Thinking Anglicans

News about Africa

Updated on Tuesday and Friday

The primate’s opening address to the 8th General Synod of the Church of Nigeria is published in full on the web here. This includes a section on Global Anglican Relations which is reproduced below the fold here.

The speech also contains the following amazingly untrue remarks about Britain (hat tip to Pat in the CT):

Britain has joined its brethren in the ‘Civilised West’ to legitimise civil partnerships which to us simply means same sex marriages. They are also debating putting a ban on public preaching because it offends Moslem minorities! Britain has of course made Sunday a working day.

Mark Harris updated his earlier blog article about the Egypt meeting, to take some account of George Conger’s remarks.

Two developments on Monday

First, over the weekend there was a story headlined Africans set to found rival Anglican church by Trevor Grundy in Scotland on Sunday. Earlier I added this link to my previous article Akinola in the news.
George Conger has now posted a lengthy comment about it on a blog entry of Brad Drell. Here is what George has to say. Basically, he thinks the article is “more creative writing than news” and he details a number of points in the article that he says are incorrect.

Second, the triennal Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) General Synod is now meeting, and reports are being published on the provincial website. Today’s report can be found here, and contains among other things the following item:

In a pre-conference briefing, the Primate announced that the Synod was likely to review the relationship of the Church of Nigeria to her sister churches in the West, particularly the Church of England, who recently approved homosexual marriages among her clergy.

The hierarchy of the Church of Nigeria has not ruled out a major constitutional amendment to give legal effect to some new positions likely to be adopted by delegates to the General Synod.

Global Anglican Relations extract from Abp Akinola’s primatial address

We assumed leadership position as Chairman of Conference of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) in August 2003 and Chairman of the South-South Encounter of the Anglican Communion in September 2003 and also became the National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in November 2003.

Clearly, as never before, there is a God-given opportunity for the Church of Nigeria today to exercise servant leadership in Africa and in the third world as a whole. We have seized this opportunity and have been able to uphold the integrity of the Gospel and preach a message of self-reliance under God around the world.

We have strengthened our links with Provinces in other parts of Africa and the global South. The result of this was the successful hosting of the first ever African Anglican Bishops’ Conference (AABC) in October 2004. The conference was fully funded by the Church of Nigeria. Tickets were provided for over 50 bishops who could not afford the tickets. Meals and hotel accommodation were provided for all delegates at no cost to them. The theme of the conference, AFRICA COMES OF AGE, was clearly demonstrated. As at the end of the conference, links have been developed among Dioceses in Africa with the aim of supporting each other. The Church of Nigeria, for example, has already made a presentation of a Jeep to the Primate of the Church of Congo to assist the work of the Church in that Country. Before the end of this year, we hope to be able to send a missionary Bishop to Congo.

We have continued to challenged the revisionist agenda of the Provinces in the West as they attempt to twist the clear teaching of the Bible in matters of human sexuality. Our voice became really loud when Canon Jeffery John, an openly gay priest, was chosen to be Bishop of Reading in the Diocese of Oxford. Then came the approval of liturgy for same-sex marriage in Westminster, Canada and the sad climax being the consecration of Gene Robinson, who did not hide his intention to continue an active homosexual partnership, into Episcopal ministry in ECUSA.

As part of our initial response, a committee, set up by the House of Bishops articulated our views in a presentation titled “What We Believe About Human Sexuality”.

This was posted on our website for the entire world to see. It reads in part: “Our position is not simply representative of the opinion of an insignificant minority and ‘broadminded’ scholars.

We are glad to identify ourselves with the company of godly people, both past and present, who have earnestly contended for the truth of the Scriptures and who are spread across many denominations and generations. We share the concern of all who want to do what is right in God’s sight; and we continue to examine our own selves in the light of God’s requirements and generous provision through the means of grace for our instruction.”

A significant outcome of the current crisis has been the need to cater for the spiritual needs of thousands of Nigerian Anglicans in the USA who must not be abandoned to the vagaries of a confused ECUSA. At least three (3) teams of Bishops (including: The Most Rev. M.S.C. Anikwenwa, Rt. Rev. M. Owadayo, Rt. Rev. Peter Adebiyi, Rt. Rev. E. Chukwuma, Rt. Rev. H. Ndukuba, and Rt. Rev. Ikechi Nwosu) went to the US on our behalf to study the potentials for fruitful ministry and their reports have been a guiding light in further moves.

Also a considerable number of American Bishops and clergy have indicated a desire to collaborate with the mission of the Church of Nigeria’s Mission to America known and called Convocation of Anglican Nigerian Missions in USA (CANA). Although we have under the laws of the USA incorporated CANA, it remains a vivid and constant reminder that the continued existence of the worldwide Anglican Communion rests on a very shaky foundation. We ask for the prayers of God’s people.

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The attendance of Rowan Williams at the Global South gathering in Egypt – planned but not yet confirmed as Stephen Bates told us recently – will probably be decided on more practical considerations than any “pub story” plan to enthrone Peter Akinola as an Anglican Patriarch. 1. Lambeth advisors will be waiting to see the detailed programme for the event and how Canterbury’s presence will “fit in” to the proposed agenda. 2. Rowan’s staff will be looking carefully to see if there is a proposal to further the CAPAC method of driving a wedge between the Windsor Report’s theology (A&B)… Read more »