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CANA latest: PB writes to Akinola

Updated Thursday
Archbishop Akinola has responded to this letter. Scroll down for more detail.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has written to Nigerian Primate Peter J. Akinola asking him to reconsider plans to install Martyn Minns as a bishop in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), an action she says “would violate the ancient customs of the church” and would “not help the efforts of reconciliation.”

Read the Episcopal News Service article, Presiding Bishop urges Nigerian Primate to reconsider plans to install bishop.

The full text of her letter:

My dear Archbishop Akinola:

I am writing this letter with my prayers for you and for the entire worldwide Anglican Communion from a fellow child of Christ.

I understand from press reports you are planning to come to the United States to install Martyn Minns as a bishop in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. I strongly urge you not to do so.

First, such action would violate the ancient customs of the church which limits the episcopal activity of a bishop to only the jurisdiction to which the bishop has been entrusted, unless canonical permission has been given. Second, such action would not help the efforts of reconciliation that are taking place in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion as a whole. Third, such action would display to the world division and disunity that are not part of the mind of Christ, which we must strive to display to all.

I would carefully ask that you reconsider your plans to come to this country for this purpose. This request stems from the hope and vision of reconciliation which was the mind of the primates as we met in Tanzania.

Your servant in Christ,

Katharine Jefferts Schori

Thursday Update
Archbishop Akinola has replied, and the original can be found on the Nigerian provincial website:

My dear Presiding Bishop:

My attention has been drawn to your letter of April 30th ostensibly written to me but published on the Episcopal News Service website.

In light of the concerns that you raise it might be helpful to be reminded of the actions and decisions that have led to our current predicament.

At the emergency meeting of the Primates in October 2003 it was made clear that the proposed actions of the Episcopal Church would “tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level, and may lead to further division on this and further issues …” Sadly, this proved to be true as many provinces did proceed to declare broken or impaired communion with the Episcopal Church. Since that time the Primates have established task forces, held numerous meetings and issued a variety of statements and communiqués but the brokenness remains, our Provinces are divided, and so the usual protocol and permissions are no longer applicable.

You will also recall from our meeting in Dar es Salaam that there was specific discussion about CANA and recognition – expressed in the Communiqué itself – of the important role that it plays in the context of the present division within your Province. CANA was established as a Convocation of the Church of Nigeria, and therefore a constituent part of the Communion, to provide a safe place for those who wish to remain faithful Anglicans but can no longer do so within The Episcopal Church as it is currently being led. The response for your own House of Bishops to the carefully written and unanimously approved Pastoral Scheme in the Communiqué makes it clear that such pastoral protection is even more necessary.

It is my heartfelt desire – and indeed the expressed hope of all the Primates of the Communion – that The Episcopal Church will reconsider its actions – and make such special measures no longer necessary. This is the only way forward for full restoration into fellowship with the rest of the Communion. Further, I renew the pledge that I made to your predecessor, Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, that the Church of Nigeria will be the first to restore communion on the day that your Province abandons its current unbiblical agenda. Until then we have no other choice than to offer our assistance and oversight to our people and all those who will not compromise the “faith once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 1:3)

You speak in your letter of centuries old custom regarding diocesan boundaries. You are, of course, aware that the particular historical situation to which you make reference was intended to protect the church from false teaching not to prevent those who hold to the traditional teaching of the church from receiving faithful episcopal care. It was also a time when the Church had yet to face into the challenge of different denominational expressions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I also find it curious that you are appealing to the ancient customs of the church when it is your own Province’s deliberate rejection of the biblical and historic teaching of the Church that has prompted our current crisis.

You mention the call to reconciliation. As you well know this is a call that I wholeheartedly embrace and indeed was a major theme of our time in Tanzania. You will also remember that one of the key elements of our discussion and the resulting Communiqué was the importance of resolving our current differences without resorting to civil law suits. You agreed to this. Yet it is my understanding that you are still continuing your own punitive legal actions against a number of CANA clergy and congregations. I fail to see how this is consistent with your own claim to be working towards reconciliation.

Once again please know that I look forward to the day when this current crisis is behind us and we can all be reunited around our One Lord and only Saviour Jesus the Christ. Until then be assured of my prayers for you and The Episcopal Church.

In Christ,

SIGNED

The Most Revd. Peter J Akinola, CON, DD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria.

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Weiwen Ng
Guest

Akinola doesn’t see the Episcopal Church as a legitimate church, and he sees it as more important to oppose homosexuality than to respect provincial and diocesan boundaries. I don’t expect him to listen to KJS, and I doubt she really expects him to do the same. But of course, the letter had to be sent.

