Comments: Akinola banned in Sheffield?

If the Bishop of Sheffield has blocked Archbishop Akinola from preaching in his diocese, then good for the Bishop of Sheffield. Let us hope that his colleagues follow his lead. The conservative take on the 1998 Lambeth resolutions on homosexuality shows collective amnesia on the conference's condemnation of homophobia. Akinola's involvement in ongoing Nigerian anti-gay legislation is utterly Lambeth "non-compliant" on this point. As to Mr. Carey, no divorced individual, even the son of a former Archbishop of Canterbury, is in a position to preach to others on matters of sexual morality.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 2:53pm GMT

I heard about this story earlier in the week but decided it was a bit too arcane for our readers. What I don't quite understand is why Archbishop Akinola (or his minions) did not seek the Archbishop of York's permission to preach directly for himself?
If that's what needs to be done as a matter of courtesy, isn't it for the party requesting permission to initiate the process? Or is that beneath the quiet dignity of Abp. Akinola? After all, he could have rung Bishopthorpe himself. As Andrew notes, he had several days to do so. Or perhaps the Sheffield church could have done so on his behalf if the archbishop was too grand to pick up the phone himself.
I can see that Andrew probably hoped to stir up outrage among the Mainstreamers for this dreadful liberal snub to the world leader of orthodox Anglicanism and had ultimately to settle for the second best of attacking Anglican bureaucracy rather than the diocesan bishop directly, but isn't there something missing here?
I gather that the Nigerians themselves were assiduous in spreading the story of the insult to the Great Leader, and were the original source for the story, whereas one might have thought that it rather reflected on them for not troubling to obtain the permission they sought, rather than complaining afterwards.
Purely in the spirit of mischief, I wonder whether there isn't a little campaign going on among some conservative evangelicals - I am sure not Andrew - to take the high-flying Abp Sentamu down a peg or two? Perhaps he is insufficiently African for them (that certainly seemed to be the burden of the complaint on Virtue Online a day or two back - much too liberal for them) and maybe the recent adulatory coverage he has received in the Tory press as the saviour of English, if not world, Anglicanism, has been just a little hard for them to take? No, surely not?
It would be good to know that Abp Akinola is in good health and fighting fit, despite this assault on his amour-propre. And it would be even better to know why he had to go as far as Sheffield to get suitable treatment for his condition.

Posted by stephen bates at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 2:56pm GMT

Andrew Carey loves to stir the shit, as does Akinola. Akinola could have 'phoned Sentamu himself. How they love to picture themselves as wronged little virgins, in whose mouths -- butter would not melt.

Andrew we all know who you father was / is you know.

I am very concerned about all these globe trotting Primates and bishops. Don't they have work to do -- proper work ? Don't they have job descriptions ? Are they accountable to no-one ?

Akinola 'left with impression of not being welcome'. HOW does he think lgbt pople feel in his Province ? (Maybe he has an inkling now. Maybe this cock-up was synchronicity in the service of his spiritual development. As CG Jung might have put it. Also a chance to practice the Christian virtue (I'm told) of humility.

Why is Akinola having 'routine medical treatment ' in Uk ---when he is seeking to deny lgbt people their basic rights.

Is the Nigerian Health Service inadequate to his needs ? WHY isn't he campaigning for its improvement ? Now that would carry more weight with the UK public.

Posted by laurence at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 2:56pm GMT

I think it's time to request our U.S. Department of State cancel ++Akinolas Visa as well as request our Presiding Bishop to ban him in our Province...we don't usually welcome twisted thinking hate mongers accross our borders to terrorize and demoralize our LGBT citizens, their heterosexual families and children with his dangerous slanderous and possible hate crime generating irrational junktalk:

"Homosexuality and lesbianism, like divorce, breed a society of single parents which gives rise to a generation of bastards. And in the context of much poverty and lack of education, this further produces an ill-bred generation of hooligans, portending much terror to the peace and stability of the society.

