Blaming Akinola

Larry Stammer's report in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times could leave readers with the impression that if reconciliation fails in the Anglican Communion, it is largely the fault of Archbishop Peter J. Akinola of the Church of Nigeria. Here are three paragraphs at the heart of Stammer's article:

Despite a plea from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual head of Anglicanism, to avoid a "rush to judgment," Akinola in a statement released here criticized the report's call for both sides in the debate to express regrets.

Akinola was particularly upset by the recommendation that conservative bishops, including him and other Africans, stop claiming jurisdiction over conservative American parishes seeking help. In the Diocese of Los Angeles, for example, the Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of Uganda agreed to supervise three dissident Southern California parishes.

"Where is the language of rebuke for those who are promoting sexual sins as holy and acceptable behavior?" Akinola asked. "The imbalance is bewildering. It is wrong to use equal language for unequal actions."

Stammer's reference to the plea by the Archbishop of Canterbury raises a few related questions:

° Does it apply to the Diocese of Vermont, which has announced that it will continue blessing gay couples unless the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops agrees to honor the Windsor Report's request for a moratorium on such blessings?

° Does it apply to Bishop Paul Marshall of the Diocese of Bethlehem, Pa., who has raised a valid question about whether the report turns institutional unity into an idol?

° Does it apply to Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish of the Diocese of Utah, who flatly rejects the report's conclusion that the Episcopal Church acted without adequate consultation with the broader Anglican Communion?

The report was quick to stress that the Archbishop of Canterbury is not a Pope of Anglicans. Yes, he has asked Anglicans not to rush to judgment about the Windsor Report. Does that mean all Anglicans -- or just angry ones from Africa? -- need to receive the report in reverent silence? And when should this moratorium on spirited discussion expire?

Please respect our Commenting Policy