Why GAFCON 2?

By Andrew Symes, Church of England Newspaper

Historian and social commentator Philip Jenkins wrote this in 2006:
“Christian denominations worldwide have been deeply divided over issues of…sexual morality…these debates illustrate a sharp global division… controversies grounded in attitudes to authority and, above all, to the…Bible as an inspired text” (The New Faces of Christianity, OUP).
GAFCON 1, in Jerusalem 2008, was a positive expression from one side of this division: a historic gathering of Anglicans from across the world, mostly from the “Global South” but also with a large number from Australia, UK and North America who shared the same historic Bible-based understanding of the Christian faith. This was not just a response to the consecration of Gene Robinson as a Bishop, although that was the main crisis event – it was the persistent failure of the official structures of the worldwide Anglican Communion to deal with the tensions caused by the divergent understandings within Anglicanism of what the Christian faith actually is. The frustrations and humiliations endured by African, Asian and Latin American Primates at the hands of those controlling the central Anglican administration, in particular before GAFCON 1 and the boycott of Lambeth 2008, are detailed in the Latimer House publication “Being Faithful”, which also contains the Jerusalem Declaration and a commentary on it.
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