Battle of the Bishops

There was a programme (“The Battle of the Bishops”) on the BBC last night on the GAFCON/Lambeth Conference situation which is well worth watching. If you are quick, you can catch it on the iplayer here.

The genius of the piece was pointing a camera at Peter Akinola and letting him rant. He made Tom Wright, who last week compared the consecration of +Gene to the invasion of Iraq, look like the voice of reason. An extraordinary achievement.

Comments

  1. ryan says:

    I was watching it hoping to see Gadgetvicar (who had blogged from the event wearing an 80′s Bono style unusually silly hat) only to find out that the whole event seemed to be a festival of appaling headwear (orange cowboy hats! red zucchettos on mere anglican bishops!purple birrettas!) thus making it impossible to pick him out.

    The program’s title could have been much better used for a reality show :-).

  2. Eamonn says:

    One thing which struck me forcibly in watching this programme was the frequency with which phrases like ‘betrayal’ and ‘broken promises’ were used. It suggested, even more clearly than before, that Akinola and those who agree with him have a mistaken view of what Lambeth 1998 was about. Clearly, they thought that it had synodical powers, and that Res. 1.10 was binding on the whole Communion. They still talk of ‘complying with’ 1.10. This casts an even more disquieting light on the ‘Covenant process’, for it suggests that, whatever the prevailing rhetoric says, the Covenant is not an agreement, but an instrument for enforcing compliance.

  3. Lapinbizarre says:

    Hope this is posted on YouTube or similar site, since BBC TV downloads, unlike radio, cannot be accessed outside the UK

  4. Oof. I survived 5 minutes.Interesting, however, that it seemed to be presented (at least initially) from an actually Anglican point of view as distinct from separatist.

  5. You are so right Kelvin. I had never actually “heard” this man speaking before. He is a disgrace to his purple cassock. However, he has done more for gay rights within the Communion than anything else I have ever seen or witnessed.

  6. ryan says:

    It would be interesting to hear Akinola at St.Silas sometime, although he is obviously more liberal than our usual preachers. ;-)

  7. Robin says:

    > http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/7590 The UK Government’s recognition that Nigeria can be a dangerous place for gay Christians sits in stark contrast to the view of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) leaders who until recently denied that that homosexuality existed within their church. They still refuse to condemn violence against gay people and continue to deny them recognition as baptised members of the Church. <

    And yet +Rowan falls over himself to suck up to the Church of Nigeria while treating +Gene as a leper. The Scottish Episcopal Church can’t quit the Anglican Communion too soon for my liking. I’m ashamed to be associated with it.

  8. Robin, one of my joys in life is to be able to celebrate the Eucharist when I visit The Gambia. I’m Scottish and Anglican, part of a worldwide communion, and I like the feel about that despite our differences. For the Communion to split over the views of nutters such as Jenkins and Akinola would, for me, be a disaster.

    There will be some sort of solution. Just don’t expect it to come from Lambeth of GafCon. I have faith that God’s in charge, and it’ll all work out in the end.

  9. Robin says:

    Fr Kenny, if you are the Fr Kenny who was at ‘The Place’ in the 1980s I still remember a gripping address you gave on it at St Michael & All Saints, Edinburgh, in Emsley Nimmo’s time as Rector.

    Maybe it’s a personal thing, but I’ve never felt Anglican. I think of myself as, first, a Christian, then a Catholic, and then a Scottish Episcopalian. I’m probably a non-juror at heart and I loathe the whole business of “the English Church”, which is a sorry misreading of our history. When I’ve been abroad I’ve tended to worship in what has seemed to me to be the church of the local community, in order both to broaden my experience and to meet with local Christians – RC in Bavaria, Lutheran in Sweden, or whatever (although in the USA I did mostly worship in Episcopal churches and I’ve never been to countries like the Gambia or Nigeria or Uganda where there’s a sizeable indigenous Anglican presence). Doing this has given me the sense of being part of the Christian Church throughout the world and of the relative unimportance of the difference between Communions; and so in a foreign city it wouldn’t occur to me to seek out an Anglican chaplaincy even if I knew one existed.

    At the moment I feel embarrassed and ashamed to be associated with the kind of views emanating from Lambeth and Gafcon. I also feel that +Rowan has “sold out” to the repressive side for reasons of cowardice and expediency. For the first time in my life I’ve found myself seriously wondering if I’ve been on the wrong side all along – if the values of the secular world aren’t in fact better and kinder and more decent than those of Christianity. It isn’t a pleasant or easy feeling!

    Must there be a “solution”? There hasn’t been a “solution” within the Anglican Communion as regards women priests and bishops. There are quite a number of bishops at Lambeth who aren’t in communion with each other because of this – but they’re still at Lambeth, and still co-operating with one another to the greatest possible extent. I think that’s healthy and I can’t see why it shouldn’t extend to gay bishops too.

  10. Yep Robin! The same Fr Kenny! Glad you still remember what I said almost 30 years ago.

    Maybe The Gambia is a bit different, as 90% of the population are Muslim. The Church there knows what it’s like to be in the minority, and I find a compassion there for the marginalised.

    I’m learning to listen, just now, to both sides, but Akinola & Co are turning my stomach just now!

    Oh, and didn’t we Scots start the Communion in the first place by consecrating Seabury?

  11. For the first time in my life I’ve found myself seriously wondering if I’ve been on the wrong side all along – if the values of the secular world aren’t in fact better and kinder and more decent than those of Christianity. It isn’t a pleasant or easy feeling!

    I’m all in favour of atheists and secularists holding up a moral light to the church.
    That said, I actually feel equally Episcopalian and Christian at the moment. I never used to be so attached (“just Christian”) – but experience has led me to the SEC and suddenly it is home…

  12. Robin says:

    > Oh, and didn’t we Scots start the Communion in the first place by consecrating Seabury?

    Undoubtedly we did! And I do have to confess to wondering if my feelings would be a bit different if it were called “The Scotican Communion” . . .

    As for the Gambia, I’m interested to hear of your experience there. My father spent some years in Sierra Leone and had a lasting affection for West Africa and its people. I have to admit that my own experience of the world is confined to Europe and North America, which perhaps skews my thinking.

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