jQuery Slider

You are here

'I in no way question' Akinola's integrity, Irish Primate insists

'I in no way question' Akinola's integrity, Irish Primate insists
By Pat Ashworth

THE PRIMATE of All Ireland, Dr Robin Eames, has issued a clarification of remarks that he made about alleged financial inducements to Global South provinces after a lecture in the United States earlier this month about the Anglican Communion.

During an interview at Washington Cathedral College, Dr Eames expressed concern over the part that wealthy conservative donors in the US were playing in the current debate. He is reported to have said he was "quite certain" that many church leaders in the developing world had been offered financial inducements to distance themselves from the Episcopal Church in the US (ECUSA) and the Anglican Church of Canada.

"I think it is happening. I just don't think it is moral," said Dr Eames. "Is it the might of finance that will influence a theological outlook, and then that outlook come to dominate the Communion? It raises a serious question for me: what is the real nature of their faith and their Anglicanism? It is certainly different from mine."

In an open letter to Dr Eames, the Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Revd Peter Akinola, expressed surprise at the "harsh tone" of earlier remarks made in a question-and-answer session after a lecture at Virginia Theological Seminary. He was surprised that Dr Eames had chosen to address him personally "in a remarkably one-sided conversation with the media".

At the Virginia session, Dr Eames voiced his anxiety about the Nigerian Church 's action in separating itself from Canterbury, and said his plea to "my brother Peter" would be: "'Pause, Peter, pause, because we are all in this together, because a pre-emptive strike like this would have the consequences of making the tensions greater." He also said that Nigeria's action in formalising the Convocation of Anglican Nigerians in America (CANA) raised concerns about Archbishop Akinola's commitment to the Windsor report and the Primates' communiqué.

Archbishop Akinola continued in his letter: "It is reported that you, without citing specifics, are 'quite certain' that some of us have been bought. I have always had great respect for you and considered you a friend and a great leader of our Communion, but such irresponsible accusations are outrageous, uncharitable, and untrue.

"If you have any evidence of such financial inducements, I challenge you, in the name of God, to reveal them or make a public apology to your brother Primates in the Global South for this damaging and irresponsible smear."

Dr Eames responded, in a statement issued by the Church of Ireland press office: "The current debate within the Anglican Communion is a theological debate, and I find myself very disturbed by any speculation around the role that money may play in determining outcomes. Such speculation makes genuine communication difficult. I feel that when money or assistance is raised in any part of the Anglican Communion and offered for use where it may extend Christ's kingdom, it should be offered and accepted in those terms alone.

"I in no way question the sincerity and integrity of the leaders of the Global South. As they are well aware, I have personally endeavoured at all times to maintain and understand the integrity of their argument.

"I categorically state that I never believed that any financial offer was accepted by any of those who represent the Global South on any other than terms of Christian outreach. I have communicated this response to Archbishop Akinola this morning."

Original Article



Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top