Thinking Anglicans

Church of Nigeria attacks Changing Attitude

There has been a further development in the story about Changing Attitude Nigeria which has been chronicled in detail on TA previously.

First, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) issued two press releases on 28 December, see PRESS RELEASE DISCLAIMER– Davis Mac- Iyalla. This leads to a second release which is more general in character, but also contains specific reference to Mac-Iyalla. (The page is currently poorly formatted but remains legible. A copy of it has been republished by ACNS.)

Second, Changing Attitude issued a press release in response to the above, on 31 December, Changing Attitude Network Nigeria responds to criticism by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

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Dave C.
Dave C.
15 years ago

I await a statement from Colin Coward on this. It is now up to him and his organization to investigate and get to the bottom of these charges and counter charges. Frankly, I do not trust a statement from Davis Mac-Iyalla.

Dave
Dave
15 years ago

This seems to run and run… at least there are now some agreed facts regarding the location (if not behaviour) of Mr Iyalla at Otukpo a couple of years ago.. and claims of current membership at two churches that can be verified!

Plus has anyone spoken to the NYTimes reporter yet ?

RMF
RMF
15 years ago

The comments by officials in the Church in Nigeria regarding this man appear to be complete rubbish and amount to making the leadership out as narrow minded and bigoted. They have no right to kick Davis out of the church for being gay as their “release” tries to suggest. This church in Nigeria would be doing better work if it focused instead on living up to its responsibilities and taking clear action to address its nation’s serious problems. Or are they suggesting that only 6 years out from military dictatorship their most pressing concern is gay and lesbians Anglicans in… Read more »

Dave C.
Dave C.
15 years ago

RMF, you must have read a different press release than I did. I didn’t see anything about kicking Davis out of the church because he is gay. All I see is a claim that he has been known to con people in the past. The Church of Nigeria has very little to gain but much to lose if their information is innaccurate. Can the same be said for Davis? That is why I think it is incumbent upon Colin Coward to come up with some information, sooner rather than later. If he has been conned, he would apparently be in… Read more »

RMF
RMF
15 years ago

Dave C,

Give me a break.

Augustus Meriwether
15 years ago

So much for ‘innocent until proven guilty’. Let’s see, who do I trust? The bigoted and partisan Church of Nigeria (a while back, when Tunde new NOTHING of Mac-Iyalla, he was keen to cast doubt on his integrity simply because he was a Nigerian and Anglican gay activist – this from an official and ordained representative of the Nigerian Anglican Church, I find truly appalling), or a New York Times staff reporter? I’m not convinced Tunde knows anything more about the man now. Given the nature of the opposition’s tactics, I would urge Changing Attitude Nigeria to work hard at… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
15 years ago

To me, this is just another good reason why it is simply impossible to have any meaningful relationship with the church in Nigeria, and why genuine support and development would be much more meaningful given by an Anglican presence without Akinola and his henchmen.

Göran Koch-Swahne
15 years ago

Fantastic!

It seems to me the way to proceed must be for Mr AkinTunde Popoola to verify his accusations, not for Mr Mac-Iyalla (and even less for Mr Coward) to prove them wrong.

Proofs!

Jay
Jay
15 years ago

It appears that the Church of Nigeria has learned “smear” from the American Anglican Council. Remember the 11th hour sensationalism at the ECUSA 2003 general convention, and the bizarre charges against Bp. Robinson? Lord have mercy on us.

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
15 years ago

“To me, this is just another good reason why it is simply impossible to have any meaningful relationship with the church in Nigeria, and why genuine support and development would be much more meaningful given by an Anglican presence without Akinola and his henchmen.” Merseymike

Absolutely right! It’s impossible to eveb think of having any kind of honorable relationship with Akinola and/or his BADNEWS thugs until the Church of Nigeria is restored in TRUTH!

Deceit, ignorance and fear/hate injure and kill LGBT people everyday. Akinola and his propaganda spewing accomplices continue to be shameless and dangerous to other human beings.

