3/20/2009

Confirmation of Recognition from CofN Website: Revised

In my previous post the title is, "The Church of Nigeria recognizes ACNA as Province of its Anglican Communion?

The question mark at the end was on purpose. CANA and the Common Cause Partnership both posted the recognition by CofN of ACNA. Virtue Online, Titus 1.9 and Baby Blue have posted the press releases. No one gave the source of the claim.

It is to be found on the web site of the CofN, in the Pastoral Letter from the Standing Committee Meeting (as opposed to the Communique). The Pastoral Letter states,

"It was also our great delight to welcome to our meeting, the Rt. Rev Bob Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh in the USA, and Moderator of the Common Cause Partnership which is a fellowship of about 11 Anglican groups that are determined to maintain the Biblical and historic convictions of our faith, including CANA (also represented at this meeting by our own Bishop Martyn Minns). We have declared ourselves to be in full communion with the emerging province of the Anglican Church of North America, praying that they will remain solidly rooted in the foundations of our faith."

The letter is signed by the Archbishop.

There is no reference to this decision in the Communique from the Standing Committee. Perhaps the "We" and "ourselves" is a royal plural for the Archbishop speaking for the Standing Committee. Who knows.

Addendum: On returning again to the "Pastoral Letter" and the Communique and Opening Remarks documents, I note the following:

The "Pastoral Letter" is listed in the column titled, "Weekly Devotion." The Communique and Opening Remarks documents are under the News column.

The Pastoral Letter is addressed to "My Dear People of God" and signed off by "+Peter Abuja"

The Church
of Nigeria Standing Committee Meeting:Communique is on letterhead from the Province, is not addressed and is signed off by no one.

There is no mention in the Communique of any recognition of ACNA as a Province or Church.

The Opening Remarks to the Standing Committee Meeting are again on letterhead of the Province, and titled, " THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA, ANGLICAN COMMUNION MEETING OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE, ILE IFE, WEDNESDAY 11 - FRIDAY 14, 2009 PRIMATE'S OPENING REMARKS" It is signed off as well by +Peter Abuja.

The presence of Moderator Duncan and Bishop Minns is noted in the opening remarks, as follows "We are glad to welcome back home our CANA bishop, Martyn Minns. With us at this meeting is Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh. Bob leads the Common Cause Partnership that will soon metamorphose against all odds into a new Anglican Province in North America."

What we have then is an affirmation by the Archbishop, by way of a pastoral letter, that "
We have declared ourselves to be in full communion with the emerging province of the Anglican Church of North America, praying that they will remain solidly rooted in the foundations of our faith." We have nothing from the Standing Committee meeting.

The phrasing is worth noting, "We have declared ourselves to be in full communion..." This is a reference to the past, but not necessarily the immediate past (the Standing Committee meeting). This may in fact be a reference back to earlier statements of the Global South Bishops, the Archbishop himself, etc. It may not be news related at all to any decision made by the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria.

What we may have here is more noise and bluster, looking like news. If this is so the press releases of both CANA and the Common Cause Partnership are misleading. They present this as new information about a unanimous decision by the whole Standing Committee.

So several questions:

Why is there no press release or news from the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)?
Why is the only mention on the CofN web pages found in a pastoral letter from the Archbishop?
Why is this source not given in any of the press releases?

There is a increasingly desperate need for the ACNA to have a paper that says it is recognized by some existing Province of the Anglican Communion as a Province (of what is unclear). The Moderator went to Nigeria to get such a document. What he got was mention in a letter. That does not seem to be enough.


2 comments:

  1. Sir - pls note that the ABC has not said he will not recognise ACNA......he will in due course because the reality is that the ABC needs Nigeria in the AC more than TECUSA's "helpful" presence which creates so much division. His Lambeth conference was ridiculous with 1/4 bishops from tiny TECUSA (0.26% of the US population and shrinking).....and now that TECUSA brings so much bad press re litigation and buddhist bishops and shrinking endowments (harder to buy acquiescence with less), the choice is becoming easy for the ABC...... after all, it was not Nigeria or the ACNA people who "tore the fabric of the Communion" in 2003

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