I commented a while ago on Most Rev Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, having fiercely condemned the divisive conservative movement in the Communion. He just did it again.
In a post for the Anglican News Service entitled “The ties that bind our Anglican Communion family”, he flatly contradicts a statement by Abp Nicholas Okoh, Chairman of GAFCON and Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Idowu-Fearon’s homeland. Responding to Adp Okoh’s statement that “the Anglican Communion is not determined simply by relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury”, Bp Idowu-Fearon replies, “the relationship with the See of Canterbury is essential for Anglicans. You cannot be in the Anglican Communion without it.” Then, in regard to Abp Nicholas Okoh’s particular comment “we recognise AMiE as fully part of the Anglican Communion”, Bp Idowu-Fearon explicitly names both the Anglican Mission in England (AMiE), and the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) in saying, “it’s not correct to say that they are part of the Anglican Communion if they are not in communion with the See of Canterbury.”
To put that in slightly more lay-accessible terms, they are drawing battle lines: GAFCON are claiming the right not merely to be in relationship with AMiE but to identify who is in the Communion; the Anglican Communion Secretariat is rejecting that claim. As a political analogy, it is rather like GAFCON have just announced that Taiwan, not the PRC, is the “real China” and should hold the Chinese seat in the UN.
Meanwhile, the Anglican Mainstream, Christian Conservative Daily, and Christian Today have all run the same story on it, under the title “Anglican Communion head slaps down rebel bishops”. Somehow, I cannot see GAFCON appreciating being called “rebels”.