Homosexuality and lesbianism thrives on many sexual aberrations and improvisations typical of human selfishness and greed in the name of pleasure and self-actualization."

++Akinola for Kairos

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 4:02pm GMT

There is a story here - but I don't think it's the one that Andrew Carey's found. Questions I'd like answered:

1. Did ++Akinola have any other business in the UK besides this hospital appointment? Africa has some very good hospitals - ++Akinola must be suffering from a rare, serious, difficult-to-treat condition to warrant the cost of flying from Nigeria to Britain for a single appointment.

2. Did ++Sentamu at any point know that ++Akinola was in his province and wanted to preach? Was this unilateral action by Sheffield, or was York using Sheffield to keep ++Akinola at arms' length?

3. Why didn't ++Akinola 'phone ++Sentamu direct? I can imagine that "The Archbishop of Nigeria is on line one" would guarantee him a hearing.

4. Is this the same ++Akinola who declined an invitation to tea and biscuits from the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA, whilst he and a delegation from the Global South were in her Province?

If I was Andrew Carey, I'd be twisting uncomfortably in my seat for only coming up with half a story.

Posted by Simon Morden at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 4:15pm GMT

"And it would be even better to know why he had to go as far as Sheffield to get suitable treatment for his condition."

Isn't it obvious? Needs to sharpen his knives prior to trying to carve up parts of TEC for himself and his Minnions [sorry could never resist a bad pun].

More seriously, how many anti-malaria crib nets, how many doses of anti-AIDS drugs, how many anti-polio inoculations could one have bought for what it costs him to galivant around the world, sowing discord?

Perhaps he should read Dante to see what happens to such - it also involves sharp blades.

Posted by Cynthia at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 5:26pm GMT

Right - this is all we need: a firebrand foreign cleric who is on record for stating that homosexual behaviour is unheard of even in the animal world and who has put his Imprimatur on criminal legislation aimed at homosexuals in his country. Let's put 'Anglican' and 'Hate speech' in the same headline. Much is made of the fact that the openness of western Churches towards gay people has made Christians in largely muslim regions of the world vulnerable. What about a man like Akinola feeding British Anglicans to the Guardian and the Independent? Does that count? Should we give him a hook and an eyepatch instead of a cope?

Posted by Raspberry Rabbit at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 6:41pm GMT

Surely the Church of England Newspaper (the real one, they say) must k n o w what the proper protocol looks like? Shouldn’t all this have been a matter for the Archbishop personally or his Office. And what on earth has a London chaplain to do with a visit to Sheffield?

The Hon. Andrew Carey wrote: “After a day of waiting for phone calls to be returned and trawling through the worldwide web to try and find a written-down explanation of the protocols governing visiting bishops and primates (which doesn’t incidentally seem to exist anywhere and it is not addressed clearly or directly in the Canons of the Church of England) I am distinctly suspicious.”

Why didn’t he ask his papa?

A Red Herring - or is it Purple ;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 6:50pm GMT

Stephen Bates wrote:
"I heard about this story earlier in the week but decided it was a bit too arcane for our readers. What I don't quite understand is why Archbishop Akinola (or his minions) did not seek the Archbishop of York's permission to preach directly for himself?"

I can agree with you about it being arcane because Sheffield had plausible deniability about banning ++Akinola. I felt it was a story in the current climate because ++Akinola left the country believing he had been snubbed and banned. As to your question, neither ++Akinola nor his chaplain believed that for a preaching engagement of this kind it was necessary to contact the Archbishop of York. The usual thing to do would be to get permission from the diocesan bishop and so he sought this through the church involved. The denial by Sheffield of a ban rests on exactly this point since they believed that the Archbishop of York's permission should be sought. These things are usually a matter of phone calls. Most Bishop's offices would be happy to smooth the way for a visiting bishop or primate, even to the extent of offering hospitality. In this case, it didn't happen. The whole thing leaves questions up in the air and I've drawn my own conclusions and I think my readers are intelligent and knowledgeable enough to draw their own.

