Thinking Anglicans

Nigeria General Synod

Updated again Thursday morning

The opening address of the Primate, Archbishop Peter Akinola, can be found here (PDF).

Also available is the synod’s Message to the Nation.

And this Pastoral Letter to the Church.

Some critical comments on parts of the opening address have been made by Mark Harris, see Archbishop Akinola, Back Off.

Updates

Further comments have been made by Andrew Brown who has written Satan, bestiality, and Sunday trading.

There is also this interview with the archbishop in Punch War against graft, mere rhetoric – Akinola. An excerpt:

But sir, are you aware that in spite of your deep opposition to their practices, there is now a gay church operating in Nigeria? What is your reaction to the report that some gays in Ojodu area of Lagos now have a church for gays?

There is nothing like that; it is all just mere media propaganda. It is not real. If there is anything like that at all, it must have been arranged by some people who just want to take money from those abroad who will like to fund anything just because of our stand on the issue. There is no gay church in Nigeria; it is only a deception, a media propaganda. Efforts have been made to meet them before but they could not be located anywhere.

You have said that many of those who argue in support of the gay culture in the church have also insisted that it is an issue of human rights. What if your resolute stand on this matter leads to a division of the global Anglican Communion?

If that will be the price to pay, so be it. Those of us who shall be left can proudly call ourselves true Anglicans, true Christians.

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Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
12 years ago

“…the age of discretion that used to be 21 has been lowered 18 and there are efforts at reducing it to 16 if not 14.”

Does Akinola really think this is unbiblical? Has he any idea what age Mary was when she was engaged to Joseph and gave birth? Most serious scholars figure she was no more than 16!

Colin Coward
12 years ago

The Primate of All Nigeria, Archbishop Akinola, includes reference to a report from the “Hendon & Finchley, Barnet & Potters Bar, Edgware & Mill Hill Times”, the Daily Telegraph of 18 July 2008 and TELL magazine, published in Nigeria. There was a suspicion that man had sex with a sheep. Akinola writes: “A 27 year old man was arrested for having sex with a sheep in Dulwich, south east London.” That isn’t true. I have an Anglican Nigerian staying with me at the moment. He says reports of men having sex with sheep and other animals are also common in… Read more »

BillyD
BillyD
12 years ago

“Those of us who shall be left can proudly call ourselves true Anglicans, true Christians.”

Ah, yes – good old Christian pride.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
12 years ago

I apologise for what might seem a tasteless comment, but my first confessor recalled being trained in how to respond to spectacular revelations, when the mentor, taking the role of the penitent, announced, ‘I have just had sex with an elephant’. When the hapless confessor-in-training was left speechless, the mentor, exasperated, said, “Come on man. Ask me whether it was male or female!”

Apologies…..

JPM
JPM
12 years ago

I think we can all agree that Martyn Minns did not write this particular speech.

Nom de Plume
Nom de Plume
12 years ago

So, His Lordship believes that the “issues that have brought the Anglican Communion to the brink of collapse” include sexuality and female bishops. Glad to know it’s not just gays, but also those pernicious women bishops, too. I knew it. As to the lowering of the age of discretion from 21 to 18, what on earth is he talking about? Does anyone here know? For the record, the Parliament of Canada recently (and not without controversy) _raised_ the age of consent to sexual activity from 14 to 16. Of course, Canada is hardly the world, and I suspect that the… Read more »

Tobias Haller
12 years ago

To say nothing of the Hebrew traditions concerning the age for marriage, the Christian tradition (i.e., Protoevangelium) holds that Mary was 12 — that she had to leave the Temple precincts at menarche, and was at that point espoused to Joseph. I think the youngest age for marriage you will find in the US at this point is 13 (for females with parents’ permission) in NH. But even South Carolina, a state in which a diocese is a strong supporter of Global South concerns, has a lower limit of 14 (again with parental consent.) The Episcopal Church has no age… Read more »

