(see this report below from the English Daily Telegraph and then see my comments)
Anglicans tell US Church to 'repent' over gay bishop
By Elizabeth Day
(Filed: 26/09/2004 for Daily Telegraph 27th)
One member of the commission, the Archbishop of Kaduna, Josiah Iduwo-Fearon, of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, last week compared the American church to a misbehaving child that had to be taught a lesson. The archbishop, who has never before spoken publicly on the issue, said that the American Church would have to admit that the consecration had been harmful to the overall interests of worldwide Anglicanism, or face suspension.
He said that the 17-strong Lambeth Commission, set up last October to seek ways of maintaining the Anglican Communion that was divided between evangelicals and liberals over the issue, had agreed that the only way forward was for the Episcopalians to apologise for their actions.
"The thrust of our concerns is that our communion is a family and if you have a family there has to be give and take for us to keep the family together," he told The Sunday Telegraph.
"That is what we are expecting and we hope that the American Church will be willing to behave the way members of the family should behave.
"If you've done what is not acceptable to the other members of the family, why don't you consider the overall interest? [I would say to them] For the sake of our communion, accept what we are offering.
"I believe that the American Church will do this for the sake of the family and to make the ministry of the Archbishop of Canterbury less stressful," the archbishop said.
"Personally, I would not want anything to break up this communion but there are parameters, there are limits to what a member can do - for instance the consecration.
"Since this has been flouted, there has to be an acceptance [by the American Church] of what we've done has not been accepted by the family, we are sorry, therefore where do we go from here?"
The archbishop called for the American Church to "retract" its ordination of Bishop Robinson. "I believe that the American Church's leadership will recognise the need for this beautiful communion to stay together and retract," he said.
"I'm hoping and praying that they will try to persuade their membership that the more we're together, the better."
The archbishop conceded that if the Episcopalian Church did not accept the commission's findings, to be published on October 18, it would be "difficult" to proceed.
If the above is substantially true, and that an African Archbishop (and the Eames Commission or parts of it) actually believe that for the ECUSA to apologise for the introduction of the LesBiGay agenda and to remove the offending bishop is sufficient, then I see a bleak future for the Anglican Way.
The LesBiGay business is a major presenting problem, one of several such problems in the ECUSA, and what needs putting right and curing in the long term is the underlying disease. For the ECUSA to go back to a pre-August 2003 position in terms of its worship, doctrine and discipline, and thereby to be rid of the offending bishop and regulations supportive of same-sex blessings, is for it to step back into the very same apostasy that was actually multiplied by the Robinson consecration!
Dealing with a presenting problem may bring temporary relief; but, in the case of the ECUSA, it will NOT cause a return to a biblically-based, orthodox worship, doctrine and discipline and it may deceive thousands in the USA and millions worldwide that a cure has been applied to the disease -- which will be a tragedy!
If the Commission has not seen clearly that the Robinson affair is only a presenting problem, pointing to the rejection of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Revelation, Worship, Doctrine and Discipline, then one must be pessimistic about the value of the Anglican Communion and about its commitment to the historic Anglican Way. Not an apology but repentance for forsaking the LIVING GOD, the LORD, is what is surely needed!
The Revd Dr Peter Toon, September 27, 2004