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LAGOS: Congo Province needs support to break ties with the Episcopal Church

LAGOS: Congo Province needs support to break ties with ECUSA

by Lekan Otufodunrin
VIRTUOSITY correspondent
Nigeria Online Christian News

LAGOS (10/30/2004)--The Anglican Church Province of the Congo and Brazzaville in Central Africa need the support of other Churches on the African continent to stop it from patronizing the Episcopal Church of United States (ECUSA) for money.

The Primate of the Province, the Most Rev Cirokpa Fide’le at a session of the now concluded African Anglican Bishop’s conference in Lagos, said that abject poverty in his country is forcing his Church to continue receiving support from ECUSA in defiance of the positions of other Anglican leaders on the continent.

The Conference of Anglican Provinces in Africa have severed their relationship with the ECUSA over its ordination of a non-celibate gay bishop and for endorsing same-sex relationships.

Fide’le, however, said that his province was opposed to homosexuality explaining the "if anyone extends aid to us on condition that it should be used to promote homosexuality in our country, we would reject it".

“But where such a condition is not attached, we are constrained to accept it,” said Archbishop Fide’le noting that his country was faced with misery, deprivation and abject poverty.

“You need to experience what the people go through and the type of pressure we are under daily to appreciate why we do some of the things we do."

"All the people look up to the Church for support, which is in short of supplies. Families take turns to collect food today, another does tomorrow. In some cases, because there is an acute shortage of accommodation, one family sleeps in the house up till midnight and another family takes over,” said the Congo Primate.

Participants at the session sympathized with the Church in Congo but were not satisfied that it was breaking the African accord to call the bluff of the ECUSA over its support for ordination of a gay bishop.

The bishops resolved to raise special support for the Congo Church in the new spirit of reducing western influence.

Despite the deprivation, the Congolese Primate disclosed that many citizens were turning in droves to God.

Lekan Otufodunrin is Virtuosity's African correspondent based in Lagos, Nigeria.

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