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JERUSALEM: Anglican Communion Office Writes Letter to GAFCON Primates Condemning Networks

JERUSALEM: Anglican Communion Office Writes Letter to GAFCON Primates Condemning Networks

By David W. Virtue in Jerusalem
www.virtueonline.org
June 20, 2018

A letter has been received by GAFCON primates meeting here in Jerusalem written by Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council condemning the actions of the Primates in establishing seven new Networks to reach the growing demands of the Anglican Communion.

While the letter has not been made public, Sydney Archbishop Glenn Davies confirmed the existence of the letter at a press conference today and described it as written in a fit of "pique" by the Secretary General.

Fearon said GAFCON was a "Ginger Group" (a term first used by Archbishop Justin Welby) and accused GAFCON of being "schismatic".

Archbishop Davies counted by saying that GAFCON was not schismatic and represented the Anglican Communion. He said GAFCON was quite the "reverse".

"We have no confidence in the old networks in the Anglican Communion. Where there is a distant voice we should establish networks to bring Christ to the nations."

Response to the ACC Secretary General's Criticism of Gafcon's Ministry Networks

20th June 2018

As nearly 2,000 delegates from over 50 countries were travelling to Jerusalem for Gafcon 2018, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), wrote a letter to the Primates suggesting that his office alone should have a monopoly on all ministry networks in the Anglican Communion.

In a letter dated 13 June 2018, the Secretary General criticised Gafcon for developing grassroots ministry networks, describing them as un-Anglican and inaccurately suggesting that they harbour "potential for schism."

On behalf of Gafcon, Archbishop Peter Jensen made a strong response to these false allegations today:

"The attempt by Anglican Communion Office to challenge the Gafcon Primates for supporting new ministries is further evidence of how much the institutional form of Anglicanism is out of touch with spiritual reality. The launch of our networks is a sign of spiritual vitality which ought to be welcomed and applauded. Voluntary movements getting involved in much needed ministry has a long tradition within the Anglican Communion. This anxious missive suggests a fear that people are not under the control of some central organisation. Had the institutions of the Communion been clearer in their theological stance, movements of reform and renewal like Gafcon may not have arisen. Now, however, the wisdom of God is displayed in that the work and the workers are adding to the ministry of the gospel. Thanksgiving rather than criticism is surely the appropriate response."­

The Jerusalem Statement from the first Gafcon conference in 2008 came to "the devastating conclusion that we are a global Communion with a colonial structure." Ten years later, Dr. Fearon's letter is another example of this persistent reality.

Background

For decades the Anglican Consultative Council and its secretariat, heavily funded by western revisionists, has shown little respect for the matters of conscience which currently separate Anglicans. The recent history of its networks reveals a pattern of trivializing the Communion's challenges by attempting to draw orthodox Anglicans into closer cooperation with those who continue to tear the fabric of the Communion. Gafcon is stepping into this vacuum to provide leadership and ministry networks for those who share a common foundation in Scripture.

THE LETTER

In a letter sent by email on 13 June 2018 Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon wrote:

"I am persuaded to write to you all, as members of the Primates' Meeting and therefore and one of the four instruments that make up the smooth running of our Communion of Churches, about this month's letter from the Chairman of GAFCON.

"In paragraph four of that letter Archbishop Okoh, talking about the forthcoming GAFCON Conference, refers to: the launch of nine key networks: Theological Education, Church Planting, Global Mission Partnerships, Bishops Training, Youth and Children's Ministry Women's Ministry, Sustainable Development together with an Intercessors Fellowship and a Lawyer's Task Force.

"This appears to be a call to GAFCON members to endorse a parallel administrative organisation to the existing one without Anglican Communion. The office that I lead is active across all of these areas with dedicated and highly experienced Directors leading work in partnership with individual Provinces and with regional groups.

"We should all welcome additional energy and resources devoted to key areas of ministry. However, we must protect against both duplication and the setting up of rival bodies of influence, activity and impact. This route would be one of division and confusion and it should be questioned and avoided.

"Any structures that GAFCON might seek to establish that geographic representation on the model of the Anglican Consultative Council would be a further dangerous step.

"I am therefore calling for your prayers and counsel in relation to GAFCON. Whilst it is a group that claims to champion "renewal", it appears to be setting up what clearly looks like a rival structure that is clearly not in conformity with our understanding of that it means to be Anglican.

"I call for your prayers and wise counsel on how to avoid the potential for schism within our Anglican Communion.

"Blessings: The Most Rev. Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon"

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