[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The Primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt, has issued a statement to refute allegations made in a blog post by an American priest. The Revd George Conger claimed on his Anglican Ink website that Archbishop Mouneer was “perturbed” by the lack of support from Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby over ongoing legal hearings about the status of the Diocese of Egypt and its relationship with a protestant church group. Conger also said that the recent appointment of the Dean of Alexandria, Samy Shehata, to Archbishop Welby’s Anglican Communion Task Group force was a “deceitful” act.
Dean Samy was approached following discussions involving Archbishop Justin, Archbishop Mouneer, and the secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon. Archbishop Mouneer made it clear that the Dean had decided not to take up the offer because of his forthcoming appointment as the area Bishop of North Africa.
Archbishop Mouneer went further, saying that he was “troubled and disappointed” by the article written by Conger, saying that it “was not accurate.”
He continued: “In regards to the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Diocese of Egypt in its struggle with the Protestant Church Association who are trying to bring the Anglican Church under its umbrella, it is important to say that Archbishop Justin Welby has been so supportive to me and to our Diocese on this issue. I am so grateful to him for his great support and for writing to our President in regard to the recognition of our Church in Egypt.
“The other misunderstanding was regarding the participation of Dean Samy Shehata in the Taskforce of the Anglican Communion. Dean Samy is going to be the Area Bishop of North Africa in addition to his responsibilities as the Dean of Alexandria and the Dean of the Alexandria School of Theology. For this reason, he apologised for not being able to participate on this Taskforce because of his very busy schedule.”
He concluded: “I hope this provides sufficient clarification of the real situation.”
The Anglican Ink article also repeats allegations of forgery relating to the attendance at this year’s Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Lusaka by members of the Anglican Church of Kenya. Those allegations were refuted in April by Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon.