Friday, 4 May 2007
Akinola's US visit: further reports
Anglican Mainstream has reproduced a report in the Church of England Newspaper which says, among other things:
The CEN Daily Edition for May 3 reports that around 30 members of the Church of England General Synod have signed a message of support for the new head of a breakaway Anglican denomination who is due to be installed this weekend.The Synod group, which is made up of members from over 20 different dioceses, include lay member GerryO’Brien from the Diocese of Rochester, who will be attending the service of installation in Virginia for the Rev Martyn Minns on Saturday…
…Lambeth Palace today confirmed the Archbishop of Canterbury has written to the African Primate asking him to cancel his trip to Virginia to carry out the service. A spokesman for Dr Rowan Williams confirmed a letter had been sent to the Archbishop of Nigeria… But Mr O’Brien said he would be giving the greeting to Mr Minns to show solidarity with orthodox Anglicans inNorth America.
He said: “We’re wanting to stand together with orthodox Anglicans who find themselves under intense pressure. We wish it hadn’t come to this but we want them to know that they haven’t been abandoned.”
Episcopal News Service has a report on this also: Archbishop of Canterbury urges Nigerian Primate to cancel plans to install bishop by Matthew Davies:
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has written to Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola asking him to cancel his plans to visit the United States and install Bishop Martyn Minns as head of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), a conservative missionary effort in the U.S. sponsored by the Anglican Church of Nigeria…
…Anglican Communion communications director Canon James M. Rosenthal confirmed that Williams’ letter had been sent to Akinola. “Many people have noted that such an action would exacerbate a situation that is already tense,” Rosenthal said, “especially as we look forward to the September 30 deadline outlined by the Primates at their meeting in Tanzania and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s planned visit to the House of Bishops…”
Episcopal Café reports on a press conference held on Thursday by Bishop Martyn Minns.
And there is an official press release from the Anglican Communion Network: Bishop Duncan to Attend Minns’ Installation.
Posted by Simon Sarmiento on
Friday, 4 May 2007 at 9:38pm BST
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Duncan's announcement that he will attend Minns' installation in support of the "realignment of Anglicanism" in North America seems to be a little muffled. While it follows along with the strategy outlined in the Chapman memo, it must irk Duncan that his posterior will not be the one that is installed. Duncan's attendance exposes him to presentment charges in TEC but I doubt that anyone will much care. Minns and Duncan are both little men with huge egos. I would love to see the in-fighting that must be going on between the two of them--both trying to lead the shrinking and ever-fracturing minority of "realignment" junkies. The fact is that the installation of Minns is just an exercise in self-gratification. It does, however, give good reason for the vast majority of TEC Bishops to say "No Thanks, No Way" to the Akinola (advised by Minns) demands that made their way into the Tanzania communique.
With it clear now that ++Akinola has given the "Up Yers!" to Rowan Cantuar, there can be no more talk of PJA going to Lambeth in '08, while TEC sits out in the cold, can there?
Lord have mercy!
I agree with those who see the formal inauguration of CANA by Peter Akinola as a significant moment in the present debacle.
American conservatives have been hugely successful so far at making the Communion dance to their tune and each time there is a set-back to their plans they retreat behind their prepared “we can live without Canterbury” position.
The work to diminish the number of Primates who would support a Communion without Canterbury has apparently been reasonably successful – it seems there are now just two – who MIGHT follow Peter Akinola. At the same time there has been some reasonable success at getting the Canadian bishops to tow the line and we must not underestimate the possibility that TEC will come up with a solution that is acceptable to the vast majority of the Primates, if not all that Dar es Salaam finally asked.
The propensity of the remaining small number of Primates and their western advisors to overplay their hand and to put their own self-interests first has, it seems, disenchanted the rest who - even so - were willing to bend over backwards to accommodate them in Tanzania.
It seems clear that but these few Primates all are against the formal establishment of CANA and that while Rowan Williams has been careful to speak openly only when there is unanimity, he believes he is now in a position where Nigeria has been isolated enough to be challenged.
It has always been Dr Williams’ position that, having pulled back the Americans and Canadians to a Windsor position, the real crisis would come for the so called “orthodox” to live with the position of open debate and diverse opinions recognised in the Windsor Report.
He is almost there, and would have been fully there had he held his ground in Tanzania.
In allowing the Dar es Salaam Communiqué to make impossible requests from TEC he has weakened his position somewhat, an avenue that will be exploited fully by the American conservatives, but by moving forward with CANA at this time Peter Akinola has helped to loose the advantage this could have offered.
Ken Kearon, leader of the ACO, fulminated in an email to Louie Crew that he really could not tell where Rowan was finally going to draw a line in the sand in his efforts to appease the conservatives. I think the line is actually now drawing itself!
"It seems clear that but these few Primates all are against the formal establishment of CANA and that while Rowan Williams has been careful to speak openly only when there is unanimity, he believes he is now in a position where Nigeria has been isolated enough to be challenged."
Sounds right. Note also the very positive note he struck in his Newsnight interview:
"What I’m trying to do is not ‘for the sake of the institution hanging together’ or ‘managing the process’ but in the belief that it’s by the process of real mutual understanding that we can look forward to a change that people can own together not just a change that’s enforced, that’s resented, but if there is to be a change, a change that people can fully understand and actually sign up to and sympathise with."
In other words, he wants all Anglicans to dialogue together, rationally, and agree to whatever changes are necessary in church teaching (on sexuality, ministry etc.).
Martin's analysis is spot on. The ABC has again and again shown that his primary interest is the continued existence of the ecclesiastical institution, and has even sacrificed his personal beliefs about the underlying issues -- and called on TEC to do the same. By challenging the institution, Akinola attacks the very thing Canterbury has tried to protect. This is more than a tactical error; it is a strategic mistake.
Martin & Tobias --
I think you are quite right (you're both light years more clever than I, so it is only to be expected) but Abuja has never wavered -- this is fully consistent with what he has said all along & what he has always intended (IMHO).
Yes, good Prior -- and hence the clash of "values."
It seems to me that Rowan Williams has made it very clear that "here I stand" on his duty to maintain the unity of the Anglican Communion and to persuade all concerned to get together for reasonable discussions of their points of discord. He maintains the freedom to have his own views, and to change his views occasionally as we all do, while forswearing the imposition of those views on others. There is much too much freedom here in the eyes of the Global South, and even some on the liberal flank seem to want RW to respond to Akinola by becoming his mirror image, laying down the law dogmatically.
My doubts about RW have mostly to do with his failing to clearly talk a stand in favor of big tent Anglicanism, which I believe to be his main brief at this point in schismatic conservative Anglican realignment kairos. I do agree that we might be seeing glimmers of his acting the big tent message out, rather than just talking it. But he fails to karate fulcrum the bull in a china shop manuevers that occasionally lurch in from the far right of the realignment folks, and so misses clever ops by just a few hairs. I would feel a great deal more positive about RW if we could see him in public quite often, even handedly meeting with any and all parties at Anglican tables, no holds barred. But welcome to the fuzzy, positive elements, anyways, I suppose. Funniest thing is, conservative realignment kairos has triggered reaffirmation of big tent kairos. Ah, Sophia. Lead us then into generous truth and rightness. Via Media.