Saturday, April 28, 2012

We should elect our chair, say Primates

From The Church Times-

THE Primates of Nigeria and Kenya suggested this week that the Archbishop of Canterbury should no longer chair the Primates’ Meeting. The chairman should instead be elected by the Primates themselves, they said.

The Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, and the Archbishop of Kenya, Dr Eliud Wabukala, suggested the idea at a press briefing on Monday, shortly before the start of a leadership conference of the Fellow­ship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) at St Mark’s, Battersea Rise, in London (News, 6 April). A spokesman for the FCA said that dele­gates from about 30 countries were at­tending the conference, representing about 55 million “of all churchgoing Anglicans”.

Archbishop Okoh said: “My thought is that it will be better to have an Archbishop [of Canterbury] who is respected, honoured, for historical reasons, but that the Anglican Com­munion eventually should think about organ­ising itself around a chairman, who will have a tenured office, of four or five years, and then hand over to another person.”

He continued: “It seems that the Church of England is not carrying along everybody in the Communion, and that is why you can see there is a crisis; if we will solve the problem, we have to change the system.”

Archbishop Okoh noted the way that the Commonwealth now elects its leadership. “It is the same thing; the Church of independent countries — no longer the British Empire — must make some changes. It is not something that should remain permanent that the Arch­bishop of Canterbury, whether he understands the dynamics in Africa or not, remains the chair, and whatever he says, whether it works or not, is an order.”

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