Friday, February 16, 2007

Communion Broken, Says Global South

The latest from George Conger of the Living Church


Members of the Global South coalition of Anglican primates, meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, released a statement today stating they could not share “in the Holy Communion” with their fellow primates today due to the presence of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Released via the Church of Nigeria’s website on the afternoon of the second day of the conference, the question of corporate communion services arose when the seven refused to receive the sacrament Friday in the first Eucharist of the five-day meeting.

The primates of Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southeast Asia, the Southern Cone, Uganda, and West Africa released a statement saying their “deliberate” stance was a “poignant reminder” of the brokenness of the Anglican Communion.

“We are unable to come to the Holy Table with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church because to do so would be a violation of Scriptural teaching and the traditional Anglican understanding,” the seven primates wrote, citing words of the prayer book, “Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbors, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith”

News of the broken communion arose at an impromptu press briefing at 1:30 p.m., given by Canon James Rosenthal, director of communications for the Anglican Consultative Council. Canon Rosenthal said that some of the Global South primates had attended the corporate Eucharist that day, the first of the conference.

This followed a press chase of Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria shortly after the primates’ broke for lunch and worship. Dressed in mufti, Archbishop Akinola was spotted by reporters lounging in the lobby on the second floor of the White Sands Hotel, site of the conference.

As Archbishop Akinola descended the stairs, with a sheet of papers and file folders in his hand, a paparazzi frenzy began as photographers, reporters and television cameras descended upon the Nigerian church leader.

As questions were shouted at him, Archbishop Akinola responded “no comment” and placed his files in front of his face and began running back toward the “ring of steel,” the security cordon surrounding the primates’ section of the hotel.

Pursued by reporters including one clad in a bathing suit and towel, the archbishop made good his escape.

Later in the afternoon, taking a side route, Archbishop Akinola returned to the office and was closeted with the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, Bishop of the Convocation of Anglican Churches in North America. A press briefing by Bishop Minns is expected later.

Canon Robert Williams, director of communications for The Episcopal Church, was also summoned by Bishop Jefferts Schori. Canon Williams told The Living Church the Presiding Bishop would not be commenting, however, until after the close of the meeting.

The full text is here:


Post a Comment

<< Home