Reuters: Africa gives refuge to traditional U.S. Anglicans

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"We are not invading other people's territory as such but preaching the gospel, the way it was brought to us, the way it is written," [kenyan Archbishop Benjamin] Nzimbi said.

And he said the only way to bridge the schism was for the liberal churches to repent: "The way we can have one understanding is through repentance, that is the key word."

The primate denied the Africans were motivated by monetary gain to consecrate American priests.

"It is not a question of finances," Nzimbi said. "Here in Africa we are used to living under difficult situations and we are not ready to compromise because of finances. No."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of KenyaChurch of UgandaEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Conflicts

Posted August 28, 2007 at 7:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Vintner wrote:

The primate denied the Africans were motivated by monetary gain to consecrate American priests.

And the fact that he has denied it has convinced…whom?

The reasserters needed no convincing.  The reappraisers and, I suspect, many in the middle, will never believe it.

August 28, 9:00 am | [comment link]
2. dmitri wrote:

Seriously folks, how much repentance would it take for these foreign bishops to cease and desist?  If our HOB agreed not to consecrate another partnered gay bishop and not to authorize same sex blessing rites, would that make any difference at all now?  Are all you reasserters really ready to join the Afro-Anglican Communion? Have we reached the point of no return?  I’m an affirming Anglo-Catholic (heretic to you) so I think I know where I will be worshipping next year although none of us can really predict what the Holy Spirit may be doing in the meantime. Could we relate to each other in ecumenical way soon?  The poisonous rhetoric on both sides should come to an end.  May God bless all who seek to serve Him.

August 28, 9:17 am | [comment link]
3. William#2 wrote:

Dmitri, the word repentence is a HUGE word; do you understand just how big it is?  When Jesus withstood temptation in the desert and began His public ministry the first word He uttered was “repent.”  When the prodigal son began to journey home, he expected nothing from his father but hoped at least he could be a servant in his father’s house.  He had truly changed and the fruit of that was easy to see—in his action of humble submission and expectation of nothing.  The older son had not changed; he resented the celebration being given for the prodigal returned.  TEC must truly repent, not just be part of a political compromise about gays brokered by Canterbury, before the Father will accept your church and before your former brothers and sisters will trust it.  The form of repentence you propose here is not actually repentence; do you not realize that?
As far as “poisonous rhetoric” is concerned, once you label your opponents dialogue as “poisonous” are you not indulging in the same sin that you condemn?  Are “all” reasserters speaking the language of poison, Dimitri, some, most?  Should I rush into “ecumenical” relations with you right this moment if you are labeling me, for example, as poisonous?
Why should the “foreign bishops” cease and desist, and when will Anglicans quit worshipping their liturgy and eccliesology and start worshiping God and proclaiming the Lord Jesus Christ?  Thats my question for the day, Dimitri, and I invite you to discuss it with me if you wish.

August 28, 9:36 am | [comment link]
4. robroy wrote:

Dmitri, I want nothing of a church which is “big enough” for the bellicose and brutish Bruno, the litigious Beers, the unitarian Schori, and the totally self-centered Robinson, a church whose mortar is no longer the love of Christ but the threat of lawsuit. Do you?

You say that you know where you will be worshipping next year. How about five or ten years in the future? The Episcopal church’s idea of ecumenism is “anybody but the orthodox.” The travesty of failure of Mark Lawrence to receive consents shows how truly unwelcome the orthodox are. The liberal usurpers will succeed in their goal of driving the orthodox out, I have no doubt. But their victory party will be short lived because the demise of the TEC will accelerate a dizzying rate.

August 28, 9:36 am | [comment link]
5. the roman wrote:

“Liberals, who support a looser interpretation of scripture, say the African clergy are violating church rules..”

Maybe it’s just me but I found this somewhat oxymoronic. Or perhaps bitter irony instead.

August 28, 9:50 am | [comment link]
6. Sarah1 wrote:

I agree with Smuggs in that the reappraisers won’t believe that the Africans are not doing this for money.  After all, reappraisers don’t believe the same gospel, and so it’s hard for either side to believe well of the other.  I disagree about the moderates—they couldn’t care less and wish both ends would just shut up and move on with “mission and ministry” which means whatever that moderate thinks it means in regards to his or her “mission” of choice.

Dmitri, I would personally prefer not to relate in any way ecumenically at all, but that decision is above my paygrade.  I suspect that the orthodox that remain within ECUSA will relate with the orthodox outside of ECUSA—but I don’t really see that as “ecumenical relations”.

