11/01/2006

Finding the Church of Nigeria's Constitution, with a little help from our friends.

In an earlier post I vented my frustration about the rather hacked up version of the Constitution that was on the website for the Church of Nigeria.

The Communications Director, Rev. Canon Tunde Popoola, was kind enough to write and give me the url for that page. It will soon be linked to the "Constitution" button on the home page.

You can access the Constitution at
http://www.anglican-nig.org/constitutions.pdf

While such documents often seem arcane and odd, Constitutions and Canons tell us a number of things about just how Provinces really work. I appreciate it when the Provincial website posts those documents.

For example, I have been looking at how various Provinces understand the office of a bishop. The Constitution and Canons tell us a lot. A bishop ordained in the Episcopal Church is bishop in a particular setting - the diocese into which he or she is ordained. The primary electors are from that diocese, and confirmation is by the wider church. There is no oath to a Metropolitan or Primate. Conformity is to the Doctrine, Discipline and Worship of the Episcopal Church.

The assumptions of just how a bishop gets elected and for whom is different in other Anglican bodies, sometimes remarkably different.

No wonder we are trouble for one another: we all have bishops, but they are not all the same. It is, I suppose, the living out of the fourth point of the Lambeth Quadralateral: bishops, "locally adapted."

More on that later, but for now, Thank you to Canon Popoola.

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