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You Evil, Evil Orthodox

Friday, September 1, 2006 • 10:57 pm

[Bumped. I think SDB needs to respond to this. - G]
[Bumped again 9-1-06]

Sounds like someone wants out of the Anglican Communion. Daniel Webster the Lesser writes in The Witness:

The Balkanization of the Anglican Communion was predicted by many even before most Episcopalians had heard of Gene Robinson. The bishops from Rwanda and Singapore who had ordained North American priests to be bishops of the Anglican Mission in America (AMIA) did so well before the election of the Bishop of New Hampshire.

In 1998 at the Lambeth meeting of Anglican bishops from around the world, the female bishops were snubbed. Some misogynist bishops would not participate in events with the women. And I’m told that most, if not all, the U.S. bishops treated the African polygamist bishops with respect and courtesy.

At that meeting former Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie suggested we “look at each other as fellow citizens of the heavenly city, and as those who are thus constituted within Christ’s Church as a sign of hope for the whole human race, the bearers of the gospel of reconciliation.”

Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold has been preaching, living, and holding up reconciliation throughout his nine years’ tenure. Those who come to hear him, those who are interested in reconciliation, are those whose minds and hearts are open to live a new dream of Christ’s body on earth.

The forces who do not want a reconciled world won in Columbus. It was a setback. It was injustice at best and evil at worst.

We need to hold on to other words from the late Archbishop Runcie: “We must never make the survival of the Anglican Communion an end in itself, the Churches of the Anglican Communion have never claimed to be more than a part of the one holy catholic and apostolic church.”

The Episcopal Church has never seen itself as anything more than part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. It has sat at the table of the human-made Anglican Communion for the furtherance of the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Having been “sealed and marked as Christ’s own forever,” we can’t be any more part of the Body of Christ than we already are. We need no longer sit a table if the agenda is exclusion of certain groups of human beings, or even the exclusion of our whole church. As Episcopalians, to do so would be to violate our baptismal covenant. And we can’t do that.

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Flag on the field.  Foul!  Outrage!

Name ONE African polygamist bishop.  Just one…  What a totally irresponsible and racist/Americentrist and sadly typical comment.

I can name a few polytheistic bishops however. shut eye

[1] Posted by DHR on 08-24-2006 at 09:15 PM • top

Q.  What is required of us at Baptism?
A.  ... that we renounce Satan, repent of our sins, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
BCP pg. 858

[2] Posted by Wilkie on 08-24-2006 at 09:25 PM • top

Such language as I read in this rag might very well seem to be racist -as well as utterly ignorant- to anyone with half a conscience.

[3] Posted by A Senior Priest on 08-24-2006 at 09:29 PM • top

I cannot name any Afican “polygamist” bishops, but I can name several American bishops with several living wives, both in TEC and in more than one Continuing Church.

[4] Posted by Laurence K Wells on 08-24-2006 at 09:38 PM • top

DHR,be sure not to leave out the gnostics and antinomians too,oops,same people huh…...

[5] Posted by paddy on 08-24-2006 at 09:40 PM • top

I’m sorry - I missed the part where he explained why the Holy Spirit left the building after the the election of Schori.  Did someone else catch that?

[6] Posted by JackieB on 08-24-2006 at 10:24 PM • top

Methinks DW has missed that the ‘balkanization’ started when certain Bishops turned to affirming things that can’t be ‘reconciled’ and denying the ‘standard of sound words…in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus’(2 Tim.1:13).

[7] Posted by paddy on 08-24-2006 at 10:46 PM • top

We need no longer sit a table if the agenda is exclusion of certain groups of human beings, or even the exclusion of our whole church. As Episcopalians, to do so would be to violate our baptismal covenant. And we can’t do that.

To clean up a phrase my father used to use, this goes around its backside to get to its elbow.  This article is yet another illustration that reconciliation is impossible.  Enough already!  Why can’t they get it through their heads that their only recourse is to let the US Anglicans (aka reasserters) split from this new Episcopal thing where popular vote rather than scripture drives the church?  I wish they would see that they are making a case for split, and wish they would find it in their hearts to do it without making a bunch of lawyers rich.  If those parishes where 2/3 of the congregation voted to leave TEC left and gave up the property they so obviously want to keep (because it’s not the reasserters in the property they want) . . . what would they do with it?  They certainly can’t fill the pews.  If their aim is to sell it back to us, then let’s start talking about how to deal with that part of it.