RMF
RMF
15 years ago

The detractors of CA-Nigeria insist that that the burden for disproving charges of criminality and wrongdoing rests on the accused–they offer us a presumption of guilt. Is this what the leadership of the Church of Nigeria has to offer its people and the greater communion when confronted by the reality of its people, presumptions of wrongdoing and guilt? Their methods align very closely with undemocratic and dictatorial fiats, not surprising given the culture they are based in but sorely disappointing nonetheless. What a stark contrast to the sort of leadership exemplified by Archbishop Tutu over many, many years, he is… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
15 years ago

I would suggest that it is now difficult to believe anything that comes from the mouth of Akinola, yet alone his henchmen? Many of us urged Rowan Williams not to go to Egypt, we had certain intelligence that there would be an attempt to discredit him and that in a bid to weaken his status as head of the Anglican Communion, Akinola would be elected as head of the new Global South version of the Anglican Communion. Peter Akinola denied this in a Press Statement, telling us this gathering was a Bible study and not a “business meeting”. This proved… Read more »

Tobias S Haller
15 years ago

Even in techo-savvy New York I think it would be difficult to prove that person “X” is not enrolled in some parish or other somewhere in the diocese with any degree of dispatch. In every parish I have served, clergy have neglected to maintain the index portions of their parish rolls, making it very difficult to locate a name, much less prove that one does _not_ exist. When the number of parishes increases from 200 to 6,000, and the number of names to the millions, the task becomes all the more difficult, and the assertion of a thorough search very… Read more »

Tunde
Tunde
15 years ago

CA seems to have cleared the air in their press release. There is no such church as St Philips Kermo in the three dioceses in the FCT. There is however a St Andrew’s Bakana and but it is over 600km from where Davis resides in Abuja. He had been claiming Otukpo before which is also over 250km from both places.

The press release is a warning. He that has ears let him hear.

And Yes! We surely have better things to do than to keep up on this issue.

Thanks folks.

RMF
RMF
15 years ago

Right. In a country where gays and lesbians are imprisoned and killed, Davis is trying to defraud by calling for the province of Nigeria to end its discrimination against its own gay and lesbian members. Now the church’s website in Nigeria has posted the same rubbish about him that was in the press release, including how it canvassed all 6,000 parishes and determined he never belonged to any of them. This is simply not credible. It offers zero proof for any of its slanders against him, whereas Davis’ points about the church in Nigeria, are supported by the province’s leaders… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
15 years ago

Tunde ; as I have pointed out to you before, I have no particular axe to grind with regard to this individual. I haven’t a clue as to whether he is telling the truth or not. I do, though , have a problem with your church, its attitude towards gay people, and the way that you have mounted this campaign. It shows all too clearly that you and your church are not prepared to listen unless we accept your view. Well, we won’t, and we don’t. So when are you going to go off and do us all a favour,… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Cheryl Clough
15 years ago

Titus 3:1-2 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. I started to contribute to this debate after the “honourable” global south launched a public paper against Rowan Williams, knowing he was busy on other matters. A paper that was later found to have at least two peoples’ names associated without their full knowledge or consent. This kind of dirty politics led to my leaving Perth during the America’s Cup.… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
15 years ago

“We surely have better things to do than to keep up on this issue. Thanks folks.” Tunde

Tunde has better things to do than worry about reality and actual TRUTH (not to mention being concerned about the REAL Akinola speciality issues of deceit, discrimination, exploiting and hatemongering against LGBT fellow Christians) from the Church of Nigerias press release(s).

“Busy is as busy does” they say. Or, in the always eyeopening words of my dearly beloved (and departed) friend Charles Benjamin “nobody really knows where the nose goes.”

Colin Coward
15 years ago

It isn’t easy for me to respond to the requests for evidence in support of the Changing Attitude Network Nigeria press release, but I am beginning to collect material together. I am grateful for AkinTunde for directing me to the Nigerian Church web site in an email sent to me this morning. I have now searched the web site and found both parishes at which Davis is a member. The first is the parish of St Philips, Agwanshaho, Kermo Archdeaconry, Diocese of Kubwa, Province of Abuja. The second is the parish of St Andrews, Bakana, Kalabari North Archdeaconry, Diocese of… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
15 years ago

Where are my proofs?

