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SOUTH SUDAN: Consecration of a Female Bishop brings blow back from GAFCON General Secretary

SOUTH SUDAN: Consecration of a Female Bishop brings blow back from GAFCON General Secretary
GAFCON Primates describe the action as an "anomaly" as voluntary moratorium was in place

By David W. Virtue in Morocco
February 8, 2018

The consecration of the first female bishop of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, by the ECSSS Archbishop of Episcopal Church, Deng Bul, got push back from the General Secretary of GAFCON, Dr. Peter Jensen.

In a response to the consecration Saturday of Elizabeth Awut Ngor as the first female bishop in the Diocese of Rumbek, Jensen wrote saying that it was a threat to the "unity we prize" and said the Primates had agreed in 2014 to do what was within their power to affect a voluntary moratorium on the consecration of women to the episcopate.

A Task Force on Women in the Episcopate was set up, chaired by Bishop Samson Mwaluda, which presented a report to the 2017 GAFCON Primates' Council.

"In discussion at this Council, the Primate of South Sudan, Archbishop Deng Bul (who had not been present when the moratorium was agreed), shared with us that his personal decision to consecrate a female bishop was an extraordinary action taken in the midst of civil unrest in a part of his country where most of the men were engaged in armed conflict.

"The GAFCON Primates chose to not allow this anomaly to change the course followed since 2014. The Task Force was asked to continue to provide theological resources, and the Provinces were urged to continue the study of Scripture, to consult with one another and to pray that God will lead us to a common mind. The voluntary moratorium remained in place.

In accordance with these decisions, the Task Forces' Report, which can be read here, https://tinyurl.com/yauhufrm is now being discussed at the regional level in advance of the April GAFCON Primates' Council and the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem this June. Our hope is that the newly elected Primate of South Sudan will join us in these discussions as we seek to find a common mind, looking to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul's four-day visit to Rumbek made two bishops of Wulu and Maper dioceses, Radio Good News reported.

The archbishop also enthroned Archbishop Alphayo Manyang Kuctiel De Nhiera to Eastern Bahr al Ghazal Province, and said it was his dream to ordain a woman as bishop in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan before he left office.


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