Friday, December 21, 2007

Chasing Archbishop Akinola

Julia Duin, of the Washington Times, has written some of the most sympathetic (even fawning) articles in favor of the dissidents in the Episcopal Church and the schismatics who have gone to Nigeria (via CANA) or the Southern Cone. Imagine my surprise to read her blog account of "Chasing Archbishop Akinola." It's a riot! Apparently, this man has better handlers and tighter security than the President of the United States, and more like the Pope.

Having tried and failed several times to schedule an interview with Akinola, Duin attends the CANA Church of the Epiphany service, at which Akinola was consecrating four more "Nigerian" bishops on December 9th.


Archbishop Akinola during the procession into the Church of the Epiphany in Herndon, Va., where CANA consecrated four new bishops. (Photo by Kelly Oliver, CRC Public Relations)

Here's a snippet of Julia "Nancy Drew" Duin's diligent and creative efforts to reach Akinola at church that day:

As the service ended, the musicians struck up "The Church's One Foundation" and all the clergy prepared to recess out the back door into a reception area. I positioned myself just outside the sanctuary so I could catch his eye. As Archbishop Akinola processed out, I saw he was surrounded by a phalanx of people in front, alongside and in back of him, who were marching him through the reception area and down a hallway. I followed.

The archbishop stopped in front of a door while the phalanx protectively grouped itself around him. Then he disappeared. It took me a few seconds to realize he'd slipped up a back stairway. As the door was blocked by the phalanx, I headed back into the reception area and down another hallway where I found a second stairway. Racing up that, I began heading down the hall toward Bishop Minns' office — where I knew the archbishop must be hiding out.

But, horrors, into the hallway strode Bishop Minns himself. Spotting me, plus possibly other folks who wanted to see the archbishop, he zipped into his office and shut the door. Stationed outside was a priest from the Falls Church — one of the local congregations that has departed the Episcopal Church.

I showed up at Bishop Minns' door and the priest/bodyguard, who happened to be built like a football player, blocked my way. "I'm sorry, Julia," he said, "but … " as he maneuvered me toward an exit door. Well, hmmm. What's a reporter to do? Unless I wanted to start a rumble or use tear gas, my options were limited.

Here's the conclusion of her article:
What is it about us journalists that Archbishop Akinola is so afraid of? Does he not trust himself with us? Or don't his subordinates trust him? This is an era of tape recordings and video, so misquotes can be proven and dispatched with very quickly. Or, more troubling, doesn't the archbishop consider himself accountable? Apparently not.
A grateful hat-tip to Simon Sarmiento and Thinking Anglicans for this link.

3 Comments:

Blogger Rowan The Dog said...

This is an era of tape recordings and video, so misquotes can be proven and dispatched with very quickly.

I think that's what he's afraid of.

12/22/2007 10:07 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I suspect you're right, Rowan. Read the intro to Duin's essay. She recalls that Akinola was fairly ticked-off by the NYTimes essay posted earlier this year.

You are one smart puppy!

12/22/2007 10:20 PM  
Blogger Lapinbizarre said...

Is it that Akinola is "ticked-off", or that his handlers know that he can't be trusted not to give a repeat of his NYT performance? Note that the priest/bodyguard/football-player who told Duin to get lost knew exactly who she was - he addressed her by her Christian name. When Minns is not prepared to risk having his boy interviewed by the sympathetic, right-wing, Moonie-owned "Times", it indicates that he knows precisely what type of bigot he's hitched his star to, and his only significant concern is to keep Akinola's opinions as closely under wraps as possible where the Western press is concerned.

12/23/2007 8:53 AM  

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