The election of a Virginia clergyman to lead Anglican Nigerian immigrants in the U.S. is being criticized by the Episcopal bishop of Virginia and the archbishop of Canterbury as "an affront" and "neither timely nor constructive."
"This is not a welcome development," said Jonathan Jennings, spokesman for Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, about Wednesday's election of Canon Martyn Minns of Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax as bishop for the Anglican province of Nigeria.
"It's neither timely nor constructive," he said. "It further complicates an already complex situation."
Mr. Minns, 63, was informed Wednesday morning by Nigerian Archbishop Peter J. Akinola that he had been elected as bishop of the Convocation of Anglican Churches in North America (CANA).
Virginia Bishop Peter J. Lee called the election "an affront" to the autonomy of his diocese over which, according to Episcopal policy, he has complete rule. His comments were contained in a letter to the 90,000-member diocese that was posted Thursday on the diocesan Web site.
Archbishop Akinola admitted the appointment was problematic in a letter to the archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Lee said.
"The request by Archbishop Akinola that Martyn be allowed to continue as rector of an Episcopal congregation while also serving as a Nigerian bishop seems to me, at this point, to be impossible," Bishop Lee wrote.
Mr. Minns told The Washington Times on Wednesday that he wants to stay on as rector of the 2,300-member Truro parish until a replacement is found, a process that could take up to a year. The transition will be discussed at parish meetings tomorrow at Truro.
From the Washington Times. As I said before, Minns+ being made a suffragan of Nigeria doesn't seem like a good idea. Especially given that Nigeria has made it quite clear that their province is out of communion with ECUSA. Which means Fr. Minns will now, manifestly, be out of communion with ECUSA. Which means he will have "abandoned the communion of the Church," and will therefore be subject to deposition, and Truro's assets put in danger of falling into +Lee's clutches. It would seem, on that level, to be an open and shut case against Minns+. Anyway, read the whole thing here.