Wednesday, May 9, 2007

More on CANA

Andrew Brown of the Guardian has some interesting analysis of the installation of Bishop Martyn Minns by the Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, as the Missionary Bishop for CANA:

None of the Sunday papers seem to have noticed it, but the Anglican communion ended on Saturday. There was even a church service to mark the occasion, held in a non-denominational chapel for hire in Virginia, USA, where the Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola, installed an Englishman, Bishop Martyn Minns, as his representative in north America.

. . .

The rest of the churches which once constituted the Anglican communion will now have to choose whether they want to belong to any international body at all, and if so, who will head it. Here it seems that Dr Williams may have played a subtle game, because Dr Akinola's ambition has repelled a great many of his potential supporters. The American, liberal line on homosexuality is not popular around the world; at one stage it seemed that 22 or more of the 38 Anglican primates would demand the Americans be expelled. But the more it became obvious that they would have to choose between being globally led by Dr Akinola or followed round the world by Dr Williams, the more popular the prospect of Dr William's non-leadership became.

The number of primates supporting Akinola has steadily diminished from 22 to about eight. Even among the American conservatives, it is only a minority who are prepared to join up with him and his new enterprise. Installing Bishop Minns may prove to be the moment when he decisively over-reaches himself. Even if it does not, it is decisive for Dr Williams, too. Nothing that he now does or says can be justified on the basis that it preserves the unity of the Anglican communion. That unity has now been shattered. There is no communion, and no good reason for anyone to pretend otherwise.


Read it all.

It will be interesting to see how this all develops. I do think, however, that this was a strategic mistake on Akinola's part. I also fear that the reaction to this event will make it more difficult to devise an acceptable mechanism to keep the Episcopal Church whole.

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