Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sudan in Singapore

The schismatics at Anglicans United report that Sudan’s Archbishop and three other Sudanese bishops are attending the “Global South Encounter” in Singapore. Cherie Wetzel reports that these are attending from Sudan:

  • the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul Yak
  • the Rt. Rev. Francis Loyo
  • the Rt. Rev. Anthony Poggo
  • the Rt. Rev. Alapayo Manyang Kuctiel

This is curious to me.

It sounds like the situation in Sudan is just like that in Central Africa.

Since his consecration, Archbishop Daniel has been whining all over the U.S. that his province is so poor that he cannot even afford to pay his clergy. He has told us that many clergy are due significant amounts of backpay. He has asked the Episcopal Church and the dioceses in relationship with Sudanese dioceses to raise tens of thousands of dollars to pay back-pay for the bishops in Sudan. He has spoken powerfully, asking us to give money that will support the bishops, agricultural needs, and much more.

One of TEC's bishops and at least one of our priests [neither of them from my diocese] have been working very hard to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the Episcopal Church in Sudan. I believed those funds would go to back-pay. I'm not so sure now. If Archbishop Daniel can afford to go to Singapore with three of his bishops, purportedly in first-class seats, why in the world does he need any financial support?? Right now, I'm not sure I'd believe Sudan's Archbishop Daniel if he told me the sun rises in the east.

Of course, because I'm involved in Sudan's Diocese of Lui ... and have been for about four years ... I'm also aware of the situation of their priests. My friends, none of the priests get salaries. Most of them work hard as subsistence farmers, trying to grow sufficient crops to feed their families. They break their backs to make a living. And, on top of that, they serve as priests to their parishes.

So the Episcopal Church of Sudan can't afford to pay its bishops, and none of its priests gets paid.

But now Sudan's Primate, Archbishop Daniel, can afford to get himself and three of his bishops to Singapore for this schismatic, hatemongering meeting. DO YOU HEAR THAT?

I want to know: Who is paying for the travel for him and three other bishops to spend this long time in Singapore? If he’s paying from the ECS budget, then why should any of us support his work within Sudan? If he's not paying, then I want to know who is paying for him to attend this schismatic meeting.

I well remember that Deng had his "Barbie moment" at the Lambeth Conference when he issued a written statement at the beginning of the 2008 Lambeth Conference here, then went prancing into a press conference. ENS posted the full interview in 2 parts here. Or see Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Is +Daniel bought and paid for??

I say this as one who has designated part of every paycheck, over several years, to go toward support for the Episcopal Church of Sudan.

I will not pay for my own oppression, Archbishop Daniel. I well remember your hatemongering circus at Lambeth, sir, but I had forgiven it for the sake of my sisters and brothers in Lui. That may be at an end, given your choice to attend this meeting in Singapore.

Give a transparent accounting for these expenses now, Archbishop Daniel! NOW!

We demand transparent accounting from organizations like ERD, Heifer, etc. We know we can trust them. I now realize it would be stupid for anyone to send money to the Episcopal Church of Sudan, which never provides such accounting.

I am frustrated by Archbishop Daniel's behavior, and I need to hear a clear statement from him. Out of one side of his mouth, he declares his gratitude for relationship with dioceses in the Episcopal Church (U.S.). But now he goes to Singapore with three of his bishops, where the order of the day is hatred of Americans. I want to hear what he really believes. I want to know which side he is on.

I'll base my future actions on what -- if anything -- Archbishop Daniel has the courage to say. I wait.


Blogger BabyBlue said...

Lisa, Cherie Wetzel is not a schismatic. Whatever you think "schismatics are" Cherie doesn't fit the term. She and her husband are committed to remain in the Episcopal Church come what may (like Bishop Howe). I hope your comment doesn't mean that they are no longer welcome to stay.


4/22/2010 10:43 PM  
Blogger MarkBrunson said...

I hope your comment doesn't mean that they are no longer welcome to stay.

Just as welcome as "unrepentant" gay activists in ACNA, I imagine.

You've got to stop letting them guilt-trip you, guys. Excommunication serves a valid purpose. I assure you they would extend only the most limited and provisional welcome to you!

4/22/2010 11:03 PM  
Blogger David and John said...

I have never heard of any real Episcopalians having a problem with people "staying". Everyone is always welcome to "stay".

