Sunday, 24 September 2006

Njongonkulu Ndungane on the Communiqué

Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane
Statement on the Global South Communiqué
24 September 2006

I thank God for the fellowship I enjoyed with my brother Primates of CAPA and the Global South, in Kigali last week, as we shared concerns about the Anglican Communion and other matters of common interest.

I wish to offer this clarification of the position of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, in light of the potentially misleading impression that our Province has endorsed the Communiqué issued at the end of the meeting. Whereas Canon Livingstone Ngewu and I were present in Kigali, neither of us were made aware even of the possibility of a communiqué in the name of the Primates of the Global South, prior to its release.

While I may well concur with some sections of the text, there are others which are certainly not consonant with the position of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, as articulated only earlier this month by our Synod of Bishops and our Provincial Synod. This is particularly the case in relation to Section 10.

As a general point, I want to comment that whereas I fully endorse the rationale for a body such as the Global South, which can help us address some of the power imbalances between North and South that exist within the Church and more generally, I am surprised that we allow our agenda to be so dominated and driven by an inordinate influence from the United States. This flies in the face of the experience of those of us who are steeped in black and post-colonial theology, the theology of liberation, and black consciousness. It is hard to understand why we continue to act in response to the North to such a great extent, rather than making use of our freedom to concentrate our energies on the priorities of our own people and Provinces.

That said, there is no doubt that the tensions within the Anglican Communion, arising from actions within North America, raise serious and problematic concerns for our future. Yet I am deeply disturbed by the tenor of our approach, as reflected in this communiqué. To me, at least, it appears in places that there is a hidden agenda, to which some of us are not privy. For example, I am unable to understand why there seems to be a deliberate intention to undermine the due processes of the Anglican Communion and the integrity of the Instruments of Unity, while at the same time we commit ourselves to upholding Anglican identity, of which these, as they have continued to evolve over the years in response to changing needs, are an intrinsic part. Thus, for example, recent meetings of the Primates, in which the Global South played a very full part, requested various actions from the Archbishop of Canterbury, which he has been assiduous in pursuing; such as setting up the Lambeth Commission, the Panel of Reference, and now the Covenant Design Group. Yet there seems to be an urgency to obtain particular outcomes in advance, pre-empting the proper outworking of the bodies for which we called.

Patience is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. As Peter writes in his second letter, ‘Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.’ We do not want the best of Anglicanism to be cast aside, and so to perish! And to allow the due processes of these bodies, and the Instruments of Unity, to be followed through will take such a short time in relation to the life of God’s Church over two millennia.

I must also say that I am disturbed by the apparent zeal for action to be taken against those deemed not in compliance with Lambeth Resolution 1:10, with a readiness to disregard ancient norms of observing diocesan autonomy. Though this was upheld within the Windsor Report’s recommendations, it is of course a practice that was adopted in earliest times by the universal church. It was thus ironic that that the feast of Theodore of Tarsus fell during our meeting: as Archbishop of Canterbury, in 673 he summoned one of the most important Synods of our early tradition. In addressing both the rights and duties of clergy and religious, its decisions included the requirement, already acknowledged elsewhere, of bishops to work within their own dioceses and not to intrude on the ministry of others. We are in danger of giving the impression of being loyal Anglicans, and loyal members of God’s One, Holy and Apostolic Church, only where, and insofar, it suits us!

We must also be careful to avoid creating, in effect, episcopi vagantes. This is a difficult and complex area, which Resolution 35 of the Lambeth Conference of 1920 addressed when it said ‘The territorial Episcopate has been the normal development in the Catholic Church, but we recognise that differences of race and language sometimes require that provision should be made in a Province for freedom of development of races side by side; the solution in each case must be left with the Province, but we are clear that the ideal of the one Church should never be obscured.’ In our time too, we must do all that we can not to obscure that ideal of the one Church.

I am also more than a little wary of calling into question the election processes of another Province in the way the Communiqué suggests, in relation to the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. This introduces a completely new dimension into our relationships within the Communion, the reciprocal implications of which we have not considered. I would feel more confident if we addressed this question as a part of the more comprehensive reassessment of the nature of the Communion for our times, which is underway not least through the work of the Covenant Design Group.

