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Secretary General clarifies ACNA position with Communion as he reports to Standing Committee

Secretary General clarifies ACNA position with Communion as he reports to Standing Committee

VOL critiques this story.

ACNS news release
September 5, 2017

The Secretary General, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has stressed that the Anglican Church of North America is not a province of the Anglican Communion. Speaking to ACNS as he delivered his report to the Standing Committee, Archbishop Josiah said he wanted to correct any suggestion that ANCA was the 39th province of the Communion rather than Sudan, which was inaugurated in July.

"It is simply not true to say that ACNA is part of the Anglican Communion," he said. "To be part of the Communion a province needs to be in communion with the See of Canterbury and to be a member of the Instruments of the Communion. ACNA is not in communion with the See of Canterbury -- and has not sought membership of the Instruments.

"There is a long-standing process by which a province is adopted as a province of the Communion. It was a great joy for me to see Sudan go through this process and it was a privilege to be in Khartoum in July to see it become the 39th member of the Communion. ACNA has not gone through this process.

"ACNA is a church in ecumenical relationship with many of our provinces," he went on. "But that is also true of many churches, including the Methodist, Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches."

Speaking to the Standing Committee, Archbishop Josiah described the creation of the new province of Sudan as a particular highlight of his first two years in post. He said the new province had started well, but needed the support of the Communion. He said Christians were a minority in Sudan and would need to adopt a different approach compared to those in South Sudan where they were a majority.

In his report, the Secretary General spoke on a wide range of issues including unity; growth and evangelism; the Task Group set up after the Primates' gathering and meeting in 2016 and how his role had changed.

He said the distinctive feature of the Communion was the balance between what united and what divided. The Communion was united by its fellowship and identity in Jesus Christ, but could be divided by different circumstances, different cultures and different priorities.

"It is part of my personal mission to encourage all to celebrate our unity and to seek to understand and overcome any differences," he said. "My prayer is that this mission would be accepted and adopted by all leaders across the Communion. It is a sadness and concern that some appear to seek division and to form factions interested in expressing only their own view and to gaining power and influence to dominate other opinions."

He said that arrogance in some parts of the Communion where some Anglicans felt they alone were the Church, was causing hardships. Such a rejection of others meant the refusal of help from other Anglicans. As a result, people were suffering.

The Secretary General spoke of his extensive travels during his time in office and said he had been encouraged by the vigor and variety of Anglicanism. He said the next phase of his work would have a more external focus and would include promoting greater awareness of the nature of the Communion and its different cultural contexts.

With a month to go to the Primates' meeting in Canterbury, the Secretary General also spoke of the work done by the Task Group which was set up after the last meeting in 2016 to help the Communion walk together despite differences. He said the group was 'really working' and had tackled virtually everything asked of it.

"We are practicing risky, healthy, honesty with ourselves," he said.

On funding, the Secretary General questioned whether provinces who made no contribution to the Communion should continue to be able to vote. He said every province should aim to give something.

The Archbishop also spoke about innovative ways of evangelism he had encountered in Dallas and Connecticut. He paid tribute to the new primate of Kenya for his determination to concentrate on developing the church in rural and urban areas and on reaching out to Muslim neighbors, rather than focusing on division. He stressed that inter-faith relations, particular with the Muslim community, remained close to his heart.

END

VOL RESPONDS

First, it is the Anglican Church in North America, not the Anglican Church of North America. Small point.

Second, while the ACNA is not recognized by the Archbishop of Canterbury, it is part of the Anglican Communion because it is a member of GAFCON, whose constituent members are primates of the Anglican Communion. Fearon is correct as far as the official structures of the Canterbury Anglican Communion is concerned. GAFCON and Global South are both recognized as Provinces in the Anglican Communion.

