Martyn Minns, talking head

In advance of GAFCON, CANA Bishop Martyn Minns is making the media rounds. He appears in in a side-by-side profile with Gene Robinson and on the BBC program Hardtalk. The web-only Time profile reports that Minns has moved from Northern Virginia, to Morristown, New Jersey, which is inside the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.

Time’s article is written in the context of a side-by-side profile with Bishop Gene Robinson. While Robinson and his partner were joined in a civil union last weekend, says…

Minns… is spending his weekend in Morristown, N.J, where he moved last month. His five children, ages 42 to 25, are all out of the house, although he quipped to TIME that with 12 grandchildren “I’m following the Abrahamic covenant” that promised multiple offspring to God’s people.

Minns says that the move to New Jersey is so that he can be near good airports that can connect him to the 65 CANA congregations and to Africa.

On Monday, Minns will jump on a plane for Jerusalem to help prepare a meeting of conservative Anglican bishops in two weeks called the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCon) that he claims will attract Anglican bishops from 27 countries.

Minns “acknowledges occasionally polishing Akinola’s prose” (see below) and says that GAFCON will not result in schism. Instead, the goal is a shift of the center of Anglicanism towards what Minns called a “new revised version of ‘this is who we are.'” He mentions the number of countries from which attendees will be taking place, but not how many bishops nor how many of the attendees are from denominations that have previously broken with the Anglican Communion.

On BBCs Hardtalk, Stephen Sackur asks Minns about several issues relating to CANA, GAFCON, the Lambeth Conference, the effect of the Akinola’s and others language of hate on LGBT persons, and the funding of CANA.

On GAFCON— Minns says that it will not result in schism but in a new center for Anglicanism. The goal of GAFCON is to “work and pray together on how to work together without reacting to the latest crisis coming from North America.”

On Lambeth— To go there in the current mode is a violation of the consciences so that they will meet in another place. The Archbishop of Canterbury has a problem when he invites every bishop of the Communion and 300 say “no thank you” which is unprecedented. Minns would not, when pressed, say that Williams was ineffective or helpless.

Sexuality— The dispute, Minns says, is not about sexuality but about scripture. Even though he left the church after Gene Robinson’s consecration, he says that this was a step too far but the problem goes back to 1998.

On Akinola’s words on homosexuality— Does Minns echo Akinola’s beliefs and words? He says that he would not use Akinola’s language, but Minns says he is in essence in agreement with the Archbishop’s basic view. He sees this as against God’s intent, but he would not advocate violence.

On being Akinola’s ghost writer— When he punches up Akinola’s texts, he is only functioning as a secretary and a staff assistant. He would not admit to Sackur that he is even collaborating with Akinola on the texts of the Archbishop’s speeches. When asked about the Church Times investigation, he said he sat with him while the address was written (“the brink of destruction” speech), but did not collaborate.

On following the money— Sackur asks Minns about funding, specially referring to “Following the Money.” Minns denies that Howard Ahmanson is major funder to organizations that Minns is connected to. He says that the Daily Episcopalian report written by Jim Naughton is “creative writing.” MInns says “I have not seen the money Naughton refers to.” When asked by Sackur “if you do feel one moment that money … was in one way or another being channeled into your congregation of Anglicans in North America would you return that money immediately?” Minns replied that this is hypothetical and he would not answer it. Minns says that most of the funds for CANA comes from CANA congregations. Later on he says that the Church of Nigeria pays for CANA Bishops to go about their business, but does not say where those funds come from.

On creating an atmosphere of hate— The bishop says elsewhere, “I have no antagonism towards homosexual folks,” Minns says. He reports that there are many in his congregations who must deal with this issue in their lives. Minns says that he is is sorry that Gene Robinson feels that fear. He says that when people say terrible things to him, he just moves on.

Sackur asked Is homosexuality inherently evil? Minns says “no.”

On what is going to happen in the next few months? Minns says no schism will occur, but that the missionary churches have grown up and won’t be told what to do by the parent churches. “It’s inevitable and the Church of England should take great joy in it.”

Minns is not invited to Lambeth because CANA is not a recognized part of the Anglican Communion. He told that he will not take part in any events connected with Lambeth, saying “I’m not invited, so why go? I have a life.” But in a remarkable coincidence, says he will vacation in England precisely when the Lambeth conference is taking place. “It just so happens that I do have family in England,” he says. “In Nottingham, Penzance, and the Isle of Wight. I’ll be there for little bit.”

“Just in case he’s needed,” quips.

Read the rest of the profile.

Read about and watch the video of Minns interview on Hardtalk here.

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