Thinking Anglicans

Nigerian news items

Updated Saturday 10 Feb

First, Reuters today published this story: Nigeria’s Akinola is driving force in Anglican world.

The worldwide Anglican Communion is officially led by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head of the Church of England, but he’s facing growing competition these days from Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria.

A staunch defender of traditional Christianity, the energetic Akinola, 63, leads a movement of “Global South” churches in Africa, Asia and Latin America that has brought the 77-million-strong Communion to the brink of schism…

Second, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has published this: A COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF THE SPECIAL ONE-DAY GENERAL SYNOD OF THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA (ANGLICAN COMMUNION) HELD AT AT ST. PAUL’S CHURCH, DENDO ROAD, SOKOTO ON WEDNESDAY 7TH, FEBRUARY, 2007. It covers various subjects but includes the following:

The forthcoming Primates’ meeting

The Synod is pleased to hear that the Primate of All Nigeria would be taking part in the meeting of Primates of the Anglican Communion that will hold in Dar es Salaam, February 14th – 20th, 2007. While commending him, the Primate, for his principled stand on the thorny issues plaguing the Communion for some time the Synod is prayerfully looking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this particular meeting to the end that Biblical authority will be upheld. The Synod, while still working towards the unity of the Anglican Communion, strongly believes that such unity must be rooted in Biblical orthodoxy.

The 2008 Lambeth Conference

The Synod reaffirms its earlier resolutions on the 2008 Lambeth Conference and stands firmly on the recommendations of the document, “The Road to Lambeth,” as a condition for our participation in this gathering.

Our brethren in CANA

The Synod welcomed the report from the Bishop of CANA (Convocation of Anglicans in North America) and the increasing number of congregations and clergy who are now part of this important missionary initiative of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). We welcome them as full and constituent members of our Anglican Communion family. We rejoice in their faithful witness during these turbulent times. We are saddened to hear that the profound division in the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia has now led to the unholy situation where an Episcopal Bishop has initiated costly legal action against churches whose only offence is seeking to remain true to the “faith once for all delivered to the saints.” We assure them that we stand with them and will continue to uphold them with our prayers…

and concludes with:

Vote of Confidence

The Synod notes with great delight the visionary, purposeful and dedicated leadership given by our Primate, the Most Reverend Peter J. Akinola. Worthy of special note is his unflinching resolve to uphold the authority of the Word of God against onslaughts from modern apostles of false doctrines. The Synod assures him of our prayers and enthusiastic support.

SIGNED
The Most Revd. Peter J. Akinola, DD, CON
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria

The document mentioned above The Road to Lambeth is linked to from here.

Third, there is this article in Time magazine: Blunt Bishop. It starts this way:

The most Rev. Peter Akinola of Nigeria was in New York City late in January making one of his increasingly frequent forays into what he once would have considered enemy territory. Only journalists from religious publications were invited to cover the occasion, at Manhattan’s swank Metropolitan Club—which probably suited the Archbishop, who has become wary of the mainstream press since a December New York Times story that advisers feel wrongly portrayed him as a homophobe. But a friend of the Nigerian primate’s told TIME that Akinola received a standing ovation. The actual guest of honor was a Christian missionary accused under Australia’s anti—religious vilification laws of making anti-Muslim statements. (He appealed, and the case was sent back to trial court.) But Akinola, wearing a gray Western suit over his usual purple shirt, clerical collar and 3-in. wooden cross, was the man most of the religiously conservative attendees had come to see. In cadences that approached preaching, he commended the missionary for what Akinola called his faith and courage at a crucial moment for the Gospel. He cited challenges to Christianity in Australia, Africa and even in England and quoted a biblical verse recounting God’s need for a hero in a debauched land, to “stand in the gap.”

