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Primate of Nigeria: not convinced restrictions on TEC will be implemented

Primate of Nigeria: not convinced restrictions on TEC will be implemented

The Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, MA, Fss, Mss, LLD, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria issued a pastoral letter to his province providing his perspective on the primates gathering. He writes,

… we know that the Anglican Church of Canada, Scotland, Whales (sic), Brazil and New Zealand are on the way to toeing the footsteps of TEC. We are yet to be convinced that the restrictions imposed on TEC will be implemented. [emphasis added]

In his letter of 18 January, titled Meeting-of-the-Primates of the Anglican Communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev’d and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, Monday 11 – Friday 15 January, 2016, he makes no reference to the early departure Thursday afternoon of the ACNA leader and the majority of GAFCON primates.

However, he writes “Attached is the statement of the meeting regarding TEC.” This is the statement that was leaked to a conservative blog, and is an Addendum to the primates communiqué. Evidently, he is not sharing with his province the LGBT-affirming language in the primates communiqué let alone the primates’ wide array of concerns beyond human sexuality — concerns all primates who remained through Friday shared.

He contradicts assertions that GAFCON exists for reasons beyond differences over homosexuality:

In the meantime, the state of broken communion with TEC and Canada and those churches that are following their bad examples remains in place. Our decision to severe relations was based on their practice of ordaining and consecrating clergy in active homosexual relationship. This is what led to GAFCON …. [emphasis in the original]

He does choose to call the gathering a Meeting of Primates even though he and other GAFCON primates insisted they would not attend a meeting of primates if The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada were also present. By switching the nomenclature from “meeting” to “gathering” Welby was able to entice them to accept his invitation. In Okoh’s words, “following the almost unanimous resolution of GAFCON and the Global South Groups, we decided to accept the invitation.”

Further, he makes no mention of the attendance of the ACNA leader which was supposedly a reason the GAFCON primates accepted Welby’s invitation to the gathering.

Addendum. From the comments:

I am genuinely curious as to what the archbishop thinks the “restrictions imposed” on the Episcopal Church are. I don’t have a clear sense, and am not certain there is general agreement on this point. I am also curious as to why he thinks a gathering of primates has the authority to impose these restrictions. It is hard to understand statements and the motives behind them when we seem to lack general agreement on such basic points. – Jim Naughton


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Jim Naughton

Whenever anyone tells you to stop asking questions, you know you should keep asking questions.

Eric Bonetti

Unwinding the AC may indeed be a perfectly appropriate solution.

I started to write a piece on the January topic of brokenness, and never quite got it finished. But my focus was on how often we overlook brokenness as a sign of the working of the Holy Spirit. How often do we hear, “We’ve got to have a hypothermia shelter! [fill in subject as needed] Yet if we perennially don’t get volunteers for a particular program, we need to consider the possibility that we’re not called to that particular ministry.

In the case of the AC, it seems too early to reach any conclusions. But if in five or ten years we’re still seeing so much drama from the GAFCON crowd, we need to consider the possibility that we’re being called to a resurrection moment–a point of new life and transformation, possibly without the AC.

If that happens, I suspect GAFCON will start to fade away. Much like some of the conservative parishes here in Virginia that for years were the tail that wagged the dog, GAFCON gets much more attention than it deserves. Or perhaps the wrong sort of attention–as others have pointed out, GAFCON continues to turn a blind eye to suffering in its own backyard. That is truly reprehensible and worthy of “consequences.”

Clark Lemons

The Anglican Communion is a relatively new notion of organizational polity. I am a thankful member of the TEC and I sincerely appreciate the Anglican tradition, but the creed(s) I repeat on Sundays has to do with the one universal, catholic church of Christ–that’s sufficient for me. I’d like to be an part of this “Anglican Communion” officially, but it’s frankly not a priority any more and I doubt it ever should have been.

John Donnelly

Perhaps + Anis is a lovely man,and perhaps his mission for Jesus in Palestine is G-dly. However, his politics around TEC and LGBT people has prompted this donor to move his $$ from Mr. Anis to Oxfam, an organization that does great work in Palestine, regardless of stupid religious squabbles. And I had been a long-time supporter .

Prof. Christopher Seitz

People left because the GS and Gafcon group had achieved what they wished to achieve, and after that, it would be further meeting that did not seem like top priority. So they left.

All other conjecturing is simply searching for dark secrets.

Prof. Christopher Seitz

The GS-Gafcon alliance was successful. This meant Gafcon did not leave on Day 1,2, or 3, as predicted.

Once they achieved a ‘consequences’ outcome for TEC, the majority had the minimal threshold.

Did some want sterner measures for TEC and ACoC? Yes they did. But not getting this on Day 1 or 2 or 3 did not prevent them from staying together for the outcome they did achieve.

David Allen

Your apologist comment is as much conjecture as anyone else posting here.

David Allen

Nor a conjecturer of “dark secrets.”

JoS. S. Laughon

Watch out Dr. Seitz! Don’t be an “apologist”

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