As for whether it's beneath the dignity of Archbishop Akinola, the onus usually rests in these cases with those doing the inviting especially if there are only days rather than months to spare. Your point about ++Sentamu - I don't think he comes into the news story at all. Archbishop Akinola was never informed that he had to contact the Archbishop of York he was just told he didn't have permission to preach.

Why did he have to go to Sheffield for medical treatment? All I can say is that not all of my questions get answered. In the case of someone's medical treatment I can understand the reasons for not answering questions. In any case I've known English clergy (unrelated to me) get help and funding to travel for medical treatment. And I've also heard of African Bishops and Primates making use of medical facilities in the US and UK. This is not unusual.

Posted by Andrew Carey at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 7:51pm GMT

Simon wrote:
"There is a story here - but I don't think it's the one that Andrew Carey's found. Questions I'd like answered:"

Thankyou for your opinion. 1. I've already answered in my reply to Stephen Bates. 2. ++Sentamu doesn't come into it at all (and I phoned his office to check this point). 3. I've already explained ++Akinola didn't believe he needed to seek the Archbishop's permission for a preaching engagement of this kind. In any case it was the responsibility of the church to seek permission of the Bishop and Archbishop if neccessary. 4. Irrelevant in my view.

And Simon, no I'm not twisting uncomfortably. I'm completely comfortable that given the evasiveness of the diocese and St Thomas' church this is as complete a story as I could write.

And just to reply to Laurence. Great detective work. But I've never hidden my identity - if I did so I might just come up with a brilliant idea like ..... change my surname.

Posted by Andrew Carey at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 8:04pm GMT

Carey's article is a bit sensationalist. I've never called Akinola the devil incarnate or even an angel for that matter, either. I wouldn't flatter him by saying that he is more than human. I don't know if any other liberals have indavertently flattered him, but I certainly haven't seen the evidence.

Posted by Cheryl Clough at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 8:29pm GMT

The words "sauce", "goose" and "gander" spring irresistably to mind.

Posted by Doug Chaplin at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 10:15pm GMT

Laurence before you bludgeon Andrew Carey any further, I suggest you re-read the article in question.

The story states the Bishop of Sheffield was asked for permission, this permission was not given. The Bishop of Sheffield's spokesman said the Primate should have asked the Archbishop of York. The Nigerian chaplain said this explanation from Sheffield was not given to them. E.g., its "ridiculous, that is just not true."

Asking John Sentamu was not one of the original options, one can deduce this from the story. In hindsight asking York would have been the best move. Unfortunately there is no single Anglican protocol on this point. In some Provinces you need the Primate's permission, in others you don't---the US for example. The US PB has no metropolitan authority. In the coverage of the NY meetings, this point was raised ... e.g., she cannot grant oversight or psuedo metropolitan authority as she does not now possess those powers.

If the facts are wrong, show us where. Questioning the integrity of the author is unkind and unnecessary.

Stephen Bates is right of course about Sentamu. I would not say there is a campaign, merely an inchoate resentment from some (not all) conservatives and a belief that he is not on side in light of his move to Rowan Williams' left.

Posted by George Conger at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 10:31pm GMT

Andrew must do better than this.

He has the ability to be as investigative as to Akinola’s true intentions here as he has in making his enquiries from press officers and the like.

This story has more than a scent of a piece of theatre it stinks of it.

Dig a bit more Andrew, but in another place ….. who knows you may have a good story.

Akinola is hardly Andrew’s flavour of the month either – judging by what he has wisely written about the man and his antics.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 11:06pm GMT

"In some Provinces you need the Primate's permission, in others you don't---the US for example. The US PB has no metropolitan authority. In the coverage of the NY meetings, this point was raised ... e.g., she cannot grant oversight or psuedo metropolitan authority as she does not now possess those powers."

So the polite phonecall to AB York was not made, because York is a Metropolitan but the American PB isn´t?

