Friday, December 06, 2013


By Ted Lewis
Special to Virtueonline
December 5, 2013

The second GAFCON (Global Anglican Future Conference), held in Nairobi from October 21 to 26 and following from GAFCON I in Jerusalem in 2008, marked a milestone in the evolution of the Anglican Communion. At it the tradition-oriented Global South churches and their allies in the West decisively defined their position vis-à-vis the liberal churches of West.

In particular, they undertook to act independently of Canterbury and the other instruments of Communion, if need be. GAFCON 2 is likely to affect the Church of England more immediately than the American church. But its actions have major implications for the Anglican Communion as a whole. Specifically, it allowed for a supersession by GAFCON of the present instruments of Communion—the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, and the Primates Meeting in addition to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Further, it pointed to a confessional Communion, one based on common belief rather than recognition by Canterbury. In these ways it significantly furthered the shift in the Communion’s centre of gravity from the West to the Global South. (Note: I was not present at GAFCON 2 but subsequent to it, in Nairobi and also in Britain, I spoke with persons closely involved with it.)

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