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Nigeria prays for anti-gay successor to Williams

Nigeria prays for anti-gay successor to Williams

A news release from the Church of Nigeria chides Archbishop Rowan Williams for not toeing the Nigerian line on Biblical interpretation:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt. Hon. Dr. Rowan Williams took over the leadership of the Anglican Communion in 2002 when it was a happy family. Unfortunately, he is leaving behind a Communion in tatters: highly polarized, bitterly factionalized, with issues of revisionist interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and human sexuality as stumbling blocks to oneness, evangelism and mission all around the Anglican world.

It might not have been entirely his own making, but certainly “crucified under Pontius Pilate”. The lowest ebb of this degeneration came in 2008, when there were, so to say, two “Lambeth” Conferences one in the UK, and an alternative one, GAFCON in Jerusalem. The trend continued recently when many Global South Primates decided not to attend the last Primates’ meeting in Dublin, Ireland.

Since Dr. Rowan Williams did not resign in 2008, over the split Lambeth Conference, one would have expected him to stay on in office, and work assiduously to ‘mend the net’ or repair the breach, before bowing out of office. The only attempt, the covenant proposal, was doomed to fail from the start, as “two cannot walk together unless they have agreed”.

For us, the announcement does not present any opportunity for excitement. It is not good news here, until whoever comes as the next leader pulls back the Communion from the edge of total destruction. To this end, we commit our Church, the Church of Nigeria, (Anglican Communion) to serious fasting and prayers that God will do “a new thing”, in the Communion.

Nevertheless, we join others to continue in prayer for Dr. Rowan Williams and his family for a more fruitful endeavour in their post – Canterbury life.

+Nicholas D. Okoh

Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria


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C. Wingate

Okoh’s letter lacks a certain basic honesty, such as admitting that his church (much less himself, as he was already a bishop in 2002, much less at the last Lambeth) was an instigator for GAFCON, and that if he did not attend the last primates’ meeting, it was of his own volition.


I would imagine that the vast majority of Nigerian Anglicans, if they even have the means, have not the time or priorities to waste online obsessing re homosexuality. Are those Facebook comments distressing? Yes. Do they say that much about the average Anglican in Nigeria? Not really.

JC Fisher

Bill Dilworth

I saw this quote in an article put out by about the possibility of ++Sentamu becoming ABC:

“He is a popular religious figure because of his stand against homosexuality.”

I’m not that familiar with internal CofE politics, but this seems an odd thing to say about the Archbishop of York, as if his opposition to gay marriage were THE determining factor in his popularity. I wonder how much modern media really informs parties on either side of a cultural chasm, and how much it just reinforces our own beliefs by distorting those of others.

Then again, maybe the secret to ++Sentamu’s success really is his opposition to gay rights.

Nicole Porter

I would hope that no one goes into ministry desiring to be well liked. Someone isn’t going to like you regardless of you having liberal or conservative leanings. He tried to do what he could, and that is the only thing the next ABC can do as well.

Paul Martin

From Nigeria, reaction like this.

From the UK and the US, disappointment that the church is not moving faster on matters of gay rights.

If I were ++Rowan Williams, I’d retire, too.

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