Awdry Ely
Guest

I don’t agree with Archbishop Akinola. But I think a lot of people do. Actually, I’m a little fed up about the adversorial tone and approach developing in some parts of the Anglican Communion. I know some like it. I don’t. This attitude either demonises Archbishop Akinola, or demonises the Episcopal Church of the United States. Time magazine wrote this about Archbishop Akinola: ‘Akinola personifies the epochal change in the Christian church, namely that the leadership, influence, growth and center of gravity in Christianity is shifting from the northern hemisphere to the southern. New African, Asian and Latin American church… Read more »

James Crocker
Guest
James Crocker

It’s a bit comical really. PB KJS appeals to Akinola on the basis of canons which died at the time of the Great Schism, and on the basis of efforts towards reconciliation which were firmly rejected by the bishops whom she is supposed to lead.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

As I have stated elsewhere, ++Peter Jasper Akinola is a “law unto himself” accountable to no one but himself. Do we expect any other kind of behavior from him?

I am proud of TEC’s HoB for standing up to bullies and psychopaths, whereas spineless ++Rowan Cantuar panders to them.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Well, first she invited him to talk with her while he was here. Now she appeals to him on sound and solid grounds. As we sometimes say in the south, ain’t no flies on ++KJS.

Would the ABC have a word on this? Or is he too busy planning his next book and his sabbatical?

NP
Guest
NP

Part of the Tanzania communique is that TEC must return (unequivocally)to walk with the AC in real unity and fellowship if it wants faithful Anglicans to stop organising outside TEC structures within the US

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I do not think rapproachement is needed with Akinola and his ilk – unless they abandon their prejudice, then separation is by far the beter option

Cheryl Clough
Guest

She would make either a Muslim or a Klingon proud. Always give warning and a chance at repentence before the point of no return is reached.

May God bless her and all those who understand honor and loyalty to God before idolatrous empire building and wanting to hasten God’s judgment. (Isaiah 5:18-24)

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

“would violate the ancient customs of the church”

Which in the case of sexually active homosexual bishops were for them to be promptly excommunicated — which she will do as a sign of her strong adherence to the said ancient customs.

yeah right!

kieran crichton
Guest
kieran crichton

What poppycock, NP. How does the Tanzania communique support what Akinola is doing? On what genuine grounds can his action be justified? If he proceeds in the proposed action, then TEC would be completely right to begin to demand that the Nigerians be expelled from the WWAC, or disciplined severely at the very least. They could appropriate the whole rhetoric we have been used to from Duncan et al, with the added force of really having the money that does stuff. Oh, and a clear instance of a deliberate, even flagrant, violation of an important statement that has been made… Read more »

counterlight
Guest
counterlight

This is an act of hostility aimed at the whole Episcopal Church from the Presiding Bishop to the pew sitter. If Canterbury keeps his silence after this, or continues to read from the script provided him by ++Akinola and the IRD, then it’s time to consecrate Episcopal missionary bishops in Abuja and London.

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

NP -No kidding? The Communique was and has always been a set up to give the GS permission to invade, divide and supplant TEC. Why do you think the reasserters are so happy with it. Glad you are finally catching on. But in case you still don’t quite get the big picture here – EVERYONE KNOWS that TEC is not going to repent of its position on gays. EVERYONE KNOWS that even prior to Lambeth’98 conservatives and GS Primates have been planning and orchestrating a wedge issue to divide TEC (and if need be the AC). EVERYONE KNOWS it was… Read more »

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

So in other words, NP, TEC must depose Schori, all women and gay bishops, renounce same-sex blessings and gay rights, and renounce theological liberalism?

In other words, back to the “Republican Party at prayer”? And I mean the contemporary Republican Party.

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Part of the Tanzania communique is that TEC must return (unequivocally)to walk with the AC in real unity and fellowship if it wants faithful Anglicans to stop organising outside TEC structures within the US NP, I’ve had an excellent idea. In order to conserve electrons, and until you come up with a new argument, just post by numbers – you know ‘number 27’ = Windsor only makes demands of TEC or ‘number 14’ = Cultural conditioning is a liberal tool of Satanic sort except when it gets me and my preferences off the hook, and epsecially ‘number 9’ = only… Read more »

Steven
Guest
Steven

I’m with James Crocker. This is Bizarre. Totally bizarre. KJS appeals personally and/or as PB of TEC on the basis of: (1) the ancient customs of the Church–which she and TEC have held in disdain and dismissed in order to go their own way on sexuality issues. (2) the fact that it would not help efforts at reconcilliation–all of which she and TEC have adamantly rejected in order to go their own way on sexuality issues. (3) the fact that the disunity of the Church is thereby openly displayed to the world–as if this ever stopped her or TEC before… Read more »

David H.
Guest

Ah yes, “NP” – the Windsor Report and the Dar es Salaam Communiqué only apply to TEC, never to any, other part of the AC… esp. never to any part of the AC which is fanning the flames of issues with which you agree, eh ?

