Issued by the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches
Press Release 18 July 2022
“BROKEN ANGLICAN COMMUNION CANNOT DEAL WITH THE BROKENNESS OF THE WORLD” – GSFA ARCHBISHOP SAYS AHEAD OF THE LAMBETH CONFERENCE
“The Anglican Communion cannot deal with the brokenness of the world if she herself is broken”, so said Archbishop (Emeritus) Mouneer Anis in a letter sent this week to all the orthodox bishops attending the Lambeth Conference, starting on 27 July.
Archbishop Mouneer is the Hon Adviser to the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) which makes up 75% of Anglicans worldwide, and whose bishops are orthodox on matters of marriage and sexuality. He recently retired from the office of Bishop of Egypt and Archbishop of Alexandria.
The Archbishop, 70, who is widely respected across the Anglican Communion, is a veteran of the Lambeth Conference and of Anglican Consultative Councils.
In a briefing paper to orthodox colleagues, the Archbishop says that the “Anglican Communion stands at a crossroads. One road leads to healing the current divisions and another road makes the situation worse and irreparable between traditional and revisionist Anglicans.”
Archbishop Mouneer, a former medical doctor, says that whilst the upcoming conference at the University of Kent represents a “great opportunity to resolve these divisions”, unless the conference organisers allow the gathered bishops to deal with the matter of sexuality head-on, they might complete the conference, “but find out that the operation succeeded, but that the patient is dead.”
He says the solution lays in the fact that all provinces must remember that they are part of one body, and one communion. He explains: “unfortunately some provinces put emphasis on being autonomous and forget the necessity of being interdependent. In other words, they forget that what affects all should be decided by all.”
The Archbishop, who in 2018 received the Lambeth Medal from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby for his work of peace and reconciliation in the Middle East, says that whilst he and others are praying for unity at Lambeth, “that unity must not be at the expense of truth.”
He concludes by encouraging orthodox Global South bishops attending to “share their views graciously, lovingly but boldly,” on matters of marriage, sexuality, the authority of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ. He said: “it is our duty to proclaim the truth and leave the outcome to God; at the end, He is the head of the church.”
“I pray also for courage to resist the pressures from our societies, particularity the western ones. These societies are pushing their moral ‘norms’ onto the rest of the world. When the church accepts these moral norms, she loses her distinctiveness as salt and light in the world.”
His letter reinforces the message of the Chairman of the GSFA, Archbishop Justin Badi from South Sudan, who just two weeks ago sent a video message to hundreds of GSFA bishops attending the conference, outlining four key priorities.
These are to:-
● Foster the Unity of the Orthodox, whilst being a faithful witness and the ‘defender of the faith once delivered’
● Sound a clarion call to Biblical Faithfulness, including seeking the ‘re-affirmation of Lambeth 1.10’* as the ‘official teaching’ of the Anglican Church on marriage and sexuality
● Stand by our principle of not being a ‘breakaway group’ from the Anglican Communion. (GSFA sees itself as part of the ‘holy remnant’ that God has preserved in the Anglican Communion), and to
● Spur on the faithful in the Communion to get the Gospel out into the world, earnestly defending the purity of faith in order that it might be propagated to a lost and needy world
A copy of Archbishop Mouneer’s full letter can be found at https://www.thegsfa.org/_files/ugd/6e992c_775e7db8e7364244a23c6168fca2ee74.pdf
For Further information:
Revd Paul Eddy (PR) 07923 653781 email@example.com
The Lambeth Conference takes place from 27 July to 7 August 2022 at the University of Kent/Canterbury Cathedral. Every 10 years or so, the Archbishop of Canterbury invites all the bishops across the Anglican Communion to gather together to discern God’s will for the communion in the decade to follow. www.lambethconference.org
The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA) is a worldwide fellowship of orthodox Anglican Provinces and Dioceses within the Anglican Communion. Presently, 25 Provinces belong to or are associated with the Fellowship. www.thegsfa.org
The Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC) plays a substantial role in international outreach, Christian teaching and theological education. It has many regional EFAC ‘chapters’ around the world, each working to promote biblical faithfulness in their own context. EFAC trains leaders, provides the Theological Resource Network, the Anglican School for Leadership Formation, and the strategic use of websites, newsletters, and other media. EFAC also facilitates the formation of partnerships between churches and seminaries, and the participation of emerging leaders in international conferences and training opportunities. www.efacglobal.com