Thinking Anglicans

A Most Agonising Journey

Updated

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has published a document with this title. It is described thus:

Archbishop Peter Akinola writes to Nigerian Synods on the Journey towards Lambeth 2008

You can read the original copy here.

There were a number of formatting problems with that copy and so I have made another copy here. This copy now includes the paragraphs that were previously omitted by mistake from the original. For convenience of those who read the earlier version, I have placed the additions in italics.

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Mike
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Mike

It is unfortunate that our church has reached a point where the litmus test of “orthodoxy” is one’s attitude on sexual orientation. My understanding and belief in the historic creeds is traditional and I believe that Holy Scripture is authoritative. Yet because I do not accept the narrow and repressive hermeneutic of the Most Rev. Peter Akinola, he implies that I am unfaithful and have no place in life of the Communion. I simply cannot agree that our Communion has room for only one interpretation of Holy Scripture. It is authoritative and on that there should be no argument. But… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

A reiteration of his well-known position, just before proclaiming his own schismatic Church sometime this autumn. If he goes ahead, there will be branches not only in the decadent US and Canada, but (as was hinted last month) also in England and perhaps Scotland. Denominations have often been named for their founders: Lutheranism, Calvinism, Muggletonians. The Akinolite Church is upon us.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Too bad he cannot bother to correctly name TEC. That’s rude.

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

About the missing footnotes:

Examination of the source code suggest that they may possibly be intended to go as follows:
footnote 2 adjacent to footnote 1
footnotes 3,4,5 adjacent to the heading “Scorned Opportunities”.

But I would welcome further opinions, correction, or even authoritative advice.

Pluralist
Guest

Presumably the key to this is class=MsoEndnoteReference that leads to a note, and does not in some cases. One comes before “With about seven weeks to go” but is out on its own. And there are many without connection. With the href= there is nothing different from using my NoteTab to wipe out many notes – I first regularised the paragraphs to see them, striped the code and then reinserted the code version with paras regularised again. The code is an appalling mess. Best to take what is provided, I’d say, just cleaned up. This is very anorakish! Anyway, it… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

They have been only on this journey for ten long years. That puts their journey starting at 1997, ten long years after the South Africans coming out of apartheid suddenly found themselves “unworthy” and an alternative communion developed in their midst. Sounds a bit to me like a drug addict finding that the pimpers’s offerings aren’t as satifying as they first expected. One should remember that the grooming towards dependence and addiction can take many decades and the pimps can be very sophisticated in hiding that their “salvation” is short fleeting, does not lead to satisfaction and merely creates unfulfillable… Read more »

Sean Doherty
Guest

Cynthia: the name “The Episcopal Church” is pretty ambiguous in an international (and ecumenical!) context; one needs some way of distinguishing it from all the other episcopal churches. Mike – I think you are right in a sense: one cannot predetermine what Scripture says but must come to it with openness that one may have misunderstood it. But I don’t think Peter Akinola has the monopoly on reading Scripture to back-up his pre-formed opinion! The litmus test we must all answer is not “what do you think about gay sex” but “if someone could convince you your opinion on gay… Read more »

John Bassett
Guest
John Bassett

I am sure that many of you have already seen the article on the Sudanese-American priest in today’s New York Times. I found the whole thing inspiring, but was particularly struck by the comments by the Sudanese that nobody in the Episcopal Church was forcing them to change their conservative ideas about sexuality. That was pretty consistent with my experience. My parish in Los Angeles has a very large African community, and there’s no doubt that they are pretty conservative on many issues. Yet they coexist with a largely liberal staff, including one openly gay priest, and a fair number… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

I would answer no, Sean.

Neil
Guest
Neil

It is quite clear that narrow minded evangelicals have a clear agenda to unchurch others who cannot sign up to their travesty of the truth. They have never been treated like this by their liberal or catholic brothers and sisters. This debate will not only be about gay sex, but will soon move on to objectionable doctrines such as substitutionary atonement etc. Sadly not only the ABC but even naive folk like the Bishop of London indulge these bigots.