We’ve heard this tired, old excuse too many times before, and as we say in the South – that dog don’t hunt. You’re going to have to do better than that.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“How can we who are everyday laity encourage some form of rapprochement?” By demanding that the bishops of the Church actually obey their ordination vows to be to the flock of Christ shepherds, not wolves. This means actually behaving like Christians, not taking actions that are known to be seen as provocative by people on the other side of the planet, by not scheming and plotting, by not engaging in the behaviour we see on both sides, by demanding that they be bishops and not self appointed liberators of those they define as downtrodden or zealous fighters for their own… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

Actually, I haven’t a problem if ++Akinola if he: 1. Uses property outside of the Episcopal Church for his consecration, which he is planning to do so. 2. All further uses of this group’s gathering with +Minns (as Bishop) are not trespassing on TEC grounds. 3. That this group may call itself anything but the Anglican presence in the U.S. That Minns+ is setting himself up as a metropolitan of the Church of Nigeria in the U.S. is evident, we’ll see how much of a following he has and gains. We already have a half dozen non-official denominations here in… Read more »

Caliban
Guest
Caliban

Audry Ely – I think you may be confusing ‘rapprochement’ with ‘appaisement’. I can see KJS now: “I have in my hand an agreement signed by Archbishop Akinola…”

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Perfect solution to NP, Mynsterpreost. Thank you.

JPM
Guest
JPM

>>>back to the “Republican Party at prayer”?

That’s the point of the whole thing. Only the dupes really believe that this has anything to do with sex or Scripture or whatever.

It’s about the radical right in the U.S. making the mainline churches wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Republican Party, as it has already done to the evangelicals.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

In his insufferable arrogance, ++Peter Abuja had his GS change the preamble of the C of N’s Constitution, re-defining Anglicanism in terms of adherence to the 1662 Prayer Book and the Articles of Religion rather than in terms of Communion with the See of St. Augustine, Canterbury. I recommend that serious inquirers read Fr. Tobias Haller’s reflections on the proposed Anglican Covenant on the latter’s Website (In A Godward Direction). Fr. Haller points out that border-crossings, such as contemplated for May 5 by ++Peter Jasper, violate the very Preface to the 1662 Prayer Book and the Articles of Religion. Once… Read more »

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

To quote Fr. Tobias Haller on the Proposed Anglican Covenant: “But the original 1662 book contained, as a necessary step to ordination the swearing of an Oath which said in part: ‘…I do declare that no foreign Prince, Person, Prelate, State, or Potentate hath, or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority, Ecclesiastical or Spiritual, within this Realm. So help me God.’ This ecclesiastical independence is a formative element in the creation of the Church of England, and of The Episcopal Church, whose ecclesiastical independence from its Mother Church was seen as natural and necessary at the… Read more »

Charles
Guest
Charles

Poor Martyn. He has wanted to be a Bishop for years. How many elections has he been in? I’ve lost count. So he finally finds a place that will make him a Bishop. Poor Martyn. At General Convention, his wife Angela told me, after the vote on the Windsor response resolution “the Bishops just want to have their tea Party with the Queen.” And now the Queen is in Richmond this week, so he has to have his celebration at an I-95 rent-a-chapel. Poor Martyn. He was given the reins of a healthy church from John Howell and now he… Read more »

JPM
Guest
JPM

John, while we are on the subject of Pope Akinola I’s arrogance, let’s not overlook this quote from His Holiness:

We are Anglicans. They are the Church of England.

Kinda says it all, doesn’t it.

