Monday, August 01, 2005

kyrie eleison

This is awful. To be honest, I don't think the civil partnerships thing was taking it too far, though I suppose it does depend on what the motivation was. There is apparently an awful lot of turning-a-blind-eye in the Church of England. At any rate, it looks like we can safely add this to the ballast that will actually sink the Communion.

THE Church of England faces being “disowned” by other members of the worldwide Anglican communion for its policy towards gay clergy. Leaders of some of the largest Anglican churches abroad say allowing gay clergy to register under the new civil partnership act represents the “final nail in the coffin” of the church’s unity. In September they plan to begin moves to suspend the Church of England.

The above is from the London Times.

Thanks Adam. Read the whole thing at A-C Ruminations.


Alan said...


There is a new post that I think you might be interested at All Too Common (


Adam said...

It really is frustrating and, frankly, quite disgusting at times, that we cannot behave ourselves and act in Christain charity. I may not be +Griswold's biggest fan, but this Akinola character is just plain mad. St. Peter, pray for us!

father wb said...

Yeah. ++Akinola needs to tone it down. His heart is in the right place (often), but he certainly can get carried away with himself and run wild, as he clearly has done here. He needs to go contemplate the Passion for a few days before recommencing the rhetorical outbursts. He's right about not having to go through canterbury to be saved (or whatever he said), but you certainly have to go through canterbury to be Anglican. He could well succeed in fracturing the by-nature rather tenuous traditionalist evangelical / anglo-catholic alliance, and wind up playing right into the hands of the ECUSA heresiarchs.

Philip said...


When does school start this term? I can't find it on Yale's website.


J-Tron said...


August 31st.


Your position on Akinola kind of mirrors my position on Bishop Smith. But yes, this is all around another sad development. Just more proof that there are birds of prey lurking about in the Church. When the body appears wounded, that's when the vultures swarm.

Philip said...

Thanks WB

Joe said...

Hospodpo Miloy!

Joe Zollars

PS: who is bishop smith?

The Ranter said...

I am wary of anything coming from Akinola. I don't know him personally, but I have had enough dealings with one of his canons to know they have to be a little cracked. A priest in ECUSA serves as Akinola's Canon, and he and his wife were co-Rectors of the church where I was confirmed, and where my mother served on vestry. A few years ago, my mother died suddenly, and this priest (Canon to Akinola) gave me grief about allowing my father to attend the funeral mass for her, but I stuck to my guns about him being allowed to be there. Anyway, I got to the church for the funeral mass and discovered that this priest put an armed police officer at the door of the church! I still think the only reason my father was able to get in to the service at all was because he got to the service at the end of the opening hymn, and the cop didn't know who he was looking for.
Anyway, that is why I am wary of Akinola. His Canon is a charismatic control-freak.

Adam said...

Is ++Akinola in favor of female priests?

Johnny Awesomo said...

It wasn't WB, it was J-Tron. GIve credit where credit is due!


Seppuku Kid said...

When will you be coming back to New Haven? I hear that we don't get Labor Day off this year, and that makes me a little frustrated. It gives me more time to shop classes, though; so I guess that is good.
How are Graham and his mother? I hope everything is going well for you.

father wb said...

I don't know about ++Akinola personally, but I'm almost positive that Nigeria does not [attempt to] ordain women to the priesthood.

Rev. Thorpus said...

I'd like to speak on behalf of Akinola. What are we condemning here? Tone? Rhetoric? These are superficialities and entirely understandable given the history of condescension from the Western Provinces. When all this conflict started, the Western liberals' response was to call for listening and tolerance. The African Anglicans have listened and listened and now it is time they were listened to, and if it takes inflammatory rhetoric and a 'tone' to get through our thick, jaded ears, can't WE be tolerant for once? can't WE listen for a change? This man is speaking only Catholic orthodoxy, and he is married more to that than to Anglicanism (which concept itself becomes nonsensical without Catholic orthodoxy). Do you think the Apostles would have applauded the C of E? Would St. Cyprian or St. Augustine have been more concerned about being politic than being Apostolic? This is the Faith we're talking about here; the stakes are very, very high. I think Akinola is quite correct that the C of E's policy is just as bad as Robinson's election and New Westminster's policy; worse perhaps because here the ABC himself is part of the betrayal. This is Braveheart's Robert the Bruce, Judas with a very politic kiss and a band of armed guards. This action of Williams' is not that of a primate of the entire communion, nor calculated to increase the unity of which he's supposed to be a symbol. Can you blame the Global South for being fed up with the Western church's games, our stall and waffle and stall and waffle tactics while all the while we allow the slow creep of ideologies that undermine the Faith? I wish WE had never had to put up with it, so I certainly can't blame Akinola for wanting some real leadership out of the ABC or for his willingness to step up and provide leadership for the Communion when the ABC decides he can't.

Akinola is not mad. He's not a freak or a weirdo. He IS angry, and he has a right to be. He IS fighting for the soul of his church, as we are. He IS living up to his responsibility as a primate and a bishop in God's church.

Today's gospel from the BCP Daily Office lectionary (mark 8:34-9:1): "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul? or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels." Surely Jesus ranks with Mad Akinola as the most inflammatory of religious leaders. We should not blame Akinola for being extreme, because it is a fact that the Gospel sometimes demands extremity. We could only blame him if 1. he were lukewarm; or 2. he were wrong. The former is his own complaint against the West, Williams being a poster-child. Akinola may be hot, or he may be cold, but he is correct in not being lukewarm. It is only the latter that we should be discussing, whether he's actually standing up for Catholic orthodoxy (in which case he deserves our support despite his tone) or for some other, mistaken theology.

And let us have no hogwash about carrying on the conversation peaceably. That has been done and Akinola has received only condescension for his efforts, only betrayal and a watering down of his 'tone' to the Western ears (as in the Primates' communique). If he is too inflammatory, why can't we be the responsible post-colonialists and say it's at least partially our fault as well? Have we listened when he played nice? Let's be honest. We like to hear Africans talk about AIDS or poverty, but when they talk theology or ecclesiology have we treated them like equals? Only now, when the phenomenal growth of his churches threatens the power of our own, do we turn a cynical ear. Let me be postmodern for a bit: are we really competant to judge whether his tone is justified? In our view, of course it seems inflammatory. We've been dancing with this stuff in the West for a century and having a fine time. But he has people literally dying because of who is consecrated bishop in New Hampshire. Who are we in the insulated West to say his language is too extreme?

Sorry for the soapbox, but this really rankles me. Jesus never said we wouldn't sound extreme. We should never condemn a Christian for sounding extreme, as in the gospel for today. It's not the extreme prophet of whom Jesus promises to be ashamed at the last day; it's the disciple who thinks his worldly status is worth more than the gospel, who thinks there are mitigating factors and he can afford to sweep his faith under the rug. "Of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

J-Tron said...

Gay and lesbian people are "lower than beasts" and "worse than dogs and pigs" according to Akinola. If that is the mark of a Christian who is preaching the gospel with vigor, sign me up with the Scientologists. At least those crazy idiots have the good sense to take their aggression out on Brooke Shields.