Friday, February 16, 2007

Global South Primates Release Statement

SITTING AT THE LORD’S TABLE:
Statement from Global South Primates

A number of the Global South Primates have not shared in the Holy Eucharist today with their fellow primates. They include Abp. Peter Akinola, Abp John Chew, Abp. Benjamin Nzimbi, Abp Justice Akrofi, Abp. Henry Orombi, Abp. Gregory Venables, and Abp. Emmanuel Kolini. They represent more than 30 million faithful Anglicans. They have released this statement:

“We each take the celebration of the Holy Eucharist very seriously. This deliberate action is a poignant reminder of the brokenness of the Anglican Communion. It makes clear that the torn fabric of the Church has been torn further. It is a consequence of the decision taken by our provinces to declare that our relationship with The Episcopal Church is either broken or severely impaired.

Scripture teaches that before coming to sit with one another at the Lord’s Table we must be reconciled. (Matthew 5:23-26 and 1 Corinthians 11:27-29) We have made repeated calls for repentance by The Episcopal Church and its leadership with no success. We continue to pray for a change of heart.

We are unable to come to the Holy Table with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church because to do so would be a violation of Scriptural teaching and the traditional Anglican understanding, “Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith” (Book of Common Prayer)

This is a painful decision for us and also for our host and brother, the Most Rev’d Donald Mtetemela. He understands our painful dilemma and accepts our decision. Pray for the Church.”

Friday, February 16, 2007
White Sands Hotel, Jangwani Beach, Tanzania

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was not a statement from the Global South Primates, although they tried to play it that way. They all were not absent. They have corrected their statement on their site.

Padre Wayne said...

Anonymous... There is, so far, no correction or adjustment on globalsouthanglican.org

No matter how many chose not to come to the Lord's table with the "apostates," it is a sad decision. I cannot repent of that which I do not regard as sin -- perhaps by sharing Christ's Body and Blood we might be more reconciled, and perhaps we would learn from one another in the Communion which is Christ our Lord.

Anonymous said...

The first line of the article on the GSA site reads:

"Primates explain absence at Holy Eucharist"

It previosly read:

"Statement from Global South Primates"

I do agree it was a sad decision and not one warranted on any basis of scripture. The examination we are to make when we come to the Lord's Table is one of ourselves, not of others.

BabyBlue said...

It is clear that the Anglican Communion is in crisis and this illustrates the depth of the crisis. We should continue to pray - we do not have a "right" to the Lord's Table. In the Eucharist we "pass the peace" before we come to the Table - which means we go and be reconciled with our brothers and sisters before we go to the Table. That has not yet happened in the Communion. These primates witness the depth of the irreconcilable difference as they stand right now. It is TEC that has broken the bonds of fellowship, we mustn't forget that.

bb

bloos said...

Congratulations, Anonymous, you could only say their decision was not "warranted on any basis in scripture" if you don't *KNOW* Scripture. Maybe you need to ask why TEC doesn't want you to.

Anonymous said...

"I cannot repent of that which I do not regard as sin"

Therein lies the hyper-solipsism of the TEC left that has brought us to the brink of Communal implosion. It's not God that defines what is and what is not sin, but each of us individually. It's hard not to take the next logical step and declare that we ourselves are Gods, self-contained universes accountable to no one. Well done, padre, you've just confirmed the worst anyone has accused the Piskie Left of.

Allen said...

Some things to keep in mind.
The number who refused to take communion alongside Presiding Bishop Schori was seven. The last time this happened, 14 primates refused to take communion alongside then Presiding Bishop Griswold. The so called "majority" (which wasn't even a majority at that time, 14 out of 38 primates) has now dwindled to 7 out of 38. The number has been cut in half in two years.
The bishops who refused to take communion today, not just refused to take it alongside Bishop Schori, but at the same time refused to take it along side the Archbishop of Canterbury as well as several of their brethern which whom they are closely aligned. It was not just a slap in the face to Bishop Schori but to all the other bishops as well.
And, above all and by far the most important aspect, they made the holy eucharist about them. The eucharist is about God, period. Instead they decided to do some grandstanding and make what is the most sacred event for us, into something political. They should be deeply ashamed of themselves, although I know they're not.
Taking communion has never and will never include something about judging the people with whom you are taking communion with. When I take communion every Sunday, am I to judge everyone in the church and make sure we are all on the same page politically, theologically and otherwise?

Anonymous said...

If you can't take communion because you're not at peace with someone, you can't take it at all. It has nothing to do with taking it with them at the same time.

Thanks bloos, but I went to Truro, so that's my TEC exposure to Scripture. And I have been asking what they didn't want me to know.

BabyBlue said...

Passing the Peace - The Passing of the Peace has its origins in the New Testament. In the letters of St. Paul there are several references to greeting one another with "a holy kiss". In the worship of the early church this took on a specific function in the liturgy. Usually it occurred after the sermon or just before the distribution of communion. Its function was to visibly demonstrate that all who were present were one in the faith and that no sin stood in the way of their unity. Over time the actual kiss of peace has given way to either a handshake or an embrace. The purpose, however, is the same: a visible demonstration that we are members of the one body of Christ. Because we have been reconciled to the Father through the death of His Son, we therefore are also reconciled with one another.

This is one of the major issues of the Windsor Report - that TEC is engaged in blessing sinful behavior. Not everyone obviously believes this is true (i.e. "the spirit is doing a new thing" argument), but the reality is that it is a serious breach, tearing the fabric of the communion. That the primates are not able to celebrate the Euchriast together because they are not able to truthfully and honestly pass the peace yet is a reality of the depth of brokenness in the communion.

In my personal opinion, this is a "high church" view of the Eucharist (and some of these primates are "high church" Anglo Catholics. I have a somewhat different view of the Eucharist and believe that it is a very serious thing to take part in it and we shouldn't do it lightly nor is it "right." We have no "right" to the Table. We should expect to encounter the Risen Lord Jesus there. And He will encounter us. That's not something to take lightly - and He will be true to His Promises. All of them.

bb

Caroline Divine said...

I commend to you Tobias Haller's reflection on the Eucharist in general and this Eucharist in Tanzania in particular:
http://jintoku.blogspot.com/2007/02/those-who-walk-apart.html

The great Roman Catholic historical theologian Henri de Lubac, S.J. once wrote that the Eucharist makes the Church and the Church makes the Eucharist. Not just one or the other. Let the Eucharist make us Church. That is, I think, also the Anglican view. Christ welcomes us to the table. Who are we to turn down his all-embracing love?