"Global South" Primates' Statement to Canterbury

"We ask you to join in our repentance for failing to be sufficiently forthright in adequately addressing this issue in the past"
( [email protected] ) Feb 09, 2004 01:47 PM EST

Thirteen of thirty-nine primates to the worldwide Anglican Communion issued a statement against the actions of the Episcopal Church USA on Feb. 9, 2004, coinciding with the Archbishop of Canterbury’s annual Commission.

The 13 primates, representing the “Global South” emphasized that the American branch of the 77-million member global Communion severed itself from the Anglican tradition by consecrating a homosexual man as bishop.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, head of the global communion, has yet to comment against the consecration. To date, Canterbury merely criticized the subsequent schisms that arose within the church, thereby sparking greater denigration from dissenting members.

The following is the full statement as released by the Anglican Church newsroom:

“We, Primates of the Global South greet you in the name of our Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The actions of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) in the election, confirmation, and consecration of Canon Gene Robinson have created a situation of grave concern for the entire Anglican Communion and beyond. Their actions are a direct repudiation of the clear teaching of the Holy Scriptures, historic faith and order of the church.

They also constitute a clear defiance of the Primates of the Communion, who warned at their October meeting:

‘If his consecration proceeds, we recognise that we have reached a crucial and critical point in the life of the Anglican Communion and we have had to conclude that the future of the Communion itself will be put in jeopardy. In this case, the ministry of this one bishop will not be recognised by most of the Anglican world, and many provinces are likely to consider themselves to be out of Communion with the Episcopal Church (USA). This will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level, and may lead to further division on this and further issues as provinces have to decide in consequence whether they can remain in communion with provinces that choose not to break communion with the Episcopal Church (USA).’

The world needs to know that the rebellious and erroneous actions of ECUSA are contrary to the teaching of the Anglican Communion and represent a departure from five thousand years of Judeo-Christian teaching and practice. By their actions, ECUSA has separated itself from the remainder of the Anglican Communion and the wider Christian family.

We appeal to all the faithful to be diligent in prayer and faith and call upon Anglicans across the communion to engage in loyal witness to the risen Christ and to resist and confront the false teaching undergirding these actions and which is leading people away from the redeeming love of Jesus into error and danger.

We ask you to join in our repentance for failing to be sufficiently forthright in adequately addressing this issue in the past, and we invite you to stand with us in a renewed struggle to uphold the received truth found in Jesus and His word.

We re-affirm our solidarity with faithful Bishops, clergy and church members in North America who remain committed the historic faith and order of the church and have rejected unbiblical innovation. We offer our support and the full weight of our ministries and offices to those who are gathering in a "Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes" now being organized in North America. We regard this network as a hopeful sign of a faithful Anglican future in North America. We invite those who are committed to the preservation of historic Biblical faith and order, to join that work and its essential commitment to the Gospel.

Finally, we appeal to you to sustain us in prayer, and to intercede especially for Anglicans in North America.

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Eph 3:20-21

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