9 October 2015 A.D. Kenya and Nigeria will press boundaries at Primatial Conference, Jan 2015
Virtue, David. “Viewpoints.” Virtueonline.org. 9 Oct 2015. http://virtueonline.org/gs-primates-will-test-communion-boundaries-januarykenya-condemns-episcopal-church-demands-exclusion. Accessed 9 Oct 2015.
On Monday of this week, VOL obtained an exclusive report that the discipline of The Episcopal Church (and presumably the Anglican Church of Canada) will be the first item on the agenda when the Primates of the Anglican Communion meet in Canterbury in January.
If TEC and the ACoC are disciplined for their departure from the faith and do not leave the meeting, the Global South Primates will not be likely to stay, VOL has been told.
If they are disciplined, repent, and do the right thing and leave, the Global South archbishops will stay on, said the source.
A report by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada, Fred Hiltz, that ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach had only been invited for one day before the formal meeting gets under way -- "as an opportunity for some conversation, in the ultimate hope that we might be able to find a way forward towards reconciliation," is simply inaccurate. Hiltz described this as "a good thing."
But VOL was told that this interpretation by Hiltz about what he thinks will transpire in Canterbury is simply not true and avoids the facts. Archbishop Beach will only come if the Global South archbishops come; they will only appear if Beach is invited and the issue of the North American departure from Scripture is the centerpiece of the discussion.
"The central issue of this meeting will be the theological innovations of The Episcopal Church and not climate change," VOL was told.
As soon as the story was posted, I got word that key players in Canterbury say that there will be no disciplinary action and "that is just not how Archbishop Justin Welby sees the Communion."
It may be that someone has said disciplinary action will be discussed, but that is not the same thing as committing to the principle of discipline. Welby will no doubt be happy for anything to be discussed, but we can sure he will do his utmost to prevent any sort of vote up or down on TEC and ACoC.
In short, this could be an elaborate "bait and switch" as it goes entirely against the policy Welby and his predecessors have followed so far.
To heighten the tension in the Communion, the Provincial Synod of the Anglican Church of Kenya condemned The Episcopal Church at its annual meeting, held at All Saints' Cathedral, and called for the exclusion of TEC from "all activities in the Communion as a measure of discipline."
Clearly with an eye to the Archbishop of Canterbury's call for all Primates to attend a special meeting in Canterbury in January to decide the future of the Anglican Communion, the Synod said it continues to disassociate with the Episcopal Church of America -- which has now officially sanctioned a liturgy for same sex marriages.
"The Anglican Church of Kenya supports the Global South, the Instruments of the Communion, recognizes ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach and calls for the exclusion of TEC from all activities in the Communion," the resolution said.
All this says that whatever charm Welby thinks he can muster to keep the Communion together, he can expect major pushback from the Global South primates.
We have still not heard from Nigerian Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the biggest player in the Communion, as to whether he will attend or not, but we might have a clue in the recent elevation of 14 Reverends to Archdeacons and Canons in Nigeria.
"The acceptance of homosexuality by the Church of England and some Western dioceses of the Anglican Communion all 14 affirmed they were not members of any secret cult and declared that they had practiced neither homosexuality nor bi-sexuality nor had any plan to do so."
So if Welby tries to schmooze Archbishop Okoh next January in Canterbury, he will be in for a big surprise. It ain't gonna happen. Welby's reconciliation tactics won't work. This is the Anglican Communion, not an oil company and the lives and souls of millions are at stake.