Prior Aelred
Guest

John Bassett on Sunday, 19 August 2007 at 3:05pm BST It was an inspiring piece in the NYT (especially since it was a positive piece about the Diocese of Western Michigan — which is where our monastery is located) & your point is extremely good — the entire Anglican Communion used to be that way — we didn’t have to agree about everything to pray together — the Bishop of Durham says that is now unacceptable, as do the primates of Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya & the Southern Cone. It is their decision (& their move). I suggested to Bishop Tutu… Read more »

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

Why do I feel like I am listening to the neoconservatives make a case for why they have to invade Iraq and root out all the WMDs? But who will be the moderate Colin Powell, that the evidence is incontrovertible and make the case before the AC that it must be down to preserve peace? Sigh. I think the reasserters while only bring destruction and find that there were no WMDs at all, just Christians a justification for what their leaders wanted to do all along.

Colin Coward
Guest

Analysis of the text and comparison with Archbishop Akinola’s interview with the interview in The Guardian, Lagos, published 30 July 2007 suggests that, like most of the publications from Abuja, this was written for the Archbishop by his conservative American secessionist friends. It is dishonest. It misrepresents church history and the recent history of the Anglican Communion. The representation of the responses to the Lambeth Conference 2008 as tepid is conservative spin. There is considerable enthusiasm to meet next year, especially among many of the Global South bishops. This is much to the annoyance of the leading GS Primates. The… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

No matter what Akinola or other realignment preachers preach, the facts are coming, make no doubt. And the new facts will not be much consistent in their frameworks and details with what most dominant legacy views typically read directly from scripture, traditionally. The answer to the question blogged by Sean D. about scripture – brimming with an implicit, closed view of scripture as revelation authority – just neatly demonstrates how easily we may sidestep the empirical point by framing our questions to avoid it: The going legacy view of how awful and dangerous queer folks definitely are, repeated via most… Read more »

Malcolm+
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Malcolm+

Again we find a reference to that bizarre event at Dromantine, where the pumped-up primatial predators decided that they should sieze authority by proclaiming who should and who should not participate in the Anglican Consultative Council. And now, having acceded to this wholly illegitimate demand by attending but not voting, the Americans and Canadians stand condemned by this little man for having “influence.” Well, so be it. If we in North America can exercise such damning “influence” while submitting to the ultra vires demands of the heirarchs, then I am confident that, at the end of the day, our “influence”… Read more »

matthewhunt
Guest
matthewhunt

Agony. Such an interesting word to be used in this instance by a person who directly incites the infliction of agony by unjust laws in a lethally brutal legal system against, say, friends who might want to meet together for a bit of a shindig in Bauchi.

He wears such nice clothes, does the Archbishop Akinola. I do hope they don’t chafe none because of starch. Such pains for the gospel. Amen.

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Archbishop Akinola has helpfully summarised his “most agonising journey” and attached all relevant documents from the last decade. We are also hearing about the agonising journeys being experienced by LGBT people in Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe, where they are routinely persecuted, tortured, imprisoned and murdered. Closer to home we hear the disturbing news that two-thirds of gay teenagers are subjected to homophobic bullying at school, (Independent, Stonewall). How difficult it is to stand up to these injustices, and avoid unintentionally inciting them, when you have to assert Biblical morality for the sake of the “faith once delivered”. An agonisingly difficult… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

An aside: I have heard that +Abuja and other GS bishops from across the globe – despite being on the brink of forming a new church – nevertheless retain some of their privileges in England. Not least the use of St. Luke’s Hospital for the Clergy. I wonder if they plan to remain in full communion with this perk?

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“Cynthia: the name “The Episcopal Church” is pretty ambiguous in an international (and ecumenical!) context; one needs some way of distinguishing it from all the other episcopal churches.” That’s disingenuous, given the context. How many other Episcopal churches have encountered the wrath of ++Akinola lately? If it were not ++Akinola, or if the subject were something like whether it is appropriate to use grape juice rather than wine at the Eucharist, well I suppose you might have a case. But given the writer and the topic, I suspect your real choices are [1] real ignorance or [2] calculated insult disguised… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

Agonizing is watching +Akinola try to rework greed, fear/hate-mongering and scapegoating into honorable Christian teachings…bad NEWS, and dangerous actions toward others where Good News and love ought be. This man is off on a obsessive tangent that will take years for the Nigerian Church to recover from spiritually and financially.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

