Changing Attitude on the Archbishop's Letter: Who asked for it, who wrote it, who needed it?

Archbishop Akinola reportedly wrote a letter published on the AAC pages that in turn references two reports, one each on The Episcopal Church and The Anglican Church of Canada. It can be read HERE.

Colin Coward at Changing Attitude has raised the question of who initiated the letter, who wrote it and what its purpose was.

Here is what Changing Attitude has to say about the letter:
'Who initiated the letter?
Archbishop Akinola says he asked The American Anglican Council to prepare the report (actually, two reports were attached) in preparation for the meeting. I suggest that the letter was initiated by American secessionists who were being criticised by their own constituency who were accusing the Global South Primates of selling out on them. The letter was posted on the American Anglican Council web site, not the Church of Nigeria web site.

Who wrote the letter?
Talking with senior members of General Synod, the name that came immediately to mind was Canon Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream. My textual analysis experts haven’t been let loose on the letter yet, but there is a confidence in ascribing the letter to Canon Chris and not Archbishop Peter.

In the letter, Archbishop Akinola says the Primates were “treated to presentations that sought to trivialize the situation and the consequences for those whose only offence is their determination to hold on doggedly and truthfully to the faith once delivered to the saints.” This bears no resemblance whatsoever to the description of what was taking place inside the meeting that I gained from a number of primates. There was no trivialising of the situation. Archbishop Peter was in the meeting and knew the reality of what happened – Canon Chris wasn’t there. It is this dishonesty and misrepresentation which is repeated over and over again which so damages the Christian community and the integrity of our faith in Jesus Christ.

What is the purpose of the letter?
Well, it’s unlikely to change the mind of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is patiently working to hold all strands of the Anglican Communion together. It’s another attempt to persuade people who haven’t yet got it that The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada are the bad boys. According to the secessionists (who are of course innocent of any offence), the brokenness of the Communion is entirely the responsibility of others who need to change their behaviour radically. Their constant caricature of the two North American Provinces continually leads to a further erosion of respect for the conservative coalitions and the Christian high ground they claim to occupy. What annoys me is the assumption in the final sentence of the Akinola/Sugden letter that only conservatives do nothing “that will compromise the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ that is our only hope.”
The letter is slanderous and the essays linked to it are so wildly slanderous as to be almost libelous.  Changing Attitudes is right to ask more about its origins and purpose.


  1. Richard III15/2/09 3:38 PM

    I'm still waiting for a good explanation of what the "faith once delivered to the Saints" is. There seems to be something magical about this phrase and its' continuous use by the so-called orthodox minority in this p*****g contest. They need to stop attempting a coup d'etat within the ACC and get on with forming their own puritan church that only welcomes the elect of Christianity into its' fold. Or is the destruction and humiliation of TEC, ACofC and other like minded churches within the Communion what they really desire to see happen.

  2. Richard III, I was wondering the same thing, so I did a little study on the epistle of Jude and I don't think that the author of the epistle of Jude's understanding of the "faith once delivered to the Saints" is the same as that of the orthodites. Since Jude quotes non-canonical sources (a non-canonical source which talks about sex with angels) I don't think they'd let Jude into their Most Holy and Pure organization.
    OCICBW. . .

  3. Wherever possible I've been encouraging folks to look at the "Report," and especially at the list of resolutions passed in recent diocesan conventions. While the source is an Integrity web page, and while the list is of diocesan resolutions of which Integrity approves, in at least one case the resolution reported doesn't do any of the things alleged in the "Report." It does not speak of confirmations of bishops, nor of blessings of unions, and yet is so cited.

    Whatever the perfidy of Archbishop Akinola, there is more than enough perfidy (or perhaps simple sloppiness) in the "Report" that he "requested" to discredit the entire enterprise.

  4. Richard III -
    They do not want their own "Church" they want TEC/ACoC. Why build one hen you can take one. This "movement" springs out of hate, hate for anyone and everyone that is either a women and in clerical garb, a LGBT of any stripe, and those who support toe gospel of inclusivity. While I am a strong believer in hate cannot last I am in this for the long haul because of the human toll that has and is being mounted by their inability to see Jesus in the gospels.

  5. This has the paw prints of David Andersen's and a few of the folks at Viagraland all over it. They've been cataloging the 'heresies' in an open call. My grandmother always said "You never make yourself look good by trying to make others look bad."

    This 'document' is evidence of that old truth.


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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.