Monday, August 07, 2006

A New Bishop for Nigeria

The rector of Truro Episcopal Church announced yesterday that he will be consecrated a bishop on Aug. 20 at the Anglican cathedral in Abuja, Nigeria, a move that could lead to further schism among U.S. Episcopalians.

(Pictured left: Martyn Minns lunching with ACO Secretary Kenneth Kearon in Columbus last June)

"This is a big deal for all of us," the Rev. Martyn Minns told parishioners at his downtown Fairfax church, which has lost 75 contributors since the 2003 election of the openly homosexual New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson.

"So often we preach faith, but we live institutionally," Mr. Minns said. "Right now, we must practice what we preach."

The parish is walking a tightrope. Virginia Bishop Peter J. Lee, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, has called Mr. Minns' election "an affront," adding that it would be "impossible" for Mr. Minns to act simultaneously as rector of Truro and as a bishop for the Nigerian church's Convocation of Anglican Churches in North America (CANA).

Yet, Mr. Minns intends to do precisely that until his successor at Truro is chosen next year.

Read it the rest here.

16 comments:

... said...

Is any of this new bishop's flock actually in Nigeria? If not, then I fail to see the need for a foreign primate to have oversight over parishes that are in the US. We already have a Presiding Bishop.

Chip said...

Toewalker, the parishes here are not part of TEC. They are part of a separate organization (i.e., the CANA referred to in the article).

Peace of Chrsit,
Chip

revsusan said...

chip ... wouldn't it be more accurate to say they understand themeselves to be part of a separate organization? (My understanding is these are Episcopal Church parishes whose status is still in some debate.)

... said...

How many Anglican provinces are there in the geographic United States?

revsusan said...

One. The Episcopal Church -- which also includes dioceses outside the geographic United States (ergo the shift from ECUSA to TEC.) There's a map on Louie Crew's Anglican site:

http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/provinces.jpg

... said...

Thanks, RevSusan+. So if there is only one province of the Anglican Communion that covers the geographical United States (and other areas), then those parishes and dioceses that break away would no longer part of the Anglican Communion, right?

And yet they seem to be, only under the oversight of some province half a world away.

Who are the "innovators" here?

revsusan said...

Good question.

It only works if you get to declare as "walking apart" those who aren't going anywhere ...

It's kind of a "through the looking glass" thing ...

... said...

I guess its all in the spin. Truly, though, I believe that if we (collectively) wished to find common ground, that it wouldn't be that difficult.

The key is in wanting to. If we (again, collectively) would stop and take a deep breath, we'd probably realize that we have more in common than we think. I know that both sides of the discussion hold vehemently to our respective viewpoints where we differ, and that the areas where we differ are not at all insignificant.

But again, there is significant common ground. I guess the hope is that the amount of and desire to preserve the common ground outweigh the differences that are dividing us.

For me, I do not wish to see a scism. But as soon as I say that, I must ask myself how far I am willing to compromise in order to preserve unity. Its a tough question, but not one that I am convinced has been fully addressed by all parties.

There is also impatience and a desire to have the matter behind us, but truly, what is the rush? What dire consequences await us if we slow down long enough to truly listen to one another? Are whatever perceived consequences that may result from delay truly worse than the alternative?

Beyond Reconciliation said...

So what this picture would memorialize is the "deal" being made. Minns will offer AEO to the ACN gang, thus keeping them all in the big anglican family. And toewalker hit the nail on the head: they have the hubris to call us "innovating"?????????

revsusan said...

"... the hope is that the amount of and desire to preserve the common ground outweigh the differences that are dividing us."

I have to sadly say that I gave up on that one a while ago. Not without a struggle. And not without great sadness that there truly are those whose interest is not in bridging the divide between us but in exploiting it to create the division that serves their agenda.

I know that sounds harsh.

I know it sounds somewhat defeatist.

And I also know it is true to my experience of nearly a decade in this struggle.

GL+ said...

beyond reconciliation said, "Minns will offer AEO to the ACN gang"

Actually, not so. Minns is to provide episcopal oversight to CANA congregations - congregations of expatriate Nigerian Anglicans in the U.S.

Beyond Reconciliation said...

What a crock!!! Who decides whether or not they belong to the church of Nigeria? Akinola? And just how many CANA churches are there? What about members who don't to be part of the Church of Nigeria? This all sounds pretty illegal to me......Minns out to be deposed. The sooner they put an end to this nonsense, the better it will be for everyone.

revsusan said...

Now, now, "beyond reconciliation" ... "what a crock" isn't helpful language even when it appears that what we're looking at IS a crock ...

(for background I recommend the "Fr. Jake Stops the World" links added a few minutes ago ... a refresher course in "As The Anglican World Turns")

Anonymous said...

"...which has lost 75 contributors..."

Is there a difference between a contributor and a parishioner? A subtle distinction, maybe, but some of us "dwell on small details," according to Mr. Springstein.

GL+ said...

"Is there a difference between a contributor and a parishioner?

Don't know if this helps, anonymous, but a "member in good standing" as defined by church canons is one who receives communion at least 3 times a year and contributes (time, talent, treasure) regularly to the work of the church.

Anonymous said...

Susan - What did you do, take that picture with your shoe-phone?