Five leaders of the Global South spoke to the press in the evening after the debate which delayed the process of sending the covenant to the provinces. This can be viewed on Anglican TV www.anglicantv.org. The following does not claim to be verbatim, but represents as best as possible from their presentations.
Bishop Bill Godfrey of Peru:
We are not going to see the text of the covenant or be masters of the text at this stage. God is in control. Now we have to delay a number of months and hope and pray that the committee to be appointed may be the right group. The good thing is that section 4 is still a part of the covenant. There is disappointment but it could have been worse and we could have lost section 4.
Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt
I share the sadness of my brother Bishop Bill. There was manipulation. We had deliberated long about section 4. They put resolution A to detach section 4 and ask ABC to put a committee. When the resolution was put for voting, we praise the Lord it was rejected.
Then it was like a shock to bring the two main clauses of the resolution we rejected and put it in the resolution we wanted to vote on. It is absolutely wrong. We as members of ACC had decided that we do not want this resolution. We wanted the covenant to go straight to the provinces. This led to what seemed to me to be a lot of confusion on the role of the ACC. The ACC is not a synod to take decisions like this. All we are asking for is that this covenant be sent for a further three years, until 2012, so that every province will have plenty of time. The provinces can make amendments as well after it has passed. There will be time for discussion and reflection. There will be objections and amendments. Yet this body does not want to send it. It was very clear from the rejection of Resolution A they way that the majority in the house wanted to go. This was a shock and confusion and a manipulation.
This was deliberate. Resolution A was rejected and yet was brought back. Even if it is legal I see it as wrong. Also in the last few days, all of us were clear about section 4. Even the Church in Canada had said for the sake of the communion and unity we will receive this covenant. I personally think it is unfair to appoint people from three different provinces who are known to reject the covenant, – New Zealand, the United States and Scotland, – on the resolution committee. Part of this crisis is due to distrust. I must say that all what happened increased the distrust.
Bishop Ikechi Nwosu – Nigeria.
I will associate myself with the other sentiments expressed today. We felt we were going together somehow. The nitty gritty we managed to tie up. But a section of the covenant became the arrowhead and the summary of the whole thing. Some of us were coming in to enable the Anglican Communion to be put in order. I felt terribly bad. The Church of Nigeria has been away from such discussions for a while. We find that you agree with people in the morning and then in the evening there have been changes. You do not know whether you are moving forward or not.
If we had lost that debate, if they had succeeded in saying the whole document be rejected on paragraph 4, that would have been one matter. Despite the whole effort of trying to put paragraph 4 away, since we thought that we would have nothing as a covenant without paragraph 4, then they tried to smuggle it in again.
The true owners of this covenant are the provinces such as the Church of Nigeria. Let the document come back to the provinces. At that point – God help us. Otherwise we are back to square one.
The thing that annoyed me today is that we are trying to help people, we are trying to put something on the floor that would restrict all the infringements, but for one more year litigation will go on, and crossing boundaries will go on. God is God. I know as a human being I might be myopic about it, if this is the beginning of the end of the communion We are trying our best. Out of our hearts we are really bleeding. We are heading for the real disintegration of our communion.
Let God’s will be done.
Abraham Yisa – Registrar of the Church of Nigeria.
I am not surprised at the outcome, having been engaged with TEC since we established CANA. I hoped that ACC-14 would see the return of trust and accountability, and bring back the trust which was no longer there. There is no doubt that the agenda of TEC was to prevent this covenant from sailing through. From the first resolution, when we talked about the fourth moratoria, Mouneer proposed an amendment – that there should be 4 moratoria namely the cessation of litigation. That was opposed and defeated. I knew that the other one would be opposed and defeated.
What TEC wants is to be allowed to continue with the litigation. They are continuing to throw out clergy and congregations because they want to retain the churches. It will not impact on our province’s autonomy. It is accountability among members of the same communion.
It is quite clear that when it was proposed we should not get responses by 2014 that the next ACC would be ACC 16 in 2015. If you propose something and say you will not look at it until ACC 16, then there will be a different team. When you are looking for a solution to last between 2009-2016 it is a time consuming exercise.
The TEC strategy was not to have a covenant. If that did not go down well, delay as long as possible. TEC will continue with whatever they have been doing. You do not want cross border intervention. But TEC will continue to do what it has been doing, and those other members of the communion that feel they have a duty to give oversight to protect will continue to do so. The confidence is not there, we are no longer accountable to each other. To our tents I Israel.
The Ven Abraham Okure Nigeria
It is most unfortunate that people come to a council with their mind already made up, to what is considered to be a healing process. The intention was that the covenant would bring healing to an existing wound. Now we discover that those who are the cause of the wound do not want it to heal. They are out to create more wounds. I see this to be satanic. The delay is meant to make the communion to go apart some more. To bring the healing requires the healing from God. We do not want believers in ECUSA to derail and depart from the word of God. There is nothing that will stop the Church of Nigeria from sustaining the believers there.
