Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Presiding Bishop urges Nigerian Primate to reconsider plans to install bishop

Actions would violate ancient customs, display division and disunity, Jefferts Schori says
May 01, 2007
Episcopal News Service

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has written to Nigerian Primate Peter J. Akinola asking him to reconsider plans to install Martyn Minns as a bishop in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), an action she says "would violate the ancient customs of the church" and would "not help the efforts of reconciliation."

Such action, Jefferts Schori added, "would display to the world division and disunity that are not part of the mind of Christ, which we must strive to display to all."

The installation service, set for May 5 the Hylton Memorial Chapel, a nondenominational Christian Event Center in Woodbridge, Virginia, is intended to install Minns as bishop of CANA, which describes itself as "an Anglican missionary effort in the US sponsored by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)."

CANA is made up of congregations formed of members who have disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church. Minns, former rector of Truro Parish, an Episcopal congregation in Fairfax, Virginia, was elected and consecrated by the bishops of the Anglican Church of Nigeria to serve as CANA's missionary bishop.

"I would carefully ask that you reconsider your plans to come to this country for this purpose" of installing Minns, Jefferts Schori said in her April 30 letter to Akinola, citing "the hope and vision of reconciliation which was the mind of the primates as we met in Tanzania."

At that meeting in Dar es Salaam, the Primates said international boundary crossing should not persist among the Communion's 38 Provinces, which include the Episcopal Church and the Church of Nigeria.

Minns was on site in Tanzania at the recent Primates' Meeting. Reporters observed him conferring regularly with Akinola in sessions apparently devoted to planning and influencing the Primates' Communique issued from the Dar es Salaam proceedings.

Minns told the New York Times that the convocation that he is to lead was not interfering with the Episcopal Church.

"The reality is that there is a broken relationship between the Episcopal Church and the rest of the communion," Minns said. "We want to give people a freedom of choice to remain Anglican but not under the Episcopal Church as it is currently led."

In an ealier statement, Jefferts Schori said that "this action would only serve to heighten current tensions, and would be regrettable if it does indeed occur."

Read the rest at: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_85463_ENG_HTM.htm

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