NAIROBI: GAFCON Anglican Bishops Say They Will Cross Boundaries in Defiance of Any Archbishop
331 bishops say they will recognize Anglicans in places where Biblical faith has been compromised
GAFCON is effectively a province, says Dr. Peter Jensen
GAFCON will not break fellowship with Canterbury
By David W. Virtue in Nairobi
October 25, 2013
In a bold move designed to maintain unity in the Anglican Communion, 331 orthodox Anglican archbishops and bishops meeting at the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) conference in Nairobi said they would recognize Anglicans in places where Biblical faith has been compromised.
The bishops resolved to expand their leadership in supporting and recognizing such Anglicans and voted without dissent to recognize and oversee theologically isolated Anglicans including the Anglican Mission in England and similar bodies around the Communion.
"We came to Nairobi seeking God's guidance for the future. Should we stop? Should we slow down? The bishops told us we must go on," said Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate and Chairman of GAFCON.
The General Secretary of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, Dr. Peter Jensen said the problems of the communion in the 21st Century were articulated by Archbishop Justin Welby who argued for the "contextualization" of homosexuality last week, a position repudiated later by Jensen who said sex could only be recognized between a man and a woman in marriage. The clash between the two men revealed how deep the fissures are in the Communion. "This conference, this movement, is not just calling attention to the dysfunction (caused by Welby) it's about building for the future."
It is now apparent that the de facto schism in the communion, precipitated by Dr. Rowan Williams and his failure to enforce Lambeth Conference Resolution 1:10, will only continue under Archbishop Welby.
Asked at a press conference if GAFCON is now a province or aiming to become a province, Dr. Jensen said it is not a legal province, but it is a province metaphorically, but not in a legal sense. "We are held together in fraternal fellowship." The Diocese of Recife, for example, needs a province, he said, "but yes we are effectively a province."
Dr. Jensen said GAFCON would not break with Canterbury, but argued that the Office of Canterbury has not been the same since Lambeth 2008 when 300 orthodox Anglican bishops were no shows. "I have immense respect for the Archbishop of Canterbury personally and for the office of the ABC. Welby is the first among equals, but he no longer has the drawing power and the views he aired last week here confirmed that."
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