An introduction to the Anglican "Global South"
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Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 05:49:38 AM EST

Recent struggles within the Episcopal Church and the the Worldwide Anglican Communion, to which it belongs have pitted (as the IRD associated, Ahmanson funded American conservatives would frame things) the degenerate, gay-friendly American Episcopal Church against the oppressed, biblically orthodox and numerically superior provinces of the Anglican "Global South." Indeed, Anglican Archbishops (sometimes called primates) in a number of African provinces (most notable Nigeria, who's Archbishop is their de-facto leader), along with West Indies, and the numerically smaller provinces of Southeast Asia and the Southern Cone (of South America, which includes Argentina and Chile). Have been at the forefront of condemning the Episcopal Church for the actions of the their General Convention in 2003.

An excellent discussion of recent developments is provided in Saturday's Washinton Post by Bishop John Chane of the Episcopal Diocese of Wahshington (D.C.)

The conservative primates, most notable ++Akinola of Nigeria, have regularly referred to Lambeth 1998 1.10, a specific resolution passed by the Lambeth conference (of all bishops within the communion) in 1998 which states that 1) (homosexuals) are loved by God and that all baptized, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ 2) the church resolves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and 3) homosexual practice is incompatable with scripture.  Of course, while the American conservatives have tried to take the more nuanced, love the sinner/hate the sin stance, the African primates have been far more intolerant, focusing exclusively on the third point of the Lambeth resolution.

The dynamic of the relationship between western conservatives and the Global South Primates (GSP) is significant.  The American conservative minority lead by Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, long affiated with the American Anglican Counsel (AAC) and their (unofficial) parent organization the Institute for Religion and Democracy (IRD) continue to put internal pressure on the Episcopal Church's general convention while the GSP put pressure on the Archbishop of Canterbury to disassociate with the Episcopal Church.  At the same time, the AAC (working through their sister organization, the Network of Anglican Communion Diocese and Parishes) have been recruiting parishes to abandon the Episcopal Church.  Many of those parishes which have done so have affiliated with a foreign bishop and diocese.

Bishop Chane brings us up to date on Nigeria's tolerance and the gay issue:

...Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, primate of the Church of Nigeria and leader of the conservative wing of the communion, recently threw his prestige and resources behind a new law that criminalizes same-sex marriage in his country and denies gay citizens the freedoms to assemble and petition their government. The law also infringes upon press and religious freedom by authorizing Nigeria's government to prosecute newspapers that publicize same-sex associations and religious organizations that permit same-sex unions...

Not exactly a "love the sinner/hate the sin" attitude.    Father Mark Harris has more on his blog, Preludium:

Voice of America online reports on the comments of the Anglican Church in Nigeria's spokesman:

"The Anglican Church in Nigeria Thursday said it welcomes government decision to push for legislation to outlaw homosexuality. The government said it will introduce legislation to punish homosexuality by up to five years in jail and ban same-sex marriages. A spokesman for Nigeria's Anglican Church described homosexuality as an abomination.

The spokesman for the Anglican church in Nigeria, Reverend Tunde Popoola, says the proposed ban is appropriate. The Anglican community in Nigeria has long waged a vigorous campaign against homosexuals, as Reverend Popoola explains.

Father Harris' blog is an excellent resource for commentary on these issues and would serve as an excellent primer for any interested in the larger story.

Update: Additionally, as Fr. Jake notes in comments to the IRD story on the main page, he has discussed these issues as well here and here.

Update 2: Thinking Anglicans has a response to Bishop Chane

…A spokesman for the Church of Nigeria, Canon Akintunde Popoola, disputed this characterization, arguing Bishop Chane misconstrued the text of the bill and Archbishop Akinola’s role in the legislative process. “Archbishop Peter to my knowledge is yet to comment [publicly] on the bill. I have said we welcome it because we view homosexuality as ‘against the norm’.”

While banning ‘gay clubs’ in “institutions from secondary to the tertiary level or other institutions in particular” and “generally, by government agencies,” the proposed law is silent as to the status of private gay clubs.

Silent as to the status of private gay clubs, huh? Let's take a look at paragraph 7.3 of the legislation:

7.(3) Any person who is involved in the registration of gay clubs, societies and organizations, sustenance, procession or meetings, publicity and public show of same sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly in public and in private is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a term of 5 years imprisonment.

(hat tip to Tobias Haller in comments at Thinking Anglicans)

This is very helpful.

We hope that Talk to Action will be able to serve as an online resource center on this general subject; as well as a place for ongoing reporting and analysis. I hope you will continue to keep us posted.

by Frederick Clarkson on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 01:52:16 PM EST

The multitude of organizations involved - to say nothing of the acronyms - make my head swim. Your post helped me understand not only the relationship of these organizations to each other but how they fit into the national and international context. The picture is grim; even more-so when one considers the civil law ramifications of the Nigerian primate's orthodoxy.

