Friday, January 19, 2007

Will Abp. Akinola be "Disciplined" by the Primates?

By now you are all familiar with the Convocation for Anglicans in North America, aka Convocation of Anglican Nigerians in Americas, aka Convocation of Anglican Nigerian Churches in America, the mission launched by Peter Akinola to establish a beachhead within TEC.

Bp. Peter Lee referred to this breach of boundaries in his recent letter:

...The Church of Nigeria, like The Episcopal Church, is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion with clearly defined boundaries. Bonds of affection in the Anglican Communion hold that provincial boundaries are not crossed by bishops without expressed invitation. Bishop Akinola’s effort to establish CANA within the boundaries of The Episcopal Church has occurred without any invitation or authorization whatsoever and violates centuries of established Anglican heritage. As the Archbishop of Canterbury has made clear, CANA is not a branch of the Anglican Communion and does not have his encouragement...
You may recall the statement of last month from the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion:

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) is, to my knowledge, a "mission" of the Church of Nigeria. It is not a branch of the Anglican Communion as such but an organsation which relates to a single province of the Anglican Communion. CANA has not petitioned the Anglican Consultative Council for any official status within the Communion's structures, nor has the Archbishop of Canterbury indicated any support for its establishment.
Our Presiding Bishop has reiterated Bp. Lee's charge:

...The recent decisions by some members of congregations in Virginia to leave the Episcopal Church and ally with the Anglican Church of Nigeria have no cognizance in our polity. Ancient precedent (from as early as the fourth century) in the Church requires bishops to respect diocesan boundaries, and to refrain from crossing into or acting officially in dioceses other than their own. As a Church we cannot and will not work to subvert that ancient precedent by facilitating the establishment of congregations which are purportedly responsible to bishops in other parts of the Anglican Communion within the diocesan boundaries of the Episcopal Church...
And, just so you know they aren't making this stuff up, let's recall the following from the Windsor Report, that document supposedly so cherished by Abp. Akinola and his "missionary bishop" Martyn Minns:

We call upon those bishops who believe it is their conscientious duty to intervene in provinces, dioceses and parishes other than their own:
* to express regret for the consequences of their actions
* to affirm their desire to remain in the Communion, and
* to effect a moratorium on any further interventions.
We also call upon these archbishops and bishops to seek an accommodation with the bishops of the dioceses whose parishes they have taken into their own care...
The charges have been made by our leadership. It seems to me Abp. Akinola has some explaining to do. Next month in Tanzania would seem like an appropriate setting for him to respond to these charges. If he refuses to remove CANA from within the boundaries of TEC, will he be willing to face the consequences?

Personally, I don't think it is the Primates' place to try and "punish" anyone. Yet, it does seem rather ironic for Peter Akinola to find himself in the same position that he once attempted to force TEC to take. It's not a pleasant perspective, is it Archbishop?


No comments:

Post a Comment