Skip to comments.DIVISIONS WRACK COMMUNION AS PRIMATES MEETING DRAWS NEAR
Posted on 01/30/2007 5:17:16 PM PST by Huber
The cat is out of the bag. What VirtueOnline has known for some time became a reality this past week, surfacing through an exchange of e-mails from the British liberal Anglican leader of the Anglican Consultative Council and a leading American Episcopal Church pansexualist. What the e-mails revealed is that the Archbishop of Canterbury is hopelessly mired in moral quicksand with almost no ability to extricate himself or the Anglican Communion from inevitable schism.
It all began when the Bishop of Bethlehem, Paul Marshall, a moderate, but left-leaning liberal bishop on sexuality issues, took a major swipe at the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams accusing him of playing favorites by seeing more of the orthodox Bishop of Pittsburgh, Robert Duncan than he did the rest of the American HOB, and publicly excoriated the ABC for giving The Episcopal Church the cold shoulder saying his relationship with the TEC was "distant, confused, and multiply triangulated".
Bishop Marshall is no fool. He himself was burned by liberals when he was a professor at Yale, so memories die hard. His attack on Dr. Williams, though unexpected, is not a total surprise.
But then Dr. Louie Crew, The Episcopal Church's emeritus homosexual got in on the act and in a private e-mail message sent him by the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, the ACO leader said he privately shared some of the same concerns that Bishop Marshall wrote with the ABC and then said this: "Sadly, it's very accurate, and is almost the script for a very difficult meeting I had with him last Wednesday," he writes. "We discussed absolute limits of appeasement, and also how a future direction might be identified." More cryptically, he ends his email: "Advisers (and sadly I'm not one of them) are at the heart of this."
Crew, a former member of Executive Council promptly screamed betrayal and wrote a blistering attack on whomever it was who let the cat out of the bag. "I shared the message with a limited number of trusted friends, one of whom betrayed me," Mr. Crew told a reporter for The Living Church. "I have harmed an important leader in the Church and I deeply regret that."
But the damage was done. This revelation matches those of TSM president Dr. Paul Zahl when he discovered documents left at a Xerox machine by the former ACC secretary general John Peterson revealing how Peterson was manipulating the Global South archbishops at Primates meetings for his American paymasters. Now we have, in these new revelations notions of "appeasement" by Canon Kearon.
The word "appeasement" says it all. It is the height of arrogance, hubris and intimidation to believe that Kearon can "appease" anyone let alone Global South Primates. It reeks of Neville Chamberlain and worse. It says that the West still believes it is in control of the situation and through some bullying, intimidation, (and money, if it still works) disguised as diplomacy, those poor Africans will be "appeased" and manipulated into coming around and buying into Western pansexuality.
Is it any wonder that the Global South leaders don't trust the ACC or Kearon, seeing it and him as nothing more than lackey's for western post-modern Christianity with most of its budget supported by the American Episcopal Church.
Hard on the heels of these revelatory e-mails came word from the Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola that further compromises were unacceptable and the issue of homosexuality and the Anglican Communion must be resolved before the 2008 Lambeth Conference, if the Church of Nigeria is to participate.
So there you have it. If sodomy is not resolved to the satisfaction of the CAPA archbishops then Lambeth 2008 is dead on arrival. All talk of covenants, Windsor Reports, special pleadings, British bishops dashing across to Texas to say nothing, more compromises and now "appeasement" - the new liberal approach to handle leaders like Akinola, Orombi, Nzimbi, Malango, James and others, is over. Akinola has spoken.
This fits exactly with what VOL was told by a group of Primates in Jacksonville, Florida last week at the AMiA's annual winter conference. This reporter was told that the upcoming meeting of archbishops in Tanzania would be a make or break time for the whole Communion, and while they would graciously receive Mrs. Schori the new leader of The Episcopal Church, (as is the custom of African hospitality) once the agenda was announced they would not be seated with her.
Furthermore, this accords with the Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi's earlier warning to the ABC that he will not sit at the same table as Mrs. Schori because of her open support of V. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church's first openly ordained homosexual bishop. The Ugandan archbishop is not alone; VOL knows of at least eight other primates, perhaps even more, who will not sit at the same table with the American Episcopal leader.
Now we do have some historic precedent for this. A few short years ago, four Anglican Primates including Peter Akinola (Nigeria), Yong Ping Chung (Southeast Asia), Drexel Gomez (Nassau) and David Gitari (Kenya) visited Philadelphia for a meeting of the Anglican Relief and Development (ARDF) organization. They met at a country club just outside the city. About 50 orthodox Episcopalians were present from area churches to meet the visiting prelates. Early in the evening Charles E. Bennison, the revisionist Bishop of Pennsylvania showed up unexpectedly. As soon as his presence was made known, the four primates promptly left the room and refused to see him. They moved to another room and placed a guard at the door. Bennison was isolated and publicly humiliated.
