Monday, July 05, 2010

Jeffrey John: The Tipping Point Of The Anglican Communion

Seven years after Dr. Jeffrey John was first denied entering the nomination for the bishopric of Reading, his name has popped up once again; this time for a London City Southwark Diocese. As Southwark is known for its open-arm religion and Christ-like and friendly environment, one would think, taking into consideration the history of the Church of England and sexuality of the past seven years, that Dr. John will get there this time.

At the time of his first nomination for the Diocese of Reading, what many people didn't understand or fathom out was that the then newly Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams is very weak and would not be
able to lead a church that is always embroiled in one turmoil or other.

The Anglican Church is not going to die. But it will die if Mr. Williams stay on and continue in his indecisive and lukewarm leadership. The church, which was founded through quarrels, has rarely stayed in peace and stability through its life time. Little wonder it is transforming, regardless.

Dr. John has come a long way. I remember then the Anglican Church in Nigeria where I was resident was overwhelmed and strong in making sure that Dr. John did not get to become a bishop. Retired Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria charged the church to discuss this and my local Diocese in Maiduguri took it upon itself to tow the Archbishop's wishes. Until I challenged and questioned their concern in the case, the expected benefit or the gains for Heaven, my then church, St. John's, the biggest in and financier of the diocese was leading in pushing in opposition to Jeffrey John's nomination in far away UK. These events coincided with the consecration of Gene Robinson in the USA.

These un-Christ-like members of the church did succeed and it was with tears that I took in the news of Jeffrey John stepping down from his nomination; thus my doubt about Rowan Williams began. Today, looking back, that doubt has transformed into full confidence that Dr. Williams is weak and lacks leadership skill in dealing with delicate issues.

But Dr. John's return and nomination this time around will be the straw that breaks the Camel's back. The Anglican Church has tipped upside-down and it would have either of two choices to make. Of course, these all depends and lands the shoulder of Dr. Rowan Williams to accept to consecrate him. Would he ask Jeffrey John again to step aside so as to please those who pay for his life in the and provides the funds he relies on and turns a blind eye to main issues.

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