Martin Reynolds
15 years ago

Colin, I think these people who are willing to deceive the Archbishop of Canterbury and the whole Anglican Communion will hardly blink at defaming one of their own.

If there is justice and you are able to demonstrate these allegations are nothing but the lies of corrupt and deceitful people, I hope you are able to take legal action against them for such willful libels.

I am sure that there are many who would support such an action in the Nigerian Courts.

RMF
RMF
15 years ago

AkinTunde, You and your church leadership offer unChristian, unfounded, and outrageous charges of lies, guilt, criminality, and every sort of fraudulent activity when confronted by the peaceful and lawful activities of CA-Nigeria. You now have, in the statement offered up by Colin Coward, the outlines of a clear and strong defense of CA-Nigeria that you likewise outrageously demanded. Not only has every libelous comment against CA-Nigeria and Davis been made without proof of any kind being presented, it now seems quite clear that Canon Popoola, who disseminated the press releases in the name of the Church of Nigeria, must soon… Read more »

Colin Coward
15 years ago

Thanks Martin. I agree that there seem to be no limits to the capacity of some Nigerians for deception and defamation, and this is certainly true in the case of Davis. I still can’t quite believe that a senior church official would set out to destroy the reputation one of his church’s own members in such a deliberate and calculating way. We are consulting with other gay Nigerians in London and Nigeria and a Nigerian gay barrister and are exploring whether it is possible to take action to defend Davis’s name and prove that the allegations made against him and… Read more »

Tunde
Tunde
15 years ago

So it is now Agwanshaho, in KARMO archdeaconry and not St’ Philips Kermo. and anyway CA now says Davis is not a member, just his brother. And 600km away his mother is a member of another church, yet somehow he lives there but his name was on the church roll in Otukpo where he has not been seen and is unwilling to go since late 2003.

BELIEVE WHAT YOU LIKE

Göran Koch-Swahne
15 years ago

Tunde, It’s frightening to see an institution going after an individual in this manner. Has this kind of licence to kill been published since Pope Leo X in 1520? Dr Martin Luther burnt his bull on December 10th, together with the Book of canons – may these two press releases from pope Akinola’s office burn too! But the real question is this: are there Electors Ernests in Nigeria? Is there a Wartburg to go underground? Are there people in the Church òf Nigeria who see the need for Reform, for Justice? For a less corrupt form of Christianity? Who will… Read more »

Augustus Meriwether
15 years ago

Tunde,

We don’t want to ‘believe what we like’; we want to give someone the benefit of the doubt unless we are provided with EVIDENCE that we should believe that Davis, or indeed YOU, has been guilty of some wrong doing.

As it stands, we have seen NO such evidence regarding Davis, but YOU have been (by your persistant and unsubstantiated public defamation of a fellow Christian and countryman) providing plenty of evidence that might cause us to doubt YOUR testimony.

RMF
RMF
15 years ago

AkinTunde, The release you submiitted as the official church position on Davis and CA-Nigeria is full of charges with zero proof. In fact, it seems clear that the release is a paper of lies and libels. Now when you are confronted with the exact evidence and support you demanded, you again persist in the slanders and urge us to “believe what we like,” as if we may properly conclude that your libels are legitimate. You have zero credibility on this matter. Worse, as an official of the church, you try to use it to advance your lies and deception. Your… Read more »

Dave C.
Dave C.
15 years ago

Davis Mac-Illaya has certainly found a credulous bunch in England and elsewhere if the comments posted here are any guide. No matter how many tales he spins or how far fetched, he must be telling the truth because he is gay, and most of the posters here have already tried and convicted the Church of Nigeria of simply inventing out of whole cloth information about him to persecute him because he is gay. Call me sceptical. With the somewhat sketchy information so far available, as far as I can tell, the balance of evidence suggests that Mac-Illay is a con… Read more »

RMF
RMF
15 years ago

A con artist to what end? To “con” the church in Nigeria to recognize the gay and lesbians in it? To “con” the Church in Nigeria to defend some of its most vulnerable? Hogwash. It is the leadersip in the Church in Nigeria that has presented charges out of whole cloth, indeed, it seems lies. It is the leadersip in the Church in Nigeria who themselves state their discrimination against gays and lesbians and then trumpet it. Tell us what is so far fetched about the goals and legal activities of CA-Nigeria? Or are you too in the camp of… Read more »

