GAFCON: The Canterbury Communion is Broken

GAFCON Chairman 

“The Canterbury Communion is Broken”

The Rt Revd Foley Beach, Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America and Chairman of the GAFCON provinces has written clearly about the events that took place at the recent Lambeth Conference.

In a letter to the GAFCON provinces and churches, he pulled no punches when he wrote: 

“I am writing to you regarding last week’s Lambeth Conference as this is on the minds of many Anglicans around the world. Over the last couple of decades, Lambeth Conference organizers and events like these have routinely mixed heresy and orthodoxy; treating both positions as equally valid. The clear teaching of Scripture is treated as one of many valid options with no accountability for those Provinces who depart from the Bible. I wish I could be writing to you and sharing that the recent Lambeth Conference was different, but it was not. Before the Lambeth Conference, Archbishop Henry Ndukuba (Nigeria), Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba (Uganda) and Archbishop Laurent Mbanda (Rwanda) wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury that they were not attending the Conference “because the Anglican Communion has failed to address with remorse and repentance the issues that necessitated their absence at the 2008 Lambeth Conference.” Retired Archbishop Mouneer Anis eloquently named the problem, “The Anglican Communion cannot deal with the brokenness of the world if she herself is broken.” 

“Sadly, rather than being a source of healing and unity, the Lambeth Conference compounded the problems. The Lambeth Conference was filled with confusion, and what that means for global Anglicanism has just begun to be felt. The Canterbury Communion is broken, not just metaphorically, but literally, as those in attendance could not in good conscience all share Holy Communion. The Primates of Brazil, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, North America, Rwanda, and Uganda, and many bishops from all over the Anglican Communion in the GAFCON movement did not attend the Lambeth Conference because to do so would violate their consciences. However, we respected the decision of our brother Primates whose consciences led them to go to Lambeth and contend for the Gospel and the Holy Scriptures. The power of their presence magnified the power of our absence.”

Beach’s words took on more gravity as news broke that the Revd Bernard Randall, a Church of England priest and chaplain was told that his sermon supporting the official position on the Church of England on marriage was a safeguarding issue.