+Welby: roundup of news around the world

The BBC has a good round up of stories about the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, the newly chosen Archbishop of Canterbury:

Nigeria – By Will Ross in Lagos

If Bishop Welby wants a frank report card on the state of the Anglican Church he can get it from Bishop Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria.

He described it as “grievously disunited” and said attending church meetings was like “working in a police state with agents all over the place trying to catch people with their words”.

The Anglican Church says it has some 18 million followers in Nigeria and the new Archbishop of Canterbury will have to tread very carefully on the controversial issues of homosexual priests and same-sex marriage if he wants to ensure rifts do not deepen further.

Malawi – By Raphael Tenthani in Blantyre

Malawi’s one million Anglicans have welcomed the appointment.

“It’s exciting news for Anglicans in Malawi,” said Bishop Brighton Malasa of Upper Shire, the chairman of the Anglican Church in Malawi.

“I have interacted with the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby personally; he is a good man, a humble person, so cool, I think he himself must be most humbled by this appointment.”

Kenya – By David Okwembah in Nairobi

The head of the Anglican Church in Kenya, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, welcomed Bishop Welby’s appointment, saying he would take the Church back to the teachings of the Bible.

The Kenyan Church was among those opposed to the ordination of the gay bishops, joining other Anglican congregations in threatening to withdraw from the mother Church.

More comments here.

All Africa discusses the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the needs of Anglicans in Nigeria:

Ever since the US and UK branches of the Anglican Church agreed to ordain gay Bishops against the biblical stand on homosexuality, the Nigerian Church leading the rest of the world have witnessed more acrimonious relationship with the west than unity in God’s house.

With the appointment of the new Bishop of Canterbury in its final stage who will take over from, Rev. Rowan Williams? the Primate of Nigerian Anglican Church, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh believes it’s high time the appointment of the head of the world Anglican Church is liberalised. Paul Obi writes from London

Religion in many respects is a delicate issue. Unlike other areas of human endeavours, cases of religious differences in most instances rarely have a definite arbiter. Rather, and if man’s reasoning is adopted, it might end up in confusion, since the Supreme Being, the Almighty God is not physically present to adjudicate issues of controversy. It was in this light that Karl Marx termed religion as “the opium of the masses”. One Christian denomination that has witnessed many controversies in the light of the above among its ranks is the Anglican Church, whose head is the Bishop of Canterbury. A position, that is politically inclined within the British political system. Beside politics, the church had had to fight over the issue of homosexuality, an issue that has driven its members apart than unite them.

Following the ACC#15 meeting in Auckland Aotearoa New Zealand some African leaders offered a minority report according to The Telegraph:

The gathering in new Zealand agreed a raft of motions on issues such as land disputes and drug trafficking.

But church leaders from Nigeria and Kenya last night issued a dissenting communiqué entitled “What Really Happened in Auckland” dismissing the gathering as a failure because it did not address the growing rift.

They said principles upheld “since the Reformation” were being abandoned and accused the outgoing Archbishop of failing to take control.

“The current crisis over Gospel truth and the confusion and conflict in Anglican identity, faith and order is a result of a failure of governance by the Instruments of Communion,” the statement backed by Archbishop Ikechi Nwosu, from Nigeria, and the Primate of Kenya, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, says.

“This is a failure and, at times, subversion of leadership at the highest levels.”

Dr Wabukala added, separately: “I cannot escape the conclusion that this gathering was a missed opportunity … it is clear that those controlling the agenda were very reluctant to face the real ecclesiological and theological challenges thrown up by the undisciplined rejection of historic Anglican faith and order by certain Provinces.”

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3 Comments
  1. Cynthia Katsarelis

    The African bishops, especially the one from Nigeria, are going to have to come to a place of respectfully, and even lovingly agreeing to disagree. They really have more things to worry about than a quixotic effort to control the US, Canadians, and others. The US is not going to throw LGBT persons under a bus, again, or hit the “pause button.” We are done with that. Can we now move forward on social justice, feeding the hungry, etc.?

  2. Thomas Heard

    I’m beginning to wonder if “the current crisis over Gospel truth” isn’t actually diminishing. With the political and religious wars that are being fought in places like Nigeria, I wonder if so strong a stand against LGBTs is intended for the church to appear to be more like Islam.

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