Global South Primates' letter to the Crown Nominations Commission

Posted Jul 30, 2012

[Episcopal Café] A letter to Lord Luce of the Crown Nominations Commission from the Global South of the Anglican Communion expresses Global South Primates’ desires for traits they wish to see in the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

In a widely released communiqué issued the day after writing to Lord Luce, the Primates write:

We have written to the Crown Nominations Commission with concerns from the Global South and important principles for consideration as it nominates candidates for the appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury.

In cooperation with the Telegraph, which offered coverage of the letter this week – making allusion to its contents and partially quoting from it – Episcopal Café has obtained a copy of the letter, whose text appears in full below.

Two brief notes apply: (1) material in boldface simply preserves the original of the letter; and (2) although there is a signature block for The Right Reverend Peter Bartlett, “Representing the Primate of Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America,” Bishop Bartlett for whatever it is worth has not signed the copy of the letter we saw although others listed as “representing” the primate of their province did.
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20 July 2012

The Rt Hon the Lord Luce KG, GCVO
Chairman
Crown Nominations Commission

Appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury

The Global South of the Anglican Communion, comprising more than fifty-five million of the eighty million members of the Anglican Communion, deeply appreciate our historical relation with the See of Canterbury. We therefore commend the following to the Crown Nominations Commission for your serious consideration.

It is the reality of the Anglican Communion in the 21st Century that the majority of Anglicans are found within the Global South, especially in Africa. Resulting from the faithful witness of Western missionaries over the past two hundred years, Anglicans today stand in worship and witness amidst diverse cultures, among ancient traditions and often in inter-religious tensions.

As noted in the media release of the Church of England on the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, one of his responsibilities is to be “the Focus of Unity of the Anglican Communion… primus inter pares among the bishops.” This role calls for the new Archbishop of Canterbury to always act in a conciliar and collegial manner with his fellow Primates because his decisions will affect the life and witness of Provinces worldwide.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury should have the experience and cross-cultural sensitivity to understand the concerns and conflicts in the worldwide Communion. He has to be able to communicate effectively with, and gain the respect and confidence of, his fellow Primates in the Global South. He has to be able, together with his fellow Primates, to more effectively restructure the Anglican Communion Office and the Anglican Consultative Council to better serve the Communion.

At a time when the Christian faith faces challenges from other religious as well as secular worldviews, the new Archbishop of Canterbury must be committed to uphold the orthodoxy of the Christian “faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3). To fulfil his calling and vow as Guardian of Faith, he must have the capacity to collectively put into effect the decisions taken at Lambeth Conferences and Primates Meetings, especially on issues that have led to the present crisis in the Communion.

To secure the future and unity of the Communion at a foundational level, the new Archbishop of Canterbury has to work with his fellow Primates to address the ecclesial deficit of the Anglican Communion highlighted in the report of the Windsor Continuation Group.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is also responsible to work with ecumenical partners for the unity of the “one holy catholic and apostolic Church”. The new Archbishop of Canterbury must be able to build upon the work of his predecessors while avoiding any further actions that may widen the gap between us and these partners.

In conclusion, the Global South Primates expect to be consulted on this decision of great importance for the Communion, and look forward eagerly to the new Archbishop of Canterbury to uplift God’s people in the Anglican fold worldwide in obedience to God’s Word.

We wholeheartedly pray and hope that the unity of our beloved Anglican Communion will be restored and strengthened.

Faithfully in Christ,

Most Rev Dr Mouneer Anis
Primate, The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & Middle East
Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Nicholas Okoh
Primate, The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
Vice-Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Ian Ernest
Primate, The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean
Honorary Secretary, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Bolly Lapok
Primate, The Church of the Province of South East Asia
Honorary Treasurer, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Stephen Than
Primate, The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma)
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Henri Isingoma
Primate, Province de l’Eglise Angicane du Congo
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Daniel Deng
Primate, The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala
Primate, The Anglican Church of Kenya
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Most Rev David Vunagi
Primate, The Church of the Province of Melanesia

Most Rev Joseph Kopapa
Primate, The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea

Most Rev Onesphore Rwaje
Primate, Province de l’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda

Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi
Primate, The Anglican Church of Burundi

Most Rev Valentino Mokiwa
Primate, The Anglican Church of Tanzania

Right Rev Dr Chad Gandiya
Representing the Primate of The Church of the Province of Central Africa

Right Rev Dr Johannes Seoka
Representing the Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa

Right Rev Matthias Medadues-Badohu
Representing the Primate of The Church of the Province of West Africa

Right Rev Peter Bartlett [not signed -ed.]
Representing the Primate of Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America

cc: Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan
Primate representing the Anglican Communion, Crown Nominations Commission


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Comments (2)

  1. Tod Roulette says:

    The Global South may in fact be the majority in numbers of the Anglican Communion (on paper) but it can barely sustain its own churches, seminary and missions financially. Also, in Africa many of these reported overwhelming numbers of diocesan members authentically represent baptized persons in the villages, just like the Roman Catholics where noone is practicing or can recite anything of the dogma of the church let alone have lay representation.

    When the day comes that the See of Canterbury is directed by a holy woman I guess we can expect that they will cause schism and leave the authority of the See. Their energy and squabbling would best be spent firming up their own infrastructures- ecclesiastic and secular. ‘That We all Be One’ applies to all parties not just those seen erring from the stated ‘Christian Orthodoxy’.

  2. Amen to the above. I do note that the entire missive speaks only of ” He ” shall do this or that. I guess I should not expect more of a Church than I do of the society in which it finds itself, Churches do not exist in a vacuum ( see, e.g., Pope Pius XII and his placating and accommodation of the Third Reich during WW II for the good of HIS Church ) ( to say nothing, and I do, of Henry VIII’s slight peccadillos in his views of holy matrimony which, if done by a woman would have resulted in her death by either stoning or beheading ) and if I am wrong, and the Church does in fact exist in a vacuum well maybe it is time to change the bag.

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