On the other hand, you may be defining ecumenical relations differently and in a broader way than I do.  If ecumenical relations means working on feeding folks in New Orleans, than I’ll do that with Buddhists, Hindus, and ECUSAns [after whatever split occurs].  But I don’t really call that “ecumenical relations”. 

But if the phrase means serious talks about whatever—religion or something—than I’m not interested.  The two sides don’t share enough in common to talk about much more than good movies and well-baked bread, which is always pleasant amongst humans.

August 28, 10:02 am | [comment link]
7. David Keller wrote:

Sarah—It seems to me that something must be getting ready to happen.  All the liberals have been quite calm and laid back since 2003, but now all of a sudden they have become downright shrill.  Africans, as we know, will sell out for a chicken dinner, so it must be related to something else other than money.  By the way, by my calculations it is 33 days until September 30.

August 28, 10:59 am | [comment link]
8. Rick D wrote:

The primate denied the Africans were motivated by monetary gain to consecrate American priests.

Right, sure.  The money is just icing on the cake of homophobia and fear-mongering which have gone down so well at home that Nzimbi and the rest have been able to recruit abroad.

August 28, 11:19 am | [comment link]
9. Vintner wrote:

But their victory party will be short lived because the demise of the TEC will accelerate a dizzying rate.

Voices throughout the decades have been saying that the Episcopal Church will crash and burn over whatever the hot issue is of the day.  The Episcopal Church will survive the African bishops trespassing.  But I wonder if these new churches will survive having to pay the Africans much more than their diocese ever asked of them.

August 28, 11:24 am | [comment link]
10. CanaAnglican wrote:

#9. Smuggs,  TEC may not be crashing and burning, but it looks more like a descent than the climbout that CANA (for example) is on.

The scripture promises that, when lifted up, Jesus will draw men unto himself.  Where is the growth in TEC?  When was the last year that it registered increased attendance?  1957?  1967?  I really do not know.  To the untrained eye it appears to be about a third the church it was 50 years ago.  Sure it may be around in 50 more years, but as air traffic control says of passing aircraft, it is “not a factor.”

August 28, 11:50 am | [comment link]
11. Philip Snyder wrote:

Dimitri - If the HOB were to accede to the requests made of it in the Dar es Salam (DES) communique, then I believe most reasserters would be satisfied and the African bishops would start to “withdraw.”  Just as a reminder here are the requests
1.  Agree not to confirm the election of any man involved in sex outside of a male female marraige to the office of bishop.
2.  Do not authorize (either actively or passively) the blessing of same sex unions in their dioceses) - This means disciplining any clergy that blesses a same sex union.
3.  Drop all lawsuits against the churches that have left.
4.  Provide for addequate pastoral oversight for congregations with significant disagreements with their bishops.

Given the recent statements of TECUSA’s leadership, do you really think that the HoB will agree to even the first two items, let alone all four?
If you are “catholic” in any sense, how can you ignore the teaching of the Church on this issue?  How can you deny the 3000+ years of tradition on human sexuality?  In my experience, “Affirming Catholicism” is simply extremem protestant individualism dressed up in fancy liturgy with rosaries and icons thrown in to add flavor.  There is nothing “catholic” about Affirming Catholicism.  Can you show me where (other than liturgy) your theology is catholic?

Phil Snyder

August 28, 12:00 pm | [comment link]
12. Mike L wrote:

All I can say is “wow”. All the conspiracy theories about those “nasty” Africans. I find it rather pathetic. If you really wish to hear it from the source, I suggest you look at the interview with +Orombi over on Anglican TV. They fully expect this to be a temporary oversight “fix” until the orthodox Americans get their act together and establish a “home grown” oversight structure.
As for the money, well our South American diocesan expects us to forward no more than we used to send to our former Episcopal diocese and whenever it is convenient for us. Yep, really money grubbers there.

August 28, 12:33 pm | [comment link]
13. robroy wrote:

Smuggs (an appropriate moniker) writes: “Voices throughout the decades have been saying that the Episcopal Church will crash and burn over whatever the hot issue is of the day.” There has never been an operating deficit for the TEC. There is now, as announced in March, 3.5 million dollar deficit. The 20/20 goal of doubling membership by 2020 is not much talked about. The adjusted average Sunday attendance drop is accelerating, now approximately 3% per year. I am quite sure this is comprised of predominantly orthodox conservatives. Yes, the rate will eventually slow. We have a saying in medicine that all bleeding eventually stops. This will be after all orthodox have been un-welcomed from the churches rolls. Unfortunately, for Mr. Smuggs and the TEC, liberals have been shown to be pretty poor at either fund raising or evangelization.