A question for all of you — a quite genuine question. As far as I can tell, Archbishop Akinola is putting forward the deadline of September 30th as the deadline for the Episcopal Church (the American one) to comply with the demands made of them in the Global South’s “Road to Lambeth.” However, September 30th is in fact the deadline for the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church to reply to the Dar es Salaam Primates’ Communique. Here is the point: These two documents demand very different things of the American Church, and I don’t see any clear connection… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo, San Juan, Puerto Rico

A Most Agonizing Case of False Witness and Selective Memory

Fr. Jakes got the FULL recap on +Akinola’s antics:

http://frjakestopstheworld.blogspot.com/2007/08/most-agonizing-case-of-false-witness.html

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Thank you Prior Aelred for sharing Archbishop Tutu’s statement “that the money for the fight was coming from conservative Americans”. Concerning the “American culture wars on wider front?” question, Jim Naughton’s excellently-researched, eye-opening “Following the Money” has been linked from this site several times – one more time won’t hurt – it’s a central document to proving that right-wing American money, particularly support from Howard F. Ahmanson Jr., is a central factor in the escalating “Global South” shenanigans.

http://www.edow.org/follow/part1.html

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Only the first half of Jim Naughton’s “Following the Money” is at the link that I just posted, Both parts are here:

http://www.edow.org/follow/

Simon Sarmiento
Guest

Cynthia
Has Martyn Minns been formally deposed by Bp Lee? I don’t think so. In fact I wrote to Patrick Getlein about this point and he referred me to the 2 October 06 letter (on Virginia diocesan website) as evidence to the contrary.

Pluralist
Guest

I am interested why this document is considered to be ghost written.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“The Road to Lambeth” is an internal, Global South, document, Charlotte. As such, not only is it not binding on the Anglican Communion as a whole, but it has no standing whatever within the Communion. In fact, the preamble to the report on “Global South Anglican”, the GS’s official web-page, terms it a “draft report”, stating that it “was commissioned by the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) in February 2006; it was received with gratitude by the CAPA Primates on 19 September 2006 and commended for study and response to the churches of the provinces… Read more »

Sean Doherty
Guest

Hi Drdanfee – yes, my view is a “closed view of scripture as revelation authority”. That is merely to describe my view accurately rather than provide grounds to criticise it! Why should I feel any sense of shame about that when it is and always has been the mainstream account of Scripture? That’s not even a particularly theological claim, but a purely historical one! So for at least you and Pluralist, the question is indeed that of the authority of Scripture. Cynthia: I really don’t see how the term “TECUSA” can be a calculated insult… it’s like Ronseal, it does… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Leonardo The Father Jake link is excellent. Prior. Thanks for sharing that Tutu considered that the (1988?) plays were a reaction against colonialism. One of the beauties of the church plantings done or promised in the US, Canada, Scotland… is that we now know it is not a question of colonialism. It has been fun to contemplate the driving dynamics that have sent some souls into such a spin. Many souls’ dreams of “success” in this world are underpinned by some pretty nasty desires e.g. striving for success so they can make others jealous or suffer. Then there is the… Read more »

deaconmark
Guest
deaconmark

My understanding on Bishop Minns is that as Nigerian Bishop he is no longer under the jurisdication of Bishop Lee. (In other words, he was removed from +Lee’s jurisdiction by his consecration.) Also, of course, as a Bishop he may not function as a bishop in another jurisdiction without the permission of the Ordinary both by Canon and by ancient custom (the faith once given to the saints?). So he is no longer a priest of +Lee’s to be disposed but a renegade bishop invading the jurisdiction of another. But that is just my understanding and i may be wrong.

Joe
Guest
Joe

While it is obvious that TEC does not wish to walk with their sisters and brothers in the GS, it is still not self-evident why Bp. Katherine and 815 continue to execute their scorched earth policy of litigation against American churches that wish to be faithful to the historic position of the church as stated in 1998 Lambeth. Sure, TEC, walk your new path, but must you insist that others follow your heterodox ways? So much for tolerance.

