Skip to comments.Nigeria wants a common faith, not a common leader
Posted on 09/21/2005 5:52:07 PM PDT by sionnsar
A COMMON faith, and not a common leader, should define Anglicanism and the Anglican Communion, the Church of Nigerias General Synod has declared in what is widely seen as a rebuff to the Archbishop of Canterbury. In a controversial move last week, the 800-strong Synod sent shockwaves around Anglican Communion circles by redefining its relations with the Anglican Communion in confessional terms. The delegates replaced the phrase communion with the see of Canterbury with communion with all Anglican Churches, Dioceses and Provinces that hold and maintain the Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacrament and Discipline of the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, in its constitution. While displeasure with the House of Bishops July 25 Pastoral Statement on Civil Partnerships partly drove the change, sources told The Church of England Newspaper that the primary motive for placing the locus of unity on Scripture, the 1662 Prayer Book and the Articles of Religion over against the See of Canterbury was the Windsor Reports call for a common Anglican covenant. Professor Stephen Noll, Vice-Chancellor of Uganda Christian University, said that Nigeria seems to be saying in response to the Windsor Report, You want an Anglican Covenant? Surprise, surprise, it is what it always has been, the 39 Articles and the Prayer Book.
While Halsburys Laws of England 14:313 defines the Anglican Communion as embracing all those churches and dioceses which are in communion with the See of Canterbury, it also recognises a confessional basis to Anglicanism. Anglican Churches propagate the catholic and apostolic faith based upon the scriptures interpreted in the light of Christian tradition, scholarship and reason as expressed in the Book of Common Prayer (1662) and the Ordinal and their derivatives. Archbishop Peter Akinola dismissed claims that Nigeria had broken with Canterbury. Our intention was to make clear that we are committed to the historic faith once delivered to the Saints, practice and the traditional formularies, he wrote on September 19. Those who are bent to walk a different path, may do so without us, he stated. We have chosen not to be yoked to them as we prefer to exercise our freedom to remain faithful.
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