Talking points and script writers #2

Well the Church Times has done it, eh? See "Software suggests Minns rewrote Akinola’s letter"by Pat Ashworth. A nifty bit of detective work and presto: The Archbishop's speech writing is discovered to involve a small gagle of folk, Bishop Martyn Minns in particular. It is a very good article. See it HERE. The Archbishop's journey just got all the more agonizing.

Fr. Jake, Daily Episcopalian. The Episcopal Majority and Thinking Anglicans all have important things to say on all this.

I would be surprised if the Archbishop did not have speech writers, letter writers, etc. He is a busy person, what with being the Lion, etc. Let us not begrudge him a bit of help in getting things written and out to the world.

Of course, now that we know something of the sources for the letter supposedly to his bishops and synod, but actually for the whole blinking Anglican Communion (or the small part of that communion that gives a fig for such matters), let's think on this a bit:

(i) The Archbishop is down on the North and West (meaning England, the US, Canada) and speaks as an African and a member of the Global South community (whatever that is.) If his letter is written in large part by people not African, not Global South (except by adoption and grace) where is the "authentic" voice of the Global South in all this? It is common scuttlebutt that Bishop Minns in his former capacity as general managerial lackey for the Archbishop was in constant contact with him throughout the Dar Es Salaam meeting. Some thought Minns put the words in the Archbishop's mouth. Well, perhaps he was not lackey but more like the party whip. Now perhaps he is more than whip. Now he appears as the voice behind the throne.

(ii) Where does the master leave off and the servant begin? In Nigeria, no question. The Archbishop is a Lion. But it would appear that some in Africa are beginning to wonder just what is going on. The Church Times has this:

"The Bishop of Botswana, the Rt Revd Trevor Musonda Mwamba, has expressed reservations about the tone and style of pronouncements in the past, which have purportedly come from African bishops. Speaking at the Ecclesiastical Law Society conference in Liverpool (News, 2 February ), he said: “Up till now the loud voices in Africa have threatened the Anglican Communion with schism, insisting that some provinces be expelled from our worldwide fellowship. Yet such voices, because of the very diversity and strength of the Anglican Church in Africa, could be playing a reconciling role.” The voice of the majority of Africa’s 37 million Anglicans had been “eclipsed by the intensity of sounds on opposing sides of the debate”.

(iii) If the Archbishop's words are a mirror to the the realignment folk and dissenters in the US the circle is closed: The script noted in my previous posting is then augmented by a script with much longer preparation behind it: the script that says the whole of the Global South, all of Africa, and most of the Communion is full of life because they hold to the faith once delivered of the saints, biblical morality and sound doctrine, that the Northern churches are corrupted by rotten theology and worse morals, etc. If there is an outside script (touted as the 'voice' of the Communion,) and an inside script (touted as the voice of pain and suffering in TEC) the noise gets louder, but the source gets smaller.

(iv) If Minns and Duncan (or is it Anderson?) are the operators out and inside scripting away and planning the brave new reformation of the whole communion, nay the whole church universal, we might wish to see just what is behind the new face of Anglicanism sometimes touted as the Archbishop of Nigeria sometimes as the Moderator. Perhaps it is time to let Toto loose in the throne room. Perhaps it is time to pay attention to the man (or men) behind the curtain.

Time, like an everflowing stream, is bearing these sons away.


  1. Yes, Akinola is a lion, of the sort found in 1 Peter 5:8.

  2. This story will do nothing to alleviate the suspicion that American neo-cons are orchestrating and paying for the entire campaign. CA Conway, Oxfordshire.

  3. From the talking points, it appears that +Cantuar is seen less favorably as an instrument of unity. If that oldest of instruments of unity is removed, then what of the primates as instruments of unity? This would seem to put the whole Windsor process at risk, and could be an indicator that +Abuja is not Windsor compliant

  4. I have been reflecting quite a bit on the time-line of all this. Why did Akinola put Minns in in the spring. Why is "he" writing this letter now etc. But I recently re-read an interview conducted by David Virtue (ever the "scoop" happy) with Archbishop Malango conducted in Nottingham on 6/24/05. In the interview Virtue states that "an exit strategy from the Anglican Communion has been drawn up and schism will occur before the next Lambeth Conference, with a new world headquarters for Anglicanism in Alexandria Wgypt because th North American churches will not repent of their actions condoning 'immoral sexual behavior' " Malango went on to describe the GS being manipulated and Virtue asked how: "Money is being used to manipulate African bishops. What is happening is that the Americans are buying people and offering them a lot of money to be on their side. That is not the answer. ECUSA is trying to buy poor African bishops and sell them their ideas. The North Americans don't know what being poor is like"

    If there is no resolution and solution to this situation, the Global South will go it alone and we will form a a church-- a true Anglican Church--and those in the West who believe in the authority of the Scriptures only would be admitted.

    Virtue: Is this pan Anglican province inclusive? Malango: "It is inclusive of all orthodox groups who are happy to have one voice on faith and morals. "

    From this interview, it would appear that the decision to split took place long ago. +Malango also said it would be 2-3 years. This would explain why +Akinola, and the core of the GS has been moving with such urgency. They must have the new communion in place before Lambeth. If the rest of the primates wondered why this September "deadline" was created, now they know why. There is no "urgency" to TEC's response other than to meet the GS implementation schedule for its new communion.

    The comments about the manipulation of American money is ironic at best. EPfizH

  5. EPfizH --

    I would say that the comments about the manipulation by American money are perfectly accurate (as Archbishop Tutu pointed out to me) -- it is just not money coming from TEC but from the dissenters.

  6. the Diocese of Pittsburgh has encouraged congregations to consider whether they should consider leaving The Episcopal Church. Moreover, the diocese has created a special Web site, Parish Toolbox, to provide “resources” for such congregations. What did they do in Virginia???

    This is the work of Minns, Chapman and crew.

  7. Slightly off topic, but relating to American episcopi vagantes with African connections. Last week's Anglicans Online update included a link to a "not in communion" outfit called the Anglican Catholic Communion U.S.A. ("ACCUSA", a kind of fun acronym). The church's home page describes its primate, Archbishop Gregory Francisco, as "Assisting Bishop for the diocese of Katakwa". Katakwa is a diocese of the Church of Kenya. Does this indicate that Abp Francisco is in some sense an under-the-radar CANA bishop? I floated the question on Thinking Anglicans, but got no response. Wonder if you have any information on the status of this gentleman.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.