The image could be described as unintentionally double-edged. To a significant number of critics, far from bridging a gap, Akinola, 63, is actively involved in widening one. As primate to 17 million Nigerian Anglicans and head of an African bishops’ group with a total flock of 44 million, he is one of the most influential leaders in the Anglican Communion, the global 78 million— member confederation that includes the 2.2 million congregants in the Episcopal Church (U.S.A.). Indeed, he is the highest-profile figure in the southward shift of Christianity as a whole. Yet he may exercise that influence by helping pull his communion apart, largely over the issue of the church’s stance on homosexuality…

Update There is a further official press release from Nigeria, SOKOTO SURPRISE FOR ANGLICAN LEADERS: “Let them hit me first”, with pictures.

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Marshall Scott
14 years ago

First, to give credit where due: they obviously had a variety of topics to address, and not simply differences in the Anglican Communion.

The statements that are made on the Anglican Communion are not new. Much was made before of how “special” this meeting would be. Certainly, meeting in a Nigerian state that is predominantly Muslim is a special occasion. Perhaps some of us in the blogosphere, from all perspectives, expected something more dramatic.

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

I especially like the “Vote of Confidence” bit for Archbishop Akinola…it reminds me of the 99% National reelection of Saddam Hussein for President held shortly before the Americans and British forces invaded Iraq…then suddenly the despotic “leader” adjourned to a hole in the ground.

The rest is Bad News not Good News for anyone!

Pluralist
14 years ago

There is an interesting definition of the Anglican communion in the Nigerian Synod statement:

the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

Which is rather different from the claim that these dissenting congregations are still in the Anglican Communion (Church of Nigeria).

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

“Our brethren in CANA: The Synod welcomed the report from the Bishop of CANA (Convocation of Anglicans in North America)” I see that the FICTION of CANA standing for “Convocation for *Nigerian Anglicans* in America” has been dropped. {sigh} More and more, we see this contrast: the secular society (with its secular media) GETS IT, while the so-called “Christians” (or “religious media”) DOESN’T. See, for example, Reuters: “Akinola, 63, leads a movement . . . that has brought the 77-million-strong Communion to the brink of schism…” Gets it. See, for example, TIME magazine: “far from bridging a gap, Akinola, 63,… Read more »

Weiwen
14 years ago

To go from ++Desmond Tutu to Peter Akinola is tragic. I know, though, that several African clergy have spoken out against him. This man does not represent all of Africa or all of the Global South.

Paul Davison
Paul Davison
14 years ago

These resolutions in Nigeria almost sound like the “cult of personality” we can see in totalitarian states.

Curtis
Curtis
14 years ago

+Akinola IS a homo-phobe. The New York Times article gave good reasons to believe so. And, by the way, if he is the “driving force in Anglicanism” then Anglicanism is in for a rougher and uglier ride than it wants to admit.

laurence
laurence
14 years ago

I wish to object to the Moderators here, in the strongest terms, that they should have published this scurillous spoof website, purporting to be of the C of N, and scurillous spoof documents pretending to report their Synod’s deliberations. You don’t fool me that easily ! Next you will be claiming that peter akinola personally dictated the Vote of Confidence (in Himself) and all that other stuff….. ALSO I object to that spoof of Scott-Joynt. I KNOW he *just* couldn’t possibly have lied and lied like that…… or shown such lack of insight and sensitivity. Also would he be sO… Read more »

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

I must have missed something — I really don’t see anything new in this — after all the hype, I expected something.

Will I be able to say the same after the conclusion of the Primates’ Meeting?

cryptogram
cryptogram
14 years ago

Abp Akinola’s communique sounds eerily like something by Kim Il Sung. Is there a Nigerian Province in North Korea?

JPM
JPM
14 years ago

Comrade Akinola has bravely set fleeing the running dogs of bourgeois sodomitic imperialism!

All hail the glorious people’s revolution!

The Masked Tortilla
The Masked Tortilla
14 years ago

You do realize that those of you who are making such outrageous comments about Dr. Akinola are engaging in a form of racism? Isn’t it because he is a strong black African leader that you can say such things about him? Doesn’t that make white men uncomfortable – to see a strong black African man in leadership? Isn’t that the issue here? If Dr. Akinola was Norwegian do you think you’d be acting like this?

