Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Traditionalists "sack" the Archbishop of Canterbury...

A meeting of traditionalist bishops and clergy, the unauspiciously named FOCAs (Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans), meeting in London this week has apparently made statements that suggest they will no longer recognise the Archbishop of Canterbury as the head of the Anglican Communion. Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, leader of Kenya’s 13 million Anglicans, said there needed to be a “radical shift” in how the church is run andArchbishop Nicholas Okoh, the leader of 23 million Anglicans in Nigeria, said that while the historic position of the Archbishop of Canterbury would always be respected he should be seen as “one of” many primates amd that the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury is "not something that should remain permanant." Earlier this week the Revd Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney said that the Archbishop should no longer be considered as "leader" of the Anglican Church and that that view was "Anglo-centric." Some African bishops have implied that the role of Canterbury is in some ways colonial.
This sort of posturing is nothing new. Right back in 2004 when Gene Robinson was consecrated there were dark mutterings that you did not have to go through Canterbury to reach Jesus. There is no central control in Anglicanism, there is no Papal Magisterium as there is in Roman Catholicism. Each provinces has its own autonomy, the Archbishop of Canterbury has to rule through mutual respect and the historic nature of the office rather than the ability to wield brute force. Although Canterbury has been looked to to "police" the Communion, in truth it has no such powers. The gap between the actual and perceived power of Canterbury has been part of the difficulty and source of frustration in this whole sorry rift and the Anglican Covenant has failed to bridge that gap.
In spite of all the speeches, the announcement of the GAFCON conference in May 2013 and the announcement that FOCA is now not just going to "stay away" but will "develop new structures", it is clearly still the same train crash in slow motion.
How these christians love one another!

3 comments:

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  2. Having read your next blog "Archdruid for Archbishop" first, I then mistakenly read " Archbishop Eliud Wabukala" as "Archdruid Eliud Wabukala" and yet still the blog made sense! Worrying...

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