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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

African Anglican diversity.

Not every Anglican church leader in Africa is apoplectic about the American Episcopal Church's election of an openly gay bishop. Desmond Tutu's successor in Southern Africa, the Most Reverend Winston Njongonkulu Ndungane, criticized the talk of schism by several other African leaders in an interview the Guardian:

He insisted that the integrity of the US church's decision at its general convention last month to confirm the election of Canon Robinson as diocesan bishop of New Hampshire should be respected. Some archbishops are demanding that the appointment must be rescinded, although there is no mechanism for that.

Archbishop Ndungane said: "The Episcopal church is an autonomous province with its own procedures and processes which determine its own decisions. It is full of good people and they have followed one of the most transparent and democratic processes of decision-making in the whole Anglican communion.

"It is very arrogant to assume that the people in America do not know what they are doing. We have got to respect their decision.

"We have also got to respect the integrity of our provinces as autonomous entities whether we agree with them or not, or whether they make us uncomfortable or not. The Archbishop of Canterbury is first-among-equals but he has no jurisdiction or authority to intervene."

("African cleric breaks ranks on gay issue," Stephen Bates, Guardian 9.8.03; thanks for the tip, Religious Liberal!)

Copyright © 2003 by Philocrites | Posted 10 September 2003 at 10:15 PM

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