So ... over at THE CHURCH TIMES it seems that the recent "Agonizing Journey" missive ostensibly from Archbishop Akinola had somebody else's fingerprints all over it ... "Software suggests Minns rewrote Akinola’s letter" is the title of the article by Pat Ashworth leading to the conclusion: The Bishop of Botswana, the Rt Revd Trevor Musonda Mwamba, has expressed reservations about the tone and style of pronouncements in the past, which have purportedly come from African bishops.
"Purportedly" seems to be the operative word!
“Up till now the loud voices in Africa have threatened the Anglican Communion with schism, insisting that some provinces be expelled from our worldwide fellowship. Yet such voices, because of the very diversity and strength of the Anglican Church in Africa, could be playing a reconciling role.” The voice of the majority of Africa’s 37 million Anglicans had been “eclipsed by the intensity of sounds on opposing sides of the debate”.
Thanks to Thinking Anglicans for the link to this illustration du jour:
And then there's this comment just in from Episcopal Cafe: The significance of this development lies less in the fact that Akinola has a ghostwriter--The leaders of many organizations, ecclesial and secular have staff members who handle writing assignments for them -- than that what has long been portrayed as the authentic voice of African Anglicanism is, manifestly, not African, and perhaps never has been.
This revelation is likely to damage Akinola's already sagging prestige in Nigeria, where he may now be perceived as a mouthpiece for wealthy Westerners. And it is likely to damage his credibility with his fellow Primates, who were already weary of his practice of interupting their meetings to take counsel from Minns and Sugden.
Happily, "in other news" as they say, the clever, faithful, odds-are-never-used-ghostwriter-in-her-life Marilyn McCord Adams offers "A SHAMELESS DEFENSE OF A LIBERAL CHURCH" which is WELL worth reading ... here's a taste:
Liberals refuse to let Scripture and/or tradition decide the issue in the face of reasoned experience of abuse and degradation. And it is precisely this sort of argument that liberals find telling, where issues of gender and sexuality are concerned. Taboos against homosexuals do psycho-spiritual violence to gay and lesbian persons. ‘Don’t ask/don’t tell’ represses creativity and fosters psycho-spiritual fragmentation. Church policy that uses gay and lesbian clergy while forcing closeting and all the while threatening career-breaking ‘outing’ at any time, is abusive.
Treating women as second class citizens, frustrating the expression of their gifts within the Church is likewise abusive. Demanding that women appear smaller than they are--gays and lesbians, otherwise than they are--so that others can feel as big or secure or comfortable as they feel they need to be--this is paradigm-case abusive. Liberals conclude it therefore has to stop, no matter what Scripture and tradition or any other ideology appear to say. Biblical homophobia and sexism--like child sacrifice and slavery--are easily dismissed as cultural blind-spots, unless one shares them. For faithful liberals who wrestle with God all the way through Scripture and tradition, that is the bottom line!