Have you considered cross-posting this entry (with a different title and brief explanatory introduction) to less specialized blogs where people would be interested in but less sophisticated about these issues? I noticed that Fred's post to Kos on the recent IRS news attracted a lot of attention, including some comments about right-wing encroachment on mainline denominations.

by Psyche on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 03:17:40 PM EST

It seemed to me when I found your site that the issues  confronting the Episcopal Church would be an appropriate subject to address here.  I will try to do my best to  keep you posted.  

I realize that the number of players (and acronyms) is confusing.  Maybe I can post a "Lexicon of Episcopal conflict" or some such.

Regarding cross-posting, I hadn't really thought about it.  I actually am a user at Kos, although I haven't ever posted to the diary there.  I never really thought the Kossacks would be interested in such ecclesiastical inside baseball.  Hmmm.

by ajg on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 07:22:23 PM EST

I've found a wide range of sophistication at Kos but certainly some interest in religious right issues and, as I mentioned above, some comments about mainstream incursion by the right. Not sure I've seen much about the IRD. Might be worth a search because the more people that hear about that, the better. You could link back to relevant posts so you don't have to write a book to explain the esoterica.

Street Prophets might be interested as well (link to left). Do you post there?

by Psyche on Mon Feb 27, 2006 at 09:34:45 PM EST

out of necessity ( the deadline for grad school student financial aid application ) but I've got an anthology on attacks on the Episcopalian church in the works, coming very soon, if you want to suggest some good material.

by Bruce Wilson on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 11:06:20 AM EST
Not sure what you mean by attacks, however.

In my opinion it is kind of one big central attack.  There may be struggles in individual parishes, but it is all related to the organizing of the AAC/Network.  

by ajg on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 06:28:40 PM EST

Attack/s on the various denominations all have commonality, yes, but there are some notable differences as well. I'm not yet familiar with the campaign against the Episcopalian Church.

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 11:33:41 AM EST

on the head.  Everything leads back to the American Anglican Council and it's connection with the IRD.  I suspect if one were to create a concept chart of the attacks of the radical right on the Episcopal Church one would find the ACC and the IRD right at the center of the chart with lines pointed to and from those organizations (I question whether they are really two organizations).  This is likewise true for the Presbyterian and Methodist Churchs (as was shown in Bruce's chart for the Methodist Church)

by tikkun on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 12:56:01 PM EST
Thanks, Tikkun, this is what I was trying to say.  And yes, I have seen such diagrams, they are as you describe them.

The AAC (and their front group, the network) have been working to 1) get clergy and laity to leave the church (en masse, as congregations) 2) coordinate with foreign bishops to take over congregations within the United States 3) organize Episcopal Bishops in the church as leaders of an "alternate jurisdiction" to the Episcopal Church 4) organize a public relations campaign against the church and 5) coordinate wth foreign primates to undermine the church within the communion.

Each of these strategies has the AAC's fingerprints all over it.

by ajg on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 01:18:23 PM EST

emails. take a look.

by Bruce Wilson on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 05:32:45 PM EST
I found one of the e-mails and I just answered it.  Did you send the other to the same address?  I didn't see that one.

by tikkun on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:20:59 AM EST

Interesting, the anti-gay measures came in a few weeks after the New York Times reported on a Nigerian gay Anglican activist group. I wrote a bit about it on my blog.

by Richard Bartholomew on Tue Feb 28, 2006 at 08:00:50 PM EST

I agree it is interesting and also suspect that the two stories are related.  I appreciate you bringing this up, as I was aware of Changing Attitude Nigeria and just forgot to make the tie-in.  Your reporting about this is very good.  The one thing I would add is that CAN probably staaarted to force Archbishop Akinola to begin the listening process called for in Lambeth 98 1.10, something he has refused to do.

The blog Thinking Anglicans has good reporting on this, as well.

by ajg on Wed Mar 01, 2006 at 03:26:44 AM EST

between the two stories seems to me to be Archbishop Peter Akinola...more here:

"Why Listen When We Can Beat, Defame and Incarcerate?"

by Jake on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 09:36:11 PM EST

the other reason we need to hold Abp. Akinola accoutable; his role in the recent violence in Nigeria:

Nigeria Today May Be the Christian Right of Tomorrow

by Jake on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 10:45:28 PM EST

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:02:26 AM EST

One way of distinguishing the difference between the American Anglican Council and the Anglican Communion Network is to consider the AAC as the "covert operatives" of the ACN;

AAC: The Network's Covert Operatives

by Jake on Thu Mar 02, 2006 at 11:00:32 PM EST

For that case seems to be coalescing.

by Bruce Wilson on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:20:35 AM EST

we're getting our collective Episcopal act together. (How close I came to writing something earthier!) It's so good to see all these brother and sister communicates on the same page. <s>

by tikkun on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:25:25 AM EST
make that communicants

by tikkun on Fri Mar 03, 2006 at 12:26:52 AM EST

Here is the link for the
Global South Anglican site:

also see Church of Nigeria:

by faithwatch on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 06:45:13 PM EST

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