Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Jim Naughton at The Lead notes the letter from Central and South Africa Anglican churches in his post titled, End to the myth of a monolithic Africa. The text of the letter:

We are gathered here for the All Africa Bishops Conference, Entebbe, Uganda 23 -29 August 2010; at a critical time in the life of the Anglican Church in Africa and the wider Anglican Communion. We hold dear the gift of the Anglican Communion and its Institutions with the Archbishop of Canterbury as our head. We seek to preserve its traditions.

We are grateful to God for the theme of this Conference: Securing the Future: Unlocking our Potential (Hebrew 12: 1-2). The purpose of which is to be pro-active in addressing the ills that beset Africa such as poverty, wars, bad governance, HIV and AIDS, and, environmental issues. The focus of this Conference is therefore about making the Anglican Church in Africa relevant in this context.

We are mindful that the Anglican Communion is under severe strain because of certain actions taken by the Episcopal Church, TEC by their ordination of openly gay bishops.

TEC’s recent action of consecrating an openly lesbian person as a bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles against a moratorium in the Communion of consecrating openly gay bishops reflected a gross insensitivity to the feelings of the rest of the Communion.

We are therefore sympathetic to the deep hurt and pain and indeed anger that some Provinces in Africa have expressed. Notwithstanding, the impression being created at the Conference that all Provinces in Africa are of one mind to abandon our relationship with TEC is wrong. Painful as the action is it should not become the presenting issue to lead to the break- up of our legacy and this gift of God- the world wide Anglican Communion.

We recognize that all the Provinces and dioceses in Africa do not condone TEC’s action. However, Provinces differ in their relationships with TEC in light of their actions. Some Provinces continue to value their historical partnerships with TEC and its organs. To discard these relationships would be tantamount to abandoning our call of the gospel to struggle with each other’s failure as we journey with Christ in the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation as we were passionately reminded by the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, of the virtue of tolerance and to live with our rich diversity.

In pursuit of its objective to form a new “province” in North America, ACNA has been successful in bringing together most of the splinter groups within the Anglican tradition.

We recognize that the common factor that holds all the coalition partners of ACNA is TEC. We do not support ACNA’s position for legitimacy through the elimination of TEC.

Three of the Instruments of Unity have already stated their position on the matter and we believe they represent the mind of the vast majority of the Communion including CAPA.

The majority of the African Provinces at this Conference are being ambushed by an agenda that is contrary to the beliefs and practices of our various Provinces. We have come to this Conference to share ideas on critical issues in the development of our continent and provide spiritual and moral leadership for our people.

Any thought of abandoning our Communion with any member of the body will hurt; for when one part of the body is injured the whole suffers. CAPA must not be used as a pawn in battles it is not party too. CAPA as you all know is not an organ of the Anglican Communion but a fellowship of Provinces of Africa. Therefore, issues of doctrine are better addressed as it has always been by individual provinces.

How good to see the bishops from Central and South Africa take a courageous stand against the attempt by Nigeria, Uganda, and foreign bishops to hijack the gathering in Entebbe and impose their own agenda. The Central and South Africa Anglican churches think for themselves. I pray that Archbishop Rowan Williams gave support and encouragement to those churches while he was there.

Pray for the Anglican churches in Africa.


  1. Very encouraging. The Ugandan/Nigerian juggernaut should be much slowed-down.

  2. A question asked by David Virtue in an interview with Duncan ("Were you saddened that two provinces, Central Africa and Southern Africa referred to ACNA as "illegitimate"?") confirms the authenticity of this document. The interview is reported and linked here at Episcopal Café.

  3. The bishops wrote:
    'We are mindful that the Anglican Communion is under severe strain because of certain actions taken by the Episcopal Church, TEC by their ordination of openly gay bishops.'

    My experience of recent events might suggest that a more honest assessment might read:
    'We are mindful that certain quarters of the Anglican Communion are under severe strain as they struggle with their long-held, unquestioned homophobia, just as other quarters struggle with their own misogeny and our Church's attempts to perpetuate Rome's second-class treatment of our sisters in faith.'

    But then what do I know, I'm only an 'amateur Anglican' and not one of the purple-skirted professionals?

  4. Cher David, of course, you're right. But it warms my heart that the bishops of Central and South Africa stand up to the bishops of Nigeria and Uganda and make it clear that the leaders of those two provinces do not speak for all of the provinces of Africa.


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