Another update: Stand Firm in Faith has an email that certainly looks like an apology from a NAN reporter who claims to be the one who wrote the report on Bishop Orama. It is a curious document, including a paragraph at the end in which the reporter says he did not act in bad faith, and that he is committed to evangelism– which are unusual things for a reporter to say. But if NAN confirms that this is authentic, I think the matter is closed.
Update: The Church of Nigeria has also released the bishop’s power point presentation, and published an article on its web site. The excerpt below on CANA is from that presentation. Still no response from the News Agency of Nigeria, and at least to this point, nothing from the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose previous statement is here. Discussion continues at Thinking Anglicans.
In an email to various bloggers and reporters, Archdeacon AkinTunde Popoola of the Church of Nigeria has provided additional information about the remarks attributed to–but denied by–the Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama of the Diocese of Uyo last week.
He writes that this excerpt is from a copy of the bishop’s speech:
G. INAUGURATION OF CANA
The formal inauguration of CANA-Convocation of Anglicans in North America and the enthronement of its pioneer Bishop, Rt. Revd. Martyn Minns took place on 4th May, 2007, at a service presided over by the Primate and Metropolitan of Church of Nigeria, The Most Revd. Peter J. Akinola at Hylton Chapel woodbridge, Virginia in the United States of America.
CANA is the offshoot of the Church of Nigeria’s response to the unbiblical agenda of the Episcopal Church of United States of America in supporting same sex marriage and consecrating in the year 2003 the publicly acknowledged gay priest V. Gene Robinson as bishop.
The aim of CANA, in the words of the Primate of Church of Nigeria, The Most Revd. Peter J. Akinola is “to provide a safe place for those who wish to remain faithful Anglicans but can no longer do so within the Episcopal Church. The Primate was assisted by the following bishops of Church of Nigeria, Rt. Revd. Emmanuel Chukwuma (Enugu); Rt. Revd. Benjamin Kwashi (Jos); Rt. Revd. Ignatius Kattey, (NDDN); Rt. Revd. Edafe Emamezi (Western Izon). The chairman of board of trustees of CANA, Barr. Abraham Yisa was also in attendance.
He also says that the reporter is asking for forgiveness, and the bishop is insisting on a retraction. I am not familiar enough with the ways of the Nigerian media to easily make sense of this. In the United States, the news agency, not the individual reporter, would be responsible for the decision to retract, and if the matter is cut and dried, would be made fairly quickly. This particular story has been out there since September 2 with no retraction. That would be significant here, but I don’t know if it is significant there.
Then there is the nature of the mistake if indeed one was made. If this is all the bishop said, it is impossible to believe that he reporter just got it wrong. He would have had to make it up. Malfeasance rather than misfeasance.
It would be extremely helpful if the News Agency of Nigeria would chime in soon.