Serious sanctions threatened

One Nigerian bishop has braved what has now been revealed to be a clear threat of sanctions by the Anglican Church of Nigeria. The Nation reports:

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) yesterday threatened to impose “serious sanctions” on any Nigerian bishop who attends the forthcoming Lambeth Conference in London.

Registrar of the church, Mr. Abraham Yisa, issued the warning following reports that a Nigerian bishop had broken ranks and would attend the conference opening in London tomorrow.

[A] source added that the bishop was absent at the just-concluded Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem, Israel.

“The bishop had explained that he was absent from GAFCON because he submitted his travel documents late,” the source added.

That bishop, as reported Saturday, is the Right Rev Cyril Okorocha, the Bishop of Owerri, Nigeria. He was formerly on the Lambeth Palace staff. His presence at the Lambeth conference means that there are only two [make that one] provinces, Uganda and Rwanda, that have managed a total boycott of the Lambeth conference. [UPDATE: Bishop Pierre Whalon writes, “See this gallery of pictures taken this afternoon. It includes a shot of the Bishop of Butare, Rwanda, the Rt. Rev. Venuste Mutiganda.”]

Hat tip to Thinking Anglicans. A commenter there notes that ten Kenyan bishops have broken with the lead of their primate, and are attending Lambeth.

Some members of the Cafe remember that the widely respected and very conservative Bishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, formerly Archbishop of Kaduna in Nigeria, was demoted by Akinola because he favored continued links with Canterbury.

In other news, Archbishop Akinola has promised not to retire January 2009.

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