SINGAPORE: Rwandan Archbishop calls for a new Anglican Ecumenical Council
This is a new Sinai, said Emmanuel Kolini
By David W. Virtue in Singapore
April 20, 2010
The Archbishop of Rwanda, the Most Rev. Emmanuel Kolini today called for a new Anglican Ecumenical Council, modeled on the Councils of the Early Church with a constitution taken from the ancient apostolic canons (35 & 38) on how a council should function.
"At this critical time in the life of the Anglican Communion we, the Global South, seek to form a functional movement actively loyal to the historic faith, God's calling and mission of all Anglicans," said Kolini in an address to some 130 delegates to the Fourth Global South to South Encounter.
While drawing back from calling for a full separation from the Anglican Communion led by Dr. Rowan Williams the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Rwandan archbishop said that a new General Assembly should be formed and should be led by a Primates' Council in accord with a representative General Assembly.
The retiring African Anglican Primate is the second archbishop to call for new structures in the Anglican Communion, believing that the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada are heretical because they have stepped over the line in faith and morals and should no longer be considered part of, or having a voice in the affairs of the Anglican Communion. Middle East Archbishop Mouneer Anis yesterday called for the formation of a new Anglican Communion arguing that the Anglican Communion is dysfunctional, at war with itself and that a new structure is needed for a new communion.
"The Global South should be reconstituted to include all member churches and Dioceses that assent to the Anglican Covenant, and express formal commitment to the Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998, and an agreed statement focusing our aims and strengthening mutual loyalty," said Kolini in a prepared text.
The African Primate proposed a Primates' Council representing all participating members churches would serve as the governing body which would discuss and decide matter s of faith and order, encouragement to mission in submission to the sovereign authority of Holy Scripture in loyalty to the Anglican tradition and formularies. An ad hoc design group would be responsible for formulating a constitution.
He suggested that a General Assembly be called every three years and initiatives be taken to restore unity among orthodox Anglicans and ecumenical partners. He said regional bishops' councils and regional and local initiatives should be undertaken in mission.
"We need a new way forward. We are no longer in communion with Rowan (Williams) or TEC or Canada. After all the biblical reflections we are still in a state of crisis, nothing has been resolved over the years. The Windsor Report, the Primates Meetings recommendations, the Lambeth Conference 2008 and the Windsor Continuation Group have all failed to bring any change in the drastic situation of the Anglican Communion.
"In a crisis the Church meets in council. Everybody is bound by the council. I have a vision for a renewed communion of the Faith Once delivered. Let the trumpet sound forth. I love the Anglican Communion but I am a Christian first. That gives me courage, purpose and a life.
"This is Singapore II. I was at Singapore I ten years ago. This is a sovereign and historical moment. The Anglican Communion is going to restore its worship, fellowship and its way of doing mission and preach the gospel. This is a new Sinai. We gather here to seek Gods mind and obey. When we went to Egypt we needed to get back to our roots."
Kolini said that for the last 12 years as a primate, he could not think of a single meeting he left happy. "We passed many resolutions but the Lord's solution is always biblical and canonical in the East and West. We are not here to make another resolution. Acts 15 provides the apostolic structure. We don't want cultural imperialism. We had a terrible experience in Zanzibar (Tanzania). We could not share the Lord's Supper."
"We are standing at the crossroads. I say let my people go. This is the 4th trumpet call. The Holy Spirit led the first Council of Jerusalem. He will lead ours. We have what the biblical structure offers us we have the tradition of 2000 years.
"Moses led God's people out of Egypt (Exodus 3). Now is a time for bold action. Let my people go. We need to declare to the world let my people go. We need a renewed communion, dependent on the Holy Spirit not resolutions. Singapore is a new Sinai."
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