I would never have guessed ;=)

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 11:14pm GMT

On second thought, I'm willing to modify "purple herring" to a Story about something that never was.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 11:25pm GMT

Siblings, somehow I fear we're getting overwrought. In our house we make great use of the principle, "Don't attribute to wickedness what can be explained just as well by stupidity." Some bad communication happened. Some bad feelings resulted. Those are certainly regrettable. At this point I don't see good reason to project these onto our ongoing larger disagreements.

Posted by Marshall Scott at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 11:35pm GMT

I don't understand why anybody thinks the process is obscure. It's all set out in the Overseas and Other Clergy (Ministry and Ordination) Measure 1967 a copy of which I found on the internet quite easily. Here's the relevant section:
1 Permission for overseas clergymen to officiate
(1) If any overseas clergyman desires to officiate as priest or deacon in the province of Canterbury or York, he may apply to the Archbishop of the province in which he desires to officiate for written permission to do so.
(2) The Archbishop may, on any such application, grant the permission either without limitation of time or, if he thinks fit, for a limited period specified in the permission, and thereupon, subject to any such limitation of period, the overseas clergyman shall possess all such rights and advantages and be subject to all such duties and liabilities as he would have possessed and been subject to if he had been ordained by the bishop of a diocese in the province of Canterbury or York (otherwise than under section 5 of this Measure).
(3) Where a permission is granted for a limited period, a further permission, either temporary or permanent, may be granted by the Archbishop of the same province.
(4) Any permission granted under this section shall be registered in the registry of the province.
(5) An application for a permission under this section shall be made on a form approved by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.
(6) It shall be an offence against the laws ecclesiastical, for which proceedings may be taken under the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1963, for any overseas clergyman to officiate as priest or deacon in the province of Canterbury or York otherwise than in accordance with a permission granted under this section, and for any clergyman knowingly to allow such an offence to be committed in any church in his charge.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Friday, 8 December 2006 at 11:58pm GMT

A little research is a great aid to a good reporter.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 12:12am GMT

Andrew - thanks for the reply.

You must realise that matters are more complicated than you describe in your article, even to the extent you posted the self-same question on SoF and received suitably Byzantine replies. I agree that ++Akinola should have been allowed to preach (as should your dad at the Bangor engagement) - but I'm surprised at your surprise.

The Elephant in the Room is that ++Akinola says some quite nasty things about English Anglicanism, and never apparently apologises for that. To take this event in isolation is rather like complaining that demonstrators are outside the US embassy when GWB is only there to say hello to his ambassador.

Furthermore - that people travel to foreign countries for medical treatment is not news. But Sheffield isn't exactly Harley Street, as much love for that city as I have: your journalistic antennae should be twitching.

St Thoms is a *big* church. Twenty-odd members of staff. Was it that they wouldn't pick up, or that they wouldn't answer your questions?

There's a rabbit off here somewhere; your article doesn't do it justice. Sorry.

Posted by Simon Morden at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 12:19am GMT

Simon,

Strangely enough I am aware of the Overseas and Other Clergy Measure, but a flying visit like this is usually dealt with much more informally - it's not as though the overseas clergyman in question is taking up residence for even a short period. The obscure bit is more to do with the 'who asks who' since the practices vary throughout the Anglican Communion and even in the Church of England from diocese to diocese as a few enquiries of mine show.

Yours,

Andrew

Posted by Andrew Carey at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 12:20am GMT

Andrew Carey's article makes a very unpleasant impression on this reader. All these niceties about teacup etiquette and not a word about the issues that have made Archbishop Akinola such a feared prelate -- namely, his extremist anti-gay views and his schismatic tendencies. Toying with trivialities when such major issues are in question seems to me rather irresponsible.

Posted by Fr Joseph O'Leary at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 6:30am GMT

Simon Morden asked

"4. Is this the same ++Akinola who declined an invitation to tea and biscuits from the Presiding Bishop of ECUSA, whilst he and a delegation from the Global South were in her Province?"

To which Andrew Carey responded:

"Irrelevant in my view."

To which I would reply - poppycock!

