Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Church of Nigeria withholds endorsement of new ACC general secretary

The Church of Nigeria has distanced itself from the appointment of the Rt. Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon as general secretary of the Anglican Consultative Council. While it wishes him well in his new post, a letter endorsed by the Church’s registrar, general secretary and episcopal secretary states the former Bishop of Kaduna does not speak for the Nigerian church, nor are his views in accord with the formal teaching of the largest province of the Anglican Communion.

On 2 April 2015 ACC chairman the Rt. Rev. James Tengatenga announced Dr. Idowu-Fearon, Bishop of Kaduna in Northwestern Nigeria, had been appointed to the London-based post in succession to the Rt. Rev. Kenneth Kearon, who had been elected Bishop of Limerick. Bishop Tengatenga stated he was “delighted that Bishop Josiah has accepted the position. He will bring a vital new perspective on the Anglican Communion, its life and ministry.” while Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said “I warmly welcome the appointment of Bishop Josiah and look forward to working closely with him in the renewal of the Anglican Communion amidst the global challenges facing us today."

Dr Idowu-Fearon (65) had been named Bishop of Kaduna in 1998, and previously served as Bishop of Sokoto from 1990. Ordained in 1971 he served as Warden at St Francis of Assisi Theological College in Wusasa and Provost of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kaduna. He received a doctorate in Sociology and Postgraduate Diploma in Education from Nigeria’s Ahmadu Bello University, an MA in Islamic Theology from the UK’s Birmingham University, and a BA in Theology from Durham University. In 2007 Archbishop Rowan Williams appointed him a Six Preacher at Canterbury Cathedral and Archbishop Welby awarded him the Cross of St Augustine in 2013.

In recent years, however, Dr. Idowu-Fearon has been at odds with the majority of his colleagues in the House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria over what was seen as an accommodating stance towards the innovations of doctrine and discipline made by the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada. Following his appointment as a Six Preacher the Nigerian House of Bishops declined to reelect him as Archbishop of the Province of Kaduna in 2007, a hitherto unprecedented snub. Keep reading

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