In this we have a model of how the Global South archbishops might handle Mrs. Schori. If that happens Dr. Williams will be playing shuttle diplomacy, but it will be for nought. Despite Canon Kearon's belief that he can "appease" the Africans and Asians, they will not be appeased. That day has long gone.
At the AMiA conference several African archbishops mocked the notion of polygamy; that money could buy them, that a pro-gay liberal British cleric would get a foothold in an African diocese and much more. They are now in control, let that be clearly understood, and Kearon's notion of "appeasement" is nothing more than the arrogant ramblings of a man whose organization may well be rendered irrelevant and redundant if the Africans walk out.
Look at the words of Archbishop Akinola, the Communion's largest province. Here is what he told Guardian newspaper of Lagos, "sending over 100 Nigerian bishops to Lambeth would not be an act of prudent stewardship, if the conference was simply going to be an expensive episcopal jamboree."
EPISCOPAL JAMBOREE! What does this say for all those heavy-hitting bishops and theologians with their "design team" formulas to prevent open discussion of the issues...keeping people in small huddles so no African leader gets near the microphones to say something the press should hear about what is really going on.
Do you think, for a single moment, that if Gene Robinson is invited, that the exits wont be jammed as the Africans and Asians headed out the doors never more to be seen! Do you think "appeasement" is on their horizon? Yelling 'fire' wouldn't have the same effect as archbishops fell over themselves heading out of Canterbury University.
Read these words of Akinola: "A Lambeth Conference that will not be able to guide the church in a way that the church will embrace" and "comply" is "not worth attending." The Church of Nigeria would be a "bad steward, to use God's resources and waste it on jamboree. God will hold me responsible and accountable for spending money in that way."
Attendance at a Lambeth Conference does not make you a "Christian," nor a "leader" nor "bishop".
"You are all these before you go to Lambeth," the Nigerian church leader stated. Akinola said the Lambeth Conference is a "gathering of bishops in fellowship to think together, to pray together and seek God's face together, discuss issues in an atmosphere of peace and conviviality." It "does not legislate," nor can it tell "any diocese or province" what to do.
However, "as a result of the fellowship, praying together, studying the word of God together" the bishops at Lambeth come to a "consensus of opinion, which we now commend to the provinces for further actions." The Nigerian church believed the "moral strength" underlying its deliberations and decisions "should be strong enough to make everybody comply with it."
For Akinola and more than 500 other leaders the 1998 Conference came to the conclusion that homosexual conduct was not acceptable in the church. "However the American Church rejected this, saying its approval of homosexual behavior is their business and not ours. They said it is good for them. That is why we are saying in Nigeria and indeed in Africa that if the Lambeth Conference resolutions and consensus-building will be of no use to some people, it is not worth attending,"
Said Akinola, "For me to close my eyes to raise over 120 million Naira for the three week meeting and for somebody to take decisions reached there lightly, I will rather use that money for mission and evangelism in Nigeria."
To add insult to the already injured Episcopal Church and Mrs. Schori, we now know that three orthodox American bishops have been invited to Tanzania in February. Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh and ACN moderator, Bishop Bruce MacPherson of Western Louisiana, as well as Christopher Epting Bishop for Ecumenical Relations for the Episcopal Church have accepted invitations to attend the Primates meeting much to the annoyance of American liberal bishops who believe that ONLY Mrs. Schori should be there to represent the Episcopal Church. Liberal bishops like J. Jon Bruno are outraged that Mrs. Schori should have to listen to competitive voices like those of Duncan from within her own province. Paul Marshall Bishop of Bethlehem, in his scathing attack on Rowan Williams also expressed the view that Williams had seen more of Duncan than he had of the American HOB. Epting, it should be noted is a liberal and will stand with Mrs. Schori, the other two will not.
Perhaps as a sign of the toll affecting the communion, Williams will take the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, with him to Tanzania to represent the Church of England. But will that do any good? At not time since he became Archbishop of York has the former Ugandan been embraced by the Global South Primates. He has never been spoken of by any African Primate as someone they can trust or do business with, and when I tentatively raise his name they smile at me and say nothing. That says it all.
But the truth is that the Anglican Communion is coming to a head and the tensions that have been growing since Lambeth 1998 will shortly explode. A document is being prepared on Archbishop of Canterbury's record regarding his homosexual agenda and teaching. It is being published by a group of orthodox theologians "for the whole church".
In Tanzania the battle to keep the church's 38 provinces together will finally be seen and heard before a watching and waiting communion. It will be the first time this meeting will take place on African soil and, ironically, it could be its last.
So sad. So unnecessary. I've moved to a Catholic church now, although I haven't yet converted. But, I will. The Episcopal church's crisis of faith, both locally and nationwide, drove me out. I do miss the hymnal, though-- although the Catholics sing more.
The expulsion of the anti-Christian Episcopal Church is a good thing and long, long, long, long overdue. Thanks be to God! it's on its way.
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