Pluralist
12 years ago

I think lampooning is the best that can be said about him, because he invites absurdity more and more. Let him be the embarrassment that he is, with underlining.

orfanum
orfanum
12 years ago

I do not support Akinola in any particular way but two of the points he raises are difficult to deny, per se, and need still to be equitably tackled: the persecution of Christians where they are a minority, whether this is at the hands of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. (or even where they live in ostensibly ‘Christian’ lands), and the question of the overall interference of religious in matters of human rights, of which Akinola might be said to be an example in regard to LGBT persons as much as Mohammed Bouyeri was to free speech and freedom of expression… Read more »

Colin Coward
12 years ago

Peter Akinola is confused, very confused, and ignorant. When asked about the gay church in the Ojodu area of Lagos, he assumes that Changing Attitude Nigeria is being referred to, hence his comments about efforts being made to meet them. The Church he is being asked about is of course the House of Rainbow MCC church founded by the Revd Jide Macualay, a friend of mine from London. The church is not mere propaganda but is real and has been meeting regularly. Akinola wants to believe that the church is funded by white men but he is wrong. It is… Read more »

Davis Mac-Iyalla
Davis Mac-Iyalla
12 years ago

It is not the first time I am hearing or reading about people having sex with animals. This has happened in Nigeria and is no big news as the Archbishop is portraying it to be. There have been reports in Nigerian newspapers of men having sex with sheep and dogs. Archbishop Akinola is not only ignorant about the presence of a gay church in Nigeria but also the sexual activities of Nigerians.

Dan
Dan
12 years ago

“others who seem to truly believe that gay sex is one step away from bestiality”

It is at least tow steps away. But are they up or down?

Alan Harrison
Alan Harrison
12 years ago

Not sure what +Akinola means by “age of discretion”. I may be doing him an injustice, but his obsession with sexual morality leads me infer that he may be talking about the age of (sexual) consent, in which case I would be amazed if Nigeria has an age as high as 21.

As for the sheep, I can’t pretend to be inspired to lust by a gimmer ewe, but I’m at a loss to understand why anybody should be thrown in the slammer for being so tempted….

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

One does seriously wonder how Abp. Akinola ever managed to sire children. How on earth did he know what to do? His understanding of sexuality is seriously compromised every time he opens his mouth on the subject. Surely his contemporaries in the African countries ought to disabuse him of his shibboleths about sex in general.

If he was so serious about the dangers of sex, then perhaps he should issue an edict against it -especially for contenders for ordination in his province.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

Can anyone tell me if they allow women to be lay readers in the Anglican Church of Nigeria?

Malcolm+
12 years ago

The age of consent has just been raised in Canada.

Akinola should stop talking out his nether regions.

JCF
JCF
12 years ago

“There is nothing like that; it is all just mere media propaganda. It is not real. If there is anything like that at all, it must have been arranged by some people who just want to take money from those abroad who will like to fund anything just because of our stand on the issue. There is no gay church in Nigeria; it is only a deception, a media propaganda. Efforts have been made to meet them before but they could not be located anywhere.” Apropos of . . . something— Wasn’t there a Great English Lady who said, soon… Read more »

cp36
cp36
12 years ago

>>What if your resolute stand on this matter leads to a division of the global Anglican Communion? >>If that will be the price to pay, so be it. Those of us who shall be left can proudly call ourselves true Anglicans, true Christians. I don’t think so. It won’t be long before homosexuality will be a non-issue. Just ask the young people what they think about it. They can’t be bothered with it and is mostly a non-issue for them even if they don’t agree with it. Those who are contributing to the breaking up of the Anglican Communion will… Read more »

David
David
12 years ago

As lampooning has been mentioned, we must be clear that the Punch article is from a leading Nigerian newspaper, not the satirical magazine which is deceased and enjoying an afterlife in cyberspace.

