Saturday, 31 July 2004

More about Ken Kearon

First, the Church Times printed an interview by Bill Bowder
‘Respect must be the basis’.

Second, Peter Akinola has published the following letter. It appears on the official Nigerian provincial website, but as it is impossible to read in the browser that I normally use, I reproduce the wording in full below the fold.

And third, I have added a comment about the job title to my earlier entry here.

And another update (hat tip to KH): BBC Radio Ulster Sunday Sequence interview (Real Audio).

A MESSAGE FROM ARCHBISHOP PETER J. AKINOLA TO +ROWAN ON THE APPOINTMENT OF ACC NEW GENERAL SECRETARY

Monday, 26 July 2004

Primates & Moderators
Anglican Communion,

Grace, love and peace from God our Father to you and all yours.

I write with a heavy heart concerning the recently announced appointment of a new general secretary for the Anglican Consultative Council. To say the least I am very disappointed at the action that fails to take cognizance of the feelings and yearnings of those of us in the global south.

You will recall that when the Primates met in a private session at the Primates’ Meeting, Gramado, Brazil, I expressed the view of many of us with regards to how the ACC secretariat was staffed.

Below are the exact words I used:

“At this time, when the ACO/ACC is committing itself to establishing its new global headquarters in Paddington, London, it is appropriate to ask why it is that the staffs so poorly represent the wider Anglican Communion of the South. Anytime you see any non-Western face at the secretariat, he is either an intern or an office errand boy or a copy typist! We are deeply grateful to those who work for the church in the ACC/ACO at present. Yet, it is surely time to ask that, in the future, staff should also be appointed who reflect the views of the majority of the members of our Communion, two thirds of who live in the global South. It is vital that we have staff, at the most senior as well as junior levels, which represent the viewpoint of the global South of the church”

In his response, ACC chair, Presiding Bishop John Paterson, sought to allay our fears and reassured that in future appointments efforts would be made to erase the impression I referred to above.

We see in this latest appointment that nothing has changed and that what we thought and believe to be a world-wide Communion is actually now being portrayed to be no more than “western section communion”

I must add that I have nothing against the person of the man so appointed.

My grouse is with the system that continues to fail to reckon with the fact that this Church and its structure is no longer the exclusive preserve of any section of the western world. You cannot continue to marginalise and treat as irrelevant a very large section of the Anglican Communion and continue to expect that section for which you have no regard to be happy in the fellowship. And I hope no one is under the illusion that there are no qualified and competent men and women in the two-thirds world to do this job.

This is the Church of God, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Amen and Amen.

The LORD be with you.

Sincerely,

The Most Revd. Peter J Akinola, CON, DD
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 31 July 2004 at 6:58 PM GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion
Comments

As an advocate for LGBT equality in employment rights - and despite the fact that Religious organisations are once again uniquely exempted from the laws that govern our society in that area - I would like to share the concerns of Peter Akinola about the appointment of marginalised people by the Anglican Communion. Do you think someone could ask him how many applicants there were from the Global South? It would be good to know who had been overlooked.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds at August 2, 2004 08:18 PM

The principles here seem to be:

(1) appoint the best candidate regardless - no negative or positive discrimination;

(2) have in mind when deciding what we mean by ‘best candidate’ that the majority is indeed in the global south, and that their voice needs to be given proportionate weight - including in the selection of R. Williams’s successor.

Posted by: Dr Christopher Shell at August 27, 2004 01:08 PM