The Anglican Communion is not dead yet

But it is not doing very well, Global South leaders believe

The Anglican Communion is not dead yet, but it is not very well — observed leaders of the Global South movement this week in Cairo. Hosted by the Bishop of Egypt, the Rt. Rev. Mouneer Anis the archbishops discussed the state of the communion and voiced their concerns over the effectiveness of its “instruments of unity”.

Codified by a task force appointed by the Anglican Consultative Council that  issued its final report at a 1998 meeting at the Virginia Theological Seminary, the “Virginia Report” recommended the communion organize itself around four instruments — the Archbishop of Canterbury, the primates meeting, the Lambeth Conference, and the Anglican Consultative Council.

The 1998 Lambeth Conference, however, declined to adopt the report. And confidence in the scheme has fallen sharply over the past two decades with various provinces giving different degrees of authority to their pronouncements.

Joining Dr. Anis at All Saints Cathedral were the Primates of Southeast Asia, Myanmar, Uganda, Congo, South America, Nigeria, Rwanda, West Africa, Bangladesh, Sudan and the Anglican Church in North America.

The primates of Uganda and Nigeria, the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali and the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh have announced they will not attend the primates meeting scheduled for next month in Canterbury, England. However, the Global South leaders have not exercised a party line whip on attending the meeting, allowing each primate to decide.

Sources close to the primates tell Anglican Ink the Global South views attendance at the meeting to be a second order issue that does not require a uniform response. Where they stand united, however, is on issues of doctrine and discipline — are are opposed to the recent innovations of the American and Scottish Episcopal Churches and the Anglican Church of Canada.

A formal communique is expected to be released shortly.


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