Friday, February 16, 2007

A statement from the Church of Nigeria

Quote in full:

Statement from Global South Primates


A number of the Global South Primates have not shared in the Holy Eucharist today with their fellow primates. They include Abp. Peter Akinola, Abp John Chew, Abp. Benjamin Nzimbi, Abp Justice Akrofi, Abp. Henry Orombi, Abp. Gregory Venables, and Abp. Emmanuel Kolini. They represent more than 30 million faithful Anglicans. They have released this statement:

"We each take the celebration of the Holy Eucharist very seriously. This deliberate action is a poignant reminder of the brokenness of the Anglican Communion. It makes clear that the torn fabric of the Church has been torn further. It is a consequence of the decision taken by our provinces to declare that our relationship with The Episcopal Church is either broken or severely impaired.

Scripture teaches that before coming to sit with one another at the Lord's Table we must be reconciled. (Matthew 5:23-26 and 1 Corinthians 11:27-29) We have made repeated calls for repentance by The Episcopal Church and its leadership with no success. We continue to pray for a change of heart.

We are unable to come to the Holy Table with the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church because to do so would be a violation of Scriptural teaching and the traditional Anglican understanding, "Ye that do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith" (Book of Common Prayer)

This is a painful decision for us and also for our host and brother, the Most Rev¹d Donald Mtetemela. He understands our painful dilemma and accepts our decision. Pray for the Church."

Friday, February 16, 2007
White Sands Hotel, Jangwani Beach, Tanzania
Some background from Scott Gunn:
Archbishop Peter Akinola has been meeting with conservative Anglican leaders today. It is not known exactly with whom he is meeting, because they are in a secured area behind closed doors. ...

Several times +Peter has gone in and out of the primates' compound to a room upstairs where conservatives have been huddled. Last time he passed through, Peter was accompanied by a security guard and Mrs. Martyn Minns.

Though the exact agenda is not known to us, it is believed that the afternoon session of the Primates' Meeting has begun, and that Peter is not present with his primate colleagues. He was also absent during the noontime celebration of the Eucharist, meeting instead with the conservative group.
UPDATE: Bishop Martyn Minns appeared from upstairs. He said that "we'll have something today, I hope" in response to a press request for a comment. So maybe there will be news. Still no sign of +Peter, so it appears that he's meeting with conservative leaders this afternoon rather than attending the Primates' Meeting. I hasten to add that this is unconfirmed.
It's odd though that Akinola would skip the business meeting. According to Reuters:
Officials said the Anglican archbishops would also discuss on Friday a draft of an Anglican Covenant, which for the first time in more than 400 years of Anglican history, would set the standards for membership to the worldwide Anglican Church.
Of course Akinola may just agree with The Mad Priest on this one: Standards of membership "will be the end of Anglicanism."

UPDATE: As regards the boycotters' theology behind not attending Eucharist, Caught by the Light does an examination and catches them by the short and curlies.

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