Global South Primates Steering Committee: A Pastoral Exhortation to the Faithful in the Anglican Communion 2009

1. We, under-shepherds of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church of Jesus Christ, bring greetings to the faithful in the Anglican Communion. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. For in his great love for us, we are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit (Ephesians 2: 19-22).

2. The Vatican announcement on Apostolic Constitution (Note of The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church) gives us an occasion in making the following pastoral exhortation.

3. We welcome Pope Benedict XVI’s stance on the common biblical teaching on human sexuality, and the commitment to continuing ecumenical dialogue.

4. At the same time we believe that the proposed Anglican Covenant sets the necessary parameters in safeguarding the catholic and apostolic faith and order of the Communion. It gives Anglican churches worldwide a clear and principled way forward in pursuing God’s divine purposes together in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church of Jesus Christ. We urge churches in the Communion to actively work together towards a speedy adoption of the Covenant. 

5. In God’s gracious purposes the Anglican Communion has moved beyond the historical beginnings and expressions of English Christianity into a worldwide Communion, of which the Church of England is a constitutive part. In view of the global nature of the Communion, matters of faith and order would inevitably have serious ramifications for the continuing well-being and coherence of the Communion as a whole, and not only for Provinces of the British Isles and The Episcopal Church in the USA. We urge the Archbishop of Canterbury to work in close collegial consultation with fellow Primates in the Communion, act decisively on already agreed measures in the Primates’ Meetings, and exercise effective leadership in nourishing the flock under our charge, so that none would be left wandering and bereft of spiritual oversight.

6. As Primates of the Communion and guardians of the catholic and apostolic faith and order, we stand in communion with our fellow bishops, clergy and laity who are steadfast in the biblical teaching against the ordination of openly homosexual clergy, the consecration of such to the episcopate, and the blessing of homosexual partnerships. We also urge them, as fellow Anglicans, to continue to stand firm with us in cherishing the Anglican heritage, in pursuing a common vocation, in expressing our unity and common life, and in maintaining our covenanted life together.

7.  In the closing words of the Anglican Covenant:  With joy and with firm resolve, we offer ourselves for fruitful service and binding ourselves more closely in the truth and love of Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory for ever. Amen.

"Now may the God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13.20, 21)


25th October 2009

Global South Primates Steering Committee:

Chairman: The Most Revd Peter J. Akinola, Nigeria

Vice-Chairman: The Most Revd Emmanuel Kolini, Rwanda

General Secretary: The Most Revd John Chew, Southeast Asia

Treasurer: The Most Revd Mouneer Anis, Jerusalem and the Middle East.


The Most Revd Stephen Than Myint Oo, Myanmar

Bishop Albert Chama, Dean of Central Africa

11 Responses. Comments closed for this entry.

  1. edhird Says:

    Once again we are grateful for the clear leadership shown by the Global South Primates in charting a way forward through murky waters.

          In Christ,

          Rev Ed Hird+
    Communications Director
    Anglican Coalition in Canada/AMiA/ACNA

  2. Alice C. Linsley Says:

    I have great respect for these courageous and faithful primates and bishops and I share their concern for the preservation of the worldwide Anglican Communion. However, they have not addressed one of the most devisive issue: women priests. Anglicans must face that this innovation is beyond the bounds of catholic faith and practice. Until this practice ceases, clergy will go to Rome or Orthodoxy.

  3. RMBruton Says:

    I see no leadership from the current Archbishop of Canterbury and the continued hope for an Anglican Covenant by these bishops, when they cannot even uphold all of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, gives me no hope that they will solve the crisis in World Anglicanism. For the Church of England in North America, The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion are all the Covenant we need.

    Article XIX. Of the Church
    The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ’s ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.
      As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred; so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.

    Article XXII. Of Purgatory
    The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping, and Adoration, as well of Images as of Reliques, and also invocation of Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.

    Article XXXVII.
    ...The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England…

  4. Ah Kong Says:

    This pastoral exhortation is surprisingly weak from the Global South. They should have been critical of the roman initiative which is nothing more than sheep stealing.

    Secondly they should have highlighted Roman doctrinal errors and drawn clear distinctions between the Anglican church and the Roman church.

    The 39 articles because they are biblically based provide the parameters for the Anglican belief system. The Covenant is still on the drawing board.

  5. Carlos Eleacyn Cortes Perez Says:

    excellent approaches unity with the rest of the Anglican communion, and that emphasize Christian unity and orthodoxy that has the Bible

  6. Alice C. Linsley Says:

    It would be helpful to review the events leading up to Pope Benedict’s decision. The Traditional Anglican Communion under Archbishop Heppleworth had petitioned the Vatican to receive that body of Anglo-Catholics under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution. This request was first made about 2 years ago.

    “...pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy.” - from NOTE OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH ABOUT PERSONAL ORDINARIATES FOR ANGLICANS ENTERING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, issued from the Vatican on Oct. 20, 2009.

    Evangelical Anglicans are going to go there. Liberal/Revisionists Anglicans aren’t going to go there. Thirty-Nine Article adherents aren’t going to go there. This is for a relatively small number of Anglicans who wish to retain the rich liturgical traditions of English catholicism without being ignored, abused or marginalized by fellow Anglicans as they have been for the past 25 to 30 years.

  7. Alice C. Linsley Says:

    Sorry.  I meant to write Evangelical Anglicans AREN’T going to go there.

  8. RMBruton Says:

    Ultimately, I do not believe that if even a relatively large number of Ritualists do cross the Tiber, we will see an end to the incessant whining and sniping. So-called Anglican Comprehensiveness is like a bad marriage where one party continuously threatens to leave but never does. It will be informative if someone keeps a tab on how many people actually do go to Rome.

  9. Ah Kong Says:

    Dear Alice,

    If Pope Benedict’s initiative was a response to the TAC and groups of similar ilk then Rome should have negotiated with these groups based on a memorandum of understanding pertinent only to these groups. The present initiative however is intentionally or unintentionally aimed at the whole anglican communion. Hence the sheep stealing charge  

    Ah Kong

  10. Alice C. Linsley Says:

    Rome was having discussions with TAC for 2 years. I guess from the Vatican’s perspective, it would seem small minded to provide this option to only one Anglican group since there are other Continuuing Anglicans that might find this provision helpful. Pope Benedict is interested in providing this only for those who are already organically connected to the Roman tradition.

    I have compassion for those to whom Rome is offering a home. I’ve had conversations with the Forward in Faith Anglicans in Australia and listened to Archbishop Heppleworth’s side. Remember that these folks have been enduring Anglican arrogance toward them since long before Gene Robinson’s “consecration”. They have legitimate concerns that Anglicanism as a whole has largely ignored.

    I no longer have a dog in this fight. I set aside the priesthood, believing women priests to be a dangerous innovation (uniquely Anglican) and left ECUSA 3 years ago. I’m now Orthodox and with no regrets. I had considered going to Rome, but found in the American Catholic Church many of the same seeds of modernism that have destroyed the Episcopal Church here.

  11. Dr. Paula Says:

    I join with Archbishop Robert Duncan (ACNA) in welcoming this generous move by the Pope to receive those marginalized Anglicans in North America and elsewhere who are seeking security in the Roman Catholic Church.  I do not take this to be a threat to the flourishing of ACNA or to developing harmony between ACNA and the Orthodox Catholics.  This Pope has consistently shown himself a friend of Christian orthodoxy in all of these venues, and his offer underlines the close affinities among those of us who hold orthodox faith.