Monday, October 26, 2009

Global South Primates Respond to Rome's Initiative

A Pastoral Exhortation to the Faithful in the Anglican Communion

1. We, under-shepherds of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church of Jesus Christ, bring greetings to the faithful in the Anglican Communion. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. For in his great love for us, we are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit (Ephesians 2: 19-22).

2. The Vatican announcement on Apostolic Constitution (Note of The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church) gives us an occasion in making the following pastoral exhortation.

3. We welcome Pope Benedict XVI’s stance on the common biblical teaching on human sexuality, and the commitment to continuing ecumenical dialogue.

4. At the same time we believe that the proposed Anglican Covenant sets the necessary parameters in safeguarding the catholic and apostolic faith and order of the Communion. It gives Anglican churches worldwide a clear and principled way forward in pursuing God’s divine purposes together in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church of Jesus Christ. We urge churches in the Communion to actively work together towards a speedy adoption of the Covenant.

5. In God’s gracious purposes the Anglican Communion has moved beyond the historical beginnings and expressions of English Christianity into a worldwide Communion, of which the Church of England is a constitutive part. In view of the global nature of the Communion, matters of faith and order would inevitably have serious ramifications for the continuing well-being and coherence of the Communion as a whole, and not only for Provinces of the British Isles and The Episcopal Church in the USA. We urge the Archbishop of Canterbury to work in close collegial consultation with fellow Primates in the Communion, act decisively on already agreed measures in the Primates’ Meetings, and exercise effective leadership in nourishing the flock under our charge, so that none would be left wandering and bereft of spiritual oversight.

6. As Primates of the Communion and guardians of the catholic and apostolic faith and order, we stand in communion with our fellow bishops, clergy and laity who are steadfast in the biblical teaching against the ordination of openly homosexual clergy, the consecration of such to the episcopate, and the blessing of homosexual partnerships. We also urge them, as fellow Anglicans, to continue to stand firm with us in cherishing the Anglican heritage, in pursuing a common vocation, in expressing our unity and common life, and in maintaining our covenanted life together.

7. In the closing words of the Anglican Covenant: With joy and with firm resolve, we offer ourselves for fruitful service and binding ourselves more closely in the truth and love of Christ, to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be glory for ever. Amen.

"Now may the God of Peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen." (Hebrews 13.20, 21) 25th October 2009

Global South Primates Steering Committee:
Chairman: The Most Revd Peter J. Akinola, Nigeria
Vice-Chairman: The Most Revd Emmanuel Kolini, Rwanda
General Secretary: The Most Revd John Chew, Southeast Asia
Treasurer: The Most Revd Mouneer Anis, Jerusalem and the Middle East.

The Most Revd Stephen Than Myint Oo, Myanmar
Bishop Albert Chama, Dean of Central Africa

From here.
Editor's Note: I have the greatest respect for these courageous and faithful Anglican Primates and I share their concern for the preservation of the worldwide Anglican Communion. However, they fail to address the devisive issue of the ordination of women as priests and until they do, those clergy who recognize this innovation as contrary to Scripture and Holy Tradition will continue to look to Rome or Orthodoxy.


John (Ad Orientem) said...

No big surprise here. The Global South may be right on moral issues but doctrinally they are Protestants. Let's not forget that.


George Patsourakos said...

I do not believe that Rome has come up with solutions to prevent "double standards" and other conflicting issues, in allowing Anglicans to convert to the Catholic Church?

For example, will Anglican priests who convert to Catholicism be allowed to be married while Catholic priests must remain celibate?

Will Anglican women priests and bishops be part of the Catholic Church, even though the Catholic Church forbids women clergy?

Will the Catholic Church allow openly gay Anglican clergy to preach in the Catholic Church?

Will the Catholic Church allow same-sex marriages, as the Anglican Church does?

Will the Catholic Church allow the Anglicans to revere John Calvin -- the theologian who renounced Catholicism and converted to Protestantism -- while the Catholic Church considers Calvin a heretic?

John (Ad Orientem) said...

While some of the details have yet to be worked out Rome has answered most of the the questions you asked.

Yes married Anglican clergy may be re-ordained. It is not yet clear if this is a one time exception for the current generation or if it will be allowed in the future. My guess is it will be allowed down the road too. But that's only a guess. Rome already permits married clergy in the uniate churches.

No. Women clergy will not be accepted unless they are prepared to convert as lay persons. Nor will practicing homosexuals be admitted to Catholic orders. Rome has been very clear on this pint and frankly the people contemplating conversion are doing so in order to get away from this nonsense.

Persons entering the Catholic Church are generally required to make a Profession of Faith in which they affirm their belief in ALL that Rome teaches. There will be no homosexual weddings and the like. Calvin is a condemned heretic in both the Roman and the Orthodox Churches. Calvinism is out.

In short they are becoming Roman Catholic in ALL matters of faith and doctrine. The only concessions Rome is making are minor ones dealing with things like liturgy and a married clergy.


Alice C. Linsley said...

Very few Anglicans will avail themselves of this provision. Mostly the Anglo-Catholics in groups like The Traditional Anglican Church and Forward in Faith, as these souls have been abused, slandered, marginalized or ignored by the Anglican Communion for 30 years (since they took a firm stand against women's ordination).