NP
Guest
NP

Reading above, it would seem as if a nasty chap in Nigeria is making lots of demands for no good reason…… Correct me if I am wrong, but I think ++Akinola is simply saying: 1) one province’s rejection of certain agreed AC positions and teaching is not sufficient to change the mind of the Communion on a theological issue; 2) it is not acceptable for one province to try to force the AC to change its position or accept a contradictory position through unilateral actons; 3) it is not acceptable to fudge the issues any longer….not with integrity anyway; As… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“it is and always has been the mainstream account of Scripture”

I’f you are claiming that traditionally Christians have looked solely to Scripture as the authority in matters of faith, I believe you are wrong. The Church has traditionally seen the Church as the final authority, with Scripture playing a big role in informing Her decisions. There’s a big difference betweeen that and claiming Scripture has all authority.

Tunde
Guest
Tunde

Somehow some lines got missing in the released document. They have been reinserted and include; We now confront the seriousness of their actions as the year for the Lambeth Conference draws near. Sadly, this Conference is no longer designed as an opportunity for serious theological engagement and heartfelt reconciliation but we are told will be a time of prayer, fellowship and communion. These are commendable activities, but this very Communion, however, has been broken by the actions of the American and Canadian churches. The consequence is most serious because, even if only one province chooses not to attend, the Lambeth… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

I’ve already answered the question on scriture – it was no. In other words, I take it seriously, and do not ignore it, and indeed go to the effort of understanding it critically (in who constructed it, where is its sources, who was it written for), but I am not a slave to it at all.

So it I had an action and reported on it, I would refer to scripture, but then say why I (if it was so) did not follow what it seemed to say in a direct sense.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“We have made enormous efforts since 1997 in seeking to avoid this crisis” Scheming and plotting do indeed require enormous effort, as, apparently, does thundering from on high the repeated line “I’m right and you are wrong.” What other enormous effort have they made? “The leadership of… (TECUSA)… and (ACoC) seem …. the Bible is no longer authoritative …” This is simply false witness. That entire paragraph is an exercise in propaganda, as is as much of the article I could manage to read time and my temper restricting menon that score. The racism born of anti-Imperialism is also not… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Slightly, but not wholly off topic. Today’s update of “Anglicans Online” lists a ‘not in communion” outfit called the “Anglican Catholic Communion U.S.A.”. The church’s web page gives its primate, the Most Reverend Gregory Francisco, DD, Ph D, the subordinate title of “Assisting bishop for the diocese of Katakwa, Anglican Church of Kenya”.

http://www.theaccusa.org/

Katakwa is indeed a diocese of the Church of Kenya. Is this therefore another, “under the radar”, episcopal incursion into the USA?

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“the actions of the American and Canadian churches.”

With regard to the recent actions of the Anglican Church of Canada, and especially the results of the last General Synod, I am curious as to what the Canadian Church has done that is so heinous. We will not bless same sex unions. Any gay bishop we might have, and I don’t know of one, is securely locked in the closet. What is it we have done that is so wrong?

NP
Guest
NP

“We have made enormous efforts since 1997 in seeking to avoid this crisis”

– they have not left the AC and they have spent 4 years trying to get a solution with the ABC…….they may not have suddenly decided the bible is wrong and VGR is acceptable but it is true that they have been working hard to repair the “tear in the fabric of the communion”

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“Failure to recognize the gravity of this moment will have a devastating impact.” Tunde Tunde, Once again you attept to speak for the Holy Spirit and the whole of The Anglican Communion. Nobody likes to be threatened, Tunde. Meanwhile, +Akinola accepts “outside” *inspiration* for off-the-wall falsehoods (“Hooligan children of LGBT people” and other such absurdities) as he simultaneously attempts to persecute LGBT Christians/Anglicans at home in Nigeria and “poach” on TEC property in Virginia and Colorado. These grandstanding “dramatics” are not very Christian or very “loving” nor very inspiring when viewed by more emotionally/spiritually “centered” human beings/Anglicans. +Akinolas tiremsome THREATS… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

“The consequence is most serious because, even if only one province chooses not to attend, the Lambeth Conference effectively ceases to be an Instrument of Unity.” Oh, what a very merry prankster is M’Lord Bishop, ++Peter o’Abuja! Apparently, getting his wish for TEC(USA) and ACoC(anada) to be excluded, would *not* cause Lambeth to “effectively cease to be an Instrument of Unity,” nor did their voluntarily excluding themselves from voting at the ACC (in fact, he’d have preferred they have been *in*voluntarily kept even from attending/participating at all) cause *that* Instrument to ‘effectively cease to be” such . . . and… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

