|Archbishop Akinola's response to new Anglican Secretary General
July 27, 2004
[CAPA - Nigeria] THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA (Anglican Communion) THE MOST REV. PETER J. AKINOLA, D.D, CON Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria.
Monday, 26 July 2004
Primates & Moderators
Grace, love and peace from God our Father to you and all yours.
I write with a heavy heart concerning the recently announced appointment of a new general secretary for the Anglican Consultative Council. To say the least I am very disappointed at the action that fails to take cognizance of the feelings and yearnings of those of us in the global south.
You will recall that when the Primates met in a private session at the Primates’ Meeting, Gramado, Brazil, I expressed the view of many of us with regards to how the ACC secretariat was staffed.
Below are the exact words I used:
“At this time, when the ACO/ACC is committing itself to
establishing its new global headquarters in Paddington,
London, it is appropriate to ask why it is that the
staffs so poorly represent the wider Anglican Communion
of the South. Anytime you see any non-Western face at the
secretariat, he is either an intern or an office errand
boy or a copy typist! We are deeply grateful to those who
work for the church in the ACC/ACO at present. Yet,
it is surely time to ask that, in the future, staff
should also be appointed who reflect the views of the
majority of the members of our Communion, two thirds
of who live in the global South. It is vital that we have
staff, at the most senior as well as junior levels, which
represent the viewpoint of the global South of the church”
In his response, ACC chair, Presiding Bishop John Paterson, sought to allay our fears and reassured that in future appointments efforts would be made to erase the impression I referred to above.
We see in this latest appointment that nothing has changed and that what we thought and believe to be a world-wide Communion is actually now being portrayed to be no more than “western section communion”
I must add that I have nothing against the person of the man so appointed.
My grouse is with the system that continues to fail to reckon with the fact that this Church and its structure is no longer the exclusive preserve of any section of the western world. You cannot continue to marginalise and treat as irrelevant a very large section of the Anglican Communion and continue to expect that section for which you have no regard to be happy in the fellowship. And I hope no one is under the illusion that there are no qualified and competent men and women in the two-thirds world to do this job.
This is the Church of God, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Amen and Amen.
The LORD be with you.
The Most Revd. Peter J Akinola, CON, DDArchbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of all Nigeria.
Secretariat: 23, Douala Street, Wuse P. O. Box 212, ADCP, Abuja, Nigeria. Tel: +234-9-523-6950, 523-0987/9,Fax: 523-1527, 523-0986. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.anglican-nig.org