Look, if the shoe fits – but you must know how this comes across. Think about it.

seeker
seeker
14 years ago

Question & Answer

‘You do realize that those of you who are making such outrageous comments about Dr. Akinola are engaging in a form of racism?’
NO .

Doesn’t that make white men uncomfortable – to see a strong black African man … ?

Au contraire !

If Dr. Akinola was Norwegian do you think you’d be acting like this?

YEPP !
Any more questions MaskedTortilla ?

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

Let’s make sure I’ve got this right, MaskedTortilla – because Akinola is “a strong black African leader” he’s above criticism. That it?

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

Have you heard of the Norwegian blinkers?

… works, doesn’t work, works, doesn’t work…

;=)

Merseymike
Merseymike
14 years ago

I dislike homophobes and megalomaniacs whether they be black or white

Maduka
Maduka
14 years ago

What was really discussed at the Synod? I doubt it was limited to the communique.

I doubt they went all the way to Sokoto just before the meeting in Tanzania to just produce that communique.

Fr Joseph O'Leary
14 years ago

Bah, the Anglican bishop I most admire is Bp Tutu, the one I least like is Bp Akinola. It is really a desperate ploy to cast critics of Akinola — most of whom are moved by an elementary sense of decency — as racists. On second thoughts, Akinola’s visceral homophobia and biblical fundamentalism are less obnoxious that the stuffy closed-mindedness of the Bp of Winchester.

Tunde
Tunde
14 years ago

Prior Aelred wrote: I must have missed something — I really don’t see anything new in this — after all the hype, I expected something.

Sorry Prior, the hype was by those that wrote volumes because they assumed they know more about us than we ourselves.

Maduka, you can read http://www.anglican-nig.org/sokoto_surprise.htm to find out more of the internal details including the constitutional provision for primatial seat to be permanently in Abuja. Also approved were five full-fledged dioceses http://www.anglican-nig.org/newdioceses.htm
Whilst they think we gather to discuss them, we are busy focusing on the mission committed unto us.

seeker
seeker
14 years ago

Yes Bishop Tutu is amazing. A real mensch.

I warrant it isn’t only Winchester’s mind that is closed.

Simon Sarmiento
14 years ago

Thanks Tunde, I hope you can get the pic of +Enugu and others working, he is of course already known to some of us here.

seeker
seeker
14 years ago

I am such a devotee that I felt relieved to read of the future the Archbishop’s ‘ primatial seat’.

In Scotland, the US and Wales it must be peripatetic, but in Nigeria it shall have forever the dignity of Abuja. Ignore me, if I didnt laugh (not hysterical–promise!) I might cry : – )

We really need asupp;y of smilies here . (If not deemed unscriptural!).

Laina
Laina
14 years ago

Actually, Masked Tortilla, we support and honor strong men, and women, black, white, or otherwise, who are clearly of God in their example and message. Some of us especially look to the strong black African leader, Bishop Tutu, who we find inspiring and Christian and a gift to the world. Because Akinola is strong and black, he is not automatically vaulted to the stature of a Tutu; nor is contempt for his views and actions fear-based or racist. We would find him appalling in whatever national or ethnic package he happened to occupy.

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

Masked Tortilla (who has avoided being reconstituted as bio-ethanol)exemplifies a well-known phenomenon: the oppressed must undergo a period of automatic sainthood during which time they can do now wrong, and if they do do wrong then it’s someone else’s fault. In recent years we saw it with feminism, during whose early days, and in reaction to centuries of vilification, being possessed of ovaries raised one above culpability. Early Mary Daly, ‘Spare Rib’ in the UK and all the rest serve as witnesses. Then, of course, we grew up and realised that women were morally compromised human beings as well, and… Read more »

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