9/13/2007

CANA, CANA everywhere, and a plague of bishops.

The summer rash of new bishops, two in Kenya, one in Uganda, with more promised in January in Rwanda for the American Mission in America, is now joined by Nigeria.

This just posted the 13th of September on the Church of Nigeria web pages:

"
Four suffragan (assisting) bishops were also elected for CANA, the church’s mission in America."

The CANA website, in its Frequently Asked Questions section said this about new bishops for CANA:

"
Q15. How will additional bishops be chosen?
Nominees for bishops for CANA will be identified by the current CANA episcopate and the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, and elected by the House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria. This will continue until a new ecclesiastical structure is fully matured and a provincial recognition established. It is anticipated that future consecrations will likely take place in the USA."
I suppose this means that Bishops Minns and Bena, together with Archbishop Akinola, made the nominations and the HoB of the CofN did the electing. Notice the bottom line, "until a new ecclesiastical structure is fully matured and a provincial recognition established." I gather this to mean, until the Common Cause Partnership (CCP) gets its act together and forms a new Anglican church in America and until that group gains provincial recognition from the Primates, or the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Anglican Consultative Council, or somebody.

But here's what all this means: It means that CANA will have five bishops in the CCP mix, and fully enough to carry on its own episcopal lineage without anyone else if necessary.

Two questions: who are the four? I suspect Anderson, now a canon in the mix. Who else? We'll see.

Second: How is it possible for the Church of Nigeria to lay claim to any fidelity to Anglican polity or common life and do this sort of thing. This is a misurable business and a plague. It is all being done, as Bishop Orama and the Archbishop because, "
CANA is the offshoot of the Church of Nigeria's response to the unbiblical agenda of the Episcopal Church of United States of America in supporting same sex marriage and consecrating in the year 2003 the publicly acknowledged gay priest V. Gene Robinson as bishop. The aim of CANA, in the words of the Primate of Church of Nigeria, The Most Revd. Peter J. Akinola is “to provide a safe place for those who wish to remain faithful Anglicans but can no longer do so within the Episcopal Church." That is, it is being done because Nigeria (and Minns the local manager) have determined that The Episcopal Church is the enemy, and that this spiritual warfare seems to need more bishops.

If the Archbishop of Canterbury does not speak up, and soon, there will be nothing to talk about in New Orleans next week except this: Whose side are you on?

8 comments:

  1. The power plays are getting to be quite obvious. With all these bishops, there is going to be a major struggle for control among Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Cone, and who knows who else. Any bets on the Common Cause Partnership disintegrating at its first meeting over egos and personal agendas? While a very sad situation, it may yet make good theatre.

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  2. You can't convince me that all this wasn't planned to come down all at once just before the meeting of our House of Bishops, to bring Archbishop Rowan's empire guilt to bear on our House.
    RevLois Keen

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  3. Jim, I would be very surprised if the Common Cause Partnership disintegrated at its first meeting. They should be able to maintain a principle of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" for a while - probably through Lambeth and Africa-centered "anti-Lambeth." After that, they'll have to actually work out their own understandings of autonomy and interdependence; and that will be the occasion of dissension in their own ranks. Consider, for example, that there is a dissenting group within the Reformed Episcopal Church unhappy about the agreement between REC and the Anglican Province in America - over the same issues, really, that led some to leave the Episcopal Church and form REC in the first place.

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  4. In the words of W. S. Gilbert. "... bishops in their shovel-hats, were plentiful as tabby cats - in point of fact, too many".

    Will be interested to read your "take" on the revamped primatial vicar plan reported on Living Church - also on the quote there from a "senior advisor" to the ABC saying that "it was a serious misreading of the primates’ communiqué to say that an ultimatum had been given to the House of Bishops to take certain actions by Sept. 30 or face expulsion from the Anglican Communion".

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  5. By my count, including the planned and announced consecrations, there will be twenty in this clutch of bishops by Lambeth. Which begs the question of what backward in homophobia is planing in England. ;;sigh;; They could be quite a crowd by then.

    I think it likely that they will break up over who is really holy. They have now pushed things so far they will have to actually have to attempt to be a church instead of simply denegrating TEC. That is a lot harder, especially for the terminally holy.

    FWIW
    jimB

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  6. Perhaps it's simply an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records' of bishop/communicant per capita.

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  7. Why settle for a mere priesthood of all believers when you can have an episcopate of all believers?

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  8. Mark, I think ninh's comment is worthy of being immortalized by being substituted as the epigram in the header of your webpage -- ROFL!!!

    Rick

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