Sometimes the man truly embarrasses me with his humility.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

“This is an act of hostility aimed at the whole Episcopal Church from the Presiding Bishop to the pew sitter. If Canterbury keeps his silence after this, or continues to read from the script provided him by ++Akinola and the IRD, then it’s time to consecrate Episcopal missionary bishops in Abuja and London.” – Counterlight I really don’t think that it would be appropriate to consecrate (American) Episcopal Church bishops in London, as most of the Church of England will ultimately reject the fundamentalists who are trying for a putsch in the Anglican Communion. There are far more friends of… Read more »

Nick Finke
Guest
Nick Finke

The problem is not so much that Akinola is coming here as it is that people here are inviting him to come. While the Primate of Nigeria seems unlikely to win any prizes for consideration of the rights of others, he is nowhere near as culpable in this unfortunate situation as those in this country who seek to use him to do serious harm to TEC and institutions like it.

NP
Guest
NP

Quite easy to respond to you, Mynster: – let liberal response 1 be “it’s not what I want to do so I interpret the bible to mean the opposite to what it says”; -and let liberal response 2 be “it’s a bronze age book, let’s follow the liberal state rather than the bible – but still do religious ceremonies”. (just playing your game) Kieran – what you call “poppycock” is actually true. The reason CANA has not been stopped is that there is a problem to deal with in the form of the current leadership of TEC. Tanzania was a… Read more »

Tunde
Guest
Tunde

Abp. Akinola’s response is on

http://www.anglican-nig.org/response2KJSmay2007.htm

‘Tunde

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

NP: “Because liberals have never had the guts to go it alone as they would be such a small denomination? Because some people hope that the AC will cave in ultimately because TEC has inherited some money and might be able to buy AC acquiescence to its “innovations”? Happily, most of the poorest churches do not appear to be susceptible to being bought.” Yes, Colorado Springs, Fairfax and Falls Church are certainly stellar examples of poverty stricken parishes. It’s not case of the poor being beyond co-option, it is as Nick Finke stated as [the wealthy] who seek to use… Read more »

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

Akinola’s response provides no surprises, accept to confirm everything we already knew. The concept of border-crossings to him is meaningless – never mind that both the Communique and the WR talked about them being improper even in the present situation. So, take not AC, nothing is going to stop him. He also has dispensed with the illusion that CANA is a mission – no where is that term used any longer. He’s building an alternative province for himself for certain, and for the rest of the AC if he can swing it.

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

“CANA would love to cease to exist if a faithful AC church existed in the US. I hope to see it merge into “ACUSA” next year together with the “Windsor bishops” and the Network. All of these groups walk, talk and look like Anglicans – to the AC if not to TEC” What an absurd statement. A faithful church *does* exist in the US. It is called The Episcopal Church and any accusation of apostacy is mendacious. The problem for the conservatives is that they aren’t in control. Since they aren’t in control, TEC must be torn down. It is… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“How sad, to build a church with hate as the motivation.” Indeed.

Reminds me of the old story of the man who had been shipwrecked on an otherwise uninhabited island for some years – when rescuers came ashore, they saw two huts wit crosses on the roof. They asked the guy – what’s that building there? “That’s my church!” He said. “Well what’s the one a little ways away?” “That’s the church I used to go to.”

Columba Gilliss
Guest
Columba Gilliss

Thanks to John Henry for the 1662 Prayerbook quote and to Nick Fink for his contribution to this discussion. I’d somehow missed the fact that A & M have set their drama to coincide with ER II’s visit.
Those who say they want reconciliation while demanding that others conform to their standards remind me of self-righteous bullies. I don’t hear anyone in TEC making demands of Nigeria. Do you?
Anyway, keep the Paschal candles burning and ignore the secular press if you can.
Columba Gilliss

Robert
Guest
Robert

Tunde: Akinola seems to enjoy press coverage. Here is some in Virginia that you may wish to bring to his attention: Falls Church Press “Anything But Straight: Nigeria’s Frequent Flyer” http://www.fcnp.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1207&Itemid=35

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

Guess I’ll have to save my comments on Akinola’s reply for Mad Priest’s site – he publishes that sort of language.

choirboyfromhell
Guest
choirboyfromhell

In an earlier letter I referred to this week’s upcoming visitation activity of ++Akinola as a “consecration” of +Minns. This was in error, as it should have been stated as an installation.

My apologies.