[8] Posted by Tami on 08-24-2006 at 11:04 PM • top

He should be made to name names of these polygimist bishops or publically apologize.  Back it up or back it out!

If we’re about the reconciliation that the lip service claims, then I disagree—we should sit down at the table whatever the agenda and work for reconciliation.

Our baptismal covenant calls upon us to respect the dignity of every human being.  Now, while it is clear that the author of the article in the Witness clearly respects some more than others, the same could be said of the above posts.

We serve our Lord by respecting the dignity of every human being.  When we disrespect each other, we disrespect Him.  Doesn’t matter who started it.

[9] Posted by Almost Live Priest on 08-24-2006 at 11:25 PM • top

Q.  What is required of us at Baptism?
A.  ... that we renounce Satan, repent of our sins, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
BCP pg. 858 (and 1979 version at that)

You may define Lord and Savior differently, but I believe that means that He’s right and when I disagree, I am wrong and must repent.

This whole “respect the dignity” is too vague and New World to be clearly biblical.

[10] Posted by Wilkie on 08-24-2006 at 11:38 PM • top

The thing is ALP, while we can talk reconciliation that doesn’t change teaching or behaviour that is fundamentally irreconciliable with Scriptural and historic Christian teaching into behaviour and teaching that is Christian.
A tare is still a tare,no matter how closely it looks like wheat.

[11] Posted by paddy on 08-24-2006 at 11:42 PM • top

Tare=counterfeit wheat

[12] Posted by paddy on 08-24-2006 at 11:50 PM • top

Wilkie—are you suggesting that it is more biblical to disrespect the dignity of every human being—obviously not.

Paddy—as I understand the parable of wheat and tares—God does the separating in the end—not us.  We are to allow both to grow together because what appears to us to be tare, may indeed be wheat—and vice versa.  Jesus is telling us that we’re not qualified to judge each other’s worth to God—that judgment is reserved for God.

In the interim, we are to grow together—a somewhat uncomfortable reconciliation.  Have I misunderstood the parable?

[13] Posted by Almost Live Priest on 08-25-2006 at 12:30 AM • top

“The Episcopal Church has never seen itself as anything more than part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.”

Too bad it doesn’t act the part.

[14] Posted by Irenaeus on 08-25-2006 at 12:43 AM • top

“Having been ‘sealed and marked as Christ’s own forever,’ we can’t be any more part of the Body of Christ than we already are.”

But ECUSA can become LESS a part of the Body of Christ than it once was.

Baptism does not immunize anyone against heresy or apostasy.

[15] Posted by Irenaeus on 08-25-2006 at 12:53 AM • top

Would you like to write Mr. Webster and ask him for proof or apology?  The author, Daniel Webster may be emailed at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Also, for your convenience, the contact information of Sarah Breuer, the editor of the Witness.

Sarah Dylan Breuer
The Witness
c/o The Episcopal Divinity School
99 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: (857) 225-0433
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

[16] Posted by DHR on 08-25-2006 at 05:48 AM • top

As the Africans have pointed out they have recognized their need to deal with polygamy and have taken steps to do so.  Their challenge to us is when are we going to deal with our serial polygamy, particularly of our bishops.  I wonder whether Mr. Webster would like to write about this challenge which is so much closer to home.  (sent to him via the address above).

[17] Posted by Tony on 08-25-2006 at 07:17 AM • top

“We serve our Lord by respecting the dignity of every human being. “


I’m sorry but your epistemological premises (as shown clearly in your responses to Leander Harding’s article) do not provide you with enough certainty to speak of “our Lord.”  Both the “our” and the “Lord” are problematic.

[18] Posted by William Witt on 08-25-2006 at 07:53 AM • top

ALP - It is true that we are not called to judge one’s worth to God, however, we are called to discern actions and act accordingly.

[19] Posted by JackieB on 08-25-2006 at 08:20 AM • top

For Pete’s sake!!!  There are no African polygamist bishops.  Is this an example of revisionist ignorance of reality or an example of revisionist distortion of the facts?  Polygamy is, however, exactly what a lot of our American feminists privately believe in.  LOL

[20] Posted by GB on 08-25-2006 at 08:30 AM • top

“The Episcopal Church has never seen itself as anything more than part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.”

