With two days to go until he is installed as Bishop Missionary Leader of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) by the Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, Archbishop of Nigeria, Bp. Martyn Minns held a press conference Thursday to place the May 5 event into context.
During the conference, he said that the installation is timed to help bring unified leadership to the mission and to provide a beacon for disaffected Anglicans to rally toward, since the “agonizing nightmare,” as he put it, of the time after Gene Robinson’s consecration. Already, the Right Rev. Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh has announced he will be present for the installation.
What exactly does the CANA hope to accomplish in its fledgling identity as an alternative path to Anglicanism for Americans disaffected with the Episcopal Church? According to Minns, it hopes to bring the fractious elements of dissent together into a unified positive force—one that identifies more with the African church than with the mainline churches of America, even if now they are only “listening” to Nigerian issues. During the press conference, Minns reiterated earlier statements that that the mission’s existence serves to provide a choice for American Anglicans.
The bishop, a former Mobil Oil executive, will oversee 50 clergy and 30 churches, mostly in Virginia and in certain urban areas. Nigerian ethnic churches would also fall under his oversight. In addition, he will try to collaborate with other splinter groups such as American Mission in America (AMiA), Reformed Episcopal Church (REC), and the Anglican Communion Network (ACN), as well as others. He maintains that CANA sets itself apart from TEC by holding to Biblical teaching, being deliberately global in its concerns, and including all kinds of people, not just the “like-minded.” CANA churches would have the option of ordaining women, he added.
Minns, the former rector of Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax, Va., also said that
Truro’s new rector would be announced in a few days. When asked about pending litigation from the Diocese of Virginia, he replied that there had been protocol to proceed without lawsuits, but that he felt the diocese had given in to pressure from the national office of the Episcopal Church.
by Helen Thompson and Ann Fontaine for Episcopal Cafe
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