EPfizH
Guest
EPfizH

This is an article with an interesting take on things from the Washington Times http://washingtontimes.com/national/20070502-112506-1228r.htm In digest: Despite a general invitation to CANA-affiliated parishes in Virginia plus about 200 invitations to out-of-town church officials, most conservative Episcopal leaders are avoiding the rite.     A phone survey of 10 Episcopal dioceses that belong to the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) — a confederation that opposes the Robinson consecration — revealed that only its moderator, Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, plans to attend. Bishop Don Harvey, moderator of the Anglican Network of Canada, has also accepted.     But Central Florida Bishop John Howe, also a conservative… Read more »

badman
Guest
badman

The body of the Tanzania Communique does not say that law suits should stop. This reference comes from the annexes. The suggestion that legal actions should be “suspended” (which is not, in fact, procedurally possible, and so was a dead letter from the start) was coupled with a requirement that assurances be given “that no steps will be taken to alienate property from The Episcopal Church without its consent or to deny the use of that property to those congregations”. Neither CANA nor the CANA parishes have given any such assurance. On the other hand, I can understand why CANA… Read more »

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

Duncan’s going a bit far out on the limb, there.

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Re the recurring theme of some posters that TEC is hypocritical in citing the ancient custom and practice of the Church against boundary-crossings, while The Current Unpleasantries arose in the first place because of TEC (allegedly) disregarding the Church’s ancient custom and practice regarding homosexual conduct: The boundary crossings matter was dealt with by an Ecumenical Council. (Nicea) Show me an Ecumenical Council that deals with the proper interpretation of the biblical passages that get trotted out against homosexuality, and we may have something to talk about. (And kindly don’t fall back on circular reasoning by asserting that these passages’… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

“The suggestion that legal actions should be “suspended” (which is not, in fact, procedurally possible, and so was a dead letter from the start)…” This is a very important point. +++Rowan et al. are clearly not US attorneys, or else they would have realized that “suspending” actions at law will often not lead simply to maintaining the status quo in a holding pattern (which in context is what they meant by “suspending”). Rather, suspending certain legal actions, especially where there is a statute of limitations, or where (as in real property matters) non-acquiescence to the other party’s actions must be… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

“Duncan’s going a bit far out on the limb, there.”—lapinbizarre

Indeed. Perhaps we can saw it off for him.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP,
I’m getting really really bored of this rubbish.

Please go back through the archives and document precisely where anyone has actually EVER said that “Don’t means Do” and that the bible is a “bronze age book and therefore to be ignored”.

I shall be very surprised if you come up with a single reference.

JCF
Guest
JCF

++Akinola seems to have a letter/press-release generator, doesn’t he? It just spews out the Standard Talking Points. But let’s look closer: “our current predicament” “2003” “the Episcopal Church would “tear the fabric of our Communion” “the brokenness remains, our Provinces are divided” “the usual protocol and permissions are no longer applicable” “those who wish to remain faithful Anglicans but can no longer do so within The Episcopal Church” “as it is currently being led” [euphemism, in the passive, for “You, apostate You!”] “such pastoral protection is even more necessary” “the only way forward for full restoration into fellowship with the… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

(conclusion) “I also find it curious that you are appealing to the ancient customs of the church when it is your own Province’s deliberate rejection of the biblical and historic teaching of the Church that has prompted our current crisis.” [You, apostate You!] “the call to reconciliation. As you well know this is a call that I wholeheartedly embrace” [Reconciliation = “submission”. Funny, Pete, you’ll find Rome seeks “reconciliation” w/ *you*, on EXACTLY the same terms. How’s that sit wit’ ya?] “you are still continuing your own punitive legal actions against a number of CANA clergy and congregations” [We, acting… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

++ Akinola wrote: “the brokenness remains, our Provinces are divided”
“the usual protocol and permissions are no longer applicable”

Or in one word: You made me do it!

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

If the PBs letter to Akinola deserved its own heading and post, then Akinola’s reply (which has substance and is important) certainly does.

To relegate it to a addendum position is to reveal your bias, and does your readers a significant disservice.

NP
Guest
NP

Erika – YOU said it was a “bronze age book” on a thread no longer visible, a couple of weeks ago! “Don’t means do”….if you read St Paul’s letters to Timothy (for one example), you will see that TEC is reading what St Paul says re who is not fit to be a leader in the church in exactly this upside down (disobedient) way…..this is why the AC is not accepting TEC’s innovations (in case you are not sure why we have had Dromatine, TWR and Tanzania, it is because of TEC risking its place in the AC for VGR… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

NP, Of course it’s “bronze age” in terms of historical timing. So? Go back through the archives and show me where I said it was a bronze age book AND THEREFORE TO BE DISREGARDED. As you’re accusing the liberals, and by extension many of us here on TA, you will really have to show me an actual quote where anyone said that Don’t means Do. I don’t want your interpretation on what people say, I want you, just for once, to provide evidence for the slander you keep coming up with. A real, verifyable quote would be very helpful. The… Read more »