Tuesday, 24 March 2009

NIGERIA: Standing Committee stands in 'full communion' with conservative North American entity

The Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria declared at a recent meeting that it stands "in full and abiding communion" with the Anglican Church in North America, a conservative entity that is not officially recognized as a part of the Anglican Communion.

Members of several self-styled Anglican organizations, known collectively as the Common Cause Partnership, announced the new entity in December 2008 to serve Anglicans who have decided they no longer want to be a part of the Episcopal Church or Anglican Church of Canada for theological reasons.

Deposed Bishop of Pittsburgh Robert W. Duncan, moderator of the Common Cause Partnership and archbishop-designate for the Anglican Church in North America, told the Standing Committee that the new entity consists of "seven hundred congregations representing more than one hundred thousand Anglicans in the United States and Canada who have held true to the faith once delivered to the saints," according to a resolution from the March 11-14 meeting, held at Obafemi Awolowo University in Osun State, Nigeria.

The Church of Nigeria is led by Archbishop Peter J. Akinola, one of the Anglican Communion's leading critics of the Episcopal Church and its inclusive theology. Akinola has maintained that homosexuality is incompatible with Scripture and has supported legislation in Nigeria that would have gays and lesbians incarcerated for up to five years. He has called for the Episcopal Church to repent for such recent actions as the 2003 consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, a divorced gay man living in same-gender relationship, and some dioceses' provisions for the blessing of same-gender unions. Read more
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