The only thing that is not welcome is for those who are leaving to try and steal as much as they can while heading out the door.

4/23/2010 7:23 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thanks for dropping in, Baby Blue.

And thanks for your info. I spent some more time this evening looking into the Wetzels' info, and I stand corrected.

I thought the Wetzels had gone off to AMIA. I even checked Todd's parish to double-check, and saw no indication that they were associated with the Episcopal Church. But my look was only cursory. I combined my recollections with the look of their parish website and thought I had it right.

You said: "I hope your comment doesn't mean that they are no longer welcome to stay." No! Of course not. I simply didn't realize they were still in TEC; I thought they had sailed to AMIA. Cherie's "journalism" certainly sounds like that. But my mistake.

I apologize for my error, and I appreciate your correction, BB. That's what happens to a too-hasty blogger, and it's a good lesson for me.

4/23/2010 8:51 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Mark, every Sunday I sit in the pew with a few right-wingers who probably would excommunicate me if they could. Thank God, there are only a few of them. But they can't excommunicate me, nor would I want to do so to them, nor would my bishop. I hope we Episcopalians will continue to be generous -- even in the face of those who hate us. After all, isn't that what Jesus did?

4/23/2010 8:55 PM  
Blogger MarkBrunson said...

No. Not really.

That's a problem I have. Jesus wasn't necessarily sweet and kind. He referred to people being better of with a millstone tied to their necks and dropped in the sea. He referred to Pharisees making people twice as much a disciple of Hell as they themselves. He spoke of shaking the dust from your feet. He spoke of a time for swords and those who aren't for us are against us. He called hypocrites "hypocrites" not misguided brethren. He called his own right-hand man "Satan" for questioning what Jesus understood to be his destiny. He used a whip of cords to drive out the money changers.

No. Jesus wouldn't necessarily be sweet, tolerant and kind. He would be forgiving. Excommunication allows reinstatement.

I agree that diversity in a group is vital - if there is something to be gained and learned in that diversity. When the views a diametrically-opposed, entrenched, listening becomes pointless. You've heard, but you know what you heard to be wrong. The best that can come of it is an uneasy sharing of physical space and nothing more.

When the sharing breaks down - when a group in the larger group comes to cause harm and destruction to the larger group and refuses to either curb their behavior or remove themselves - separation becomes a necessity. This is neither a cruelty nor a weapon if used in that way. The possibility of reconciliation remains open.

The reason it is not used is that the overarching idol of the institution thrives on keeping controversy and tension, because cooperation brings time to realize that the institution of Christianity - as it stands - is no longer contributing to the forward transformation of Humanity. It has become an end of itself.

4/24/2010 12:23 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Point well taken, Mark.

I've been lucky here -- that those who profoundly disagree with me still remain in communion with me.

But I'm starting to grow weary of those those claim we are unchristian. So I have a bit of understanding.

4/24/2010 9:14 PM  
Blogger MarkBrunson said...

I think I should clarify that we don't decide who's in communion - we're in communion with Christ and that puts us in the same family.

If, however, we are going to try to have a cohesive group, those who actively seek to destroy the group can't stay. This isn't malice. It isn't bad, or un-pc or unloving or uncompassionate or even unkind. If you have the police take someone out of your house by force because they are threatening you and your family, you don't feel bad about it, so why should excommunication, which is not physical force, and doesn't deny the freedom of the one removed to be Christian?

4/27/2010 12:50 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Mark, maybe this is the point where I should admit that I'm not entirely rational about the relationship between Missouri and Lui. I have relationships there. I am troubled about Sudan's Archbishop Daniel. I am torn and conflicted.

I wish TEC and Sudan could have the same kind of "being in communion" that I have here within my parish. Maybe it does; I'm not involved in international relationships.

4/27/2010 9:10 PM  
Blogger MarkBrunson said...

Would you be less willing to help the people in Lui if they were not anglican or even non-christian? I don't see that in you, so communion is there. Communion doesn't come with paperwork. It was pre-existing, the moment Christ accepted us. We're in communion with every other person who believes in Christ (at the very least).

It's not that I'm thinking parochially, but that I'm thinking communion cannot be defined by us - I'm thinking universally. There are people in this country - a legal "communion" of sorts - who wouldn't offer a glass of cold water to another countryman, won't recognize them as human, even! So, "communion" but not communion.

4/28/2010 11:40 PM  

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