Statement from the Global South Primates Steering Committee, Cairo, Egypt 14-15 February 2014

20 February 2014 - Print Version

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Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3).

1. The Global South Primates Steering Committee met at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014. We were delighted to have The Most Rev. & Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, the Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA), and Canon David Porter, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Director for Reconciliation, as guests joining this important meeting in which we discussed the way ahead for the Anglican Communion and other matters. The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala, the Primate of Kenya, and The Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, the Primate of Congo, apologized for not being able to attend.

2. We thank God for the times of fellowship, Bible study and prayer together. We also appreciated the frank discussion, open sharing, and spirit of unity among us. We are also encouraged by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s emphases on renewal, mission and evangelism within the Church of England and the rest of the Anglican Communion.

3. As we reviewed the current situation, we recognized that the fabric of the Communion was torn at its deepest level as a result of the actions taken by The Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church in Canada since 2003. As a result, our Anglican Communion is currently suffering from broken relations, a lack of trust, and dysfunctional “instruments of unity.”

4. However, we trust in God’s promise that the “gates of hades will not overcome” the church. Holding unto this promise, we believe that we have to make every effort in order to restore our beloved Communion. Therefore we took the following decisions:

a) We request and will support the Archbishop of Canterbury to call for a Primates Meeting in 2015 in order to address the increasingly deteriorating situation facing the Anglican Communion. It is important that the  agenda of this Primates Meeting be discussed and agreed upon by the Primates beforehand in order to ensure an effective meeting.

b) We decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dromantine in 2005 and Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.

c) We realize that the time has come to address the ecclesial deficit, the mutual accountability and re-shaping the instruments of unity by following through the recommendations mentioned in the Windsor Report (2004), the Primates Meetings in Dromantine (2005) and Dar es Salam (2007), and the Windsor Continuation Group report.

5. We appreciate the costly decision of the House of Bishops of the Church of England, as well as the pastoral letter and pastoral guidance of The Archbishop of Canterbury and The Archbishop of York, in regard to the decision of the Westminster Parliament for same-gender marriage. The faithfulness of the Church of England in this regard is a great encouragement to our Provinces, and indeed the rest of the Communion, especially those facing hardships and wars.

6. We stand in solidarity with The Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul and the people of South Sudan and Sudan, calling for the cessation of fighting, an end to violence, and for a process for peace and reconciliation. We call upon the international community to give every help and support to those displaced as a result of fighting. We commit ourselves to pray for the people of Sudan.

7. We were encouraged to learn about the new constitution of Egypt and how the interim government is achieving the roadmap that was decided by its people on the 3 July 2013. We support the people of Egypt in their efforts to combat violence and terrorism.

8. We decided to activate the Task Forces established at the 4th Encounter of the Global South, which are: Economic Empowerment (coordinated by Archbishop Eliud Wabukala), Theological Resourcing (coordinated by Archbishop Bolly Lapok), Emerging Servant Leaders (coordinated by Archbishop Ian Ernest), and Inter-faith Relations (coordinated by Archbishop Nicholas Okoh).

9. We decided to hold the 5th Encounter of the Global South in 2015 and also organize a seminar for Global South leaders on “How Africa shaped Anglicanism”.

This statement is approved by:

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt and Chairman of Global South
The Most Rev. Ian Ernest, Primate of the Indian Ocean and General Secretary of Global South The Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Primate of Myanmar
The Most Rev. Hector “Tito” Zavala, Primate of the Southern Cone
The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, Primate of Burundi and the Chairman of CAPA
The Rt. Rev. John Chew, representing the Primate of South East Asia
The Rt. Rev. Francis Loyo, representing the Primate of All Sudan

This statement was abstained by:
The Most Rev. Nkechi Nwosu, representing the Primate of All Nigeria



FAQ – The Global South of the Anglican Communion

Q: What is the Global South of the Anglican Communion?

A: The idea of a gathering of the non-Western parts of the Communion for mutual consultation on their distinctive contextual mission challenges was a recommendation of the Brisbane 1986 Missions Conference. Subsequently, Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) organized this gathering and Global South first came together in the 1st South-South Encounter held in Limuru, Kenya in 1994. The 2nd South-South Encounter was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1997. The 3rd Encounter was held in Ein El Sukhna on 25-30 October 2005. The 4th Encounter was held in Singapore on 19th – 23rd April 2010.  A Conference on the Decade of Mission and Networking was held on July 16 - 21, 2012 at Bangkok, Thailand. More than 20 provinces are activey involved in the work of Global South. 

Q: What is the Global South Primates Steering Committee?

A: The Global South Primates Steering Committee (GSPSC) was first formed to carry through recommendations made at the South- South Encounters. The current Committee comprises:
 Chairman: The Most Rev Dr Mouneer Anis (Jerusalem & the Middle East)

  Vice-Chairman: The Most Rev Nicholas Okoh (Nigeria)

  Honorary Secretary: The Most Rev Ian Ernest (Indian Ocean) 

  Honorary Treasurer: The Most Rev Bolly Lapok (Southeast Asia)
 Elected Members: 

  The Most Rev Stephen Than (Myanmar)

  The Most Rev Henri Isingoma (Congo)

  The Most Rev Hector Zavala (Southern Cone)

  The Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala (Kenya)

  The Most Rev Daniel Deng (Sudan)

  Right Rev Peter Akinola and the Right Rev Dr John Chew were asked to serve as Honorary Members of the Global South Steering Committee at the GS Primates Meeting on 20th July 2012.

Q: Where did the concept of a Primatial Oversight Council come from?

A: At the Primates Meeting in Lambeth (2003), Archbishop of Canterbury was urged to form a “Commission” to deal with the crisis:
“We have noted that the Lambeth Conference 1998 requested the Archbishop of Canterbury to establish a commission to consider his own role in maintaining communion within and between provinces when grave difficulties arise . We ask him now to establish such a commission, but that its remit be extended to include urgent and deep theological and legal reflection on the way in which the dangers we have identified at this meeting will have to be addressed. We request that such a commission complete its work, at least in relation to the issues raised at this meeting, within twelve months.”

The idea of a “panel of reference” was proposed at the Primates Meeting in Dromanine, 2005, Statement 15:
“In order to protect the integrity and legitimate needs of groups in serious theological dispute with their diocesan bishop, or dioceses in dispute with their Provinces, we recommend that the Archbishop of Canterbury appoint, as a matter of urgency, a panel of reference to supervise the adequacy of pastoral provisions made by any churches for such members in line with the recommendation in the Primates’ Statement of October 2003 (xii). Equally, during this period we commit ourselves neither to encourage nor to initiate cross-boundary interventions.”

At the Primates Meeting at Dar es Salaam, 2007 a “robust scheme of pastoral oversight” was called to “provide individuals and congregations alienated from The Episcopal Church with adequate space to flourish within the life of that church in the period leading up to the conclusion of the Covenant Process.” (Statement 32). 

Historically, “Metropolitical Council” is the term used in relation to sections of a Province which was unable to function in regular relationship with it (i.e. Cuba). 

The Global South of the Anglican Communion Secratariat information:
37, St Paul Road, Vacoas, Mauritius . Email: Telephone: +(230) 686-5158 . Facsimile: +(230) 697-1096

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