Canon Kendall Harmon and Mary of BabyBlueCafe have both done a fine job giving a sense of the service installing Bishop Minns. I thank them for the hard work at a time when simply being in the service would have been, I suspect, highly inviting.
As usual, in few words and always interesting pictures BabyBlueCafe brings her passion for the life of the church to the moment. I think we ought to collectively chip in and get her a better web camera, not more pixels but better lenses. See her web cam reports HERE.
Kendall's reporting, on Titusonenine and also on Stand Firm, suffered from user overload it appears. For a time the server simply didn't respond, and then it did very slowly. Still, the commentary was worth the effort. Nice picture of Kendall on BabyBlueCafe.
Kendall gave a rather interesting wind-up to the pitch of reporting the event itself. He suggests, if I read him correctly, that The Episcopal Church has become bothered about this service because "...what it signals is tangible consequences which TEC leaders in denial simply are unwilling to face." I don't agree, of course, about TEC being in denial, but I do agree the service does indeed signal a "tangible consequence" of the lack of a state of communion between The Episcopal Church and the Church of Nigeria.
On the way to that observation he takes a swipe at my post "Sometimes a Chair is just a chair." I suppose I can be thankful that he didn't criticise my drawing abilities, because on that he would be right. But on the matter of his "newsflash" to me, he is wrong. He says, " (newsflash to Mark Harris: “the Diocese of Virginia and…the Province of The Episcopal Church” does not include Hylton Chapel).
Hylton Chapel is of course not part of any church. It is a building for rent. It looks like a fine space for a service, and I am glad it all went off alright. But the Archbishop of Nigeria and Bishop Minns are in the Diocese of Virginia and the Province of The Episcopal Church wherever they go in those two venues precisely to the extent to which they in communion with The Episcopal Church or the Diocese of Virginia. In that sense, good Kendall, Hylton Chapel and every other venue in the diocese are part of the Diocese of Virginia and the Province of the Episcopal Church if there is communion between the churches. The Church of Nigeria is not in a state of impared communion with TEC, it is not in communion, period. This is indeed the end of the sentence.
That is why this service is important. I agree is in some sense with Kendall that the service is "...the period at the end of a sentence which was written almost entirely by the previous two events." By the way, I have objected to both of those events - the setting up of CANA and the election of Bishop Minns - as well. (He seems to think there was little flack then.) But I think Kendall raises a good question - why the excitement now.
Well, it is one thing for CANA to be there as an idea, another for the Church of Nigeria to ordain Bishop Minns a missionary bishop. Both of those things were done in Nigeria. But when the Archbishop of Nigeria installs Bishop Minns as the missionary bishop of CANA here, two new events occure: (i) Archbishop Akinola moves a chess piece foward - that being a bishop of course, and (ii) Arcbhishop Akinola begins to play out the end game whose goal is to establish an orthodox province in North America in place of The Episcopal Church and ultimately to take its place.
Canon Harmon did a good job trying to listen, type and I would gather from all the joyful noise in the Chapel, joining in, so I will not hold him to the verbatum of the remarks of Archbishop Akinola at the close of the service, but what Kendall wrote is probably quite accurate. It fits pretty much what we know already: Archbishop Akinola says BOTH that as soon as TEC stops, he will stop, and the journey has just begun. That is, he'd stop if TEC would stop, but he knows that won't happen (at least as he needs it to happen), so he is moving on.
Moving on means bringing the Church of Nigeria here, but more importantly bringing what CANA is doing here, along with what ACN and others are doing into relation with the Global South Steering Committee, whose reach includes an alternative to the See of Canterbury as a focus of unity. The Archbishop of Nigeria came here in several capacities, only one of which was in the forefront today - that of being Primate of Nigeria. But there is more going on and things are on the move.
The Mad Priest got it right:
CANA believe that the Anglican Communion should have an uber-primate.
Convention dictates that the ABC is the uber-primate.
CANA does not accept the the present ABC, The Grand Tufti, as uber-primate because he is wishy-washy.
CANA views Big Pete as their uber-primate.
If Big Pete attends any sacerdotal CANA ceremony then he is acknowledging and accepting their view that he is their uber-primate.
Once you have two uber-primates you have schism.
In a Washington Times article Canon Harmon was quoted, "I'd go to offer personal support for Martyn," he said. But as a diocesan representative, "it'd be associated with schismatic behavior. It's that kind of climate"
I'm glad Kendall went. I'm glad others went, for reasons of friendship with the Bishop, membership in CANA, interest in the event, or whatever. Still, it is schismatic behavior and these are difficult times.
As the Mad Priest says, "Once you have two uber-primates you have schism." Actually, one is too many. Of all the ideas floated about in the past several years the notion of "Alternative Primatial Oversight" is among the worse. The notion of mutiplying the effect by having alternative uber-Primates is dumbfounding.
Maybe NO Primates is a way forward.