What is the significance of the African consecrations?

Michael Paulsen of the Boston Globe has a lengthy article on the Episcopal Church and its future in the Anglican Communion.

On numbers he observes (1) “Episcopal Church officials and their defenders say that most Episcopalians are comfortable with their church’s theological direction, and that only a small fraction of Episcopal congregations – 45 of 7,500 – have departed over the controversy” and (2) All told, the provinces of Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda now claim to oversee 11 Anglican bishops in the United States. … “They say that 250 American congregations – most of which were not former parishes but are made up of onetime Episcopalians – are now supervised by Global South Anglican provinces.”

Several primates of the Global South are quoted.

Paulsen collects these observations from Americans

* Jim Naughton – “Only the most ardent homophobes are getting ready to bolt . . . and the separatist agenda is losing ground everywhere, The idea that the average African is looking to cause a split over homosexuality is ridiculous. This is about a small coterie of leaders that over the years have received a great deal of money from American conservatives who are eager to push this agenda.”

* Miranda K. Hassett, an anthropologist and the author of the new book Anglican Communion in Crisis: How Episcopal Dissidents and Their African Allies Are Reshaping Anglicanism – “The Northerners have a more-or-less legitimate way to stay ‘officially’ Anglican while breaking from the Episcopal Church, and they also gain the moral/symbolic power of being able to assert that they’re in accord with the majority of Anglicans in the world. For the Southern Anglican leaders involved, they get the world’s attention,” she said. “Claiming jurisdiction over conservatives in the US, claiming the right to remissionize this country, is a powerful way to assert and dramatize their concern about American culture and its global influence.”

* Phililp Jenkins – “My best bet would be that individual Episcopal dioceses will carry on electing gay bishops, and that the Episcopal Church will be kicked out effectively or de facto. In terms of the average life of Episcopalians in the US, the difference will be nil.”

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