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Archbishop faces boycott at gay summit
VirtueOnline-News ^ | 2/14/2007 | Ruth Gledhill

Posted on 02/15/2007 6:29:31 PM PST by sionnsar

[This is strange. Maybe I hadn't been paying close enough attention, but I recall liking Ruth Gledhill's reporting, once upon a time. But this is... weird, from the headline on down. Either I was on autopilot, she's flipped out, or some editor is doing a hatchet job on her stuff. "Gay summit"? Gimme a break, it goes much deeper than that and Gledhill ought to know that!--sionnsar]

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has flown nearly 5,000 miles to attend the controversial Anglican summit on gays in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

But the Ugandan-born Archbishop could tomorrow find himself "excluded" from the meeting after protests from African and Asian archbishops representing the conservative Global South.

The meeting, which began Wednesday and lasts until Monday is crucial for the future of the Anglican Communion, facing a schism over the gay issue.

On Friday, the primates will debate a new document, an Anglican Covenant, designed to set out a framework of faith and unity to avoid future schismatic actions.

Each of the 38 provinces is normally permitted one primate at the meeting.

Although the Archbishop of York is technically Primate of England, he has never before been invited to be part of the Primates' Meeting, one of the three "instruments of communion" of the worldwide Anglican Church. The Church of England is represented by Dr Rowan Williams, Primate of All-England and "focus for unity" of the Church.

But officials in the Anglican Communion decreed that this week Dr Sentamu should for the first time be allowed to accompany Dr Williams to Dar es Salaam, to represent the Church of England and free up the Archbishop of Canterbury to chair the meeting.

His presence was, however, never put to a vote and the African primates say they should have been consulted before Dr Sentamu was included.

Although he is regarded in England as a charismatic and orthodox Christian, Global South leaders suspect Dr Sentamu of being a closet liberal who would resist the disciplining of the pro-gay US Episcopalians.

As a former judge who on several occasions outwitted the dictator Idi Amin at risk of his own life, Dr Sentamu is also one of the best legal brains in the Anglican Church. He is deemed by insiders to be skilled at getting "results".

The African primates have written personally to Dr Williams protesting against Dr Sentamu's presence. The Archbishop of Canterbury replied that it was not a problem and argued that it had been done by the book.

It is highly unlikely that Dr Williams will countenance the humiliation of Dr Sentamu being expelled from the meeting, and insiders in Tanzania were last night predicting a deal would be done.

Significantly, the leader of the Global South primates, the Archbishop of Nigeria, Dr Peter Akinola, yesterday flew in an extra archbishop of his own, Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop of Bendel. He is one of the nine archbishops in the Anglican Church of Nigeria and has nine dioceses in his province. Before his ordination, Archbishop Okoh was a colonel in the Nigerian army.

Dr Akinola could demand that Dr Sentamu be permitted to stay only if Archbishop Okoh be given a seat at the primates' table. There could even be a deal over the US Primate, Katharine Jefferts Schori. Dr Akinola will almost certainly not countenance them both being at the meeting unless Archbishop Okoh is also there.

Archbishop Okoh could then be expected to bring all his strategic military expertise to bear in the battle over gays that will dominate the Primates' Meeting. Without some kind of deal being cut, the meeting is at risk of a walk-out by the Global South.

Dr Williams, meanwhile, has his own "nuclear option", insiders said. In a recent document, The Road to Lambeth, the Global South Primates said that they will not attend the Lambeth Conference if the US Church's gay bishop Gene Robinson and those who consecrated him are not disciplined and if they are invited to Lambeth.

The Lambeth Conference traditionally happens every ten years. But although the University of Kent has been booked, it is understood that Dr Williams is prepared to postpone the Lambeth Conference and hold a "covenantal assembly" instead.

Bishops, clergy and laity from around the communion would be invited to attend, to discuss whether they can continue to live together under the banner of the Anglican Covenant document to be revealed on Friday.

Hardliners from the orthodox camp want the Episcopal Church expelled. Others want a "two-province solution" with the conservatives in the US and the liberals in separate churches, with their own archbishops.

One difficulty the entire church is having to come to terms with, though, is that if the US is expelled, the whole edifice could crumble. It is cash from the Episcopal Church that keeps the show on the road. If ECUSA is expelled, the money for the others will very likely dry up.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: ecusa; homosexualagenda; religion; sodomites
[P.S., London Times/Gledhill, it's no longer ECUSA. It's officially TEC, and has been for a little while now. I don't think you should be trying to emulate the Grey Lady (NYT); lies and distortions tend to get found out fairly readily these days. --sionnsar]
1 posted on 02/15/2007 6:29:32 PM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 02/15/2007 6:30:37 PM PST by sionnsar (††|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: sionnsar
If ECUSA is expelled, the money for the others will very likely dry up.

I thought the big money came from the conservative churches.

3 posted on 02/15/2007 8:50:49 PM PST by neodad (USS Vincennes (CG-49) Freedom's Fortress)
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To: neodad

I've been wondering about this as well. Here is something I found elsewhere:

"Mrs. Schori downplays what she calls a tiny but influential number of churches, from Virginia to California, as being little more than "one-half of 1% of the 7,200 congregations," which, she says, have spurned her leadership and the liberal direction of the Episcopal Church to align with Southern Hemisphere traditionalists. What she omitted to say is, while the parishes might be few, the numbers of Episcopalians leaving is huge. For example, the departure of Christ Church, Plano, in the Diocese of Dallas, was the equivalent of the entire Diocese of Nevada!

The parishes leaving are often large cardinal parishes which, by their departure, can and do affect the finances of the diocese, as in the case of the Diocese of Northwest Texas, where Bishop Wallis Ohl faces a major crisis with the departure of his three largest parishes. The Diocese of Kansas lost its largest donor parish, but Bishop Dean Wolfe cut a deal to get income for ten years from Christ Church, Overland Park, and its 1100 parishioners, with Wolfe admitting that the departure of Christ Church put a financial strain on the diocesan budget. His diocesan administrator admitted that of the remaining 49 parishes, a third have fewer than 100 members and cannot survive without diocesan assistance.

Mrs. Schori is strangely silent about diocesan financial loses.

To hear her talk, the future of her denomination is brighter every day with many "healthy, vital churches." This is pure fantasy. The "healthy, vital churches" are leaving the TEC. Look what has happened in the Diocese of Florida. Nearly all the largest parishes have left that diocese, leaving only small parishes and missions to prop up the bishop and the fantasy of MDG's Mrs. Schori hopes will save the world. In the Diocese of Pennsylvania, the finances are such a mess that the diocese can only offer the national church about $200,000 instead of the $700,000 Charles Bennison would like to give to support Mrs. Schori's "vision."

4 posted on 02/16/2007 12:04:57 AM PST by JoeDetweiler
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