I stand corrected about Mr. Minns’ relationship to Diocese of VA and TEC. “Repentance and reversal by these provinces may yet save our Communion. Failure to recognize the gravity of this moment will have a devastating impact.” We have comlied with the request to express regret for the pain we have caused. We cannot engage in “reversal.” The resolution on same sex unions simply observed that they are blessed in some parts of TEC. How can you ‘reverse’ an accurate observation? Bp. Robinson is a bishop, duly and legally elected and consecrated. There are no canonical reasons to remove him.… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

Interesting offshoot, The Anglican Catholic Communion USA (ACCUSA)as there seem to be a lot of Churches accusaing others at te moment. Incidentally, this little one, via Kenya, rejects the filoque clause (bit says it doesn’t matter too much) and, in a rather un-Anglican fashion, recognises seven sacraments rather than two. I’m sure people can’t wait to sign up.

NP
Guest
NP

“This is becoming tiresome.” says Cynthia I AGREE…..give the AC a fait accompli and when people do not roll over and accept it, blame them…..and completely forget about the fact they are responding to an unacceptable action….this is tiresome. Unilateral actions in a “communion”, against an agreed position, cannot work – or everyone just starts doing whatever they want with no consideration of those in “communion” with them…..we have to persuade each other and then act together (i.e. the opposite of what TEC did in 2003)…..we should not present fait accomplis and then complain if they are not accepted….indeed Cynthia,… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Ford said: “The Church has traditionally seen the Church as the final authority” That’s the catholic legacy view and not historical Anglicanism as espoused in the 39 Articles. Neither Hooker nor Cranmer would agree with that statement. Scripture has the authority God has given it – namely authority on what Scripture addresses. It does not have total authority because God has not given it total authority, as seen by the fact that it does not cover everything. But that Scripture does cover, we must yield to. The church and reason are only given places of authority outside the areas Scripture… Read more »

Jim Pratt
Guest
Jim Pratt

Ford, What have we Canadians done wrong? Some of our “offenses”: We are actively and seriously engaged in the listening process We are discussing same-sex blessings at General Synod (even though it failed to pass) We acknowledge the homosexual members in the pews We acknowledge that we have gay and lesbian clergy Some bishops have denounced or banned Essentials as divisive We haven’t criticized the Americans We are simply not pure and holy enough for +Abuja to associate with. Nothing short of defrocking +Michael Ingham, reversing course in New Westminster, purging all the LGBT clergy (or at least those who… Read more »

Joe
Guest
Joe

So, I’m being censored, eh? TA is, then, as I suspected: not a venue for the free exchange of ideas, but a propaganda machine for TEC’s heterodox faith. Thus I suppose I am left with no alternative other than to bid you adieu and say ‘God bless you’. I would that your anger and dissension were turned into holiness and shalom for your own sake as well as for the sake of the church and the world.

L Roberts
Guest
L Roberts

Slightly, but not wholly off topic. Today’s update of “Anglicans Online” lists a ‘not in communion” outfit called the “Anglican Catholic Communion U.S.A.”. The church’s web page gives its primate, the Most Reverend Gregory Francisco, DD, Ph D, the subordinate title of “Assisting bishop for the diocese of Katakwa, Anglican Church of Kenya”.

http://www.theaccusa.org/

I thoroughly enjoyed this web site.
Thank you

Phylmom
Guest
Phylmom

“2) it is not acceptable for one province to try to force the AC to change its position or accept a contradictory position through unilateral actons — NP” This is simply not true. May I be blunt? It is a lie. TEC has never tried to force the AC or anyone to change its “Position”. Whatever that “position” might be. I didn’t know the AC had “positions.” (of course it doesn’t). What is happening, though, is that other churches dominated by fundamentalists are attempting to dictate to TEC. That is unacceptable. Lay people have a say in TEC, you know.… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Phylmom, Actually NP’s statement is not a lie. From Gene Robinson’s recent Times interview: ” I understand that a bishop is understood to be ordained for the whole church, although that’s true for the priesthood as well. One is a priest of the church and provided they are a priest of good standing, they can exercise their ministry anywhere in the world. “ We are dependent on each other as Christians and as Anglicans. If the whole Robinson is a bishop for the whole church, then I would argue the church has the right to react when some one who… Read more »