AUCKLAND, NZ: Nigerian Archbishops Refuse Holy Communion at Opening ACC-15 Eucharist
By David W. Virtue in Auckland
October 27, 2012
Two Nigerian archbishops and a US bishop affiliated with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) - a missionary initiative of the Church of Nigeria in the United States - refused Sunday to take Holy Communion at the opening Eucharist of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-15) meeting at a packed Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, Auckland, citing irreconcilable theological differences between the orthodox African Anglican province and the liberal progressivist views of the Fourth Instrument of Unity.
The Most Rev. Ikechi Nwosu, Archbishop of Aba in the Church of Nigeria, the largest Province in the Anglican Communion, the Ven. Dr. Abraham Okorie, Diocese of Nsukka and US-based CANA Bishop Julian Dobbs said they could not take communion because relationships are fractured over serious Gospel issues such as: the uniqueness and Lordship of Jesus Christ, the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman, and the historic understanding that the Bible contains all things necessary for salvation. Many CANA parishes in the United States who have affirmed their belief in orthodox Anglican Christianity have lost their properties in very painful and costly litigation initiated by The Episcopal Church.
"The Church of Nigeria has consistently called the leadership of the Anglican Communion to uphold the historic faith and believes that the revisionist theology and actions of some Provinces have torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion," Dobbs told VOL.
Archbishop Okoh and several Global South Primates, mostly GAFCON archbishops, refused to attend last years' Primates meeting in Dublin called by the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was a defiant act against Dr. Williams' lackluster leadership and his failure to address the immoral decisions of North American Anglican and Episcopal leaders for consecrating an avowed homosexual and lesbian to the episcopacy.
That may well have been the final straw in Dr. Williams' premature resignation as the Anglican Communion's titular head.
The Nigerian Anglican Primate ripped Archbishop Williams when he announced he was leaving Lambeth Palace for academia.
In a blistering attack on the Anglican leader, Okoh said his sudden resignation announcement will leave behind a Communion in tatters: highly polarized, bitterly factionalized, with issues of revisionist interpretation of the Holy Scriptures and human sexuality as stumbling blocks to oneness.
The Nigerian Archbishop noted that when Dr. Rowan Williams took over the leadership of the Anglican Communion in 2002, it was a happy family. He is leaving it with decisions and actions that are stumbling blocks to oneness, evangelism and mission all around the Anglican world.
Okoh went so far as to say that it was like being "crucified under Pontius Pilate".
The Nigerian archbishop said that because Williams did not resign in 2008 over the split Lambeth Conference, he should have worked assiduously to "mend the net" or repair the breach, before bowing out of office. Okoh also blasted the covenant proposal saying it was "doomed to fail from the start", as "two cannot walk together unless they have agreed".
Nigerian Archbishop Nicholas Okoh recently told Virtueonline, "The Church of Nigeria will not compromise the truth of the Gospel." He now believes North America is fertile soil for the gospel.
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