No clear view of the Covenant from the South

A convocation of Primates at Singapore Cathedral

Singapore based The Christian Post has kindly set out the views of the Primates at the recent Global South Encounter concerning the Covenant in an article by Edmond Chua entitled New Power Brokers Discuss Future of Anglicanism.

I make the vote:
Yes 1
No 0
Depends on the Covenant / still negotiate 3
No clear statement 5 and (based on the tone of comments) probably no 2, probably yes 3

It was clear that the Global South leaders do not agree on the matter, despite a statement prior to the meeting that 20 Provinces would be expected to endorse the Covenant.

Archbishop John Chew is in an awkward position. He is now the Chair of the Global South Primates' Steering Committe. And, as a member of the Covenant Design Group, he signed off on the latest version of the Covenant including vesting the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion with powers of implementation.

There may be an interesting question of timing. If the Global South are not confident enough, or know, that they are not strong enough for independence from the western church or, from a different perspective, believe that TEC and ACoC may not sign the Covenant, they have every incentive to wait and see what happens.

I guess also that there's a dance to the tune of 'I'll not sign if you'll not sign with me'.

In summary:
The Rt. Revd. Peter Jasper Akinola, retired, The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
The Covenant as it is currently proposed cannot solve the problem. It is not designed to solve the problem. It is futuristic.
The Most Revd. David Vunagi, Primate, the Province of Melanesia, - need a good Covenant that everyone will honour.

The Most Revd. Bernard Ntahoturi, Primate The Anglican Church of Burundi - Scripture is the first principle we should be following.

The Most Revd. Nicholas D Okoh, Primate,The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion),
It is still something that is evolving. We have not come to the end of it. There is a draft. It’s being studied and I believe that we need to study it thoroughly so that the last mistake will not be worse than the first. What I mean is that if you go into a Covenant and it’s not properly observed, the break that will occasion that will be the effect will be worse than the situation we are in now.
The Most Revd. Ian Earnest, Primate, The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean and Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa
So the Covenant is an important tool that will help us to be accountable to one another and to be faithful to what God calls us to do. ... the Covenant is definitely a binding principle which helps us to see that we don’t hurt each other and that we are true to what God calls us to be.
The Most Revd. Gregory James Venables, Primate, Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America (Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of America) and Chairman of the Primate’s Council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans
Really the Covenant seems to be a way of holding together a marriage which is no longer a marriage.
The Most Revd. Henri Kahwa Isingoma, Primate of the 500,000-strong Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo (The Anglican Church of the Province of Congo)
There is really only one Anglican Communion. It is the North American Churches that have gone far from the roots of our common faith. The Global South is a movement that was started to resist theological liberalism in the Anglican Communion and to uphold orthodoxy. The liberals can go their own way, but we will remain in the Anglican Communion. If they should decide to repent, we are ready to receive them back.
The Most Revd. Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis, Primate of the 30,000-strong The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & The Middle East - a good idea that needs strong implmentation.

The Most Revd. Stephen Thanh Myint Oo, Primate of the 70,000-strong The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma) - Yes.

The Revd. Dr Paul Swarup, Secretary of the Theological Commission of The Church of North India (United) representing the Primate - Scripture is guideline and principle

The Rt. Revd. Howard Gregory, Suffragan Bishop in the Diocese of Jamaica & The Cayman Islands of The Church of the Province of the West Indies representing the Primate - Yes

The Most Rev. Emmanuel Musaba Kolini, Primate of the one million-strong L’Eglise Episcopal au Rwanda - not the best solution to theological crisis

The Rt. Rev. Dr Johannes Seoka, Bishop, Diocese of Pretoria of The Anglican Church of Southern Africa representing the Primate - an inclusive document for those willing to engage and find a common mind.

The Rt. Rev. Stephen Kaziimba, Bishop, Diocese of Mityana of The Church of the Province of Uganda representing the Primate.
The Covenant as it is right now this is just a draft. It seems like more work
should be done on it in order to make it suitable for the Anglican Communion.
But I am sure what is more important right now is to go back to obey the

The Most Revd. Daniel Deng Bul Yak, Primate of the five million-strong The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
But the fear that some people have is even though they may sign it they may not
follow it fully but otherwise the Covenant would be the way out for the crisis
within the Anglican Communion.


  1. Thanks for this useful and encouraging report showing divisions amongst the Global South Primates - good news I fancy for the Anglican Communion.

    But who are they (the Global South Archbishops) anyway? They are a self-appointed group of 130 'leaders' who make preposterous claims to speak for '80 million' Anglicans.

    How do they come to this conclusion? Recent research shows that there is no indication that their priests and people want schism.

    It's just a few well-bribed Equatorial African Archbishops who are claiming to speak for their priests and people in a way that could never happen elsewhere in the Anglican Communion. How much longer the schismatic ACNA monies will last is anyone's guess, but when it runs out things should improve a bit.

  2. These Global South bishops are simply other members of the Anglican Communion...they have no ¨special¨ authority other than to ¨suggest¨ their brand of Anglicanism is more holy and pure...frankly I don´t see that to be true amongst this flock of Province crossing poachers and theives...I wouldn´t trust them with my life or soul...not one of them. Archbishop Tutu ought to have been there invited keynote speaker but alas, this crowd discriminates against ANYONE that has a different point of view...hardly mixed reviews.

  3. Thanks for the useful summary. A close reading of the primates' comments suggests that the Anglican Communion has already fractured. Invest time in relationships? YES! Invest time in designing an organizational structure to bind together what has already split? No, a waste of time, as I suggest in my column, Ethical Musings: Winning battles but losing the war?

  4. Dr Paul Toseland9/5/10

    Peter Akinola is right. The covenant document is designed to hold the Communion together for as long as possible, not to restore its holiness. As the apostle says, "a little leaven leavens the whole lump". The liberals are playing for time.