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Anglican Communion Head Should be Elected from among Primates

Anglican Communion Head Should be Elected from among Primates
Regional meetings of provinces should be more conciliar, says Egyptian Bishop
Nongeographical renewal movements should be encouraged and welcomed as partners including EFAC and GSA

"You don't have to be English to be Anglican" --- George Carey

By David W. Virtue, DD
March 29, 2020

In a hard-hitting chapter in a new book on the state of the Anglican Communion, The Future of Orthodox Anglicanism, The Rt. Rev. Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt says the communion must open itself to leadership chosen by fellow primates.

"Now after 150 years, the nature of the Communion has changed. Anglicans in the Global South represent more than 80 percent of the members of the Anglican communion. Courage is now needed to review and revise the current structure and representation within the Communion."

The bishop of Egypt, a leading player among Global South bishops, reiterated the Windsor Continuation Group's belief that the Anglican Communion suffers from an "ecclesial deficit" in which the "diversity of theological judgment has exceeded (by far) interdependence among the churches of the Communion."

"Any church must limit theological diversity in order to maintain theological coherence. But what we Anglicans call our "Instruments of communion have not had the authority--or have not exercised their authority--to maintain theological coherence and protect the essentials of the Christian faith."

There has not been a healthy balance between diversity and interdependence, he said.

Bishop Anis, who is also a medical doctor, said the essentials of Christian orthodoxy must be defined, and member churches of the Communion must uphold them and guard them. "To achieve this, we must form a conciliar body of the primates in the Communion (archbishops of each province), plus other elected bishops, and this council should have the authority to make binding decisions and guard the faith."

Anis said the Anglican Consultative Council was meant to be consultative but had wrongly assumed authority, and the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference should both be augmented.

The Egyptian bishop said the recommendations by the Windsor Report were never followed. This led to many unilateral decisions being made by Anglicans of all persuasions, which kept the crisis unresolved, fueling fragmentation and division.

Bishop Anis said the communion failed to deal with the challenge of poverty within the Anglican communion. Member churches should be self-supporting and he smacked what he called "the unhealthy use of financial resources by wealthier provinces to manipulate poorer provinces."

On the issue of theological education, Anis said this; "The provision of quality orthodox theological education is critical for preventing younger generations from being carried away by heretical doctrine."

Anis then launched into his central thesis, saying the head of the Anglican Communion should be elected from among the primates for a term to be decided. "This person needs to work in a collegial way with other primates of the Communion."

He said that regional meetings of provinces should play a more active role in the life and witness of the church. "Networks should be developed for the different ministries within each region to promote the mission of Christ in the region. The Middle East needs to have a strategy for engaging with the Islamic world, provinces in in Africa need to develop strategies for sustainable development of the continent while provinces in North America and Europe need to develop an approach toward the progressive and innovative secular society in which they lived."

He also said non-geographical renewal movements should be encouraged and welcomed by the provinces as partners rather than threats, which included the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion and the Global South Anglican Fellowship.

"Whatever new structure is developed, our main aim should be to help the Anglican Communion become and remain a faithful member of the Body of Christ."

To purchase: "The Future of Orthodox Anglicanism", edited by Gerald R. McDermott which includes chapters by Gerald Bray, Timothy George, Stephen Noll, Ephraim Radner, R.R. Reno to name but a few, click here at Amazon: https://www.christianbook.com/the-future-of-orthodox-anglicanism/9781433566172/pd/566171?en=google&event=SHOP&kw=academic-0-20%7C566171&p=1179710&dv=c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8dibgva96AIVC4eGCh1wGAh7EAQYASABEgLMyfD_BwE

Or here: https://www.crossway.org/books/the-future-of-orthodox-anglicanism-tpb/

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