++Akinola was one of the four who deliberately and knowingly snubbed the Presiding Bishop's polite request. So what moral right does he have to complain about being snubbed in this country? The offence, if there was one, is more easily explained by muddle and inefficiency, rather than being caused by a deliberate slight. Perhaps before he asks for an apology from +Sheffield he ought to first apologise to the Presiding Bishop?

And a further point:

It is not so long ago that ++Akinola was in the US. If he had need of foreign medical treatment, could he not have arranged for it to be done there, and so saved the cost of yet more international flights? It is also not so long ago that the Nigerian Anglican church website was boasting about his visit to China. He seems to spend more time jetting around the world than ministering to the churches in his own country. Who pays for all this travel? I thought we were told that Nigeria is one of the poorest countries in the world (despite their enormous oil revenues).

Posted by David Chillman at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 9:51am GMT

Personally, I don't think he should have been allowed in the country. Why should we encourage people who deliberately promote hatred into Britain? He is exactly the reason why the Anglican Communion is best left to rot.

Posted by Merseymike at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 10:15am GMT

I never doubted that in your case, Andrew.
But on a "plain reading" of the Measure, individual dioceses or diocesan bishops do not have any option: it would be for the archbishop in question to decide whether an informal approach is acceptable to him. And overseas bishops would appear to have to comply with section 1 for non-episcopal acts of ministry (a further section of the Measure deals specifically with episcopal acts).

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 11:08am GMT

Yes, I agree with merseymike. Akinola is a foreign religious extremist and agitator, user of hate speech and act -- and like many another cleric, best kept out of the UK.

Or is there one Law for 'Muslim extremists' (sic) and another for Christian ones ? !

I notice that apparently, he didn't avail himself of a chat at Lambeth either.

Posted by laurence at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 11:23am GMT

David Chillman has picked up on Andrew's response to my point 4.

I wasn't using ++Akinola's previous behaviour to say "Ooh look. Bad man." I was using it to indicate that firstly, he uses protocol when it suits him, ignores it when he doesn't. Secondly, to show that in a classic "Prisoners' dilemma" scenario, Co-operators ought not co-operate with a Cheater once identified. Thirdly, to show that ++Akinola's complaint comes across as the bully bullied.

Furthermore, on the Overseas and Other Clergy Measure, whether or not there is usually some latitude in how permission is obtained, I would have thought that considering ++Akinola's reputation and a potentially hostile Bishop of Sheffield, everything would have to be done exactly by the book.

Posted by Simon Morden at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 11:47am GMT

One for them!!!

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 2:41pm GMT

Andrew Carey: If, as you say, these things are usually a matter of a phone call, why wasn't it made, either by the archbishop or by the church that wanted him to preach? That would surely have been reasonable and a matter of a few minutes if it was all as straightforward a matter as you seem to think.
More to the point, as an unbiased journalist, did you not think to ask that simple question? It would have been a pertinent - not to say professional - thing to ask, surely, before expostulating about Sheffield's alleged rudeness and demanding apologies for the poor, bruised primate of Nigeria.
It rather sounds as if Akinola's party and maybe the Sheffield church were looking for reasons to be insulted and determined to find them: they could presumably have sought permission at any time over a number of days, but didn't.
They were also only too keen to disseminate that they had been snubbed by a diocesan - and probably wickedly liberal - bishop. And you were only too pleased to help them.

Posted by stephen bates at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 5:19pm GMT

Stephen,

I'll reply to you privately if I may as well as saying the following publicly. The point is that these things are 'usually' a matter of a phone call. The church wouldn't answer my questions and the diocese insisted that they had done things properly. What was 'unusual' about this matter is that the 'usual' things didn't happen.

Yours,

Andrew

Posted by Andrew Carey at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 9:04pm GMT

"...as an unbiased journalist...."

I suppose it is just possible that there may have been the faintest hint of irony in this.

No, no – just my febrile imaginings.

Still - a shame not to have the full exchange in public.

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Saturday, 9 December 2006 at 11:39pm GMT

Just struck me, first Carey, now Akinola...someone out there recognises people not worth listening to!

