GAFCON responds to South Sudan consecration of woman bishop

Feb 9, 2018 by

by George Conger, Anglican Ink:

The appointment of Elizabeth Awut as Assistant Bishop of Rumbek was a “wartime expediency” akin to the consecration of Florence Li Tim-Oi in Hong Kong during the Second World War, and not a change in church discipline authorized by the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, Anglican Ink has learned.

A senior member of GAFCON, who asked not to named as he was not authorized to speak on behalf of the primates, said the archbishops of the Anglican reform movement learned of the 31 December 2016 consecration in April 2017 from the Primate of South Sudan, the Most Rev. Daniel Deng.

Archbishop Deng said he consecrated Bishop Elizabeth as many of the male priests in the Diocese of Rumbek, which has been in the front lines of the South Sudan civil war and border conflict with the Khartoum government in Sudan, were dead or in exile. She was the best available candidate in the circumstances, Archbishop Deng told the other archbishops.

However, in an interview with Good News Radio, a Sudanese Catholic station, Archbishop Deng stated he had long hoped to be able to appoint a woman as bishop and was pleased with the innovation.

AI was told the news of the appointment, which came during a the primates’ spring meeting, which among other issues dissussed the self-imposed moratorium on women bishops adopted by the GAFCON provinces, took the other church leaders aback.

GAFCON declined to make a public statement about the consecration due to the “anomalous” nature of the event. The individual archbishops, however, were free to share this information as they sought fit — however, details of the consecration and the name of the bishop only surfaced in rumors within international Anglican circles this past year.

Read here

Read also: A Statement on the Consecration of a Female Bishop in South Sudan, from GAFCON


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