An added concern for me is the apparent marginalisation of laity, clergy and bishops in the debate within the Global South. I was particularly glad that circumstances allowed me fully to consult both my fellow bishops, and our Provincial Synod, immediately in advance of the Kigali meeting. For a fundamental and indispensable element of our Anglican identity is that we are both episcopally led and synodically governed. I long for a consultative process that fully engages the whole Body of Christ, recognising that ‘to each one, the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good’ (1 Cor 12:7). Primates do not have sole monopoly on wisdom and knowledge at this crucial time, nor indeed at any other!

In light of this, I also want to clarify what may be to some the ambiguous wording of section 14. CAPA Primates ‘received’ the draft ‘The Road to Lambeth’ in the sense of agreeing to give it full consideration. However, we recognised our inability to commit our Provinces to this, or indeed any other text, without consulting them. It is precisely for that consultation that we are referring it to our Provinces for study, with the expectation that comments will be made, and a final text agreed in the new year. Our ‘commending’ should not be interpreted as ‘endorsing’ the text as it currently stands - it remains a draft.

To my brother Primates of the Global South and CAPA, I therefore offer a plea from the heart. Let us hold fast, in word and deed, to the true marks with which we believe the Lord has graced and gifted us as Anglicans - yes, our rootedness in Scripture as our primary touchstone, but also in our Tradition and our use of Reason. The Windsor Report has done us an invaluable service in beginning to address how we understand and recognise these and what they mean for us today, and the Archbishop of Canterbury has offered further vital insights in his reflections ‘The Challenge and Hope of Being an Anglican Today.’ I have offered my own thoughts in ‘Heartlands of Anglicanism’ and I am sure there is more to be said. But I am also sure that if we fail to carry forward the ‘three-fold strands’ not just of Scripture, Tradition and Reason, but also of what Archbishop Rowan has so eloquently described as ‘reformed commitment to the absolute priority of the Bible for deciding doctrine, a catholic loyalty to the sacraments and the threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons, and a habit of cultural sensitivity and intellectual flexibility that does not seek to close down unexpected questions too quickly’ - that if we fail to carry forward these, then we certainly relinquish our ability to claim that we stand authentically within Anglicanism.

In the book of the Prophet Isaiah, we read that ‘those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint.’ We want the Anglican Communion to rise up, renewed and strengthened, on eagles’ wings. It is for us to wait upon the Lord. We do not have a God who is slow to act. We can have confidence to let him lead our Church forward, through the ways he has so often done in the past. In our concerns for the Anglican Communion which we love, we do not have to be precipitate and risk losing much of what it is we wish to preserve and enhance.

And so I also offer a call to my brother Primates, that we step back from the brink at which the Kigali Communiqué appears to place us. It is certainly the case that we need changes within the life, and structures, and processes of the Anglican Communion. Yet part of the strength of our heritage is that intrinsic to our life, structures and processes is a considerable flexibility and openness to change that has allowed us to evolve - creating and amending Instruments of Unity, for example (and I am thinking here particularly of the ACC) in response to God’s calling to be faithful in our mission and ministry to his people and his world. We are now in need of such evolution, to preserve the very best of the heart of Anglicanism - and working in conformity with this essence of Anglicanism will most effectively preserve that ‘best’ which has been God’s continuing gift to us over the centuries.

Two weeks before our meeting in Kigali, the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa issued a statement which spoke of the gift of tolerance and grace in the face of the pains of divisions among ourselves with which we have had to deal in our past. The breadth of current divisions also find expression within our Province. Yet we remain convinced that what unites us far outweighs what divides us, and that we must therefore both choose and strive, with deep sacrificial love, for the Anglican Communion to remain united.

Our God surely is a God of surprises. As one of my predecessors as Archbishop of Cape Town said, ‘God still works his purposes out, in spite of the confusions of our minds.’

May that be so! Amen!

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 12:36pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion
Comments

Amen. May God bless Archbishop Ndungane. He is a worthy successor to Archbishop Tutu. Thank you, reverend sir.
Lois Keen

Posted by: Lois Keen on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 1:18pm BST

Yes, Amen, & Amen again.

This is a wonderful, thoughtful, and charitable contribution to the ongoing debate about the nature of Anglicanism.

I especially appreciate the Archbishop's remembrance of the other orders of ministry in our church; lay persons, and clergy together with bishops, in synod, making decisions that affect the life and doctrine of our Church, and not just the pointy hats in splendid isolation.