Tunde
Tunde
15 years ago

AM, RMF, GK-S, Despite CA’s earlier press release that ‘Davis MacIyalla is registered as a member of St Phillips Anglican Church, Kermo FCT, Abuja and St Andrews Anglican Church, Bakana, Degema LGA in Rivers State.’ Colin was later to say Davis only attended another similarly named church while visiting with his brother. The other church according to CA is his mother’s church, hundreds of kilometres from where he has been known to operate from. NO one has disputed the FACT that for 2004 and 2005 he was neither a registered nor an active member of any parish in the Church… Read more »

Dave
Dave
15 years ago

Please could we have some hard facts and less vitriol ? Everyone agrees that Davis MacIyalla was a member or official of the Anglican Church in Otukpo. But disagree about his good standing there. Davis MacIyalla via CA has said he is now a registered member of two churches: St Phillips Anglican Church, Kermo FCT, Abuja and St Andrews Anglican Church, Bakana, Degema LGA in Rivers State. He is sending his certificates to CA, and these can be verified. He also claimed to have had a meeting of about 800 gay Anglicans a few weeks ago, sent CA some photos,… Read more »

RMF
RMF
15 years ago

Please feel free to tell us exactly who Davis is defrauding, why he is defrauding, how exactly he is defrauding, what he hopes to gain by it, and how you arrive at your illogical position that you may lodge whatever claim you like and yet offer no evidence at all unless you are forced to in court. Furthermore, you allege that no one challenges that Davis is not active in church, when he and CA challenge this very thing. Indeed, the entire purpose of CA-Nigeria is to ensure participation in church. Additionally, based on your leadership’s assaults on lesbian/gay/bisexual people… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
15 years ago

Frankly, if the only interest the Church of Nigeria has is enforcing a repentance of something which gay and lesbian Christians do not believe requires repentance, it further illustrates the unbridgeable divide.

Martin Reynolds
15 years ago

Nigeria can hold its head up with pride in at least one respect. The Revd Richard Kirker, who for more than 25 years has led the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement was born and raised there.

Göran Koch-Swahne
15 years ago

Tunde, Membership or no is besides the point. How the Church of Nigeria organizes its membership I don’t know, nor am I interested. The case here is that the Church of Nigeria and you personally have in 2 press releases accused Mr Mac-Iyalla, a fellow Nigerian Christian, of fraud and other things. So far you haven’t produced a shred of evidence. In Swedish law there is a concept which would translate “concludant acting”. This means that if you are seen to do A, you cannot claim to be doing B. Because then you would have be doing B, not A… Read more »

Colin Coward
15 years ago

AkinTunde is still deliberately refusing to read accurately the information about the parishes at which Davis is a member, or read properly what I have told him about where Davis resides. I am now used to his deliberate obfuscations, and understand the technique he uses. Canon AkinTunde has again promised that he is withdrawing from the discussion. Let me make a new year’s prediction. He won’t be able to, because he has initiated something, through his press releases, that is going to develop through 2006. What he has identified as a problem in Nigeria is an issue for the whole… Read more »

cheryl clough
cheryl clough
15 years ago

Unfortunately this kind of debate and tactics are not confined to the homosexuality arena. In researching why the church was putting so many barriers in the way of my personal ministry, I stumbled across many examples of church structures (including Anglican) being knowingly used by power-mongerers to garnish and protect their domains. Do an internet search and look up Anglican Movement for Ordination of Women Bullying Gippsland. There are some excellent examples from Australia of these tactics being used against NON-homosexuals. (And to give the Victorians their due, they have done a lot of good work to overcome their bullying… Read more »

Augustus Meriwether
15 years ago

I don’t know how different things are in Nigeria compared to the UK, but I think the last time I was officially a member of a church was around ten years ago. There, I was on the church roll or whatever it was called. My name was on the ‘register’. It was OFFICIAL. Since then I have moved around the country and the world and have attended various churches for varying periods of time. I don’t think my name was on any of their records and I don’t think anyone would particularly remember my name. I definitely felt that, for… Read more »

