Thinking Anglicans

more reports on the Nigerian election of Minns

Updated Saturday and Sunday (twice)

Today’s Church Times has a further report on the Nigerian election of Martyn Minns as a bishop for CANA, by Doug LeBlanc Nigerians set to lay hands on Minns:

This week, Bishop Lee, who has Canon Minns in his jurisdiction for roughly another week, again voiced his doubts that the Canon will be able to serve as Rector of Truro and as a foreign bishop. “I think the conflicts are too great to make that do-able,” the Bishop said. The consecration date “adds a new element of complexity in the drama of ecclesiology in the United States”.

Additionally, the paper edition carries a lengthy exclusive interview with Bishop Peter Lee, until next week available only to subscribers, which includes the revelation that on 27 June, Minns came to see him about his impending retirement:

… I asked him if he was going to be elected a bishop in the Church of Nigeria. He looked very surprised, and answered something to the effect that anything might happen.

“Later that morning, he called my office from his car. He told me that Peter Akinola [Archbishop of Nigeria] had just phoned his car to tell him that he had been elected a bishop in Nigeria.”

Later that day, Archbishop Akinola had phoned Bishop Lee to ask whether Canon Minns could remain Rector of Truro while serving as a Nigerian bishop. “I used the word ‘impossible’…”

George Conger in the Church of England Newspaper reports in Minns to be made a Nigerian bishop that:

Conservative leaders in the US have declined to endorse Canon Minns’ election and have quietly backed the statement released last month by Lambeth Palace, which held the June 28 election “was not a welcome development. It is neither timely nor constructive as it further complicates an already complex situation.”

Doug LeBlanc has also written an article for the Living Church about this, Minns’ Consecration Set Before Discernment.

Updates

(thanks EP) From the Nigerian Guardian: Nigerian Anglicans To Ordain Bishop For U.S Diocese:

To shield its members from ungodly doctrines and practices, such as interaction with gay priests, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has created a separate diocese in the United States for them. It has also appointed a bishop for the faithful The diocese known as Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) will be presided over by Rev, Cannon Martyn Minns.

In a statement yesterday, the Diocesan Communicator Lady Nancy Oghenekaro explained that the action was part of moves to provide “safe spiritual harbour” and meet the needs of Anglican Nigerians in the wake of the divisive actions of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.

Cannon Minns 63, a British-born clergyman and based in the Rector of Truro Church, Virginia, will be consecrated at the National Christian Centre (Ecumenical Centre) Abuja on Saturday August 19, 2006 along with three other bishops -elect in a service to be presided over by the Primate of the, Anglican Communion, Rev Peter J Akinola.

This report by Julia Duin in the Washington Times appeared on 7 August: Consecration set for this month:

Originally set up for expatriate Nigerians, CANA also will shelter displaced church conservatives in ongoing Episcopal battles over issues of Scripture and sexuality. In July, Nigerian bishops released a statement calling the U.S. Episcopal Church a “cancerous lump” that should be “excised” from the worldwide Anglican Communion.
But the Nigerians’ decision to consecrate an American got a cool reception from conservative U.S. bishops. Only Quincy, Ill., Bishop Keith Ackerman applauded the move. Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, president of the Anglican Communion Network, the largest conservative Episcopal group, has refused comment.
“Bishop-elect Minns is a very gifted pastor, teacher and leader,” his communications director, Peter Frank, said recently, while adding that he was not speaking for the bishop. “The Church of Nigeria … has given leadership when no one else was willing to do it.”

From the Tide: Church of Nigeria to consecrate new bishops.

A further letter from Bishop Lee to the diocese of Virginia, issued this weekend, can be found below, in the comments (from Cynthia Gilliatt).

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DaveW
DaveW
14 years ago

The church of Nigeria is now starting to do what te ECUSA has been doing, its own thing regardless of the Communion as a whole. And why? Fot two reasons firstly because of what the ECUSA has been doing and secondly because the ECUSA has not been dealt with.

