Some points of clarification on the Kigali Meeting and Communique - Archbishop John Chew

In light of the 24 September 2006 Statement on the Global South “Kigali” Communique by the Archbishop Njongongkulu Ndungane, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, it is necessary to make the following clarifications:

1. “Whereas Canon Livingstone Ngewu and I were present in Kigali, neither of us were made aware even of the possibility of a communique in the name of the Primates of the Global South, prior to its release.”

The draft Agenda clearly stating the item and intent was sent out earlier to the Primates who have indicated their participation at the Kigali Meeting. At the 1st Session after the Opening Address by the Chairman, the draft Agenda was presented and, with some amendments, were agreed by all present. The 1st Reading of the draft Communique was put backward from the evening of the 2nd day to the afternoon session of the 3rd day. Furthermore, a Communique drafting committee chaired by the Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi of Burundi was unanimously appointed. Both Archbishop Ndungane and Canon Ngewu were present throughout the time these decisions were made.

2. “I am surprised that we allow our agenda to be so dominated and driven by an inordinate influence from the United States. ……… It is hard to understand why we continue to act in response to the North to such a great extent, rather than making use of our freedom to concentrate our energies on the priorities of our own people and Provinces.”

Careful reading of the Agenda and the Kigali Communique will clearly show that discussions on and responses to the so-called matters of the United States or the ‘North’ took up only a very small portion of time of the whole Meeting. Archbishop Ndungane left immediately after the 1st Session of the Meeting on “Update of the previous two Global South Primates Steering Committee Meetings” on Wednesday morning (20th September). He would have been very encouraged and his sentiments dispelled if he had stayed throughout the Meeting. 

The recently formed Theological Formation and Education Task Force (co-ordinated by Revd Dr Michael Poon with a Primate, a Bishop and two clergy seminary theologians) and Economic Empowerment Track (co-ordinated by Mr Keith Chua with mainly senior laity and some Bishops and clergy) met in parallel and intense consultations during the Meeting. Both tracks made quality presentations and recommendations for adoption. Their practical and prompt implementations were urged. The importance of these two tracks for the development and maturity of the Global South Provinces could not be over-emphasised. These were mandated when some 20 Global South Provinces (each represented by the Primate, Bishop, Clergy and Laity including Youth) met at the “Red Sea Encounter” in Egypt last October.

3. “To me, at least, it appears in places that there is a hidden agenda, to which some of us are not privy… there seems to be a deliberate intention toundermine the due processes of the Anglican Communion and the integrity of the Instruments of Unity, …”

The consistent and public stand of the majority of the Global South Provinces in relation to the crisis provoked by the actions and resolutions of the ECUSA and Canadian Anglican Church is openly known and clearly expressed in the various Statements or Communiques on these matters since late 2003. These are all in the public domain for all who wish to read or have access to them.

The Most Revd Dr John Chew
Hon Secretary, Global South Provinces in the Anglican Communion
25th September 2006

4 Responses. Comments closed for this entry.

  1. paddy Says:

    Thank you Archbishop Chew,for clearing the air.

  2. Tim Gray Says:

    Dear Archbishop Chew,
    I fail to see how Archbishop Ndungane could have been present when the 1st reading of the draft communique was “put backward to the afternoon of third day” when according to your reply he left after the 1st session. The fact that an agenda a exists does not mean agreement to the items to be discussed on the agenda. Why discuss them if that is the case. Surely correct procedure demands that representatives should be present otherwise indeed the process becomes open to misrepresentation. Or am I misreading what you have written. Was Archbishop Ndungane present at the 1st reading of the communique or not?
    Tim Gray

  3. Editorial Says:

    Hi Tim

    This is from one of the support staff who was doing the minutes:

    “What Abp Chew meant is that at the Opening Session on the first day, the Chairman briefed all present, including ABp Ndungane,

    a) that there will be a communiqué issued by the Meeting,

    b) that a drafting team was proposed to work on it as the Meeting progressed,

    c) that the schedule was amended, postponing the time slot for the 1st reading from Day 2 to Day 3, in order to incorporate more of the Primates discussion into the draft of the communiqué.

    Abp Ndungane should therefore be fully aware that the communiqué was being worked on as the Meeting progressed. It was unfortunate that he had to leave on the afternoon of the 2nd day, and missed the 1st reading. Neither did he nominate a representative to be present on his behalf, although another clergy from his province, Rev Canon Livingstone, was present at the Theological Track that paralleled the Meeting.”

    Hope this clarification helps.


  4. Gavin Mitchell Says:

    Thank you for this clarification I understand the point made by Bp Chew, and am very disturbed by the response of my ABp