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Global South Anglicans discuss “great human suffering” and Anglican unity

Posted on: October 10, 2016 5:56 PM
Michael Adel / Bridges Cultural Centre
Photo Credit: Some of the participants at last week's Global South meeting.

[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] Primates, clergy and laity from the Global South group of Anglicans have spent the past week meeting in Cairo and discussing a range of issues from evangelism, inter-faith dialogue and same-sex relationships. Under the theme “. . . found faithful”, the delegates “were able to share, discern, pray, study, worship and take counsel together . . . about matters that are affecting our beloved Anglican Communion and our world,” they said in a post-conference communiqué, the Sixth Trumpet.

As part of their meeting, the delegates met with the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who “affirmed the important role religious leaders play in bringing peace.” In return, the Global South primates expressed their support of the president’s “commitment to affirm common citizenship and promote freedom of religion.”

In their communique the Primates expressed their support for the proposed new Anglican provinces in Chile and Sudan.

The primates spoke of their joy at “the spiritual journeys of our Churches” since the Global South group first met in 1994. “God places in our hearts the resolve to be part of his mighty work in our generation,” they said. “He is merciful to us and has answered our prayers in ways and in circumstances that far exceed our expectation.

“We have witnessed the gracious and powerful breaking in of the Holy Spirit in the present time. We recall with joy the many ways that God has revived our Churches through his light-shedding holy Word and fresh-anointing of his Spirit. He makes us able to take up responsibilities and initiatives for mission. He uses us to contend together in the face of false teaching for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.

“The initial forms of partnership that have emerged among us – in mission and evangelism, in economic empowerment and in theological education – have helped to give us a shared life and a shared history, and we are desiring for more. We celebrate the great things he has done. The Lord is good, and his love endures forever.”

They spoke of the “great human suffering . . . in many parts of the world”, including victims of human trafficking, refugees, internally-displaced people, people with disabilities, the poor, the hungry, the sick, the homeless, victims of HIV/Aids, and people whose lives are violently shattered by wars, terrorist attacks and conflicts; and said that this suffering “compels us to respond more deeply in Christ’s name to extend the Kingdom of God – the righteous, just and compassionate rule of God - in all corners of the world.”

They continued: “the great need of the world is for the bread of life, Jesus Christ himself. We need to proclaim the gospel faithfully and plant Christian communities amongst the unreached. To do this, we need to build strong and vibrant parishes that are committed to orderly and regular teaching as well as intentional disciple-making.”

On differences in the Anglican Communion on issues of sexuality, they criticise the Instruments of Communion for failing “to discern truth and error and take binding ecclesiastical action” and say that there is “an ecclesial deficit” within the Communion. To address this issue, they are going to create a “task force.”