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GAFCON Statement Contains No Explicit Sanctity of Life Endorsement

Despite support for prolife cause, GAFCON statements fall short for Anglicans for Life.

Monday, June 30, 11 a.m.

An brief update on the GAFCON statement and declaration:

Many GAFCON pilgrims are headed home and I met two of them at Ben Gurion airport disappointed that their efforts to include an explicit affirmation of the prolife cause was left off the statement and declaration. In reality, relatively few changes were made to the GAFCON declaration as the rank and file members fed comments to the drafting committee. Efforts to get prolife language were unsuccessful. But Anglican prolife leaders will try again.

Watch for an update on this later today.

Sunday, June 29, 11 a.m

I'm writing as GAFCON pilgrims celebrate their closing Holy Communion. About one hour ago, the GAFCON leader, Archbishop Orombi, read aloud the four page GAFCON statement. The primates who were present publicly signed the document, including: Akinola, Kolini, Nzimbi, Orombi, and Venables. There is space for Primates Akrofi, Mokiwa to sign. They were unable to attend the Sunday signing ceremony.

Go to: www.anglicantv.org later today for video on demand.

After the signing, there was a standing ovation and about 25 minutes of spontaneous singing and African traditional dancing. It was a stunning visual feast. Later, Archbishop Venables will deliver the closing address.

Heads up: Those doubtful that GAFCON is birthing a movement should check out the London event this coming week. On July 1, All Souls Langham Place in London will be hosting a one-day event, reportedly to be attended by 750 Anglican clergy. Archbishops Orombi, Venables, and Jensen are the headliners.

All Souls, where John Stott served as rector for year upon year, is ground zero for evangelical Anglicanism. Since this event in London will occur about two weeks before Lambeth, it means (to me at least) that evangelicals will be game-day ready when the once per decade Lambeth event opens in mid-July on the campus of the University of Kent, in Canterbury. (But ready for what, who knows?)

In the mean time back in the USA, The Episcopal Church has taken another body blow by losing another court round over ownership of church property in Viriginia; and TEC convicted the Episcopal bishop of Penn. for covering up his brother's sexual abuse of a teen-age girl back in the 1970s. Conservatives are happy to see this conviction, but the case has been stalled for years.

Continue reading an earlier dispatch about late night missteps in releasing the GACON statement:

Dispatch: Saturday, July 28

GAFCON Missteps Out of Starting Gate

Embargo breached, GAFCON statement posted hours early on website.

Late Saturday night, near midnight in Jerusalem, the GAFCON press office released a PDF version of the conference statement. It was embargoed until Sunday 8 a.m. in the UK and 10 a.m. in Jeusalem. But within a few minutes, the embargo had been broken, apparently by a so-called "honest mistake."

View the GAFCON Statement here.

Be sure to read the online comments if you are as curious as I was on how this happened.

Well, that was not the only misstep. Less than an hour after the document was released, the leadership team discovered that one final (though small) copy change that a committee of 20 had agreed to had not been included. So GAFCON press officers re-relased it with the corrected language and then they allowed media to question two top (non-Primate) committee members in a background session that lasted until 1 a.m. local time.

Now there's an online fight over cyberspace bragging rights over breaking the embargo! One blog poster says, "Shame on you [embargo breakers] for ruining the final day of the conference."

It's Sunday morning in Jerusalem. Today, there will be a mid-morning worship service, including Holy Communion. Archbishop Venables from Argentina will be preaching. There will be some kind of signing ceremony, followed by lunch and a 2 p.m. local time press conference.

Watch this space for updates later Sunday, June 29.

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