Third. The ACNA would never be recognized by the Anglican Communion Office, not because they are not officially Anglicans, but because it recognizes The Episcopal Church as the only legitimate expression of Anglicanism in North America. Ditto for Canada. TEC pays enormous sums of money to keep the ACC office afloat in London. TEC pays Fearon's salary, allowing him to rove the world spinning his pluriform truths and radical inclusive notions to vibrant African provinces in the hope they won't buy into GAFCON and they will buy into his reconciliation ideas, which to date have reconciled no one and nothing. II Cor. 5 gives us the blueprint for reconciliation.

Fourth. Fearon comes from the Anglican province of Nigeria, where he is no longer welcome and when his time is up in London, he might be given a failing TEC parish as his reward, and where he would be eligible for a pension.

Fifth. Fearon said the distinctive feature of the Communion was the balance between what united and what divided. The Communion was united by its fellowship and identity in Jesus Christ, but could be divided by different circumstances, different cultures and different priorities. "It is part of my personal mission to encourage all to celebrate our unity and to seek to understand and overcome any differences." That is not going to happen. He should read what his former boss, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, just wrote in his September letter to GAFCON members saying that he will not attend Welby's Gabfest in October to be in the presence of liberal Primates like Michael Curry and Fred Hiltz.

Everything in the Communion is worse now under Welby than it was under Rowan Williams, wrote Okoh. Endless debate, the will of the orthodox Primates is frustrated and misrepresented, and false teaching is not being corrected. Okoh went on to say that, "We are living in the midst of the next great Reformation" which presumably has nothing to do with the Anglican Communion Office in London, which is little more than a shill for Justin Welby.

Not only is Okoh not attending the Primates' meeting, neither is the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali of Uganda, whose province voted never to allow their primate to be in the same room with a TEC Presiding Bishop. If you add Kenya, Rwanda, the Congo, West Africa, South America (Greg Venables) and South-East Asia, then more than 75% of the entire Anglican Communion will not be represented at this upcoming Primates' gathering!

Sixth. Ironically, ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach was not invited even as an observer to this illustrious gathering in October! Perhaps Welby didn't want a repeat of what happened in Canterbury last time when Archbishop Beach was invited. Welby doesn't want a witness to the bullying that went on their last time.

Seventh. Fearon said there was arrogance in some parts of the Communion where some Anglicans felt they alone were the Church, was causing hardships. You don't think he is talking about his former boss, Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh, do you? Truth is the "arrogance" comes from people like Fearon who believe they can manipulate orthodox primates in the name of "inclusion" and "progressivism" to satisfy his American paymasters and the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose "radical inclusion" views on sexuality are anathema to the Global South. The "arrogance" is believing you can change God's mind for him.

Eighth. What about "false teaching" does Fearon not understand! The primate of the largest province in the Anglican Communion accuses Welby and his fellow liberals of rejecting Scripture's authority and Fearon tries to whitewash it all with fine talk of "reconciliation." Who's deluding whom?

Nine. Fearon talks about the "innovative ways of evangelism in Dallas and Connecticut." Really! Dallas is evangelical, Connecticut is as liberal as the day is long. Bishop Ian Douglas hasn't got an evangelical bone in his body. His predecessor tore out the handful of evangelicals in the diocese and the last one -- Fr. Ron Gauss, rector of one of the largest orthodox parishes in the northeast, got the heave-ho from Douglas because he wouldn't go along with the revisionist views of Douglas. Douglas got the property, reconciliation did not work there. Making nice with Islam means giving them empty parishes because the bishop can't sell them to anyone else.

Ten. Interfaith talk means TEC is slowly going out of business and they are happy to sell their parishes to up and coming Muslim Imams, but NOT to fellow Anglicans, because Mrs. Jefferts Schori would not allow it.

Eleven. If the major players of the Anglican Communion will not be present at Welby Wonker's Hall of Primates, what will it all amount to apart from a press release saying how wonderful everything is in the communion; welcome the new Sudan province and make themselves feel good (about themselves) and leave TEC to pick up the tab.

PS. Note to the Africans attending; Fly First Class. Curry will be happy to raid TEC's Trust Funds to make sure you go to and fro in comfort.

END

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