BillyD
BillyD
12 years ago

“As for the sheep, I can’t pretend to be inspired to lust by a gimmer ewe, but I’m at a loss to understand why anybody should be thrown in the slammer for being so tempted….”

For being so tempted, no. But for actually doing it he ought to at the very least have to some psychiatric help.

Besides, it’s hard on the livestock (no pun intended). According to the newspapers, several of the sheep actually died. And I’m willing to bet that the survivors were at least annoyed.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“Archbishop Akinola continues to betray a deep ignorance both of history, tradition, and current events.” Actually, I think he betrays a deep seated insecurity over his Nigerian culture. I think he judges traditional African society as primitive. That’s why he thinks this whole age of consent thing is such an issue. I bet that, like most pre modern rural societies, the age at marriage was/is quite low in Nigeria, early to mid teens, likely. He sees the adoption of an older age of consent as a sign of modernity and “civilization”. But this young marriage business is global. All human… Read more »

emeka
emeka
12 years ago

Robert Ian Williams asked: Can anyone tell me if they allow women to be lay readers in the Anglican Church of Nigeria?

Yes there are women lay readers in Church of Nigeria. And even a diaconate ministry. The Diaconate ministry approved recently by the Church, but the the women folk seem not to be coming forward yet … as no record of ordination by any diocese has been reported.

bob in swpa
bob in swpa
12 years ago

I suppose that Dr. Akinola is more worried about homosexual practices and ignores that many heterosexuals also have some strange and not so savory sexual practices. I don’t see him talking about spousal abuse or poligamy!!!
I don’t know one gay or lesbian person (and I know many) who are having sex with animals.

Why are so many concerned with the practices of Gay and Lesbian people????

Martin Reynolds
Martin Reynolds
12 years ago

I have to report that men having sex with sheep is (or at least was) a matter of grave concern for sheep who are frequently believed to be the unwilling partners in this activity. On my very first day as a journalist in 1971 at the magistrates’ court in Ebbw Vale I found myself reporting on the case of a man who had allegedly been seen violating sheep. The very idea that Welsh people have a predisposition to carnal knowledge of mutton was unknown to me at that time and I still stoutly defend the male sex of my nation… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Akinola is hell bent on splitting up the global communion, not the rest of us who can (A) agree to disagree while coming together to the Lord’s Table in common prayer, and (B) pledge to the global communion big tent where God is the only true judge, not you, not me, not Rowan Williams, no Akinola, not Orombi, not Martyn Minns … where thanks to grace and the Holy Spirit, Anglican understanding unfolds over time, changing to correct at least some errors in ethic or theology that our forebears may have made. As the United Churches of Christ outreach in… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

In counterbalance of brother Akinola’s vitriol, I offer a link to another sort of story, contrasting, of another Anglican sort of repentance and spiritual pilgrimage – thanks to GMM then:

See: http://thewoundedbird.blogspot.com/2007/01/confessions-of-recovering-homophobe.html

Davis Mac-Iyalla
Davis Mac-Iyalla
12 years ago

Dear Martin Reynolds, the said allegations were made during Lambeth and I did not respond to because I was at Lambeth to witness and focused my attention completely on that. It up to the person who has made these allegations to produced facts and evidence as I toured about 21 cities in the US with 80 events. I came directly from US to the UK to continue my speaking engagement during which I also meet and visited different parishes. Before my tour to the US, I have visited Switzerland and other parts of the world in respect to my work… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
12 years ago

Well played Davis. It is a good thing if there is a change of leadership in Nigeria. It demonstrates that the organisation has a maturity beyond the confines of one individual’s ego. As Martin reminds us, the concern about animals is not peculiar to one country. Aussies are known for making jokes about that supposed propensity amongst their neighbours (who in turn give as good as they get right back at them). It is proper not to engage in the slanging matches. The thuggery, accusations and refusal to acknowledge the holy spark in others is the testimony of the fruit… Read more »

BillyD
BillyD
12 years ago

“Just because we in the West feel we need to allow our children to remain children for at least ten years longer than most traditional rural societies doesn’t make it necessary or somehow “better” to do that.”

