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Nigerian Primate Says Anglican Communion Differences are "Irreconcilable"

Nigerian Primate Says Anglican Communion Differences are "Irreconcilable"

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
2/10/2009

The Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola has written an open letter to Archbishop Rowan Williams saying that liberal Primates of the Anglican Communion “trivialized” the historic faith in Alexandria and their actions show they have no intention of backing down from their revisionist behavior and that mediation will not work.

"In our meeting we recommended that you initiate a "professionally mediated conversation which engages all parties at the earliest opportunity." It now seems increasingly clear that without a radical change of behavior on the part of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada the only possible outcome of such a process is acknowledgement of a bitter truth that the differences in the words of (Scottish Primus) Archbishop Idris Jones are "irreconcilable".

The Nigerian leader of the Anglican Communion's largest province of 25 million practicing Anglicans praised Dr. Williams for his handling of "divergent views" and said that discussion of "core theological issues" provided "considerable clarity" with liberals hardening their positions with communion breaking acts even as the Primates met.

Akinola cited the days leading up to the meeting where the Diocese of Virginia declared the "inherent integrity and blessedness" of same sex unions and initiated a process to provide for their "blessing". "While we were meeting, The Diocese of Toronto also announced that it will start same sex blessings within a year and The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia filed further costly legal action appealing the court's decision in twenty cases favoring nine Virginia congregations."

The Nigerian primate said he asked The American Anglican Council and orthodox Canadians to prepare a report on the continuing situation of The Episcopal Church and Canada to enable people in the wider Communion to have a fuller perspective of the circumstances in North America.

Akinola said he had shared it with his colleagues in the Global South but did not release it more widely in the hope that he would receive assurances from the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada that they were willing to exercise genuine restraint towards those Anglicans in North America unwilling to embrace their several innovations.

That did not happen.

In a 42-page summary the American Anglican Council outlined the heresies of The Episcopal Church saying that TEC has been systematically destroying the foundations of Anglican Christianity within the U.S. and tearing the fabric of the Anglican Communion to shreds.

"Episcopal Church leaders have denied Jesus as the only way to the Father, denied the divinity and uniqueness of Jesus Christ, denied the Resurrection, denied heaven and hell, denied salvation through the cross of Jesus Christ, denied the authority of Scripture, denied the Creeds and denied biblical standards for human sexuality," said AAC leaders.

They said the fruits of TEC's new theology included a refusal to reaffirm the historic articles of the Christian faith, syncretism, the promotion of abortion, weakening traditional marriage, promoting same sex blessings and other sexual aberrations, communion for the unbaptized, and accelerating litigation by TEC against the orthodox.

"We conclude with the heresies of the current Presiding Bishop that demonstrates her affirmation of the classic heresies of Pelagianism, Marcionism, Pluralism, Universalism and Gnosticism."

A report from orthodox Canadian Anglicans said heterodox Anglicans had torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion to shreds and highlighted the denial of the authority of Holy Scripture, the pursuit of same sex blessings agenda in the ACoC: "blessings" to "marriages"; hostile actions against dissenting priests and congregations and a refusal to endorse the Windsor Report or commit to the Windsor Report recommendations.

It is clear that talk of mediation is impossible as liberals and revisionists have no intention of backing away from their innovations. VOL was convinced in Alexandria that an unbridgeable divide had been reached and no future existed between orthodox and liberal/revisionist Anglicans even if they choose to all stay underneath the Anglican umbrella.

A PDF copy of Archbishop Akinola's letter can be read here:
http://www.americananglican.org/assets/Publications/PJA-to-RW.pdf

The American Anglican Council's report on The Episcopal Church that was prepared for the Primates is available here:
http://www.americananglican.org/assets/Publications/Primates-Report-Final.pdf

An additional report prepared by the Anglican Network in Canada on the Anglican Church of Canada is available here:
http://www.americananglican.org/assets/Publications/ANiC-report-on-ACoC-FINAL.pdf

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