Saturday, June 28, 2008

GAFCON Statement: More Lies to Justify Thefts

You can find the statement here.

They repeat the same old lies about the North Americans, for which these folks claiming to be Christians should be ashamed. Then they claim that the litmus test for membership will include the 39 Articles (which excludes Anglo-Catholics and Charismatics) and the 1662 BCP. Nothing very unexpected there. Then they finally get around to something slightly new:

Primates’ Council

We, the participants in the Global Anglican Future Conference, do hereby acknowledge the participating Primates of GAFCON who have called us together, and encourage them to form the initial Council of the GAFCON movement. We look forward to the enlargement of the Council and entreat the Primates to organise and expand the fellowship of confessing Anglicans. We urge the Primates’ Council to authenticate and recognise confessing Anglican jurisdictions, clergy and congregations and to encourage all Anglicans to promote the gospel and defend the faith. We recognise the desirability of territorial jurisdiction for provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion, except in those areas where churches and leaders are denying the orthodox faith or are preventing its spread, and in a few areas for which overlapping jurisdictions are beneficial for historical or cultural reasons. We thank God for the courageous actions of those Primates and provinces who have offered orthodox oversight to churches under false leadership, especially in North and South America. The actions of these Primates have been a positive response to pastoral necessities and mission opportunities. We believe that such actions will continue to be necessary and we support them in offering help around the world.

We believe this is a critical moment when the Primates’ Council will need to put in place structures to lead and support the church. In particular, we believe the time is now ripe for the formation of a province in North America for the federation currently known as Common Cause Partnership to be recognised by the Primates’ Council...
After stating that they will not recognize the authority of Anglican leaders with whom they disagree (clearly identified as the North Americans), they then create their own new authority; half a dozen Primates who apparently think they can trump canon law, secular law, General Convention, the Anglican Consultative Council, the Primates meeting and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Pretty bold, eh? But sorry, fellas, no dice. Your repeated false witness against those who are intended to be your brothers and sisters in Christ reveals your true colors. The evidence suggests the possibility that you may be simply scoundrels dressed up in fancy vestments justifiying your theft of other people's property.

I hope that by your actions you will prove me wrong. I hope you will see the error of your ways and repent. Stop the lies. Stop the thefts. And perhaps show at least a little compassion towards the victims of rape and torture in your own backyards. Then maybe we can talk.


UPDATE: A comment by Jim Naughton is worth repeating here:

Step back from the details of this particular document for a moment, and consider the nature of GAFCON. It has brought together bishops from some of the poorest countries on Earth to deliver the residents of some of the richest suburbs in America from living in a Church to which they cannot dictate terms. Zimbabwe is on fire. Darfur is bleeding. Ethnic strife and pandemic disease rage across the African continent while these bishops devote themselves to rescuing the Episcopalians of Orange County, California and Fairfax County, Virginia from persecution that does not exist. And how will they achieve this? By calling the world to faith in the Gospel as it was delivered to them by representatives of an empire that conquered their homelands, stole their resources and denied their ancestors even the most basic human rights.

One doesn’t know whether to laugh or weep.

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