CAPA Primates Meeting Communique
The Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA)
Primates Meeting Communique
9th &10th of March 2015, Claremont, South Africa
1- By God’s Grace, we the Primates of CAPA representing the Provinces of Burundi, Central Africa, Indian Ocean, Southern Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and the Diocese of Egypt, met on the 9th & 10th of March 2015 at Bishopscourt, Claremont, South Africa.
2- We very much appreciated the abundant hospitality provided by the Most Rev. Dr. Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Southern Africa, Mrs. Makgoba and the entire Church of Southern Africa. We were touched by the warm welcome we received H.E. Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, and Ms Hellen Zille, the Premier of the Western Cape. We take to heart their plea for closer collaboration between the church and African Governments as the best way of moving the African agenda forward. We are also grateful to the Staff of Hope Africa, the Staff of the St George Cathedral and the congregations of St Oswalds Church Milnerton and Church of the Resurrection Bontehewel. We were particularly touched that the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu found time to be with us. We had a great opportunity to deepen our fellowship with our brothers and sisters from the Province of Southern Africa. Our time was also enriched by the presence Archbishop Bolly Lapok of South East Asia.
3- We thank God for the time we spent in prayers, fellowship and sharing of our thoughts, joys and challenges. We sought the guidance of the Holy Spirit in every issue we discussed. We also appreciated the gracious spirit of the Chairman of CAPA The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi.
4- We were sad to miss a number of our brother Primates who did not join the meeting either due to visa problems or because of misunderstandings especially in regard to the different ways of governance of our provinces. We, therefore, are convinced that direct communication is important to avoid such misunderstandings and we commit ourselves to this in the future. It is important to be “endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:3
5-We received with thanks the report of CAPA Standing Committee and we gave thanks to God for what has been done during last year especially the Theological Consultation which made a number of strategic recommendations.
6- We discussed our priorities in view of the challenges the church faces in our continent. These are: Evangelism, Discipleship, Mission, and Theological Education, Safeguarding the Family Institution, Economic Empowerment, Peace Building and Interfaith relations. Four different commissions are going to be formed in order to work out our priorities.
7- We are deeply concerned about the divisions within our beloved Anglican Communion. These divisions emerged when some Churches in the west allowed the worldly cultures, to reshape the message of church to the society especially in the area of marriage and human sexuality. These issues not only contradict the traditional teaching of the scripture but also impede our witness to the Gospel which is the reason of our presence in this world. We believe that the church is entrusted with the message of Gospel in order to transform the culture not the other way around. We do accept diversity but not diversity on the expense of the truth. Therefore we call upon these churches to refrain from making unilateral decisions which will further the divisions between the provinces of the Anglican Communion.
8-We, by God’s Grace, continue to uphold the traditional biblical teaching in regard to human sexuality and marriage and affirm Lambeth Resolution 1:10 in its entirety. We believe that this is the only way to safeguard the life of the Christian families and we should resist the pressures of the secular western cultures to alter God’s purpose in creating Man and woman.
9- We extend our support for the Archbishop of Canterbury in His efforts to bring restoration to our Communion. We affirm the necessity of the Primates meeting, however we emphasize the importance of following through the recommendations of the previous Primates meetings.
10- We pray so that God may keep us faithful to Him and His Gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit. We also pray for the unity of His church in this broken world.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2
The Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi