Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Congo consecration for Canada

Congolese archbishop consecrates missionary bishop for Western Canada

A member of the GAFCON primates council has broken ranks and consecrated a bishop for a church outside of GAFCON or the Anglican Communion. On 28 September 2018 the Most Rev. Zacharie Masimango Katanda, Primate of the Congo and Bishop of Kindu consecrated the Rev. Peter Klennner for the Anglican Mission in Canada at a ceremony held at White Rock Baptist Church in Surrey, British Columbia.

Assisting Archbishop Katanda were the apostolic vicar of the Anglican Mission in Canada, the Rt. Rev. Silas Ng, the retired primate of Rwanda, the Most Rev. Emmanuel Kolini, the retired primate of Southeast Asia, the Most Rev. Yong Ping Chung, the Rt.. Rev. Carl Buffington and the Rt. Rev. Gerald Schnackenberg of the Anglican Mission.

Bishop Klenner serves as pastor of All Saints Community Church in White Rock and will be bishop emissary to the Ordinary of Kindu, responsible for planting Anglican churches in Western Canada.

Peace Arch News reported that Bishop Klenner said the notion of traditional church hierarchy is that “when you have enough churches, you have a bishop.” But his job will be to act more as a pioneer for a growing movement, he added.

That was how the role was explained to him when the Anglican Mission first started sounding him out about the idea a year ago. “When missionaries were sent out to Africa in the old days, the bishops were the ones who had the authority to plant churches, ordain people and make decisions,” he said. “That made sense to me, that was something I could do.”

The Anglican Mission in Canada has 10 churches in 3 Canadian provinces and is affiliated with the Anglican Mission in the Americas which has 20 churches in 10 states and has been led by Dallas based Bishop Philip Jones since 2013 following the retirement of the late Bishop Charles Murphy.

Founded in 2000 under the archiepiscopal authority of the Church of Rwanda in response to disputes over doctrine and discipline within the Episcopal Church as the Anglican Mission in America, the Canadian branch of the AMiA was created after parishes in the Anglican Network in Canada joined the new church in 2005. The AMiA was one of the founding members of the Anglican Church in North America, but withdrew in 2010. 

In 2011 the AMiA split with the majority of its clergy and congregations forming PEAR-USA ((Province de l’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda – USA) and affiliating as a diocese of the ACNA. A small group remained loyal to Bishop Murphy and formed the Anglican Mission outside the ACNA.

The Rev. Canon Andrew Gross, a spokesman for GAFCON, told Anglican Ink he had not known of the consecration performed by Archbishop Katanda, and declined to comment on the news.

A GAFCON leader, who declined to speak on the record as he was not authorized to speak for the group this issue, told AI the consecration was problematic as it violated the agreement of the GAFCON primates not to ordain further bishops for mission areas already served by GAFCON churches. He speculated this action would be discussed by the primates at their next meeting.

N.b. Bishop Klenner writes (2 Oct 2018) that the three principal consecrators were: Archbishop Katanda, The Rt. Rev. William Mugenyi Bahemuka, Bishop of Boga Congo), and the Rt. Rev. Sospeter Ndenza, Bishop of Kibondo (Anglican Church of Tanzania)

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