Missionary bishops’ given go ahead

By on October 1, 2000

Two U.S. priests say they have been authorized to form an Anglican Mission in America under the auspices of the provinces of Rwanda and South East Asia, whose archbishops irregularly consecrated them as “missionary bishops” to the U.S. church in January.

Charles H. Murphy III and John H. Rodgers met recently with Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini (Rwanda) and Yong Ping Chung (SouthEast Asia). Bishop Rodgers reported they had been told to “go ahead full steam” with planting churches “in any part of the U.S.A., no limits.” He cited actions on homosexuality at the Episcopal Church’s July General Convention as the impetus for the two primates’ new mandate.

In a letter, Bishop Rodgers indicated that the two U.S. traditionalist organizations with which he and Bishop Murphy have been associated, First Promise and the Association of Anglican Congregations on Mission, will merge into one movement overseen by the archbishops of South East Asia and Rwanda. AACOM will become Missionary Congregations of South East Asia under Bishop Rodgers’ leadership, and First Promise will be known as Missionary Congregations of Rwanda under Bishop Murphy.

The Rwandan bishops said that they and the Province of South East Asia are “not in communion” with Anglican provinces that do not endorse the 1997 Kuala Lumpur statement on sexuality, including ECUSA. Therefore, they say, sending Bishop Murphy to the United States to do “missionary work” does not contradict Lambeth resolutions on diocesan boundaries.

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