Bishop Martyn Minns purports to clarify, but obfuscates instead.
He passes on this note on the Truro homepage:
“In a recent Washington Post article, Archbishop Peter J. Akinola was characterized as ‘an advocate of jailing gays.’ That is not true.
Archbishop Akinola believes that all people—whatever their manner of life or sexual orientation—are made in the image of God and deserve to be treated with respect. ‘We are all broken and need the transforming love of God,” Archbishop Akinola said to me during a recent conversation.’
Archbishop Akinola also said, ‘Jesus Christ is our example for this. He refused to condemn the woman caught in adultery instead he said. ‘Go now and sin no more.’ That is an essential part of the message of the Gospel and the teaching of our congregations.’ ”
Please. One does not support laws criminalizing certain activities unless one wants to put the people who break those laws in jail. Archbishop Akinola supports a piece of Nigerian legislation that includes the possibility of five year’s imprisonment for gay people, and their advocates, should those people exercise rights to speech, assembly and religion in ways that the law proscribes. As I’ve pointed out numerous times, this bill has been criticized by the U. S. Department of State and numerous human rights groups.
In addition, Archbishop Akinola and his spokesman Canon Tunde Poopola have carried out a bizarre and thus far comically inept acampaign of slander against Davis MacIyalla, who has established several branches of Changing Attitude, the UK’s version of Integrity, in Nigeria. (Matthew Thompson’s links about halfway down the page here are particularly revealing in this regard.)
Leaving the Episcopal Church does not require associating with those who endorse the violation of human rights. It does not require associating with those who bear false witness against their enemies. This is a choice Bishop Minns has made freely. It is a choice that the vestries of Truro Church and the Falls Church have made freely as well. They are entitled to their choice, but we are entitled to elucidate what they have chosen.
While on the subject of Bishop Minns veracity, I can’t conclude without mentioning this passage from an op-ed that Bishop John Bryson Chane wrote on this issue in February in The Washington Post:
“Were Archbishop Akinola a solitary figure and Nigeria an isolated church, his support for institutionalized bigotry would be significant only within his own country. But the archbishop is perhaps the most powerful member of a global alliance of conservative bishops and theologians, generously supported by foundations and individual donors in the United States, who seek to dominate the Anglican Communion and expel those who oppose them, particularly the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. Failing that, the archbishop and his allies have talked of forming their own purified communion — possibly with Archbishop Akinola at its head.”
Now have a look at the conclusion of the then not-yet-bishop Minns’ response, writen a few days later: “[Akinola’s] opposition to ECUSA’s repudiation of traditional Biblical teaching on human sexuality is a matter of record and a viewpoint that is supported by the vast majority of Christendom. However, the idea that he is looking to establish a ‘purified communion’ bankrolled by cabal of conservatives in the USA has no basis whatsoever and is surely the product of an overheated episcopal imagination. (Italics mine.)
So here we are ten months later and Martyn Minns is a bishop in Peter Akinola’s American Church, and he and the Global South Steering Committee (led by Akniola and Minns) have announced plans to support the creation of a new “orthodox” –a fine word that is sadly morphing into a synonym for anti-gay—province in the United States.
That Bishop Chane, some imagination. That Martyn Minns, what a … clarifier.