8/05/2009

If not Canterbury, who?

The Archbishop of Canterbury is a wonderful man by all accounts, and more. He is gifted with great intellect, a fine and nuanced writing style, and a warm personality. But he seems more and more to have used up his time on complex weavings, source of many grievings.

Anglican Church in North America Archbishop Duncan, no slouch as a wordy prelate, had this to say about Archbishop Williams' latest letter, as reported by The Washington Times.

"Sadly," said ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan, "the archbishop of Canterbury has given us another nuanced statement in the midst of a crisis."

He added, "The Communion needs clear leadership at the moment and sadly, others will fill the void."

The ACNA Archbishop is not alone in his assessment. (He does use 'sadly" rather frequently.) Other indeed will fill the void.

But who?

Bishop Nazer-Ali comes across as someone out of touch completely but rabid in his denunciation of The Episcopal Church. There is speculation about his heading up the FOCA action or GAFCON outbreak in England or world-wide.

Bishop Tom Wright is quick on the draw but not very solid as an observer; that is he sometimes does not know what he is talking about. Whoever thought he might be the next ABC was having a bad dream, we hope.

ACNA's Duncan himself is given to insipid interviews and rehash mutterings. He is building a house with too many rooms for too many contestants in the Anglican look-alike games.

And where are the great lions of Africa? We hear almost nothing.

Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria is very quiet. What gives?

Archbishop Orombi of Uganda is quite as well, but he surfaced in April at a meeting of the Association of Western Anglican Congregations, which since became a diocese in the Anglican Church of North America. It is unclear however just what sort of leadership he is exercising elsewhere in the Anglican world.

Who else is out there?

So, if Canterbury is losing ground as the spokesperson for the Anglican Communion, who is rising to be that persons? Who "will fill the void?"

God willing, maybe no one will. Perhaps the Anglican Communion as a fellowship of Churches can get along quite well without a charismatic leader.

8 comments:

  1. "Sadly," said ACNA Archbishop Robert Duncan, "the archbishop of Canterbury has given us another nuanced statement in the midst of a crisis."

    Mark that's the best laugh I've had today. I'm thinking that perhaps it may be possible for me and Archbishop Duncan to be in the same Communion.

    I'm still laughing. I know. I'm wicked. I'll go repent.

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  2. "Lions of Africa"?
    You do know, don't you, that Nigeria doesn't have any lions?
    Been watching too much Disney.

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  3. The archbishop of Canterbury does not need to charismatic. The Archbishop of Canterbury does not need to be an intellectual. The Archbishop of Canterbury does not have to be a great homiletics or biblical scholar or anything else. The Archbishop of Canterbury simply needs to be appointed by the QUEEN (please note a female) of England. When will everybody get that simple fact clearly in fro=nt of them. There is no other way, there is no other election, there is no other anything. There can be no other formal leader of the Anglican Communion.
    Everyone can want all they want, can preach all they can preach, can criticize all they want, can blog all they want, can give all the interviews they want but nothing can change the hard fact the Archbishop of Canterbury is an appointed position by the Queen of England.

    Shessh, ya'll think this is California or somethin'.

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  4. Brad...here is what Rick Warren said about Akinola in Time Magazine:
    "Akinola has the strength of a lion, useful in confronting Third World fundamentalism and First World relativism." It was funny then, it is funny now. No need for Disney.

    Other articles in Nigeria refer to him as a lion as well.

    It has nothing to do with the distribution of lions in Africa.

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  5. Though officially the ABC is appointed by the Queen, she has no effective power in deciding but merely ratifies the choice of her Prime Minister who is given a recommendation by the Church (youtube Yes, Prime Minister on it).

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  6. "merely ratifies the choice of her Prime Minister who is given a recommendation by the Church...."

    That's true, and it's just occurred to me to wonder about the importance of that for the communion. The next PM is widely expected to be a Tory, but one who's invested in being seen as a "new Tory." Do any of you on that side of the Atlantic have any thoughts on whether Cameron would want to be seen to be choosing an ABC with an anti-gay agenda, should the opportunity arise?

    Thanks and peace,

    MarkP

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  7. rather think that Akinola has his hands fill with Islamic Fundamentalism in the north of Nigeria. I suspect his interest is directly proportional to the flow of funds from the ACNA to Nigeria. A flow that I suspect is greatly diminished of late.

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