Bishop Bill Godfrey
What Jolly Babirukamu (Uganda) said was a word of God to the gathering and a very beautiful moment when the light and voice of God broke through in a powerful way. ~it is very sad we did not get what we wanted. We all hoped the covenant would have gone forward. We should not get whipped up into a frenzy about what has happened. Overcome evil with good. We will win in the end. We have the cross. These are the wounds - these were shown by Jesus as the signs of victory, We must be careful not to whip ourselves up into a frenzy of hate against ECUSA and what they are doing. The Anglican Communion will come through in the end because that is the way God has made the world. We do not have the job of propagating things that will disturb people. It had been a setback. In the end good will come from it. We do have section 4
Question: Does this duplicity make GAFCON more of a reality.
GAFCON is not trying to split the Anglican Communion. It is trying to witness to what we have always believed. Is the truth of the Anglican Communion more of a reality? Its always important to say the things the gospel has borne witness to for 2000 years. GAFCON has tried to express this for 2000 years. We must bear witness to the things that we have always believed. We must overcome anything that is evil that is good.
Had this been GAFCON we would not have wasted all this time. When we think of the time spent – we were not of one mind. Jolly asked have we really prayed, is the devil attacking us? They suggested we were on the wrong side of God. How can you work together if you are not together in spirit. It is important for people to be of one spirit and mind to address issues.
I am really very angry over what is happening, it sounds very childish what is happening today. Have we the time to spend on all this?
On litigation – when two people have a disagreement – every one should take three steps back. But TEC has said no – that they will continue on other moratoria but on litigation we will continue to eject you. There were two resolutions presented to the house. Resolution A – passing the covenant without 4. And B sending the covenant to provinces.
One would expect that after Resolution A was defeated, contrary to all known rules, amendments came in from all angles. The amendment brought back by the ABC was brought back to include resolution A hitherto rejected.
We may as well have gone to the Archbishop of Canterbury and asked him what do you want. We have gathered here – at great cost – but why not go to Lambeth and ask him. The chair was taking the direction from the observations of the ABC.
The whole thing was not fair.
George Conger: The ABC was upset at what transpired. How might we go forward?
The ABC should be in our prayers every day,. He was very solid and clear in what he said. He was so clear behind the covenant to keep the unity, keep the ecumenical relations, to move the Anglican Communion forward into its mission. What we need to pray for the ABC is for wisdom, grace and good advisers around him. We should not let anger stop us from fulfilling God’s mission. Sometimes we give attention to a dispute to distract us.
The time has come not to waste any more time. Let the people who are truly Anglican and love the Lord, come together and walk forward. That is God’s church, he promised the gates of hades will never prevail against it. I want to partner with Bishop Bill – I do not want to be distracted any more.
Question. When is it long enough?
I would like us to have moved on today So we have to readjust. When anything goes wrong – God has a perfect plan. But starting from now God has a perfect plan. Now it is costing me to adjust. I must adjust to the new perfect plan God has for the Anglican Communion. That is where we start from.
We must not be distracted by evil, we must love the church. We must love those on the other side.
From the words of ABC himself – all his words were positive. In the discernment group he was supportive. I see him now as a very weak leader who could not come forth to steady the ship. What would have it cost him to stand up, and say please brethren this way will not take us anywhere? This is the last thing he will do.
Resolution A was defeated. The house was taking direction from what the ABC said. If the ABC had not spoken, the chair picked up what the ABC said and delegates were left confused about what they wanted and the direction the ABC was leading the debate,. The way the chair took it was to bring back A.
There was a language confusion. Confused regarding language. We did not know when the defeated clauses were brought back. We did not understand what was being said .
At max we get 90 and 95% of tings 0- so we miss 5%.
I am aware of God’ s timing. I am very disappinted. I will not let this stop me doing Gods mission. But I am not going to go on mission now as the Anglican Communion. We will go on our own way. Right now the mission is delayed. There will be separation.
Time is on the side of TEC. The truthful and faithful people are the ones who will last. The people who really brought lots of heresies in Alexandria disappeared. The orthodox church that was established on the truth and the scripture remained today. Time is on our side,
Question to Bishop Bill Godfrey. What were you and the Presiding Bishop planning in jointly supporting a listening process for the care of orthodox.
For some reason godly men who care about the church and the integrity of a jurisdiction – Kenya, Rwanda, and the discipline of the church – are crossing boundaries – why? All I said to the Presiding Bishop is that they need to be given a chance to say why they had to break the fundamental understandings or rules of the church. We need to hear the stories of the USA. I said to Katharine Jefferts Schori “ You have asked us to listen to the stories of gay and lesbian people. If you asking the other side to beep their moratorium, we need to listen to what they are saying. They are thinking they are crossing boundaries because gthey are bloody minded.
I said to KJS – I am asking you to help me to establish a Listening Project to hear the voices coming from the USA. She said she would support me. ABC feels it will be covered by the Pastoral Visitors. I hope it is the case – this issue will never be resolved till we start listening to those who are suffering. We need to preach to the people who are causing the suffering. We need to start speaking to the people who are nor reading our blogs. Their Archbishops are not just crazy guys, they are genuinely trying to respond to need.
If we are going to have to have reconciliation we are going to have to talk. KJS says she will listen to me and give a voice to them. We have to approach this in a different way. I wish I had not backed off from my suggestion when the ABC said it was covered by the Pastoral Visitos.
Whole thing died when ABC said – it was proposed by a gentleman of TEC.
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