In his most recent letter to the bishops and synods of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican) Archbishop Akinola gave the following reasons for "the conscious decision to initiate CANA (the Convocation of Anglicans in North America) in the light of the following:" -
- "The undisputed alienation among Anglicans in North America created by the actions of TEC despite warnings from the Instruments of Communion.
- The need for pastoral care and oversight for alienated Anglicans in North America in the light of the Primates Communiqué October 2003. "The provinces concerned to make adequate provision for Episcopal oversight of dissenting minorities within their own area of pastoral care in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates."
- TEC's establishment of churches in the diocese of Europe.
- The consecration and appointment of Bishop Sandy Miller as a Bishop of the Province of Uganda called to serve in the United Kingdom.
This is rot! At least two of these four reasons are yanked out of thin air. The fact that there are congregations in Europe that have formed a convocation is in no way parallel to CANA. First and foremost, The Convocation of Churches in Europe is not there because of any alienation from other members churches of the Anglican Communion or alienation from other Anglicans in Europe. Further, there was no Anglican jurisdiction for Europe when these churches were begun and the jurisdictions of the Anglican bodies in Europe now are in full communion. The UK Diocese of Europe is acknowledged as an anomaly and all Anglican bodies in Europe work cooperatively within the peculiar environment of Europe. It is not always an easy task, but it is done among churches that are in communion with one another.
The consecration and appointment of Bishop Miller, from Uganda serving in the UK is with full approval of both churches and both churches are in communion with each other.
The Archbishop simply overlooks the fact that the difference that in both these cases the ministries take place in a context of full communion.
As to the first proposition – there is certainly "alienation among Anglicans in North America" - but the same warnings from the instruments of unity also warned precisely against doing what Nigeria has done.
As to the second proposition - "The need for pastoral care and oversight for alienated Anglicans in North America in the light of the Primates Communiqué October 2003. 'The provinces concerned to make adequate provision for Episcopal oversight of dissenting minorities within their own area of pastoral care in consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates.'" – It is hard to know even where to begin.
There is no mention any more of CANA being first for Nigerians in North America, the original reason for the designation CANA. Now the reason for CANA is in the "light of the Primates Communiqué October 2003.
There is no record of there being any consultation with the Province of The Episcopal Church, the Archbishop or the Primates in forming CANA. The quoted bit of the Communiqué clearly calls on the "provinces concerned to make adequate provision for Episcopal oversight to dissenting minorities within their own area of pastoral care." It does not provide for unilateral invasion by another province. Period.
Archbishop Akinola has been in the US within the past week or two. I am told he has said wonderfully pastoral things. But back in Nigeria this letter to his own bishops is not at all pastoral. It is not pastoral or prophetic to give rot as reason for action. These reasons, as stated, are a sham.