August 28, 12:35 pm | [comment link]
14. chips wrote:

Robroy - predominately upper middle class white liberals are also not so good at reproducing. smile

August 28, 2:50 pm | [comment link]
15. Vintner wrote:

Dimitri - If the HOB were to accede to the requests made of it in the Dar es Salam (DES) communique, then I believe most reasserters would be satisfied and the African bishops would start to “withdraw.”

But the primates have no power and no authority to even make such requests.  The only power and authority they have is that which you reasserter types have given them.  ECUSA will give them no quarter but will fight, and win, to keep property that belongs to it.  The Africans can trespass, but they will have to build new churches.  If money were not the issue, as the bishop suggests and I do not for a moment believe, then lawsuits would not be an issue.  The Africans would tell these new churches simply to leave and start over.  Or is money a bigger issue than you previously thought?

August 28, 7:10 pm | [comment link]
16. robroy wrote:

The primates do not have the authority even to make requests of the American bishops??? The level of American hubris reaches greater heights.

There has never been a case where the TEC has won back a church through litigation and have that church become viable. The people of Trinity Bristol, St. Luke’s of the Mountains, Truro, etc., simply want their churches to remain houses of prayer. Smuggs and Beers want empty buildings for liquidation so that their theologically bankrupt church may stay out of financial bankruptcy for few more years. It is all about the money for Smuggs.

It is insulting to the extreme to impugn the characters of godly men like Kolini, Orombi and Nzimbi who have personally dealt with privation that Smuggs will never know.

August 28, 7:57 pm | [comment link]
17. Vintner wrote:

It is insulting to the extreme to impugn the characters of godly men like Kolini, Orombi and Nzimbi who have personally dealt with privation that Smuggs will never know.

I see.  And what have reasserters been known to say about the character of Tutu when his opinion is not the same as the three infallible human beings you mention above?

If we were talking about simple “requests” as in “would you consider”, that’s one thing.  When reasserters use the word “requests” it normally reads as “demand” as in “This is what TEC MUST do to stay in the Anglican Communion.”  THAT is what came out of Dar es Salaam: not a request to consider but a demand to do or else face whatever consequences they imagine they can impose.  And no, the primates do not have, and never have had, but desperately want to have, the power to make THAT kind of “request.”  That’s reality.

If it isn’t about the money, leave the house.  If it’s a question of who gets the existing property, then it is, or part of it is, about the money and not all about being a house of prayer.

August 28, 9:55 pm | [comment link]
18. robroy wrote:

Leave the house to Bruno, Lee, Schori, Smith, etc.? Those that built the “house”, my parents and grandparents, did so with that it would be a Christian house of prayer. Not so that it can be liquidated to carry on a message of sodomy is blessed.

August 28, 10:23 pm | [comment link]
19. Vintner wrote:

Which is just another way of saying that it IS about the money, in part if not in whole.  In your case, RR, you want to protect it because of the past, and so off to court we go.

August 28, 10:39 pm | [comment link]
20. carol wrote:

Just what is the tithe of the churches to their African Dioceses?  I have never heard.  However, our church offered to give 20+ % (we were assessed 22% at the time by our ECUSA diocese) and our South American bishop said, “No”. He went on to say that God set the amount and that was all that was required. (paraphrased by me)

August 29, 2:57 am | [comment link]
21. Vintner wrote:

carol, although your church sounds more healthy financially than others, 10% is 10% more than many churches pay their diocese, claiming that they can’t pay because of their size or financial situation.

August 29, 6:39 am | [comment link]
22. carol wrote:

Yes Smuggs,
We are healthy.  I am sure if we weren’t financially able to meet the 10% what ever we could give would be accepted.  We don’t have a pledge drive as churches usually do, nor do we tell the church what our pledge will be.  The church accepts on faith that we will honor our committment to God with our pledges.  We fill out a pledge card, it is put in a self addressed envelop and is returned to us via mail prior to the end of the year.  That way we can verify our pledge with what we have given and make up any discrepancies.  Our pledge is between God and ourselves.  Our church is financed and run on faith.  We have always end up with more than we have spent.  We do a lot of outreach and support many missionary functions overseas and local projects.  We aren’t a rich church we left the diocese in 2004 and have grown and prospered since.  I am lucky to have found such a church home within 25-30 miles of my home.

August 29, 8:26 pm | [comment link]
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