Monday, July 23, 2007

The focus of Communion unity is the centrality of the gospel rather than an institution - a response to the Archbishop of York

[Anglican Mainstream] 23 July 2007--A letter to the Church Times on 30 September 2005 affirmed the decision of the Church of Nigeria to focus on the centrality of Jesus rather than Canterbury.

The focus of unity for the Communion, as Nigeria insists, is the centrality of the gospel rather than the centrality of a person or institution, however venerable.

Moreover, the Nigerian Church has only done what the Church of England did in the Elizabethan Settlement, when it rejected the relationship with a particular see as the touchstone of authentic Christianity and ecclesiology, created a national Church accountable only to itself or, more strictly, to the civil power, and then became confessional - as evidenced by the Thirty-Nine Articles.

The claim that the actions of Nigeria indicate an abandonment of the Windsor process seems at odds with the declaration by Canon John Rees, joint secretary of the Lambeth Commission, that “It does not seem to me to change the legal position at all” (The Times, 17 September). Far from abandoning the Windsor process, Archbishop Akinola has in fact reiterated his commitment to it....

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