The age-old Anglican virtue of patience needed to create unity


Archbishop Joshua Idowu-Fearon, the secretary general of the Anglican Communion has just completed  seven-day tour of the church in Aotearoa New Zealand.

He says that on first impression the three tikanga church has modelled an age-old Anglican virtue  of patience; something, he fears, that is in danger of being lost.

He has that impression, he says, because of what took place at the 2016 General Synod.

Idowu-Fearon noted that while the Tikanga Maori and the Tikanga Pasifika both could have asked for the vote to be taken on the issue of same gender blessing they chose to give Tikanga Pakeha – who were themselves stuck, divided and in danger of splitting – more time to find their way forward.

“For me that is the height of patience. That is the height of love and concern. And it is the practical outworking of this concept the Primates came up with in January 2016, that we work together in spite of our differences.”

“There is always a need for patience. And I believe that this province is reminding our Communion that patience is a major characteristic of what it means to be Anglican.”

Idowu-Fearon  is convinced that where same-gender blessing is concerned, Anglicans are called to show a lead in finding a workable answer to that question.

He says Anglicans should earnestly pray that they do not fall into the temptation of schism.

Instead, they should hold fast to the virtue of patience.

“The Americans won’t like this, but can you imagine if they had had leaders like Archbishops Brown and Winston to say: ‘Hang on: Let’s give some time’? They would have won more sympathisers?”

“And you see no matter what we do, there is no way that either the right or the left will ever win. It’s not possible.”

“So our best option, is the Christ option: Be together. Walk together. Checkmate each other.”

“When we’re together, there is no room for arrogance: ‘I don’t need you. I don’t want to know you ’– I haven’t read that in the gospel.

“As one of the new Primates said to me: ‘Jesus walked with the Pharisees, Sadducees and sinners.’

‘Do I have a choice?’ ”

“Or as the Pope has said: ‘Who am I to judge?’ ”


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News category: New Zealand, Top Story.

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