The Primate of Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, is in Virginia, attending the annual council of CANA.
According to Episcopal Café
Asked about whether Okoh had sought permission to be in the diocese, Henry Burt, a spokesperson for the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, said “Bishop Johnston received no request from Archbishop Okoh to exercise any ministry in the Diocese of Virginia. Unfortunately, the circumstances of this visit do not aid the process commended by the Windsor Report.”
According to Breakaway Groups Prevented Anglican Split, Nigerian Primate Suggests in the Christian Post
According to Okoh, the Church of Nigeria received the same sanctions as The Episcopal Church this year, which include removal from the Anglican Communion’s ecumenical dialogues and from a body that examines issues of doctrine and authority.
“The command of Scripture is that we should go everywhere and preach and teach. So we came here to help our brothers and sisters in the Lord. But instead of getting commendation, we are getting punishment or sanction,” said Okoh, who was elected as primate in September.
Criticizing the move, he commented, “To do so, to ban us … we believe they were not properly advised. So if you ask me whether there is justification for that, I will say no.”
Sanctions were proposed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, earlier this year for provinces that breach the three moratoria that leaders in the 77 million-member global body had agreed to since 2004. The moratoria include cross-border interventions, the ordination of partnered homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions.
The legal situation in Virginia is complex. Previously, in ADV motion for rehearing has no merit, and even earlier in Anglican District of Virginia files motion of appeal Episcopal Café explained the detail. In summary now:
In a motion for rehearing to the Virginia Supreme Court the nine churches in dispute with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia over church property earlier this month reversed field and instead of claiming they are a branch of the Church of Nigeria now claim that CANA is not a branch of the Church of Nigeria…