Terence Dear
Terence Dear
14 years ago

It is important to remember that the Episcopal Church in the US has acted perfectly properly throughout this sad episode. It has broken none of its own rules or those of the Anglican Communion. Only 7 out of 110 Bishops of the Episcopal Church are actively opposed to the inclusivity that their Church is pursuing – and they by no means have the backing of all their communicants. The current problem lies with the fact that a minority of Primates led by Archbishop Akinola are seeking to change the Anglican Communion into something it was never intended to be, and… Read more »

Davis d'Ambly
Davis d'Ambly
14 years ago

Just out of curiosity, Dave, when did ECUSA consecrate a “liberal” bishop for the Province of Nigeria? Sure I get your point, ECUSA hasn’t listened properly to other Anglican voices, but then again is Akinola really listening to gay and lesbian voices at all?

kieran crichton
kieran crichton
14 years ago

DaveW, I don’t think that your comment makes any sense. How would the Nigerians feel if the Americans started insisting on universal monogamy throughout Africa? This a thing that happens there, regardless of how the Communion as a whole feels about the matter. Is there any suggestion that TEC would be within its rights in seeking to “deal” with the Nigerians for condoning polygamy? Should they start electing sympathetic Nigerian parish clergy as missionary bishops from TEC to Nigeria in the way that Minns has been elected by the Nigerians? The Nigerians have already supplied the argument and the process… Read more »

bls
bls
14 years ago

IOW, ECUSA is at fault no matter what happens, and nobody else is ever to be held responsible for what they do.

Very convenient!

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

I see, TEC is so bad an example that it pushed poor, vulnerable, shaky Nigeria over the edge – into following its bad example. Who funded that shift? You know, Akinola’s barbecues and all. I think I am getting a sorry sort of whiplash from trying to follow this alleged logic. It also frustrates me a bit that any believer who claims to be rooted in nothing but eternal, absolute scriptural truth can so quickly play fast and loose with any facts he or she chooses to spin, edit, or revise – whether those be facts from church and world… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
14 years ago

Strikes me that you want it all your own way, Dave.

Be honest.You don;t want any liberals in the Anglican Communion, do you?

DaveW
DaveW
14 years ago

I am glad to answer a couple of questions The breaking of provincial rules may be more important to liberals, but the departure from the gospel once delivered is more important to conservatives. As the ECUSA have been seen to depart from the gospel once delivered, Nigeria is about to depart from the tradition of appointments, sad though it is. A house divided against itself cannot stand, the gospel urges unity in the Spirit, Satan looks to divide the church. The other point I would make in response to the comment “but then again is Akinola really listening to gay… Read more »

J. C. Fisher
J. C. Fisher
14 years ago

I’m just struck how much more charitable +Peter Lee has been in this situation, than I would be! ;-/

[Though it sounds like he was a little more blunt w/ his episcopal peer, +Akinola (“impossible”), than elsewhere: “I think the conflicts are too great to make that do-able,” the Bishop said. The consecration date “adds a new element of complexity in the drama of ecclesiology in the United States” (and he *asked* Minns+ re his plans, as opposed to merely saying—as I would have—“Don’t you *dare*!” I note that Minns dissembled anyway…
:-/ )]

Paul
Paul
14 years ago

“The inability of Canterbury to plainly tell the rowdy kids to just settle down while grown ups work out differences and changes in the family?”

Didn’t Jesus tell his argumentative (adult) disciples to become like children? I get very worried when anyone suggests the opposite as the right way for the church to operate

Paul

Marshall Scott
14 years ago

Laying aside the question of whether the Church of Nigeria- Anglican has violated its own canons in electing Minns, or the question of whether a bishop of a Church that has declared itself not in communion with TEC, of which the Diocese of Virginia is a constituent, can serve in a parish of that diocese of TEC, I think there is a further question: why would Minns want to continue to function in TEC? That’s where his professional integrity comes into question. Now, to see the parish through this “discernment” process, or through a search, might make sense, but surely… Read more »

Davis d'Ambly
Davis d'Ambly
14 years ago

To answer DaveW’s question. I am one gay man who listens very very carefully to what all voices have to say about the question, including what celibate homosexual and heterosexual voices are saying. My quesion was about the Archbishop of Nigeria.