I was also struct by the word from the KJV of Ephesians 4:30-32, from T. Tertius Noble's anthem "Grieve not, the Holy Spirit of God" ...grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Posted by: Andrew S on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 1:26pm BST

"... neither of us were made aware even of the possibility of a communiqué in the name of the Primates of the Global South, prior to its release."

"In light of this, I also want to clarify what may be to some the ambiguous wording of section 14. CAPA Primates ‘received’ the draft ‘The Road to Lambeth’ in the sense of agreeing to give it full consideration. However, we recognised our inability to commit our Provinces to this, or indeed any other text, without consulting them. It is precisely for that consultation that we are referring it to our Provinces for study, with the expectation that comments will be made, and a final text agreed in the new year. Our ‘commending’ should not be interpreted as ‘endorsing’ the text as it currently stands - it remains a draft."

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 2:28pm BST

What a sensible, considered response.

Posted by: Merseymike on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 3:36pm BST

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Posted by: laurence roberts on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 3:37pm BST

It seems odd to me that some years back when various bishops of the Anglican Communion (Spong, et al.)issued statements denying basic tenets of the Faith, no vast protest was elicited from any Province. Now a homosexual is consecrated bishop, a woman is chosen as Primate of the Episcopal Church USA, and much of the Anglican Church is up in arms at the horror of it. Is not, in the scheme of things, the Virgin Birth, the Holy Trinity, etc. of far more crucial import to the Church than a gay bishop or a woman primate. Where are the bishops' priorities?

Posted by: Roy Flinchbaugh on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 3:48pm BST

What Lois Keen & Andrew S said!

I would be far more hopeful about the future of the Anglican Communion if this had been the General Communiqué from Kigali rather than the bullying bluster which was presented instead.

IIRC, this is not the first time ++Abuja has been asked to "step back from the brink" & IMHO he hasn't taken a step back yet (& is very proud of that fact).

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 4:23pm BST

Doesn't anybody here appreciate the difference between 20 Primates having approved and signed this Communiqué and 20 Primates n o t having approved and signed this Communiqué?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 4:49pm BST

This was the most interesting part of the Southern African response, to me:

-- quote --

I am surprised that we allow our agenda to be so dominated and driven by an inordinate influence from the United States. This flies in the face of the experience of those of us who are steeped in black and post-colonial theology, the theology of liberation, and black consciousness. It is hard to understand why we continue to act in response to the North to such a great extent, rather than making use of our freedom to concentrate our energies on the priorities of our own people and Provinces.

That said, there is no doubt that the tensions within the Anglican Communion, arising from actions within North America, raise serious and problematic concerns for our future. Yet I am deeply disturbed by the tenor of our approach, as reflected in this communiqué. To me, at least, it appears in places that there is a hidden agenda, to which some of us are not privy. For example, I am unable to understand why there seems to be a deliberate intention to undermine the due processes of the Anglican Communion and the integrity of the Instruments of Unity, while at the same time we commit ourselves to upholding Anglican identity, of which these, as they have continued to evolve over the years in response to changing needs, are an intrinsic part. Thus, for example, recent meetings of the Primates, in which the Global South played a very full part, requested various actions from the Archbishop of Canterbury, which he has been assiduous in pursuing; such as setting up the Lambeth Commission, the Panel of Reference, and now the Covenant Design Group. Yet there seems to be an urgency to obtain particular outcomes in advance, pre-empting the proper outworking of the bodies for which we called.

--endquote--

Michael Poon of Singapore was more forthright in his recent web piece, describing "vote-buying" by conservative English and American interests at Global South meetings.

I recall that ++Robin Eames got in trouble for making the same charges a while ago. No doubt it is better for the vote-buying and simony within the Global South to be exposed by Poon+ and ++Ndungane, who are themselves influential voices in the Global South, just as it is better for ++Ndungane to answer the communique than for ++Rowan to do so.

Posted by: Charlotte Pressler on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 5:22pm BST

I love the South Africans, have since the 1980s when I heard Desmond Tutu speak in Perth. They simply understand the idea of consistency - and that to withhold grace from one group is hypocritical if you seek grace for your own group. I was delighted to see the Archbishop's concerns about sabotaging another diocese's representative, pleased at the continuing independent growth in theological development that South Africa is showing. (Not grovelling to imperialists but not reacting against them either, forging a new path that brings forward the best and "adds value" from their own experiences).

