Peter Akinola will not rest until he’s destroyed the Anglican Communion. The Nigerian archbishop and his pals in the conservative “Global South” movement gave North American “brothers” until the end of September to cease and desist in ordaining queer clergy.
If American Episcopals refuse, Akinola and his anti-gay comrades will refuse to attend next year’s Lambeth Conference, thus striking another blow to the already tenuous, 44-million “strong” Christian movement.
Though international conservatives and American clergy have argued for years, things turned extra ugly after openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson’s 2003 ascension in New Hampshire. Since then, Akinola has led his crusaders on a mission to exclude – and eventually excise – gay supporters. The 63-year old has successfully persuaded a number of American churches to join his Nigeria-based movement, a clear violation of the Church of England’s ultimate authority.
Speaking this weekend, the cold blooded Akinola took a threatening tone when discussing American’s potential inaction:
The consequence is most serious because, even if only one province chooses not to attend, the Lambeth Conference effectively ceases to be an instrument of unity. Repentance and reversal by these provinces may yet save our communion. Failure to recognize the gravity of this moment will have devastating impact.
Akinola’s not content with simply taking on the Anglican International Communion. He’s also taking on the Nigerian government.
Tacitly endorsing drugs abuse and premarital sex – and also ignoring mother-to-child transmission – the Anglican Church of Nigeria will now require married couples to have HIV tests. Says Church spokesperson Rev. Akintunde Popoola:
The aim is to help intending couples to make informed decisions because we don’t want anyone to be kept in the dark about their partner. The whole point is for couples to know their HIV status before getting married. If they find out their status and still want to go ahead, we cannot object. Instead, we offer them care and support.
Hmm, that sounds good in theory, but what about people’s rights? And the negative side effects of forced testing? Professor Tunde Oshotimehin, head of Nigeria’s state HIV control agency, refuses to hear the Anglicans’ reasoning:
Every Nigerian must be allowed to decide on their own whether they want to be tested or not. HIV testing and counseling must be voluntary.
The Anglicans, however, are sticking to their guns.