UGANDA: Primate Says 'godly order' must be restored in Canterbury or he will walk out
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali says he and GAFCON primates will never be in communion with TEC
Rowan Williams breach of trust deepened the tear in the fabric of the Anglican Communion in 2007
By David W. Virtue DD
January 7, 2016
The Archbishop of Uganda Stanley Ntagali has written a letter to the bishops, clergy, and lay leaders of his province saying that while he is prepared to attend the gathering of primates in Canterbury, unless "godly order" is restored he will uphold his Provincial Assembly's resolution and withdraw from the meeting.
"If godly order is restored during the 'gathering' of Primates, then I will be free to join any subsequent Primates Meeting that may be convened immediately thereafter in Canterbury. If such godly order is not restored, then I will withdraw from the meeting."
The Ugandan archbishop noted that since 2003 the fabric of the Anglican Communion has been torn at its deepest level. "The event that triggered this serious situation was the Episcopal Church USA's consecration as bishop of a divorced father of two children who was at that time living in a gay relationship.
"Equally concerning was the sustained inability of the structures of the Anglican Communion -- including the Archbishop of Canterbury himself -- to discipline the Episcopal Church and restore godly order to the Anglican Communion.
"After five years of endless meetings, conversations, commissions, and reports, several of the Primates from the Global South of the Anglican Communion came together to seek a way forward. We called our Provinces to come together in Jerusalem in 2008, along with faithful, Bible-believing, orthodox brethren from America, Canada, UK, and other Western countries. This was the beginning of GAFCON -- the Global Anglican Future.
"The first GAFCON conference in 2008 in Jerusalem involved more than 1,200 Anglicans from all over the world. It was the largest global conference of bishops, clergy, and lay people ever held in the Anglican Communion.
"The participants -- including 106 people from the Church of Uganda -- overwhelmingly affirmed the Jerusalem Declaration as an expression of the essential faith of Anglicanism, the heart of mission, and the foundations for authentic, Biblical fellowship.
"The Primates Council of GAFCON urged the Biblically orthodox in North America to come together as one united church. In 2009, the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) was born. The Church of Uganda, together with the GAFCON Provinces and other Provinces of the Anglican Communion, has recognized the ACNA as an authentic expression of Anglicanism and declared ourselves in communion with them.
"The second global GAFCON conference was held five years later in 2013 in Nairobi, with more than 1,300 people present, including more than 170 participants from the Church of Uganda. The Nairobi GAFCON conference recognized the significance of the East African Revival as a model for the global renewal and mission of Anglicanism. The Nairobi GAFCON conference secured the commitment to maintaining the momentum of GAFCON as a force for renewal and mission within Anglicanism.
"While we rejoice in the birth and celebrate the growth of GAFCON as a global fellowship, the structures within the Anglican Communion have continued to disappoint us by their inability to restore Biblical faith and order to the Anglican Communion.
"The Primates Meeting in 2007 in Dar es Salaam laid out a plan to bring discipline and restore order that was unanimously supported by all 38 Primates of the Anglican Communion. Sadly, the Archbishop of Canterbury later unilaterally overruled it and did not implement it. This further breach of trust deepened the tear in the fabric of the Anglican Communion.
"As GAFCON Primates, we have since met with the current Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, and explained our position -- we are not in communion with the Episcopal Church USA or the Anglican Church of Canada (for similar reasons). We, therefore, cannot participate in meetings to which they are invited because that would mean there were no problems in the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion has, in fact, experienced a serious rupture and the wound is still deep.
"Godly order has not yet been restored in the Anglican Communion and, therefore, as Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, I am constrained by the resolutions of our Provincial Assembly to not participate in a Primates Meeting.
"At the same time, the Archbishop of Canterbury contacted me personally, along with every Primate of the Anglican Communion, and invited us to come together for a 'gathering' to consider if there was a way forward for the Anglican Communion.
"Together with the other GAFCON Primates, we have agreed to be part of a 'gathering' of Primates in Canterbury to discuss the future of the Anglican Communion, keeping in mind Paul's exhortation in Ephesians 4:3, 'Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.'
"As GAFCON, we have a clear vision of the future of global Anglicanism and have been moving forward with that vision since Jerusalem in 2008. The Archbishop of Canterbury understands that the first topic of conversation in the 'gathering' of Primates is the restoration of godly order in the Anglican Communion. This is the unfinished business from the non-implemented, but unanimously agreed, Communique from the 2007 Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam.
"This is a serious moment for the Anglican Communion. I earnestly ask your prayers for the Primates to seek the mind of Christ and to take seriously their call to guard the unity and faith of the Church."
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