LONDON: FCA Leaders will not break with Canterbury
No Schism in the works. Orthodox Anglican leaders will ensure orthodoxy prevails globally in the Anglican Communion
By David W. Virtue in London
April 26, 2012
Fellowship of Confessing Anglican leaders meeting at St. Mark's Battersea heard Bishop Michael Nazir Ali say that the intention of the FCA is not to break with the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Anglican Communion but they will continue to support orthodox dioceses and parishes in liberal and revisionist provinces like the US and Canada.
Despite a media blackout, VOL has learned that the 200 global Anglican leaders including archbishops from Australia, (Peter Jensen) Nigeria, (Nicholas Okoh) Kenya, (Eliud Wabukala), the US (ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan) Latin America (Hector "Tito" Zavala), Congo, (Henri Isingoma), and (Onesphorus Rwaje) Rwanda and a slew of bishops from the US, Canada and the Global South, FCA's goal is to ensure that orthodoxy prevails and those who are suffering as a result will be supported and given spiritual and ecclesial aid even though the days of cross border "violations" has ended.
Some of the US bishops included Mark Lawrence of South Carolina and Keith Ackerman formerly of Quincy. The largest contingent is from Nigeria.
While it has not been publicly raised, the intention is that the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) will, in time, be recognized as a legitimate province of the Anglican Communion.
The former Bishop of Rochester has tremendous influence here. "He is gentle but firm in his convictions about orthodoxy and the place of FCA," a bishop told VOL. He also said that this new leadership will not be led by bishops alone and must include people of influence in the orthodox movement, including orthodox leaders of big parishes and church planters.
Bishop Nazir Ali said the FCA needed to think practically about how to move forward globally, "As soon as possible." The bishop said he was tired of "talk, talk, and talk" and wants action. "Neo centrism" is the new buzzword. That is, passing on knowledge without practice. Nazir Ali wants tangible ways to move forward but this did not include breaking with Canterbury.
When he said this "nobody demurred from that notion" a bishop told VOL. "To be an Anglican means remaining an Anglican in the Anglican Communion and with the office of the ABC but not necessarily obedient to the person who occupies the chair. Loyalty is with the See of Canterbury not the person."
Speaker after speaker at the conference has placed a strong emphasis on the centrality of Jesus Christ and His supremacy, the importance of the church and maintaining orthodoxy in this arena of Anglicanism.
"Liberals, Anglo-Catholics and Affirming Catholics assume Evangelicals don't care about the church. That is not true. This conference has placed a significant emphasis on the importance of the whole of church. We are not Congregationalists," said the bishop.
The conference has focused on three things: The centrality of the gospel, the importance of the church and the necessity of godly Christian leadership. "The role of the FCA is to ensure these three things and also to affirm that there will be no schism coming down the pipeline. It is a case of there being a loyal opposition that combines both praxis and orthopraxis in the communion.
Asked what the group thought of the possibility of the 62-year old Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York becoming the next Archbishop of Canterbury the reviews were mixed.
Sentamu is seen as a black evangelical twin of Dr. Rowan Williams, that is, he is evangelical and orthodox as well as socially conscious but he is an institutionalist at heart and he won't rock the boat. "I don't see him disciplining the American or Canadian Anglican provinces for their heretical acts. He will not come down on them; he will continue to support them for the sake of maintaining Anglican unity. The FCA will provide the needed support in the ongoing realignment and they will continue to support the faithful."
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