Martin
Martin
15 years ago

Doesn’t Nigeria have defamation laws? A pyrrhic victory on the part of the Nigerian Anglican powers-that-be? The puritans who rule the Nigerian Anglican Church under the disguise of Anglicanism while actually peddling an entirely different puritanical religion need to be shown up for what they are. I have worshipped in a parish that was once broad (CC-BKK)only for it to be foolishly handed over to the Singaporeans several years ago whose Bishop has since imposed Sydney Diocese Moore College types on – who have made G L, Anglo-catholic, Broad Church Liberals… basically anyone and everyone who is not anti-G &… Read more »

Colin Coward
15 years ago

Statement by Changing Attitude (England) on Nigeria 5 January 2006 The Rev. Canon AkinTunde Popoola, Director of Communications, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) issued two press releases published consecutively on 28 January 2006 on behalf of the Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, CON, D.D, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria. The press releases directly and by implication make allegations against Mr Davis MacIyalla of dishonesty, fraudulently obtaining church documents and stealing large sums of money including salaries. Canon Popoola has published these allegations but has produced no evidence to substantiate the very serious claims he has made against Mr… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
15 years ago

Colin speaks of a fixation with the Bible as an authority over God and the Lord Jesus. He has the correct order of priority; but nevertheless his system does not work, for 2 reasons: (1) In Christian discourse, ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’ must to some large extent be defined on the basis of biblical data in the first place, albeit there are also other important data. (2) There are no grounds for his being so unsure about the Bible but simultaneously so sure about what he describes as ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’. For, after all, the doctrines of God and of Christ… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
15 years ago

“Canon AkinTunde has again promised that he is withdrawing from the discussion. Let me make a new year’s prediction. He won’t be able to, because he has initiated something…”

I heartily regret to agree you’ll get *that* one right, Colin.

[Personally, I am uninterested in whatever else the canon has to say, until he *repents of his sins against the people-whom-God-made-gay*. On that glorious day, I will welcome our reconciliation. God is good! :-D]

Martin
Martin
15 years ago

Adequate pastoral care needs to be somehow provide to the vulnerable souls (who through no fault of their own) find themselves G or L and living in a diocese whose Bishop is a ‘Global South’ member. TEA(transferred episcopal authority) to the ABC (Archbishop of Canterbury)? Why not invite the Bishops of ALL churches in communion with the Church of England (including the Scandinavian ones)to next Lambeth? Meanwhile perhaps Bishops could ‘show themselves gentle and merciful for Christ’s sake to the poor, needy and to all strangers destitute of help’ when shepherding their G & L sheep. Otherwise, I fear the… Read more »

2dTenor
2dTenor
15 years ago

I think it a sad commentary that this thread is as long as it is, and that there are only two comments with respect to the several thoughtful articles published in the Anglican Theological Review relative to the Windsor Report. I understand the reasons for the vehemence generated by this thread; I just don’t see how it is helpful.

Göran Koch-Swahne
15 years ago

Pray, what has the Windsor report to do with defamation?

Martin Reynolds
15 years ago

2dTenor I am glad you have had the time to read through them all. I am still only halfway.

J. C. Fisher
15 years ago

Venting against *injustice*, 2dTenor? It’s helpful by being *necessary*! ;-/

[But you’re correct in that we need more thoughtful reflection vis-a-vis the ATR as well]

2dTEnor
2dTEnor
15 years ago

By the vehemence, I was referring to the drift toward ad hominem attacks, not substance.

Göran Koch-Swahne
15 years ago

Has someone been attacked unfairly (apart from Mr Mac-Iyalla that is)?

The Reverend LJ Roberts
The Reverend LJ Roberts
15 years ago

I wouldnt give the —— Windsor Report the time of day — and as for papers on it, and ‘theological reflection’, I wouldnt waste my energy, on this thoroughly homophobic, hypocritical and typically ‘liberal’ excercise in prevarication & avoidance.

But practical support of a defamed person, on the ground, must come first every time.

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