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GAFCON Chairman Blasts Welby, says Communion is Broken and Scattered

GAFCON Chairman Blasts Welby, says Communion is Broken and Scattered
Okoh rips Episcopal Church for spending $60 million on aggressive litigation
ACNA recognized by majority of Anglican Communion. Realignment will continue
'Good disagreement' accommodates false teaching

By David W. Virtue, DD
September 11, 2018

The chairman of GAFCON, The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh blasted Archbishop Justin Welby saying that GAFCON was a global movement of orthodox Anglicans to restore a Communion which is broken and scattered by "false teaching and compromised leadership."

The Nigerian Primate said in his September letter to followers, that the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is now recognized as a province by the majority of the Anglican Communion and this pattern is being repeated as persecuted Anglicans in Brazil formed the Anglican Church of Brazil in May of this year with the endorsement of the GAFCON Primates Council.

Okoh blasted the Episcopal Church for spending $60 million on aggressive litigation.

"In 2008, we authorized the Anglican Church of North America as a new province to gather up the many who had been outcast from the Episcopal Church of the United States (TEC) simply because they refused to compromise with a false gospel. Research conducted in 2015 showed that TEC and its dioceses had spent in excess of US$60 million on aggressive litigation since 2000 and that pattern of behavior continues to this day."

Okoh said the realignment of the Anglican Communion will undoubtedly continue. "Compromise leads to more compromise, but can there be a better way forward than the aggressive legalism practiced in the Americas?"

New Zealand will be a test, he said. "Following the decision in May by the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ACANZP) to allow for the blessing of same sex relationships, contrary to Resolution I.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, a number of parishes in New Zealand have announced that they can no longer in conscience remain part of the Province, but GAFCON is proposing a fresh approach in order to minimize conflict."

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, who is also GAFCON'S Deputy General Secretary for Asia and Oceania, met recently with leading bishops of ACANZP and put forward the idea of 'Distinctive Co-existence' based on the overlapping jurisdictions of TEC and the Church of England which already exist in continental Europe with their own quite separate canons and constitutions.

"This is a proposal for structural separation which acknowledges the reality of irreconcilable differences about the nature of the bible and the gospel, but calls for it to be done peacefully. This is biblical and in line with what the Apostle Paul teaches about the true nature of our warfare, that 'though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war accord to the flesh' (2 Corinthians 10:3). Those whose first resort is to litigation betray a love of power and money."

Okoh said It is to ACANZP as an autonomous province to decide if it will accept this proposal, but in practice much will depend on the attitude of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

"So far 'good disagreement' has been a way of accommodating false teaching by treating primary issues as if they were secondary and presenting those who hold to a good conscience as schismatics. Now GAFCON is proposing a way of handling disagreement which has theological integrity but minimizes the hurt and distress that has been all too evident in the Americas."

"How the ACNZP and the Canterbury leadership respond will be very revealing, but whatever happens, faithful Anglicans in New Zealand can be confident that through GAFCON they will not be cast out and will continue to be recognized as brothers and sisters by Anglicans around the world."


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