I agree with his concerns about covert agendas, marginalisation and zeal.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 5:34pm BST

thank God for this man's wisdom and faith in a God who transcends the petty concerns (for they are) of the GS. Any parish priest who has to deal with parishioners fomenting disloyalty and disharmony knows that in the end, if they perist with their threats, they must be allowed to go. The death of course is painful, but resurrection always follows. It is a shame ++Rowan was never a parish priest as this experience might have given him a greater faith in allowing God to bring his healing and resurrection in these matters.

Posted by: Neil on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 6:05pm BST

Wrote Charlotte Pressler: "I recall that ++Robin Eames got in trouble for making the same charges a while ago. No doubt it is better for the vote-buying and simony within the Global South to be exposed by Poon+ and ++Ndungane, who are themselves influential voices in the Global South, just as it is better for ++Ndungane to answer the communique than for ++Rowan to do so."

Right on the mark! Too, the Primate and Metropolitan of Abuja is always his own worst enemy. He never fails but shoots himself in the foot. It is only inept fools in North America who follow him, and whose hatred of TEC trumps their rational faculties.


Posted by: John Henry on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 6:40pm BST

Deciding just what exactly to do with non-new conserve conformed provinces of the real, geographical Global South will increasingly become a problem of our communion the futher these mean camapaigns for new conserve realignment go.

Not only South Africa, but others (Brazil?) will have to be raided, split, and defined as walking apart from the new conserve conformities. New Zealand? People and parishes inside larger, more conservative dioceses and provinces?

Thanks so much to ABSA Ndugane for raising up these explicit CAPA hermeneutics which try to rest the Anglican heuristic stool on one leg, Sola Scripture, while sawing the others shorter and shorter and shorter, and defining classical Anglican identity in ways which appear to intentionally leave out Anglican unconformed believers and institutions/processes of listening and consultation now extant among us.

Posted by: drdanfee on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 6:41pm BST

This is a moving and wonderful statement. It's something to make one believe in the power of the Spirit.

Posted by: Alison on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 8:31pm BST

This, combined with the non-response from Camp Allen, spells a major setback - if not defeat - for the schismatics. They wanted to present a united front, to make their wishes seem inevitable...turns out they're not united and their wishes are pipe dreams.

Posted by: Aaron on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 9:49pm BST

Yes, Aaron, their wishes have been "pipe dreams" for a long time.

In the U.S.A. the reasserters' hatred of ECUSA/TEC goes back to the early 1960s--the Civil Rights Movement, anti-Vietnam/anti-War activism by more 'liberal' bishops and clergy, ECUSA/TEC's majority, while being pro-life, also seeking pro-choice accommodations for women(rather than have women depend on back-alley abortionists, Harley Street or Sweden), liturgical revision and recovery of the worship forms of the early undivided Church to be 'in step' with Vatican II, equal rights for women and women's ordination to challenge ancient models of patriarchy, and now inclusion of gays and lesbians in the full life of the Church. In their minds, the Episcopal Majority was crossing the line, allegedly accepting a 'secular' agenda and submitting to the 'spirit of the age' rather than the Holy Spirit.

Yes, there was James A. Pike. What is often forgotten is that the late bishop, then dean of St. John the Divine, first drew the ire of conservatives when, in the late 50s, he took a strong stance on Civil Rights. At that time he refused an honorary D.D. degree from the University of the South (or was it VTS?) because those Episcopalian institutions refused to admit persons of color as students.

I remember, as a newly ordained priest, how offended certain parishioners were when I recited the Collect for Mission (1928 BCP, p.38: "O God, who hast made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the whole earth...") during Morning Prayer on Sunday. Allegedly, I was forcing down their throats the 'revisionist', socio-political agenda of the 1967 Seattle General Convention.

In certain parts of the U.S.A. PB John Hines was hated with a passion second to none. Many dioceses refused to meet their GC assessments/quotas, and were talking about seeking alternative primatial oversight. Fortunately, the late ++Michael Ramsey as Cantuar took a firm stand, supporting PB Hines and GC.

Posted by: John Henry on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 11:25pm BST

Let your Light Shine dear Lord.

