5/03/2007

Akinola reads it his way.

See previous post for the full letter from Archbishop Akinola to the Presiding Bishop.

Here is what Archbishop Akinola said in his letter to the Presiding BIshop about the Communiqué and its mention of CANA:


"You will also recall from our meeting in Dar es Salaam that there was specific discussion about CANA and recognition – expressed in the Communiqué itself – of the important role that it plays in the context of the present division within your Province. CANA was established as a Convocation of the Church of Nigeria, and therefore a constituent part of the Communion, to provide a safe place for those who wish to remain faithful Anglicans but can no longer do so within The Episcopal Church as it is currently being led."


Here is the only mention in the Communiqué of CANA. Note that CANA is not even spelled out.


"Although there are particular difficulties associated with AMiA and CANA, the Pastoral Council should negotiate with them and the Primates currently ministering to them to find a place for them within these provisions. We believe that with goodwill this may be possible."


There is a long stretch between "difficulties associated with AMiA and CANA" and "the important role that it splays in the context of the present division within your Province." Too much of a stretch.


Here is what Archbishop Akinola says happened at the meeting in Dar Es Salaam:


"The response for your own House of Bishops to the carefully written and unanimously approved Pastoral Scheme in the Communiqué makes it clear that such pastoral protection is even more necessary."


But the "carefully written" Pastoral Scheme was by many accounts the miserable result of eleventh hour pressure and was not "unanimously approved" but rather understood to be part of what our Primate was to bring home for discussion.


The "Pastoral Scheme" by the way is not directed, in the Communiqué, to The Episcopal Church for any sort of approval. It floats there, recommended by the Primates. We must understand that "recommend" is a polite word for a directive, "you must," unless that directive is ignored or rejected, in which case it means nothing.


It would appear that the Archbishop has a way with words…a way to stretch them to the breaking point.

4 comments:

  1. The "carefully written" Communique uses the word "recommends." Perhaps, Akinola should avail himself of a dictionary. Or does he get to decide the meaning of words too?

    There is also this little matter of the period of listening before any response is final until September 30th. Perhaps, he needs a calendar too.

    And then of course there is this ancient concept of improper border crossing which he finds no longer applicable because among other things it was invented at a "time when the Church had yet to face into the challenge of different denominational expressions of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church." So, that is now meaningless, even though the Communique and the WR refer to it as currently operational. In short, be on notice world, I do what I want.

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  2. Mark - are you blind or just deliberately obtuse? It seemed to me as if CANA was actually referred to by name in that quote you gave from the Communique from the Primates meeting in Tanzania, as being one of the parties to be negotiated with; and it is not a great stretch by Abp Akinola to remind Bp Schori that CANA was discussed at the Primates meeting as being a safe place for faithful Anglicans in the USA. He is not stating anything new here that Bp Schori was unaware of from the Primates meeting; nor do I expect that a Communique will contain every detail of what was discussed by the Primates. It is only too great a stretch in your mind because obviously you do not like the fact that CANA has been established, since there are some folk in the pews who can not and will not stomach the changes made in ECUSA's doctrine and practices over the last few decades.

    Furthermore, the ECUSA's HoB has already been pretty clear in its rejection of the Primates' recommendations from Tanzania, and in their determination to continue litigation against orthodox clergy and parishes. Why should other parties now wait until 30th Sept before they act - is there any reason to believe that ECUSA's bishps will change their trajectory between now and then? If anything it seems as if ECUSA is even more resolute in pursuing its own peculiar theology, as it reinterprets the Bible on issues of salvation and human sexuality.

    Brian F

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  3. BrianF,

    Are you obtuse or deliberately mendacious?

    The spelling out of CANA (which Mark correctly notes the Communique did not do) is ESSENTIAL...

    ...because of the twisted history of "CANA". Maybe *you* don't remember when it was "Convocation for Anglican Nigerians in America", but Mark does (as do many in TEC).

    The slippery-slope of this "convocation" (cum "district" . . . cum "diocese"? cum province?) is distinctly at issue, when something normal (consecrating a bishop IN Nigeria, FOR Nigerians) becomes something abnormal, and unAnglican (consecrating a bishop IN Nigeria, FOR US-of-Americans).

    ECUSA is even more resolute in pursuing its own peculiar theology as it reinterprets the Bible on issues of salvation and human sexuality

    You mean as opposed to the way Akinola&Co "reinterprets the Bible on issues of salvation and human sexuality"? It's a game everybody can play. But re how well (i.e., Mind-of-Christ-like) one does it? Peculiarly, I like to think that TEC is God's "peculiar treasure"---but that's above my pay-grade! ;-)

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  4. jcf: you said: "You mean as opposed to the way Akinola&Co "reinterprets the Bible on issues of salvation and human sexuality"? "

    No, I mean as opposed to the way all three mainstreams (Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant) of Christians have interpreted the Bible on issues of salvation and human sexuality until the last 50 years or so in the western churches. ECUSA has taken a great risk in saying homosexuality is ok, and has had to dream up some novel exegesis of the key biblical texts to support its position on human sexuality - exegesis which has failed to convince the other streams of the Christian faith. It has had to ignore key texts on the uniqueness of Jesus Christ for salvation, and its PB is unable to clearly affirm that He is the only way to eternal life. I will stick with the faith once delivered by the Apostles.

    I just wonder, how can you be so sure that ECUSA has got it right on these issues and the rest of Christianity in the world today and throughout the 20 centuries of its history, is wrong?

    It seems to me that the issue of crossing diocesan boundaries is a relatively light thing compared to the eternal salvation of souls now being put at risk by ECUSA's heretical teaching on our Lord Jesus. I refer to Spong's theses, about which nothing has been said by way of correction or reproof by ECUSA, and the last couple of GC's which have failed to affirm the catholic faith and the uniqueness of Christ.

    Brian F

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