On African Bishops

Okay, I may well have been wrong before–with the announcement of a North American Ugandan bishop it seems like there may well be a coherent plan that the “Global South” bishops are following to get a replacement province in place before September 30th so that on October 1 they can demand a new Anglican entity in North America.

If we are moving towards this new flat-earth (Friedman style) Anglicanism where we can all select the bishops we serve under regardless of continent or diocesan boundaries, ++Schori may have to worry about losing me to an African bishop… I quite liked this sermon which arrived over the wires the other day from ++Ndungane. Imagine, a primate who keeps his proclamation centered on the love of God, is open to modern (responsible) biblical interpretation, AND openly confesses a creedal understanding of who Jesus is…

14 Replies to “On African Bishops”

  1. I wish he were my archbishop also. Such a fine example of thoughtful catholicism oriented toward the world. With ++Ndugane, whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet, I know that I’m not simply a category, but a person. He’s neither a liberal, nor a conservative, nor a centrist, but what I thought Anglicanism was all about when I made my lateral transfer from the RC.

  2. Well, though, isn’t part of the life of a Christian to have to deal with authority that we may not care for? And to work to change things – not to overthrow the entire system on the instant, but to actually work at something, I mean – when we believe they need to be changed? This entails, of course, figuring out how to speak with – and maybe even learn from! – people we don’t agree with.

    I do agree that we are in a different world these days, in many ways – but one of the benefits of not being able to choose the bishops we like is the “under authority” thing – and the process described above.

    I mean, Benedictines who don’t like their abbot can’t just choose another one! (I thought I’d put this in terms I’m more sure you’ll be persuaded by….;-) )

  3. Excellent point, bls… That *is* the whole point of the practice of stability.

  4. See? I knew that would work. ;)

    That’s what’s happening in TEC right now, I think; the so-called “orthodox” – even though they didn’t mean to do this – have made us more aware of our practices, which has created the opportunity to look at them again and talk about the basics – something I think is the real issue at heart here, most of the time. We’re “liberals,” so we forget how history works, and we’ve had to look back at origins and recognize where things originated and why. And discover again the value in many of these things – in order to re-dedicate ourselves to the important things and cast off what’s not working any longer.

    That’s a very Anglican process, as far as I can see, and it’s going on right now….

  5. while I’ll admit there’s a congregationalist streak to many of the conservatives I know, I don’t think this can be reduced to picking and choosing the *instant* things aren’t exactly to our liking. I think that’s an unfair characterization.

    I’d also point out that there are a lot of conservative folks still in the episcopal church who haven’t left for precisely the reasons you cite.

    moreover, someone has to keep bishops and primates accountable. They are accountable to one another….or aren’t they? No one has the last work in anglicanism but we do exist in communion with one another.

    I get that Derek is inferring what the situation could potentially be for the laity (this episcopal church…or that one? let’s see…which bishop do I like better?). i get that. and you know what, that’s the nature of protestantism. and some of us episcopalians may like to pretend we aren’t protestants but we are.

    and that brings me to my last point which is primates holding one another accountable. We aren’t talking about a massive lay movement to have choice in terms of what bishops we all serve. We’re talking primates in Africa trying to hold primates (or presiding bishops as it were) accountable to what they believe is the correct scriptural interpretation.

    I’m enough of a protestant to think holding leaders on either side of the conservative/liberal divide accountable to something is a good idea.

  6. I don’t think it’s unfair at all, Anastasia. It’s been less than 4 years, total, since the overthrow attempt began – and there are those panting for it publicly, every day, and working diligently to make it happen. That’s even faster than “instantaneous” when it comes to Church time.

    Peter Akinola is an excellent example of this, in fact. So are the others involved in trying to eject TEC and/or create flying Bishoprics – both American and otherwise.

  7. The sun is setting on the British Empire (which covered more or less the same lands as the Anglican Communion): without the force of the English state artificially keeping them together (even if only indirectly like in the United States) the four Anglicanisms, Catholic, Central, Evangelical and Broad, fly apart.

  8. So how would you define Catholic, central, evangelical, and broad? I have never heard of central.

  9. Thanks for asking. I hope this is an accurate, non-offensive description.

    It’s ironic that Central Churchmen are so often overlooked because they are quintessential Anglicans.

  10. Thanks for asking. I hope this is an accurate, non-offensive description.

    It’s ironic that the Central Churchmen are so often overlooked as they are quintessential Anglicans.

  11. Interesting, none of these seems to fit my parish. I thought that Broad church is merely a mixture of high and low church elements, ie the broad center of the church.

  12. My parish is a mixture of high and low church elements; traditional in theology and accept women priests. Not willing to separate from TEC over the current issues.

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