Some Reflections on the Global South Primates Meeting

Sep 13, 2017 by

by Canon Phil Ashey, AAC:

Many of you will have read the statement of the Global South Primates Steering Committee from their meeting in Cairo this past weekend. In the swirl of the weekly news cycle, it’s easy to look at this statement as just another murmur from the background of Anglican geopolitics.  I’d like to offer a few thoughts about why their statement should be considered newsworthy.

First, let’s remember that the Global South Primates include the Archbishops or principal Bishop-leaders of the largest Anglican Churches in the world – Nigeria (in terms of real average Sunday attendance in church), Kenya, and Uganda for starters.  They include those leaders of the Gafcon movement – which plants the future of a renewed Anglicanism around a common confession of faith, the Jerusalem Declaration.

But the Global South movement existed before Gafcon, and includes those provinces in that part of the world that have not yet joined Gafcon, like Southeast Asia, but have for many years stood firmly on the authority and clarity of the Bible as the ultimate authority within the councils of the Church. That’s a big deal.  It was the Global South, meeting together in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in 1997 that stood up to the secularization and sexualization of Anglicans in the West who were weakening and ignoring the Bible.  The Kuala Lumpur Statement (1997) reaffirmed the classical Anglican supremacy of Scripture while applying it to matters of human sexuality, and did so with both clarity and compassion.  In so very many ways, the Global South movement paved the way for Gafcon and the Jerusalem Declaration.

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