GAFCON made a point at first of saying that Archbishop Akinola simply gave up on Jordanian border bureaucracy. Later the Archbishop came closer to saying that he was deliberately denied entry. And finally he is reported to have said, "No matter the humiliation I suffered, I took it as a body lotion, rubbed it all over my body, so that I can shine for Christ, "Akinola said in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). The GAFCON folk simply said that since Archbishop Akinola and several Sudanese participants could not get entry permission, the preliminary conference was moved to Jerusalem. At no time was there any hint that they might have been bounced.
Now however, thanks to Thinking Anglicans, we have a report that Chris Sugden has stated that (i) Akinola was indeed denied entry, flat out, and more interestingly (ii) that GAFCON was shut down and the meetings not allowed to take place after the first day.
Here is Thinking Anglicans report:
According to Chris Sugden writing in Evangelicals Now August 2008 edition
Gafcon takes off….
…A preparatory Conference for 140 was held in Jordan from June 17. However on June 18 the Jordanian authorities announced that sufficient high level permission had not been granted for the conference to take place. the conference hall was shut and no meeting allowed. At the same time Archbishop Akinola, travelling on his diplomatic passport was denied entry. So on June 19, the 140 people relocated early to Jerusalem. the hotels concerned, in the chain, transferred the costs. A miracle…
Essentially this makes GAFCON's telling of the tale a misrepresentation. The relocation followed being shut down and Archbishop Akinola was denied entry.
This is what GAFCON said about leaving Jordan:
"The pre-GAFCON preparatory consultation in Jordan wound up early, and the participants moved to Jerusalem on Thursday, 19th June. Hotel and meeting rooms previously unavailable in Jerusalem became available at the same time GAFCON leaders learned that previously granted permission for the Jordan consultation was deemed insufficient."
In a post on June 18 I remarked, "The phrase, "GAFCON leaders learned that previously granted permission for the Jordan consultation was deemed insufficient," is most intriguing. This suggests that something about the consultation itself involved permission being granted by Jordan and that that permission was deemed insufficient. It could be no more than there having been a supposed understanding with the government that GAFCON leadership would be admitted to Jordan, it could be about the conference itself. Either way, it would appear that GAFCON leadership blew it."
It appears that they did indeed.
GAFCON slid the information in by suggestion, not by the statement of fact. "Deemed insufficient is diplomatic, but as with many diplomatic statements it is a bit of a weasel out. It is not that that their permissions were insufficient. They were shut down.
And the Archbishop was flat out denied entry. No bureaucratic bumbling here. Denied is the word.
There it is.