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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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"The church is now trying to bless what God always said in the Scripture he wants to redeem," [Bill] Atwood said.
After Thursday's ceremony, Atwood and Murdoch will return home to minister to their congregations with Kenyan Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi as their spiritual adviser. Because they are no longer affiliated with the Episcopal Church, the men will have to find new church buildings and funding in the United States. Several U.S. churches whose priests have switched to a foreign diocese are embroiled in lawsuits over church property.
Nzimbi said 30 U.S. congregations have asked to become part of African dioceses in the last four years. Six other U.S. priests have been consecrated as bishops in the Rwandan church and one has also been consecrated in Nigeria. Another American priest is scheduled to be consecrated in Uganda on Sunday.
After Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola set up the Convocation of Anglicans in North America in 2005, some U.S. liberals accused African archbishops of breaching protocol by trying to create rival churches on their territory. Akinola administers his convocation from Nigeria.
The day before his consecration in Kenya, Murdoch said: "When American or British missionaries come to Africa currently it's missionary work, but when Africans come to the United States or Great Britain, it's boundary crossing," he said. "We ought to be clear that this is about the mission of the gospel."
Read it all.
Update: A (London) Times article is here which includes the following:
Today’s service will be conducted by the Archbishop of Kenya. It will be attended by ten primates – or their representatives – from the Global South coalition of conservative bishops.They were at pains to emphasise that the consecration of American bishops in Africa was a temporary measure..
Archbishop Greg Venables, of the Southern Cone, said: “The major struggle we are going through is how to resolve a conflict of this nature, where there is a group of people who want to go in a new direction while the rest of the Church is resisting that.”
Another update: A Reuters article is there in which we find this:
The two clerics to be consecrated on Thursday -- William Atwood and William Murdoch -- are among a growing number of conservative U.S. Anglicans pledging alliance to traditional African bishops who take a tough line against homosexuality..
The U.S. Church has accused Africans of invading their territory by consecrating Americans. But conservative Africans say they only want to provide refuge for orthodox believers who are at odds with liberal views.
"This is a missionary action brought to this point by four years of frustration," Murdoch told the news conference.
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