Archbishop Akinola, in what must be a first in modern times, has been identified as both Lion and Daniel. This is no mean biological feat, and it a mix that is potentially a gift and a curse. There have been such cross species images in the past, most notably the Sphinx in Egypt.
The Lion accolade has several sources, the most fawning of which was from an admirer who wrote in an article, “HIS GRACE ARCHBISHOP PETER AKINOLA: FROM CARPENTER TO PRIMATE- CELEBRATING HIS PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE.” There the Archbishop was described as having the heart or the strength of a Lion. That too was said about the Archbishop in the Time Magazine article on 100 most influential persons.
Now WORLD Magazine has decided that it is not the lion with which the Archbishop is to be associated, but Daniel. In an article, “Men of the Hard Cloth” the “Daniel of the Year” award (one I had never heard of before) was given to both Archbishop Akinola and his Ugandan counterpart, Archbishop Henry Orombi.
In a long and sometimes poorly written article a number of statements are made that might warrant further investigation. I simply list them here with short comments.
“Over half of Anglican archbishops around the world have declared that the U.S. church's long drift away from biblical authority means they will not recognize as a legitimate Anglican leader U.S. presiding bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori.” What is the number of provinces in a state of “impaired communion?” And of those, how many will refuse to recognize Bishop Katharine? (note the misspelling of her first name, and the lower case of her title.)
“The archbishops who oppose her represent 70 percent of Anglicans worldwide.” There the very hypothetical 70 percent is once again touted. Is that a reasonable number?
“Orombi told WORLD his province turned down $400,000 a year when it declared impaired communion with the Episcopal Church. Episcopal headquarters at that point offered to triple its giving but Orombi refused. "Do they think this church runs on money? And if it did run on money, would American money solve our poverty in this country?" Orombi says conservative churches in the United States have made up some of the difference.” Can anyone confirm that the Province of Uganda was offered $400,000 or three times its giving..?”
“Orombi says … "Many of us in the global south want this whole sexuality thing to be thrown out, to be finished," he said. "It is exhausting and debilitating." It is also painful. "If your brother decides he is not going to move, you are sad and pained and you are walking away. Not because you love it. You are walking away painfully, bleeding." Is this is the first “walk away” language in which the reference is clear that walking is something the Archbishop and his companions are doing?
At the end of the article there is a “fact sheet” about other Global South leaders. There too was this comment worth follow-up.
“Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone represents 30,000 Anglicans in five South American countries.” In an earlier post I suggest the number might be 40,000. World seems to be more conservative in its numbers. Any other estimates?
The Archbishops are both very interesting and charismatic leaders indeed, and not to be trifled with.
For Archbishop Akinola, being both lion and Daniel has its strong points, but one day the lion in the man might crush, eat and spit out the bones of the man of God. We live in dangerous times and in the fast lane the holes in the road don't have to be too deep to render the strong wimpering visiters to emergency rooms.