Episcopal News Service Monday, September 25, 2006
Ndungane disavows Global South Communiqué
[Source: Anglican Church of Southern Africa] Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of Cape Town has distanced himself from the communiqué issued last week after a meeting of "Global South" Anglican leaders met in Kigali, Rwanda.
Although 20 Anglican Provinces were represented at the September 19-22 meeting, not all the attendees endorsed the resulting communiqué and Ndungane was unaware of its contents or planned dissemination, he said in a September 24 statement that clarified some details about the four-day meeting.
Ndungane was present at the meeting but was not consulted on the document, he explains, describing parts of it as "not consonant with the position of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa" whose bishops unanimously issued a strong call to work for unity within the Anglican Communion, in early September. In particular, Ndungane dissociates the Southern African Province -- one of 12 Anglican Provinces in Africa -- from proposals to develop alternative church structures in America, and to sideline Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who will become Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in November.
He also chides the group for being "so dominated by an inordinate influence from the United States" rather than learning the lessons of black and liberation theology and black consciousness, in order to concentrate on their own priorities.
In a lengthy statement, Ndungane argues that the "due processes of Anglicanism" should be followed as the Anglican Communion wrestles with its differences over homosexuality. He warns against giving the impression "of being loyal Anglicans only when it suits" and attempting to pre-empt the outcome of the debate within Anglicanism's governing structures.
Ndungane concludes by offering "a plea from the heart" to his fellow church leaders to "hold fast" to the heart of Anglican identity and practice. He calls on them to "step back from the brink" at which the Kigali communiqué appears to place them, saying that to act precipitately puts the essence of Anglicanism at risk.
"We do not have a God who is slow to act," Ndungane says. "We can have confidence to let him lead our church forward."
The full text of the statement is available at: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_78023_ENG_HTM.htm
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