Merseymike
Merseymike
14 years ago

But, Dave, your view is quite clearly that we should change our minds to come into line with conservative opinion.

Thats not going to happen. So, I ask again, is your aim to rid the Anglican Communion of liberal Christians altogether?

Columba Gilliss
Columba Gilliss
14 years ago

Kieran-
That is the source of part of the anger – English, American and other missionaries did teach their converts that polygamy was contrary to the Bible and demand that second and other wives and their children be put away regardless of the resulting hardships. Those who were discovered to have such after babptism or ordination were cast out.

Marshall Scott
14 years ago

Columba:

So, reports that the practice, while rare, still occurs, sometimes even among bishops in East Africa, are a complete misunderstanding? As far as I am aware, the teachings of the provinces of the Anglican Communion in Africa include that marriage should be between one man and one wife; but I have heard reports, from sources I feel reliable, that some few instances of it continue underground, justified culturally. Thus, the man may only have one wife registered with the state, but have another “cultural wife” kept at home.

Crescens
Crescens
14 years ago

Dave, you wrote:

The breaking of provincial rules may be more important to liberals, but the departure from the gospel once delivered is more important to conservatives.

Would you tell me one single word of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John from which we progressives have departed?

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
14 years ago

“As the ECUSA have been seen to depart from the gospel once delivered…”

OK – show us all where in the Gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ – in Matthew Mark Luke and John – there is one word about homosexuality.

ONE WORD!

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

I do not perceive much of the realignment campaign leadership as being nearly so totally adult as they so love to style themselves – the only adults around, naturally. Some adult behaviors/attitudes I would dearly love to see much more of among us all? Well, (1) being able to occupy the frame of a mature agreeing to disagree, intentionally, as a adult center of value that has worth in its own right (for peacemaking, among other things), as well as being an ethical means to ethical ends? (2) Maybe being able to bear a strong conscientious witness from inside one’s… Read more »

Rae Fletcher
Rae Fletcher
14 years ago

Just so we keep our minds clear on how we handle “moral” issues in Anglicanism here is something from “The Guardian Archives” it seems they are on board with the idea of marriage between a man and woman in lifelong union–that “monogamy is God’s plan,” as delegates to the Anglican Communion’s Lambeth Conference put it in 1988. But some of their flock on the African continent (and, it is said, one or two of the bishops themselves) are also into the practice of stretching God’s plan to make marriage an arrangement between a man and several women–or polygamy as it… Read more »

Emeka Peters
Emeka Peters
14 years ago

News about Minns consecration has been reported here: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/news/article05

Martin Reynolds
14 years ago

There is some irony here. For some years Akinola was in breach of his own Canons, indeed his own Church Constitution by declaring he was in broken communion with Provinces and diocese that were in communion with the see of Canterbury. Rather late in the day he fixed this and in so doing made other rules which he now stands in breach of, but as others have said his actions are not constrained by law or the recommended constraints of the Windsor Report – such things are evidently for lesser mortals. We are told that in the “great game” Akinola,… Read more »

DaveW
DaveW
14 years ago

Dear Davis d’Ambly You wrote “To answer DaveW’s question. I am one gay man who listens very very carefully to what all voices have to say about the question, including what celibate homosexual and heterosexual voices are saying. My question was about the Archbishop of Nigeria.” I am one Christian who believes the promotion of homosexual practice is a significant departure from the gospel once delivered and condemned in the Bible. I don’t think the appointments within a church are significant compared to that. I also think to see everything in terms of sexuality is a barrier to the gospel.… Read more »

DaveW
DaveW
14 years ago

Dear Cynthia Gilliatt and Crescens You wrote “ONE WORD!” Legalism for a start, how long have you got? You wrote… “Would you tell me one single word of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John from which we progressives have departed?” The gospel once delivered isnt just the four gospels, its the whole of the NT message as well so this is the first mistake, and here is why. Paul writes in Galatians 1 that any other gospel is no gospel at all… thats a departure. On the main issue we seem to have again, sexuality, +Griswold says Paul… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
14 years ago

Please keep comments related to the topic of the article: the forthcoming consecration of Martyn Minns.