Posted by: Davis on Sunday, 24 September 2006 at 11:28pm BST

Perhaps its time to consider organizing communion around Capetown? Every time the good Archbishop Ndungane speaks I hear whispers of what I thought Anglicanism was all about--broad, provincial, working with Scripture/reason/tradition, open to diversity of thought and human life. Even as that Province still is wrestling with the place of lgbt people in its life, I know in this man, there is a truly a pastor's heart for lgbt Christians, something I'm not clear about with regard to Archbishop Williams since the John incident. Archbishop Ndungane continues to speak human dignity and Gospel values and grace in a much bleaker and tightening sense of Anglican hegemony.

Posted by: *Christopher on Monday, 25 September 2006 at 12:49am BST

'In the U.S.A. the reasserters' hatred of ECUSA/TEC goes back to the early 1960s--the Civil Rights Movement, anti-Vietnam/anti-War activism by more 'liberal' bishops and clergy'
In those days, Northern as well as Southern churches were segregated. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr's Letter from the Birmingham Jail was addressed to the Episcopal Church's Bishop of Birmingham, AL. Some of us still recall the resistance to Civil Rights in the Church that lasted so much longer than it should.

Thank you John Henry for recalling those times.
May our Almighty God bless Archbishop Ndungane. His words are measured, with great wisdom, we can all learn from him.

Posted by: EricM on Monday, 25 September 2006 at 1:40am BST

Now as a bear of small brain and less insight, I start to wonder whether this was ++Rowan's game plan all along: it's called giving the schismatics enough rope with which to hang themselves.

Being charitable (and I know and lament the Jeffrey John business etc.), could Big Brain have spotted the extreme flakiness of the grand schismatic coalition and decided that a punch-up with them would only increase their sense of solidarity?

Fans of Asimov will remember that the success of Seldon's Plan was often dependent on the ability of the right people at the right time to do absolutely nothing.

Posted by: David Rowett (= mynsterpreost) on Monday, 25 September 2006 at 9:00am BST

Charlotte, you are quite right that Dr Poon has certainly been critical not only of "Western" (or "Global Northern") liberals but also of conservatives in his recent essays. I am aware of his criticisms of the various bureaucratic structures of the Anglican Communion vis-á-vis their being beholden to the wealthy liberal ecclesiastical establishments of the Global North(including The Episcopal Church) who pay the bills. I am not familiar with any direct accusations of conservative vote-buying, however, and would truly - this is not a rhetorical challenge - welcome a published reference.

John Henry, you paint with a far too broad brush that speaks more of bigotry against Anglican theological conservatives when you associate us with racism and militarism than of any broad personal contact with theological conservatives now.

Posted by: Todd Granger on Monday, 25 September 2006 at 1:54pm BST

David Rowett --
At my charitable moments I am inclined to think that way (& doing nothing IS doing something & very don-like, I think)

*Christopher --
I recommend those who want some but not all rights for LBGTQs to read "Letter from Birmingham Jail" -- interesting the number who don't get it (are "moderates" people who "don't get it"?)

John Henry --
Yes, it all goes back to Presiding Bishop Hines & unfolds from there -- the first schism was the Orthodox Anglican Church & it opposition to integration, then the Anclican Church in North America with its oppostion to the ordination of women & now the Network with its opposition to gays -- Freud would discern an unhealthy obsession with a certain part of the male anatomy (well, he always did that about everything, but even a blind pig finds an acorn).

And yes, Archbishop Ndungane is a beacon of hope to us all -- diversity has always been a hallmark of Anglicanism & he most certainly "gets it"!

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Monday, 25 September 2006 at 3:56pm BST

I am starting to wonder if we aren't dealing with the frog in the saucepan where the water is being slowly heated up? I wonder if the bulk of bishops are quiet because the conservatives inculcate that to attack them is unloving and against the Body of Christ? In which case they are meek sheep that allow wolves to move through their fields in order to isolate and disembowel members of the flock.

The good thing about TA and other internet forums is they can no longer claim that they did not know what was being done to the sheep who had been shunted into exile. Thus they become guilty of failing to provide shepherds to protect the lost and broken. Continuing silence no longer represents ignorance - the facts are being too well documented. Rather, silence reflects complacency and thus complicity in the attacks.

