Just In: Communique from the Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

The Synod of the Church of Nigeria just met for a one day session and issued a communique. There was nothing about changes in the Constituttion. That may come as a separate report on the specifics of the meeting.

The following two paragraphs reference the Anglican Communion issues:

"The 2008 Lambeth Conference

The Synod reaffirms its earlier resolutions on the 2008 Lambeth Conference and stands firmly on the recommendations of the document, “The Road to Lambeth,” as a condition for our participation in this gathering.

Our brethren in CANA

The Synod welcomed the report from the Bishop of CANA (Convocation of Anglicans in North America) and the increasing number of congregations and clergy who are now part of this important missionary initiative of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). We welcome them as full and constituent members of our Anglican Communion family. We rejoice in their faithful witness during these turbulent times. We are saddened to hear that the profound division in the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia has now led to the unholy situation where an Episcopal Bishop has initiated costly legal action against churches whose only offence is seeking to remain true to the “faith once for all delivered to the saints.” We assure them that we stand with them and will continue to uphold them with our prayers."

The Synod welcomes them (presuming the churches that have joined CANA) and "as full and constituent members of our Anglican Communion family." This is a bit of hyperbole. Synod can't welcome them as full and constituent members of the Anglican Communion family. That "family" consists of Provinces. Perhaps better the welcome be into the family that is the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion.) Still, welcome is welcome and that is always a good thing.

Bishop Martyn has been a busy man. The report is that he welcomed the eleven parishes into the District of Virginia, CANA, in a ceremony that just took place today (Thursday, February 8). We can either assume that he wasn't at the Synod meeting yesterday (February 7) or that he is one very tired man.

By the by... the reference in the General Synod report from Nigeria to "The Road to Lambeth" is to a paper from the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa (CAPA) given to the Global South Meeting in 2006. Here are three things that paper stated:

"...repentance would include the resignation or removal from office of Gene Robinson and the passage of legislation which would bar any similar ordinations of priests and consecrations of bishops;

"... responses from our provinces to requests for alternative oversight from churches in North America are of an emergency order and not to be compared to the full and blatant violations of biblical morality by the churches of North America."

"...we have concluded that we must receive assurances from the Primates and the Archbishop of Canterbury that this crisis will be resolved before a Lambeth Conference is convened. There is no point, in our view, in meeting and meeting and not resolving the fundamental crisis of Anglican identity. We will definitely not attend any Lambeth Conference to which the violators of the Lambeth Resolution are also invited as participants or observers."

The Synod of The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has determined to "stand firmly" on the recommendations of "The Road to Lambeth."

There it is. I am sure there is more to come.


  1. christopher+8/2/07 6:27 PM

    From the CAPA paper..."There is no point, in our view, in meeting and meeting and not resolving the fundamental crisis of Anglican identity."

    ...which, in the end, is what ALL of this is about. The venerable - if not ancient - Anglican Communion is in a period of discernment with two options for its future: It can remain a lively fellowship of autonomous Provinces sharing communion and dialogue (while perhaps better defining its procedures for discourse), OR it can "reconstitute" itself as a global ecclesiastical body where the biblical hermeneutics of voting majorities are enforced at the expense of minorities of all sorts.

    Either way, it will be nice finally to emerge on the other side of this "fundamental crisis of Anglican identity" after an extended period of so much "affection" and "listening." At least then everyone will know what's what.

  2. I've been hoping for some resolution & clarity for years (I'm a J -- what can I say?)

    The way things are going I would rather be out of the WWAC (maybe we can use sdome of that money in court cases to defend our property)


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