Ian Montgomery
Ian Montgomery
14 years ago

I have known Martyn for over 25 years and know him to be a dedicated and wondeful Christian man, a gifted pastor, preacher and leader. I cannot think of a better candidate for Bishop. I also have ministered to Nigerians, Sudanese and Kenyan Anglicans. Martyn understands them and speaks the same Christian language. CANA was born of the need to find spiritually uplifting, evangelical Anglicanism on these shores. The Episcopal Church has effectively turned its back upon Evangelical Anglican Christianity. People now travel considerable distances to find such a local church – if they can. In some places we are… Read more »

kieran crichton
kieran crichton
14 years ago

DaveW, Why are you so angry and defensive? Jesus sat at table with people who were socially beyond the pale for the *mainstream* of Jerusalem in his day. It was the self-proclaimed *orthodox* guardians of the Covenant who were so deeply offended by this inclusivity business (i.e: being told fairly bluntly that no-one is truly beyond the grace of God) that they found it expedient that Jesus should be Dealt With. We know the consequences that brought, even if the Pharisees and their allies hadn’t thought through to the consequences their action might bring. It strikes me that those who… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
14 years ago

Its clear that there is a definite split within conservatives in the USA and I would say wider as well.

Crescens
Crescens
14 years ago

Don’t you love the comment in the Nigeria Guardian article:

> in a service to be presided over by the Primate of the, Anglican Communion, Rev Peter J Akinola.<

Maybe they have more prescience than we do. How long before the anti-Canterbury *Primate of the Anglican Communion* is announced formally? They say it will be Alexandria rather than Canterbury.

DaveW
DaveW
14 years ago

Dear kieran crichton, You aked “DaveW, Why are you so angry and defensive?” I am not in the slightest angry or defensive but merely putting across my view which is the historical Christian view and one believed by the vast majority in the church. I hoped my apology for perhaps sounding blunt would show this. I agree with you Jesus did indeed sit at table with people who were socially, and religiously I might add, ‘beyond the pale’. But of course He died for all to be a reconciliation to God. I havent a clue what you mean by inclusivity,… Read more »

David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
David Rowett (= mynsterpreost)
14 years ago

Ian Montgomery rejoices; “Many cheers for Archbishop Akinola for sending out a lifeboat anad a real lifeline to give succor and support to good Christain folk who are otherwise abandoned.” Funny, you know, but a trawl of US Christian websites show there are enough lifeboats available for anti-gay Christians to constitute an invasion fleet. The trick is to find Christian denominations which are still treating the subject as a live issue. There are two contrary arguments being used: one is that the majority of US Episcopalians are on the Akinola/Minns axis; the other is that these faithful constitute a persecuted… Read more »

John Henry
John Henry
14 years ago

Dave W. would really benefit from reading Theodore W. Jennings, Jr.’s exegetical masterpiece, entitled: The Man Jesus Loved: Homoerotic Narratives from the New Testament (Cleveland, OH: The Pilgrim Press, 2003). Dr. Jennings is a graudate from Duke University, with a doctorate from Emory U. A United Methodist minister, he is professor of NT at Chicago Theological Seminary.

As Dr. Jennings demonstrates from close and careful reading of NT (Greek) texts, Jesus did address the issue of homosexuality and included those whom the scribes and Pharisees excluded.