Not sure I agree, in light of recent research on brain development. Adolescents are more given to risky behavior because the parts of the brain involved with planning, decision making, and risk assessment are not fully developed yet.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“Adolescents are more given to risky behavior because the parts of the brain involved with planning, decision making, and risk assessment are not fully developed yet.” But brain development is only part of it. I’d venture to bet that if you went back three or four generations in any family, especially those with rural roots, you’d find a fair number of us have ancestors who started their families in their mid teens. It is still a part of many traditional rural societies. That such families have been successful for millenia will suggest that there is more to the having and… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

Cherryl Va, Much as I normally enjoy the stimulation of your postings on this site, I do have a slight worry about your intimations of a certain sin of what you might call Jesuolatry, being practised solely by the dissenters, but nevertheless questionable, as a denial of the co-equality attributed to each of the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. Much as I agree with your assertion that some Christians seem to attribute undue influence to Jesus alone, while in some way neglecting to take into account the constant reference by Jesus to the influence of his Father and the… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
12 years ago

Father Ron I agree with you. And a good read of the New Testament distinguishes between the Jesus who acknowledged God and Holy Spirit as discrete entities apart from himself who collaborate with him, from the overstated Pauline case that Jesus is God in completeness. There are conservatives, who include Jensenites, who now purport that Jesus is God in complete and perfect fulfillment. If Jesus does not move to refute that claim, then Jesus can be said to be in acquiesance of that claim. It really is not good enough to scape goat others own actions or omissions. Some Christians… Read more »

Joan of Quark
12 years ago

I agree to some extent that the “teenager” is a “modern Western” construct – but physically teenagers are not fully developed. Childbearing at 14 is much more hazardous than at 24, and under-18s are generally banned from serious weightlifting or at least closely supervised at gyms. Possibly the apprenticeship method of training recognised this – teenagers weren’t expected to be fully fledged stonemasons or carpenters but to help out and acquire skills over many years. If “we” go back to a greater measure of responsibility for the under-20s I’d vote for that model rather than the pattern of early industrialisation… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“the pattern of early industrialisation” I’m not talking about industrialization, except to see it as the root of our modern societal structures. I am talking about small, rural communities. Farmers and fishers, mostly. Much more tied to the land and each other than an industrialized society allows us to be. The fact that people were expected to take on adult responsibilities at a younger age is probably a kind of “apprenticeship”, actually. You wouldn’t expect any first time mother, whatever her age, to be an expert, but she didn’t need to be. Her house was probably in the back garden… Read more »

Joan of Quark
12 years ago

Yes, Ford, I understand that – however the risks of pregnancy and childbirth remain higher for young girls regardless of the supportive structure around them. Here’s a WHO report http://www.who.int/reproductive-health/publications/towards_adulthood/7.pdf which contains the following item: “It is generally accepted that childbearing among women aged 15–19 doubles the risk of death due to pregnancy-related causes compared to women in their twenties (Population Reference Bureau, 2000).” I have a relative involved with a charity for operating on women with fistulas in developing countries, and have heard heartrending stories about the effects of lack of healthcare and other resources. Before modern techniques of… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“I’m not advocating returning to/increasing the shaming of teenage mothers here by any means.” No, indeed, I didn’t think you were. I am also not advocating teenage motherhood. And I do know the physical issues surrounding childbirth at a young age. I’m just reacting against the idea that our modern society is somehow more “enlightened”. We have advanced in many areas, but we have regressed in many others, and I think one of the biggest areas is loss of community and interconnectedness. Even Christians think that the “nuclear family” is somehow an ideal, as though human history does not reveal… Read more »

BillyD
BillyD
12 years ago

“But, it IS based on good old Western individuality, and the rights of the individual, so it MUST be God’s way, no?”

I know you meant this ironically, but I buy it.

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