[Orlando Sentinel] 15 May 2007--On May 5, Martyn Minns, a former rector of an Episcopal parish in Truro, Va., was installed as an Anglican bishop at a ceremony held in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. His installation came just in time to mark on Monday the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Anglicans in Virginia.
But the installation of Bishop Minns was not so much a celebration of Anglicanism's past as an attempt to redefine its future. Minns was installed, not as the successor of Peter Lee, current bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Virginia, but as the first missionary bishop of the Anglican Church of Nigeria. The service was led not by Katherine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church (the American branch of the Anglican Communion), but by Archbishop Peter Akinola, the primate of Nigeria.
The consecration was part of a response by conservatives to the decision of the Episcopal Church in 2003 to consecrate a divorced gay man, V. Gene Robinson, as the bishop of New Hampshire and to permit, as a local option, the blessing of same-sex unions. The move enraged conservatives around the world, who saw it as a repudiation of Christian sexual morality and, by extension, of the authority of the Bible itself.