Posted by Merseymike at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 12:02am GMT

What's missing in all this is the role played by St. Thomas' (other than Andrew Carey's inability to get any information from them.

Did they mis-communicate to the Nigerian chaplain the message they received from the diocese? Or did they torpedo it deliberately, by deciding not to call ++York and then just telling the chaplain no?

The invitation came initially from the archbishop's doctor, a parishioner, and not from the Vicar. Is it possible that the leadership of St. Thomas didn't really want him to preach?

Given the touchy political scene, it's quite reasonable for +Sheffield to pass the buck upstairs to ++York.

As for ++Nigeria not making any calls, that was not his responsibility in this case. He was not making an official visit, but was invited as a side trip while he was there for personal reasons. It is rightly the responsibility of the host to procure the necessary permissions. Certainly whenever I invite visiting clergy to celebrate or preach in my parish, I contact the bishop and handle all the details of protocol.

Posted by Jim Pratt at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 12:15am GMT

Imagine the family of the previous Archbishop of Canterbury fretting about the bruised sensitivities of Archbishop Akinola, a supporter of brutal suppression of gays in his own country and one who seeks to bring his brand of clerical fascism to the US and the UK! This would be a delightful comic subplot in a Trollope novel.

Posted by Fr Joseph O'Leary at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 3:00am GMT

"I'll reply to you privately as well as saying the following publicly." Andrew Carey

The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 3:34am GMT

First, let us be clear: Akinola and the other visiting Priamtes did not *snub* Schori. The Churches of Nigeria, Uganda, the Southern Cone, etc, are *not in communion with ECUSA*.

Akinola has made quite clear at the last Primate's meeting in Dromantine, and at the ACC meeting in Nottingham his attitude to US Primates and ECUSA (that neither Griswold nor Schori has primatial authority; that he recognises Duncan as moderator of the Network as the only US Primate; and that ECUSA should be expelled forthwith from the communion). This is a matter of repeated public record.

On the other hand, the church of Nigeria is (nominally) in communion with the CoE. Schori at least wrote to Akinola to invite him to visit - but it seems Sheffield didn't even bother to do that. Any snubbing is in the opposite direction.

As it is: the ECUSA situation is going to be much clearer by Christmas it seems - and St Thomases will have nothing more to do with Sheffield - and rather more to do with Andrew's dad.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/core/Content/displayPrintable.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/12/10/npriest10.xml&site=5&page=0

Posted by Sinner at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 3:34pm GMT

What doublespeak is this?

"First, let us be clear: Akinola and the other visiting Priamtes did not *snub* Schori. The Churches of Nigeria, Uganda, the Southern Cone, etc, are *not in communion with ECUSA*."

The Anglican Communion is defined as those Anglican churches in communion with Canterbury. ECUSA and all the churches Sinner mentions are in communion with Canterbury. So they are, in effect, in communion with each other.

What unilateral action ++Akinola takes is up to him - Duncan is the moderator of a schismatic grouping within ECUSA, and pretending otherwise is doing no one any favours.

Posted by Simon Morden at Sunday, 10 December 2006 at 7:27pm GMT

I didn't read through the comments on this story until today. It wasn't until mid-day Sunday that Jim in his post reminded me the invitation came initially from the archbishop's doctor, a parishioner, and not from the Vicar.

Has anyone checked who the doctor is? Is he a renowned specialist who has previously attended to Archbishop Akinola, or a local GP? Having read the news report and Andrew's piece in the CEN on Friday, I had questions lurking in my mind about the story, some of which have been addressed above. But details remain curious.

Archbishop Akinola and the parish of St Thomas Sheffield may just not have thought about the niceties of who they needed to ask when the doctor offered him a preaching slot, and there really was no intention to create a problem.

