African Anglican Council Calls for Unity
- October 1, 2003
CAPA council closes with calls for greater ties
[ACNS source: Council of the Anglican Provinces of Africa] The ninth
session of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) council
meeting ended over the weekend in Nairobi, Kenya with a strong call
for unity in the Anglican Church.
Newly elected CAPA Chairman, the Most Revd Peter Akinola, said there
were no internal rifts in the church in Africa, adding that the stand
of the church on issues of human sexuality was guided by biblical
teaching and the Lambeth resolutions of 1998.
"The point is that we as the Anglican Church in Africa will continue
to uphold biblical teaching on human sexuality, marriage and the
family," Archbishop Akinola told an international news conference
after his unanimous election.
Outgoing CAPA Chairman, Archbishop Robert Okine of West Africa
expressed joy at the growth of the continental body saying its
response to the needs and challenges affecting over 40 million
Anglicans in Africa was commendable.
Over 50 delegates, including African primates, bishops, clergy, laity
and partners, attended the two-day conference, which is the highest
decision-making organ of the council and meets every four years.
In his address to the council, Trinity Grants Program Deputy for
Grants, the Revd James Callaway, said his ministry would continue to
partner with provinces and dioceses regardless of their views in the
ongoing sexuality debate.
"We do not believe we have to see eye to eye with you on every issue
to work with you around common mission concerns," he told the
"More concisely stated: You don't have to agree with us to be eligible
for a Trinity grant. This has been our policy in the past, it is our
policy now, and it will remain our policy," he said.
While dispelling concerns that provinces and dioceses which express
their views on sexuality will be penalised, James Callaway encouraged
discussions but noted that they should be done within the bounds of
The council meeting resolved to enhance interfaith relations and work
together with other faith communities to bring lasting peace in war
torn areas in Africa. The council will also continue to prioritise
HIV/AIDS and information sharing among the Anglican churches in
Africa to build stronger communities of faith and support.
Delegates also attended a colourful dedication service of CAPA House,
which is accommodating the CAPA secretariat. Funds to purchase the
building were provided generously by the United Thank Offering (UTO)
of the Episcopal Church of the United States.
UTO Co-ordinator JoAnne Chapman, who was present at the ceremony, said
her organisation was thrilled to be part of such a major
accomplishment in the history of the Anglican Church in Africa. Ms
Chapman and outgoing CAPA Chairman, the Most Revd Robert Okine, cut a
ribbon and unveiled a plaque to mark the official opening of the
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