Friday, June 23, 2006

Just in from Africa:

CAPA - An Open Letter to the Episcopal Church USA

We, the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA),meeting in Kampala on 21st - 22nd June, have followed with great interest your meeting of the General Convention of the Episcopal ChurchUSA in Columbus. We have been especially concerned by the development of your response to The Windsor Report, which has been reported to us quite extensively. This is something for which we have earnestly prayed. We are, however, saddened that the reports to date of your elections and actions suggest that you are unable to embrace the essential recommendations of the Windsor Report and the 2005 Primates Communiqué necessary for the healing of our divisions.

At the same time, we welcome the various expressions of affection for the life and work of the Anglican Communion. We have been moved by your generosity as you have rededicated yourselves to meet the needs of the poor throughout the world, especially through your commitment to the Millennium Development Goals.We have observed the commitment shown by your church to the full participation of people in same gender sexual relationships in civic life, church life and leadership. We have noted the many affirmations of this throughout the Convention. As you know, our Churches cannotreconcile this with the teaching on marriage set out in the HolyScriptures and repeatedly affirmed throughout the Anglican Communion.All four Instruments of Unity in the Anglican Communion advised you against taking and continuing these commitments and actions prior toyour General Convention in 2003.

At our meeting in Kampala we have committed ourselves to study very carefully all of your various actions and statements. When we meet with other Primates from the Global South in September, we shall present ourconcerted pastoral and structural response.

We assure all those Scripturally faithful dioceses and congregations alienated and marginalised within your Provincial structure that we have heard their cries.

In Christ,
The Most Rev. Peter Akinola,
on behalf of CAPAChairman,

If the Primates of the Global South were as concerned with issues of AIDS, violence towards women, inter-tribal violence, child rape, and other troubles in their world, I could take their statements herein a bit more seriously. It seems they are determined to use our actions as a reason to rend the Anglican Communion asunder. The last paragraph really makes me grind my teeth. I wonder about all the dioceses and congregations and faithful folk in their provinces who feel marginalized and alienated.

I'm trying to respond to this in a Christian way, but it hits all my buttons about Christ calling us to care for those who are marginalized, including the gays and lesbians. I guess Bishop Akinola would have us pick and choose which of God's children we serve.

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