Simon Sarmiento
14 years ago

And that is related to the consecration of Martyn Minns how?
Please keep on topic.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
14 years ago

This came to my email this morning. Date: Sun 13 Aug 07:45:00 EDT 2006 From: “Patrick Getlein” Subject: A Message from Bishop Lee To: A Letter to the Diocese of Virginia from the Bishop Dear Friends: As most of you know, the Rev. Martyn Minns, rector of Truro Church, Fairfax, was elected by the Nigerian House of Bishops to be a bishop of the Church of Nigeria serving in the United States. Many of you also know that Truro Church had launched a search for a successor rector to Martyn prior to that election, though he has not yet announced… Read more »

Christoferos
Christoferos
14 years ago

If Akinola has indeed been “in violation of his own canons,” that would simply put him on par with TEC bishops who have been in violation of their own canons for some time, no? Bishops who were knowingly ordaining active homosexuals even though our canons on the books have said they should not? Terence Dear… you are living in an alternate universe if you stand by your statement as “factual” rather than abject subjectivism. Like it or not, the Global South primates are going to declare at their meeting in September: 1.)TEC has chosen to walk apart, bypassing their chance… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
14 years ago

Then that will include much of the Church of England, because there is no intention to declare TEC not in communion with them.

Hence the suggestion of a process which will establish some sort of order.

As I thought, though, this is actually all about Akinola and his bid for power.

Good riddance to him .

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

I think the almost new CANA bishop Minns is going out on quite a thin limb, if ABN Akinola’s standing is as diminished as some posters suggest. For myself, I still cannot quite form a good idea of Akinola, since I mainly know him by his prejudices, his angry and bull-headed temper displayed in the media, and his public preening. Surely there is more to Nigeria than this? I rather suspect that Bishop Minns is stalling, in hopes that Canterbury will soon unveil a new flight path for the flying primates who will provide safe oversight for believers frightened out… Read more »

Christoferos
Christoferos
14 years ago

Merseymike: Perhaps this is a bid for power from Akinola, perhaps not. That, however, is an obfuscation of the fact that TEC has violated the spirit of the Virginia Report at GC 2003 and at VGR’s consecration, violated the spirit of Lambeth 1.10 in 2003 (knowingly and intentionally on Frank Griswold’s part), precipitated impaired communion prior to GC ’06, and with considered aforethought (we had two years), and ignored the recommendations of the Windsor Report with the bureaucratic equivalence of a shrug. TEC handed Akinola his Gulf of Tonkin in 2003. 2006 just makes him look all the more “prophetic,”… Read more »

Craig Goodrich
Craig Goodrich
14 years ago

Mike: “… that (CAPA’s breaking communion?) will include much of the Church of England, because there is no intention to declare TEC not in communion with them.”

I dunno. The ABC’s Reflection and the “In or out” putative Covenant, together with the CoE HoB’s near-unanimous acceptance of Windsor, and the negative language from a normally excruciatingly careful and tactful (and Welsh) ABC, all suggest to me that the possibility of the CoE breaking communion with some large portion of ECUSA is no longer completely unthinkable.

But we shall see.

Simon Sarmiento
14 years ago

“together with the CoE HoB’s near-unanimous acceptance of Windsor”

The HoB has not endorsed the entire Windsor Report. Please refer to
http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/000997.html
and also
http://anglicansonline.org/news/articles/2005/generalsynodwindsorprimates0220.html

kieran crichton
kieran crichton
14 years ago

DaveW, I’m glad we agree that Jesus ate with those who were, as you put it, ‘beyond the pale’. Jesus certainly was dismissive the hypocrisy he exposed in those who claimed to “own” the Covenant while vitiating it. When they rested on the Sabbath, the Pharisees truly believed they had Dealt With Jesus once and for all, and no consequences for themselves. How anyone interprets the Atonement is not a matter I have raised here. St Paul’s statement that the faith matters only because of the resurrection should be taken seriously enough to allow the rest to be left to… Read more »

