Top Anglican condemns forgery allegations as 'scurrilous' and 'untrue'

Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon

A leading Anglican official has condemned allegations of forgery around a meeting of Anglican leaders in Africa as "scurrilous", "untrue" and "against all biblical principles of appropriate behaviour".

Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, spoke out after the Archbishop of Kenya criticised delegates from the Anglican Church of Kenya for attending an Anglican meeting in Zambia this week. 

Archbishop Idowu-Fearon said in a statement: "The unsubstantiated public allegations of forgery against the members of the Kenyan delegation are scurrilous and untrue and are made in a manner against all biblical principles of appropriate behaviour."

Archbishop of Kenya Eliud Wabukala had said that a letter stating the Kenya delegates would attend the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Zambia was a forgery. In fact the Kenya delegates are at the Lusaka meeting, although the Anglican provinces of Nigeria, Uganda and Jerusalem and the Middle East have boycotted it in protest at the presence of the US Episcopal Church. 

Archbishop Idowu Fearon said it was a "false impression" that the Episcopal Church delegates were in Lusaka in defiance of the will of the Primates who spelled out "consequences" at their meeting in January over the US decision to back gay marriage.

He said: "The Archbishop of Canterbury has fulfilled his responsibilities and asked those members of interfaith or ecumenical bodies who are from TEC and whose appointment he controls, to stand down, and they have done so."

"He also said that an Episcopal Church representative whose attendance at the Lusaka meeting been commented on as breaching the decision of the Primates, was elected to the standing committee several years before the Primates' meeting.  This person could not be removed "without legal cause".

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: "As Archbishop of Canterbury I have acted on the Primates' decision in those areas for which I have responsibility. It is both my and the Primates' desire, hope and prayer that the Anglican Consultative Council should also share in working through the consequences of our impaired relationships."