Monday, 23 June 2008

The Guardian: Williams accused of leading church into crisis

A senior Anglican archbishop last night accused Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, of apostasy, manipulation and leading the church into turmoil, as a summit of traditionalists convened in Jerusalem with a mission to "rescue" the Anglican church from its liberal leadership.

The Rt Rev Peter Akinola, Archbishop of Nigeria, called for a new "roadmap" for the 77-million-strong Anglican communion on the opening day of an eight-day meeting that threatens to upstage next month's Lambeth conference, the summit meeting of Anglican bishops held every 10 years.

In the latest blow to Williams's plans for Lambeth, the Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, became the most senior Church of England figure to decline an invitation, joining a growing boycott movement by scores of bishops unhappy with the liberal agenda of some provinces of the church.

Most of the 280 bishops at the Global Anglican Futures Conference (Gafcon) have declared their intention to stay away from Lambeth, but Nazir-Ali's rebellion is the greatest victory yet for conservative African and American religious leaders opposed to gay priests and same-sex marriages.

In a speech last night, Akinola set out the conservative case with an excoriating attack on Williams. During an hour-long address, he criticised Williams for his "revisionist leadership" and for leaving the communion in an "unprecedented brokenness and turmoil". Read more
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