Merseymike
Merseymike
14 years ago

Two Anglican Communions is by far the best outcome, Christoferos. It would be far better, from my perspective, to be part of a church without the malevolent homophobia of Akinola and other fundamentalists. Gay and lesbian equality is a justice issue and is far more important than the supposed ‘unity’of a sick and corrupt communion which is well past its sell by date – and won’t be missed by me when it finally collapses. I shall have the champagne on ice! Thing is, Christoferos, I don’t have any bonds of affection whith conservative theology and its homophobic followers. They follow… Read more »

DaveW
DaveW
14 years ago

Dear kieran crichton, Sorry being pedantic but I was merely quoting ‘beyond the pale’ which someone else used, but why do we agree that Jesus ate with those people? I think the NT tells us that As to ‘might is right’ that is your term and not one I used or was trying to convey. The context I was using was the communion as a whole, the ECUSA being a minority whose leadership theology the majority of the communion believes is too significant a departure from the Christian faith. But you ask whether two-way traffic on this Nigerian-built road is… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

I would assume that all involved heard yesterdays Epistle reading in their respective churches. I wonder if they even thought it applies to them. What to me are the two most relevant verses are appended below: “4:31 Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, 4:32 and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.” Odd that these kind of passages are hardly ever quoted by either side. Condemning gay people or trying to fudge some difficult passages are obviously bigger issues.… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

Fact is, probably. We already have a nascent global underground railroad of sorts, thanks partly to mobility within the communion. Hidden LGBTQ Folks. Latent liberal-progressive thinkers. Young scientists. People of many sorts who grow up in countries where some closed secular or religious traditionalism believes that it already knows, and enforces thank you very much, all that is allowable. Surely if Nigeria dares to try to evangelize the wayward USA liberals, they will return the favor? UK Changing Attitude is already working with Nigerian Changing Attitude. South Africa already constitutes another African way to put it all together, without the… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
14 years ago

“violated the spirit of the Virginia Report at GC 2003” …. and I thought this report was “dead in the water” …. it was rejected by the ACC wasn’t it?

Robert Holman+
Robert Holman+
14 years ago

I wonder. How different is this canonically speaking, from the time a group of people gathered together in the US to ordain – against the rule of the church canons – the first women as deacons and then later as priests? In other words, why all the uproar when Akinola, the Anglican province of Nigeria and Minns are choosing to act in the belief that what they are doing is just and for the sake of the gospel? How is this so terribly different and why such uproar?

Martin Reynolds
14 years ago

I am assuming that this is Robert Holman, priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany and a member of the Standing Committee of that diocese that produced this statement: http://albany.anglican.org/equipping/newsitems/Briefs/brief-060707.htm I have no enthusiasm for the Windsor Report, but I respect those who have. One of the features of many of those who loudly promulgate this document is their selectivity, particularly when it comes to the moratorium on crossing Provincial boundaries. Even if it is not that particular priest then I draw his attention to a line from the above statement which says: “The Windsor Report required compliance with both… Read more »

kieran crichton
kieran crichton
14 years ago

DaveW, You said “The Nigerian church dwarfs the ECUSA” = “Might is Right”. The Communion as a whole is not acting against TEC; rather, the Nigerians are being prevailed upon to act without due regard to the consequences. Just like the Pharisees thought they might nail Jesus with impunity. With the benefit of hindsight, do we not tend to regard the Pharisees and their allies as having acted precipitately? Once again, I am asking about whether the consequences of this action really justify it, not why you think it should be done – repetition doesn’t make your views any more… Read more »

DaveW
DaveW
14 years ago

Merseymike wrote, !It would be far better, from my perspective, to be part of a church without the malevolent homophobia of Akinola and other fundamentalists. Gay and lesbian equality is a justice issue and is far more important than the supposed ‘unity’ of a sick and corrupt communion which is well past its sell by date – and won’t be missed by me when it finally collapses. I shall have the champagne on ice!” This is more about schism in the Anglican communion over such issues than gay and lesbian lobbying. Sadly in response to such language I have to… Read more »

Simon Sarmiento
14 years ago

DaveW
The topic is the Nigerian election of Minns. Please keep to the topic.

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