On the other hand, the Primate of Nigeria preaching in a parish in the diocese of Sheffield is of some interest to me as Director of Changing Attitude England and colleague of Davis MacIyalla in Nigeria. I might have afforded the train fare to Sheffield for the opportunity to meet Peter Akinola and hear him preach. I need to learn more about Nigerian Anglicanism. The Archbishop and I met briefly last year at the ACC meeting in Nottingham, but that was before he persuaded the Nigerian Government to introduce anti-gay legislation.

I'd welcome a converation with the Archbishop. There are a few questions I'd like to ask him on behalf of Davis. Too late now. Did the mess happen because neither the parish nor the Archbishop want his public presence to be made known?

I'd like to hear from the doctor.

Posted by Colin Coward at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 4:41pm GMT

I didn't read through the comments on this story until today. It wasn't until mid-day Sunday that Jim in his post reminded me the invitation came initially from the archbishop's doctor, a parishioner, and not from the Vicar.

Has anyone checked who the doctor is? Is he a renowned specialist who has previously attended to Archbishop Akinola, or a local GP? Having read the news report and Andrew's piece in the CEN on Friday, I had questions lurking in my mind about the story, some of which have been addressed above. But details remain curious.

Archbishop Akinola and the parish of St Thomas Sheffield may just not have thought about the niceties of who they needed to ask when the doctor offered him a preaching slot, and there really was no intention to create a problem.

On the other hand, the Primate of Nigeria preaching in a parish in the diocese of Sheffield is of some interest to me as Director of Changing Attitude England and colleague of Davis MacIyalla in Nigeria. I might have afforded the train fare to Sheffield for the opportunity to meet Peter Akinola and hear him preach. I need to learn more about Nigerian Anglicanism. The Archbishop and I met briefly last year at the ACC meeting in Nottingham, but that was before he persuaded the Nigerian Government to introduce anti-gay legislation.

I'd welcome a conversation with the Archbishop. There are a few questions I'd like to ask him on behalf of Davis. Too late now. Did the mess happen because neither the parish nor the Archbishop want his public presence to be made known?

I'd like to hear from the doctor.

Posted by Colin Coward at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 4:55pm GMT

Thanks for your commendation of my 'detective work', Andrew Carey. As 1 private individual, I have exercised my right, not give more names than one. As a journalist you give your names. In fact, you seem to have built an entire career on the family name.

Lgbt people still have to watch ourselves when in any public (or quasi-public arena).

Now -- there IS a story for you !

Posted by laurence at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 7:01pm GMT

I see all this "listening" stuff is pure balderdash. Whine that conservatives won't listen to the experiences of gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals and the transgendered, but refuse to allow the primate of Nigeria to speak at all. Perhaps one of you champions of inclusion can explain that to me.

Posted by DaveG at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 8:37pm GMT

Laurence,

I made no criticism of your right to use whatever name you like when posting in a public forum. My comment was directed more at the puerile 'We know who your father is' comment. I see you have continued the theme with your latest post.

Andrew

Posted by Andrew Carey at Monday, 11 December 2006 at 11:34pm GMT

Perhaps one of you champions of inclusion can explain that to me.

Personally, I'd have welcomed ++Abuja being allowed to preach, but I bow to the need to follow protocol. It could be pointed out, though, that ++Abuja's not exactly denied opportunities to broadcast his opinions. It could also be pointed out that to seek to deliver his thoughts to an adulatory audience at a ConsEv set-up is not quite the same as being invited to give his thoughts to a more critical audience, who might ask him awkward questions, just as the GLBT folk expect to have hard questions asked of them.

In other words, I don't think that the playing field is level except on the most superficial reading of the situation. Mind, I'm no journalist nor church lawyer.

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Wednesday, 13 December 2006 at 10:32pm GMT
Post a comment









Remember personal info?






Please note that comments are limited to 400 words. Comments that are longer than 400 words will not be approved.

Cookies are used to remember your personal information between visits to the site. This information is stored on your computer and used to refill the text boxes on your next visit. Any cookie is deleted if you select 'No'. By ticking 'Yes' you agree to this use of a cookie by this site. No third-party cookies are used, and cookies are not used for analytical, advertising, or other purposes.