AKINOLA: Robinson Consecration has torn fabric of Communion. Further divisions likely
Nigerian leader's U.S. visit shores up relationships with ECUSA's Orthodox
By David W. Virtue
The Primate of the largest province of the Anglican Communion, in the U.S. to meet with orthodox ECUSA bishops and other Anglican leaders, ripped into the Episcopal Church saying that the consecration of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson has torn the fabric of the Communion and will lead to further division "on this and further issues."
Speaking in the Diocese at the Metroplex of Ft. Worth to Bishop Jack Iker, The Most Rev. Peter Akinola, Archbishop of Nigeria on March 28, Akinola told the bishop, "the brokenness in the Anglican Communion is a source of continuing anguish around the world - sadly the words that the Primates wrote in October 2003 regarding the consecration of the Bishop of New Hampshire have been and are being fulfilled, "this will tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level, and may lead to further division on this and further issues..."
"As you know one consequence of this has been the isolation and alienation of a growing number of Nigerian and other Anglicans. In response to this the Church of Nigeria has established CANA (a Convocation for Anglicans in North America) to provide pastoral care for those Anglicans who are unable to find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church during these difficult times. I was pleased to hear your enthusiastic support for this endeavor and especially gratified by your willingness to fully recognize and work in close partnership with the episcopal leadership that we expect to elect and consecrate in the coming months," he said.
Akinola said these were extraordinary times and he was pleased to continue his friendship and partnership in the work of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "You will be in my prayers this coming week as you meet with your fellow bishops to discern a way forward. The two bishops had a very cordial visit and discussed a number of issues, including the upcoming General Convention of the Episcopal Church, the importance of the implementation of the Windsor Report, the Archbishop of Canterbury's Panel of Reference, and the ministry to Nigerian Anglicans who reside in the United States.
The clergy of the Diocese of Fort Worth includes two native Nigerians: Fr. Jonathan Ogujiofor of St. Simon's, Fort Worth; and Fr. Felix Akinkugbe of St. Philip's, Arlington. The congregation of St. Philip's is made up primarily of native Africans.
Earlier in the week, Akinola spoke to a number of Evangelical Anglican leaders and ECUSA priests in New York City and blasted the Episcopal Church saying, "Make no mistake about it, if any Nigerian priests are in ECUSA and do not remove themselves, they will face ecclesiastical charges, because we are no longer in communion with ECUSA."
Those are the harshest words to date by the African Primate against Frank Griswold's leadership and the ECUSA. Clearly there is no love lost between these two men.
The Nigerian Primate is making the rounds visiting orthodox ECUSA leaders and his CANA churches. He was in Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles. His visit is primarily pastoral with CANA members, said a source. In Chicago he visited members from four states - Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri.
The African Primate also met with Quincy Bishop Keith L. Ackerman. Akinola is accompanied by his U.S. escort the Rev. Martyn Minns of Truro Episcopal Church. His entourage includes Bishop Kattey of Niger Delta North diocese and Mr. Abraham Yisa the Chairman of CANA board of trustees and Registrar of the Church of Anglican Communion. Abraham N. Yisa, Esq., Registrar of the Church of Nigeria serves as chairman of the board of trustees, Chief Gboyega Delano of Chicago serves as secretary and Mrs. Patience Oruh of Maryland serves as treasurer. Mrs. Oruh was the only one not present for the visit.
Akinola gave no timetable for the consecration of CANA Bishops, but he has hinted that they would be elected soon. The Rev. Minns is thought to be on the short list.
Akinola was here to support the faithful as together they await the Episcopal Church's reply to the Anglican Communion and to offer encouragement and support while visiting a number of orthodox ECUSA bishops and their dioceses'.
Akinola praised Bishop Iker for the gracious hospitality that he had shown to Nigerian Anglicans "during these challenging days."
A special promotional video has been produced to sell CANA to CANA members and to others. "It is a very well done work," said a source who has viewed it.
CANA has established 17 parishes to date in the United States.
FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF NIGERIAN CONGREGATIONS/MINISTRIES IN NORTH AMERICA
* All Saints' Anglican Church
Clergy-Ven. Dr. Paul Ekezie
Meeting at 849 Stuyvesant Ave.
Rev. Joseph Nwachukwu
Irvington, New Jersey 07111
Rev. Celestine Ironna
* The Anglican Chapel of Ressurrection
Clergy- Ven. Amos Fagbamiye-
Meeting at 5733 N Michigan Rd
Rev. Idowu A. O. Adewakun
Indianapolis, Indiana 317-244-7613
* Christ's Ambassadors' Anglican Church
Clergy Rev. Nathan C. O. Kanu
Meeting at 2908 SW 59TH St.
405-229-6006 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma www.uncompromisedgospel.org
* All Saints' Anglican Church
Clergy Rev. Olugbenga Olajide
Meeting at 18001 94th Ave
Tinley Park, Ilinois
* Christ's Anglican Church
Clergy--Rev. Canon Felix Anyasor
Meeting at 10175-102
* St. Peter's Anglican Church
Clergy Rev. Canon Ndukaku Okereke
Meeting at 3617 Abram Rd
Rev. Canon Ugochukwu Okoroa for Dallas, Texas 972-216-9920
* All Saints Igbo Anglican Church
Clergy Rev. Canon Christian Odoemena
Meeting at 19800 S Vermont Ave
* All Saint's Church
Clergy Rev. Canon Dr. Dokun Adewunmi
Meeting at 9880 Good Luck Rd.
Rev. Canon Leslie DG Martin (Duval High School)
240-620-1211, 703-878-7667 Lanham, Maryland.
* The Church of The Saints (Anglican)
Clergy Rev. Dr. Moses Akinlawon
Meeting at 2639 Barrette St. California
* St. Faith's Anglican Church
Clergy Rev. Canon Alexander Ibezim
Meeting at 6611 Church St.
Riverdale College Park, Georgia
* Igbo Anglican Church
Clergy Rev. Joseph Nwachukwu
Meeting at 849 Stuyvesang Ave.
718-842-3787 Irvington, New Jersey
* Anglican Church of The Pentecost
Clergy Rev. Canon Dr. Emeka Nwigwe
Meeting at 181 W 135th St.
212-864-9722 New York City, New York
* Vineyard Ministries
Clergy Rev. Canon Dr. Joe Omeokwe
Meeting at 1250 Chisholm Dr.
Bronx, New York
* Chapel of Reconciliation
Clergy Rev. Simon Omeke
Meeting at 9745 Bissonett
* New Evangelical Church-Anglican Communion
Clergy-- Ven. Dr. O. Obadina
Meeting at The Rock Quarry Recreation center
Route AC. Columbia, Missouri
* Anglican Church of the Redeemer
Clergy: Rev'd Olukayode Adebogun
Meeting at Roger Chapel
900B-4400 4th Avenue, Regina, Canada.
* Mount Zion Anglican Church Clergy
Rev'd Olugbenga Olajide
Meeting at The Institute of Cultural affairs
708-946-6215 4750 North Sheridan Road, Chicago IL.
Also included is the Anglican Province of America and The Reformed Episcopal Church
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