially in Europe."

The Primates said they were aware that some Christians within these provinces who are contending for the faith, may at first perceive the news of a missionary bishop as a threat to their hopes for reform from within, and, while acknowledging there was no "single solution", they said the only true failure would be to waste time through inaction.

The Primates, which included ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach, offered a word of encouragement to faithful Anglicans within European provinces and reassured them that they have our prayers and support.

"In our Global North provinces, the challenges are different. With the increasing influence of materialism, secularism, and the loss of moral foundations, our people in these provinces face dangers that are subtle, but spiritually dangerous," they said.

The Primates called on all faithful Anglicans to pray for the continued renewal of the Anglican Communion, and the spread of this reform movement.

The primates also discussed the ongoing civil war in South Sudan, and the challenges faced by the church in that province. This conflict has displaced millions, many of whom have found a temporary home in northern Uganda. The Anglican church there is caring for these refugees as best it can, but the region's resources are currently overwhelmed. The GAFCON Primates commissioned the Primates of Uganda and Kenya to visit the South Sudan to explore ways they can work with other ecumenical
partners to offer mediation that might bring about an end to this conflict.

The Primates also bewailed the dual threats of insurgent Islamism and drought. They also highlighted the targeting of Christians and churches in northern Nigeria and the daily dangers there and elsewhere that continue to be real. Combined with drought conditions, there is the potential for widespread famine in Sub-Saharan provinces.

GAFCON is a global family made up of 9 provinces and 5 branches representing the majority of the world's Anglicans. In 2018, the Global Anglican Future Conference will meet in Jerusalem on the 10th anniversary of the founding of GAFCON. The theme will be "Proclaiming Christ Faithfully to the Nations".
Some 1,700 delegates are expected to be in attendance.


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