Friday, February 09, 2007

Church of England to consider flying in African missionaries :: The Times

Ruth Gledhill reports:
New mission orders are being drawn up to rebuild British faith, and in an ironic reversal of history, some of the missionaries could be from Africa and Asia.

The orders form part of a new church law that will create a more flexible parish and diocesan structure. Under the new rules, bishops would be able to fly in a new priest to turn around a flagging parish while the incumbent is still there. The measure would allow evangelical bishops to assert their beliefs over liberal clergy by sending in like-minded evangelicals. Similarly, liberal bishops could defy parishes that were hostile to gays in the Church.
The orders, which will be debated by the General Synod this month, are the latest example of how the Church is trying to diffuse tensions over homosexuality that threaten to break the Church [of England] apart.
Ironic that some of the parishes that left The Diocese of Virginia had clergy from the UK who were canonically resident in Virginia. But imposing a priest on a parish is not the American practice. The parishes call clergy, and bishops rarely block the choice of the parish.

Could it be that angst in the UK directed at "the Americans" has more to do with the "tensions of homosexuality that threaten" the CoE? I suspect Bishop Wright's aim is to use Archbishop Akinola as a cat's paw to hold the line in the CoE.

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