Friday, 2 July 2004

12 to 18 provinces?

In his speech to the Canadian General Synod on 29 May, Gregory Cameron said:

…a state of broken Communion now exists between ECUSA and some twelve to eighteen provinces of the Communion.

In an earlier note I discussed his separate estimate of 22 primates who “have pronounced that they reject…”, giving my reasons for believing that number to be overstated, and why eighteen is the most that can be confirmed from internet sources.

I believe his estimate of provinces is also overstated, but it is very difficult to confirm the list, as few if any formal statements of provinces have been published on the web, and in any case the wording of them is not always clear.

Here is my provisional list of broken Communion provinces:

1. Congo
2. Kenya statement here
3. Nigeria
4. Rwanda statement here
5. Southern Cone
6. South East Asia
7. Tanzania statement here
8. Uganda statement here
9. West Indies statement here

And here is a list of others who have issued statements whose wording seems to fall short of a formal breaking of communion:

10. Burundi this statement
11. Central Africa this statement and this letter
12. West Africa this statement

And finally, here is a list of other provinces whose leaders have signed a statement personally, but for which no provincial statement appears to exist:

13. Central America
14. Indian Ocean
15. Papua New Guinea
16. Philippines
17. Sudan
18. Pakistan (united church)
19. South India (united church)

As I learn of any more internet links to formal provincial statements breaking communion I will add them to the list above. I welcome any additional information which will enable provinces to be confirmed, added, or on the other hand deleted, from this list.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 2 July 2004 at 7:16 AM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion


Your efforts at exactness are much appreciated. In the midst of the current crisis, in a season of trouble and of pain, we must not - cannot - overstate the particulars of any position.

But surely you’re not suggesting that broken communion with nine provinces (and impaired communion with perhaps an additional three) is any less serious than Canon Cameron’s “twelve to eighteen”?

Posted by: Todd Granger at July 2, 2004 02:54 PM

In the end, I guess I’m not so concerned about whether I’m “in communion” with someone else. That’s just a label. I’m much more interested in whether I can work with them to proclaim and serve the Gospel. If I can, then as far as I’m concerned, I’m in communion with them. (Longer comment here.)

Posted by: D. C. Toedt at July 2, 2004 05:15 PM

My impression is that the members of the Global South who have broken communion with the ECUSA mean it as much more than a formality. The words of Archbishop Malango of Central Africa (reported by ENS within the last year) are: “To sit with you and meet with you would be a lie. We are not one. We do not share the same faith or Gospel.” Those are strong words. I gather that this means we cannot work with them to proclaim and serve the Gospel, since they believe we have a different gospel.

What this means, then, is that apparently Malango thinks (probably others as well) that the message of the Gospel itself has been compromised. And since ECUSA has moved forward on electing Robinson with “the lack of virtually any official theological rationale for it” (Bishop Pierre Whalon’s words, not mine), they may or may not have a good case for it. Serious questions concerning the nature of repentance and Christian discipleship and fellowship as they apply to chastity and sexual morality need to be addressed, not glossed over. It would have been better if they were addressed and a consensus had been reached before the ECUSA General Convention had acted. It may now be too late. If the Global South are convinced that they must choose between the Gospel and the assistance and resources of the ECUSA, I suspect they will have enough integrity to choose the Gospel.

Posted by: Russ B at July 4, 2004 07:40 PM

Um, what the (spokespersons for the) Global South believe to be the Gospel, Russ B.

[Also questioning your uses of “gospel” and “Gospel” in your first paragraph]

Posted by: J. Collins Fisher at July 5, 2004 11:48 PM