When will ABC defend a diocese right to appoint its own bishops and primates? If he will not defend then there will be two communions - one diverse and inclusive, and one puritanical and judgmental. I know which one I would rather be in, and which one I could trust to guide my children to a sustainable future.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Monday, 25 September 2006 at 5:08pm BST

Todd Granger,
Here's a reference, not perhaps to direct vote buying, but to some of the behind the scenes politics. It has a heavy anti-RC slant, in my opinion, and I don't buy into some sort of RC cabal playing the bad old games of Protestant-Catholic fighting. For me this is behind the scenes conservatives who happen to be RC rather than any kind of Church-based conspiracy, which is the slant this article seems to take.

Ford Elms

http://www.mediatransparency.org/storyprinterfriendly.php?storyID=142

Posted by: Ford Elms on Monday, 25 September 2006 at 7:22pm BST

Right on, Prior Aelred!

Posted by: Kurt on Monday, 25 September 2006 at 8:31pm BST

Thanks, Ford Elms, but "not perhaps to direct vote buying" is quite the understatement. Perhaps I didn't read closely enough, but I failed to find any reference whatever to conservative Episcopalians - or their alleged neo-con cronies - wielding financial influence over Global South Anglicans. This article has nothing whatever to do with the allegation that Charlotte made, that Dr Poon has criticized conservative Episcopalian vote-buying in the Global South. (Dr Poon's other criticisms of liberal and some conservative Global Northerners are, I think, well made and should be heeded.) The article also seems to work from an assumption that Catholic neo-conservatives have an agendum of destabilizing Protestant denominations, something that liberal protestant mainline denominations have been doing well enough themselves for decades now, if membership rolls be any indication of stability - and a "sustainable future".

I await apposite substantiation.

Posted by: Todd Granger on Tuesday, 26 September 2006 at 4:29pm BST

"I am surprised that we allow our agenda to be so dominated and driven by an inordinate influence from the United States."

Did anyone else see this as a dig at the not so well hidden, though to me very understandable, anti-white bias of ++Akinola et al? The irony of angry post-colonial Africans making common cause with angry post-Reconstruction Americans is funny. Politics, strange bedfellows, etc.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Tuesday, 26 September 2006 at 6:02pm BST

Todd

I agree with your concern about substantiation, but that is going to be very hard when there is a conscious policy of avoiding putting anything in writing, especially on the internet because it has a tendency to fall into the "wrong" hands. I saw only the other day a liberal being accussed of having a persecution complex, and when I described this to my counsellor (my mother substitute and the backup that means I can get by without a parish :-)) she exclaimed "they're sociopaths". I described some of the other things they have been doing too and she was appalled that formal Christian structures have degenerated to this level. She also knows me and why ostracisation has failed to "break" me :-)

Our evidence is our stories, mine are documented with date-time correlations and evidence that is observable and verifiable by others. One person's anecdotes can be dismissed as delusion, a few becomes a coincidence, with the internet a plethora proves a hidden systemic problem. The sociopathic priestly castes have relied on their victims being isolated and without a voice, the internet removes that barrier, which is why they are so scared of it.

Posted by: Cheryl Clough on Tuesday, 26 September 2006 at 10:17pm BST

"I am surprised that we allow our agenda to be so dominated and driven by an inordinate influence from the United States. This flies in the face of the experience of those of us who are steeped in black and post-colonial theology, the theology of liberation, and black consciousness. It is hard to understand why we continue to act in response to the North to such a great extent, rather than making use of our freedom to concentrate our energies on the priorities of our own people and Provinces."

Ford,
reading this from the perspective of American racial politics and colonial theory, I would suggest instead that Ndugane is coming very close to calling Akinola an "Uncle Tom".

Despite this little dig, I say heartily "Amen".

Christopher, I agree with you. There has been far more leadership among the Primates from Capetown than from Cantuar or anywhere else.

Posted by: Jim Pratt on Wednesday, 27 September 2006 at 12:09am BST

Jim,
I suspect that was the point. It is not difficult to see a deep seated resentment of white people in what is going on. I can well imagine that, had I grown up African during or just after the end of colonial rule I would feel the same way. Western, white owned oil interests are behaving the same way now in Nigeria, and the same thing is going on all over. Colonialism is not over. I suspect ++Ndugane's comment was meant to spur ++Akinola into musing over who's actually driving the bus here.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 27 September 2006 at 4:55pm BST

Simon, the Ndungane story you emailed me about is now online at this link, Ruth:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2376121.html

Posted by: Ruth Gledhill on Wednesday, 27 September 2006 at 5:01pm BST
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