Sunday, March 22, 2009

Calling a Spade a Spade

It's been all over the blogosphere for the last few days. Wacky wannabe organizations like the American Anglican Council, the ACNA [whatever that is], and the FOCAs have been bruiting the fact that the supposedly Anglican Church of Nigeria has recognized the ACNA [not to be confused with acne] as a legitimately Anglican province. [Update 03/23: When I wrote this last night, I hadn't seen Mark Harris' post at Preludium. He raises legitimate questions about whether the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) actually took any action to give official recognition to the dissidents ... or whether this is just another spin-job. Check it out.]

Let us stroll through some recent Anglican Communion history.

Nigeria's Archbishop Akinola consecrated a whole bunch of disaffected white guys (many of whom – like Martyn Minns – had repeatedly run for bishop in TEC but repeatedly failed to get elected) as bishops of the Church of Nigeria. Strangely enough, none of the supposedly-Nigerian parishes in the U.S. show up on the Nigerian website. Rowan didn't invite any of them to Lambeth.

Uganda's Archbishop Orombi consecrated a whole bunch of disaffected white guys (many of whom had run for bishop in TEC but always failed to get elected) as bishops of the Church of Uganda. Rowan didn't invite any of them to Lambeth. Strangely enough, none of those white guys operating in the U.S. show up on the list of Ugandan dioceses.

Archbishop Greg Venables of the Southern Cone declared that the diocese of Recife (in northern Brazil) was suddenly a part of the Province of the Southern Cone (in southern South America). Rowan didn't invite the renegade bishop of Recife to Lambeth. Nor did Rowan invite the white guys who are fleeing to the Southern Cone. Interesting enough, most of the former TEC bishops are now fleeing to this English guy who is archbishop of a Latin American diocese. Racism, anyone?

Let us remember that the Archbishops of Rwanda and Southeast Asia created that silly thing they call AMiA. Let us remember those are pitiful little parishes in the U.S. whose only clarion call is opposition to the Episcopal Church. And let us remember none have been recognized as Anglican bishops by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Not one of them was invited to Lambeth.

So ... the FOCAs (and their alphabet brothers) have attempted to bruit the fact that the pseudo-Anglican Church of Nigeria has recognized this group of renegades as High Holy Anglican Brothers In Christ. Don't fall for it. At least since the REC split off from TEC in the late 19th century, various splinter groups have been splitting off ... declaring themselves the REAL ANGLICANS. And what do we know of them? We know that every one of them has sunk into obscurity.

So let us now bring a memorial to all those High Holy Orthodites. The FOCAs, GAFCONs, AACs, ad infinitum have a clear (though not goodly) heritage.

Peace, be still.


Blogger Ann said...

And the question of the day? When will this alphabet soup speak out on the human rights abuses in Nigeria?

3/23/2009 9:43 AM  
Blogger Lindy said...

I am sure they are all for full human rights for all the humans. But, let's not for a moment think that LGBTQ people are included in the Akinolian definition of what it means to be human.

3/23/2009 1:45 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Good question, Ann. Their silence is deafening. And I am grateful for the Nigerian sources you folks have posted at The Lead.

3/23/2009 7:24 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Sadly, I think you're right, Lindy.

3/23/2009 7:25 PM  
Blogger Cranmer49 said...

Good writing, Lisa. You do this kind of commentary very well indeed.

I agree with Ann on the alphabet soup speaking out. The same question could be put to TEC....

3/24/2009 5:54 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thanks, Cranmer49.

Yes, I think Ann's question -- and yours -- is apt. Many of us (ECafe taking the lead!) have asked when/whether the CANA and FOCA crowd would distance themselves from Akinola's pogrom. But you raise another, even more powerful question: When will our own TEC get up off its haunches and say, "NO!"?? Our bishops meeting last week declined to take note of it. I'm not sure whether the Executive Council has another meeting before Anaheim. Good question, Cranmer49!!

3/24/2009 7:08 PM  

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