Fr. Jake has as always an interesting take on the whole thing. I hope you will read what he has said HERE.
Several additional remarks:
The article opines, that “Archbishop Akinola has created an offshoot of his Nigerian church in
The NYT speaks of a the Anglican Communion as a “confederation of national churches,” a description I think is basically sound. “Confederation” is certainly more apt than either “federation” or “world-wide church.”
The article then quotes Rev. Dr. Ian T. Douglas of the Episcopal Divinity School in
The article then states, “Archbishop Akinola’s views on homosexuality — that it is an abomination akin to bestiality and pedophilia — are fairly mainstream here. Nigeria is a deeply religious country, evenly divided between Christians and Muslims, and attitudes toward homosexuality, women’s rights and marriage are dictated largely by scripture and enforced by deep social taboos.”
The writers got the right items in this commentary, but the wrong order. My sense is that Nigerian attitudes toward homosexuality, women’s rights and marriage are dictated largely by deep social taboos and enforced by scripture, not as the article suggests first by scripture and then enforced by taboo. The claim that homosexuality is contrary to “African values” lies first in the taboos of the culture and then in the overlay of scripture.
The writers report that, “Archbishop Akinola spoke forcefully about his unswerving convictions against homosexuality, the ordination of women and the rise of what he called “the liberal agenda,” which he said had “infiltrated our seminaries” in the Anglican Communion.” If this part of the reporting is accurate, Archbishop Akinola weighs in finally in opposition to the ordination of women.
There is a quite revealing supposedly supportive statement from Martyn Minns: “Bishop Martyn Minns, the rector of
“He doesn’t want to be the man; he just no longer wants to be the boy,” Bishop Minns said. “He wants to be treated as an equal leader, with equal respect.”
Well, the NYT got it mostly right. Bishop Minns, since his consecration, has been priest in charge of
Bishop Minns “boy” and “man” observation has so many layers to it that it is hard to know where to start. Perhaps it is enough to say that it has been a long time since any one I can think of would ever think of the Archbishop as anybody’s “boy.” As to his being treated as an “equal leader, with equal respect,” I would certainly hope that was the case.
Over the past months there has been considerable concern for the Archbishop’s support of Nigerian legislation criminalizing homosexuality and any expression of support for gay and lesbian rights.
The NYT article quotes the Archbishop as saying, “No bishop in this church will go out and say, ‘This man is gay, put him in jail.’ ”
The writers reported that the Archbishop “added,
Archbishop Akinola equates criticism of this law with imperial tendencies. In an earlier letter to the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), which is a
There he said, http://www.canaconvocation.org/news/ “I am troubled, however, by the silence of outside commentators concerning the rights of the clergy, Christians, and particularly converts to our Church whose lives are threatened and too often destroyed because of mob violence. I see no evidence of compassion for those whose rights are trampled on because of the imposition of unjust religious laws in many parts of the world. There seems to be a strange lack of interest in this issue.”
The Archbishop wants the voice of ‘outside commentators’ on these matters, but considers such voices an “imperial tendency” when they are directed against him. He also doesn’t know what he is talking about: the imposition of unjust religious laws has come under considerable scrutiny by churches and a wide range of religious commentators in the
The last few sentences of the New York Times report reveals more than we may ever want to know about the Archbishop:
“Self-seeking, self-glory, that is not me,” he said. “No. Many people say I embarrass them with my humility.”
Anyone who criticizes him as power-seeking is simply trying to undermine his message, he said. “The more they demonize, the stronger the works of God,” he said.”
The reporters, Lydia Polgreen and Laurie Goodstein have given us a remarkable and devastating view of the Archbishop.
This article was indeed a strange gift, but finally an important contribution to understanding both the Archbishop and his
No matter that the members of the parishes who voted to leave the Episcopal Church for better climes were told otherwise, they are entering into a relationship with an Archbishop that sees criticism as demonizing, supports either passively or actively proposed Nigerian legislation that will severely restrict freedom of speech, is against the ordination of women, the “liberal agenda.” They have opted for leadership from someone who is also contending for leadership of the Anglican Communion, is not committed to the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and is working for communion wide “realignment” away from a confederation to a more metropolitical structure.
Well the hole gets deeper all the time, and one wonders how long it will be before things begin to unravel.