Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Archbishop of Kaduna appeals to Primates

Ed Thornton reports in the Church Times today that:

AN ARCHBISHOP in the Church of Nigeria has urged Primates from the Global South not to boycott the Primates’ Meeting in Dublin in January (News, 26 November).

Writing in the Church Times today, the Archbishop of Kaduna, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, who was a member of the Lambeth Commission which produced the Windsor report, pleads with the Primates “not . . . to give room for the Communion to break up, during the time God has given [them] the privilege to represent [their] various provinces”.

Read the full news story at Plea to rebel Primates: ‘Bring your wisdom to next meeting’.

The same issue, published today, contains the full text of the article by the archbishop, but this is only available to Church Times subscribers at present. Those with access can find it here.

Here is some more of the news article:

…Speaking on Friday, he said that his intervention was not prompted by pressure from any individual, “but by my conviction to work for the unity of this communion”.

He said that he feared that some of the Primates had “not actually consulted properly” before announcing their intention to boycott the meeting. There was “a huge desire” among “ordinary members” of the Church of Nigeria for the Communion to stay together, he said.

Responding to the suggestion made by the Primates that “the current text” of the Anglican Covenant is “fatally flawed”, Dr Idowu-Fearon said: “If those Primates believe they have a superior wisdom than the collective wisdom of those who produced the Covenant, let them meet and present their wisdom and not start throwing tantrums.”

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 22 December 2010 at 3:55pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion
Comments

I thought Josiah had lost his role as Metropolitan.

Wasn't there an unholy tussle to remove him not long after Rowan made him Six Bells Preacher at Canterbury? He was the "great white hope" for post Akinola Nigeria - but the forces against him were very powerful.

Last I knew he enjoyed a very positive relationship with an Irish diocese ....... Everyone I know says he is a very sensible man, known for his moderation and power-broking in the world of Christian-Muslim relations.

He has the habit of revealing the bullying and hectoring that lies behind the GAFCON elite.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Wednesday, 22 December 2010 at 4:41pm GMT

But the problem surely is that at least some of the Primates do think they have a superior wisdom to those who framed, and later amended, the Covenant.

A refreshing note, however, and a reminder that Primates do not in fact "speak for their Provinces" -- however much they imagine they do. All the more reason not to invest a Council of Primates with any authority whatsoever. Let them meet, as Fearon somewhat ironically calls them to do, but to the end Fearon suggests is meaningful, not as a legislature but as a body of Christian leaders called to fellowship in Christ.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Wednesday, 22 December 2010 at 5:59pm GMT

Uff da! :-0 (A voice crying in the wilderness?)

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 22 December 2010 at 9:24pm GMT

Perhaps Archbishop Josiah is God's choice for a voice of moderation within the Nigerian Anglican Church? His prevalance over the overtly dissident culture of GAFCON may yet prove him to be the modern John The Baptist - a voice crying in the ultra-dry wilderness of homophobia and sola-scriptura dis-affection - within the world-wide Anglican Communion.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 22 December 2010 at 10:46pm GMT

I heard Archbishop Josiah preach at the Epsicopal Church General Convention in 2003 - he was directly critical of TEC and it wasn't a comfortable experience.

I met him when he spoke at a meeting organised by Pew Forum in London in 2004 alongside Frank Griswold and Dr David Martin. It seems a world away now, when it was still possible for Anglican leaders to meet and discuss their differences in a rational context. http://pewforum.org/Politics-and-Elections/Anglicanism-and-Global-Affairs-The-Windsor-Report-and-Beyond.aspx.

He's an approachable man and has placed himself at odds with Archbishop Nicholas Okoh the Primate. I wonder what the dynamics are like between the two men behind the scenes. Okoh doesn't come across as a man who tolerates dissent. Josiah will know that African Primates like Okoh never 'consult properly'.

I met Nicholas Okoh as well, in Dar es Salaam at the Primate's meeting when he was acting as minder for Peter Akinola. Both were equally elusive and ran as fast as possible from media questions.

Posted by: Colin Coward on Thursday, 23 December 2010 at 9:12am GMT

Just to confirm Martin Reynolds thought that Bishop Josiah is no longer a provincial archbishop, but remains as Bishop of Kaduna Diocese. Archbishop Edmund Akanya, Bishop of Kebbi Diocese, was elected Archbishop of Kaduna Province two years ago.

My deanery is Linked with Kebbi Diocese so I have first hand knowledge of the change. I have emailed the editor of the Church Times to correct this.

Keith Malcouronne, Lay Chairman of Runnymede Deanery and Lay member of General Synod for Guildford Diocese.

Posted by: Keith Malcouronne on Thursday, 23 December 2010 at 9:16am GMT

Fearon & Okoh: good cop, bad cop? (just a theory)

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 23 December 2010 at 7:00pm GMT
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