Let us give Mr. Webster the Lesser some credit.  On this point, he is absolutely correct.

There are, however, at least two problems here.

1 - If one is only a part, then one has a responsibility to the whole. 

2 - It isn’t only the Episcopal Church that claims to be only a part.  That is the claim of the entire Anglican Communion.  Trouble is, both that Communion and the Episcopal Church began acting as if they could represent the whole (which is the very definition of sectarianism and the very opposite of catholic) well before the question of sanctified sodomy came up in a serious way . . .

[21] Posted by Id rather not say on 08-25-2006 at 08:40 AM • top

Actually, those who come to hear Griswold are those that are totally unfazed by psychedelic gobbledygook.  I’ll say this for Mrs. Schori, at least she speaks decipherable English.

And, if I hear one more thing about this baptismal covenant . . . arrgh!  Wilkie, I can go you one better for those of us baptized using the 1928 BCP:

Dost thou, therefore, in the name of this Child, renounce the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the sinful desires of the flesh, so that thou wilt not follow, nor be led by them?
Answer. I renounce them all; and, by God’s help, will endeavour not to follow, nor be led by them.

Hey, that kind of speaks to our issues today, doesn’t it?

[22] Posted by Phil on 08-25-2006 at 08:58 AM • top

“Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold has been preaching, living, and holding up reconciliation throughout his nine years’ tenure. Those who come to hear him, those who are interested in reconciliation….”

(A) At the Emergency Primates Meeting in October of 2003, Frank Griswold consented and signed a statement that the consecration of Gene Robinson would “tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level, and may lead to further division on this and further issues as provinces have to decide in consequence whether they can remain in communion with provinces that choose not to break communion with the Episcopal Church (USA).”

see the whole statement here

(B) Around TWO WEEKS later, Frank Griswold, that great reconciler, proceeded with the consecration.

THIS is what Daniel Webster thinks is reconciliation?? There are so many reappraisers out there now who are willing to fess up to the reality that the American Church has walked in another direction, that the ECUSA has indeed left the capacious boundaries inhabited by the majority of Anglicans.  The problem is that there are a number of reappraisers (ie Mr. Webster) who persist in this farce - this myth - that the ECUSA has been about nothing but reconciliation (and not outright division) in recent years, that the decisions of GC 2003 in question where consistent with Anglican teachings (ie the myth of the three legged stool not to be found in Richard Hooker’s works), and that all this strife (if there really is any so some of them say) is the fault of a fundamentalist faction fomenting a hostile take-over, a ridiculous caricature of the millions around the world who wish to continue as faithful, prayer-book Anglican Christians.

[23] Posted by Calvin on 08-25-2006 at 10:23 AM • top

Phil: That’s why the the covenant was changed in the 79 BCP. The 1928 version was too confining for the revisionistas.

the snarkster

[24] Posted by the snarkster on 08-25-2006 at 11:09 AM • top

To All—just sent the following email to Daniel and Sarah.

Subject line:  Article in The Witness—clarification, please

Daniel and Sarah,

Our here in cyberspace (StandFirm) your article was quoted.  One of the things being questioned is your reference to polygamous African bishops.  One blogger suggested that you “name ONE” while another suggested that the Africans are working on it.  Another suggested that the remark appeared to be racist.

My remark was that you should either “back it up or back it off”—name names or explain and apologize if there are none.  Is the remark about polygamous African bishops true or was it a throw-off (a lie). 

With all of this misinformation coming from both sides, it would be nice to have some facts.  Please advise.

In cyberspace I am “Almost Live Priest.”

I do plan to share this email and your response with our brothers and sisters in Christ at StandFirminFaith.

[25] Posted by Almost Live Priest on 08-25-2006 at 11:32 AM • top

Until Webster names a polygamist African Bishop, or apologizes for his mistake, he is a liar. 

It’s that simple.

Aside from that, it is amazing to me how “in tune” these people claim to be regarding the Holy Spirit.  These people hold the scriptures in low regard, but somehow can sense every movement of the Holy Spirit (of the Trinity).

The Holy Spirit they talk about seems to bless and confirm every liberal idea they have.  Then when that dreaded B033 gets passed (the vote that launched a thousand whines), they claim the Holy Spirit had nothing to do with it.

What happened?  Did the Holy Spirit have an early plane to catch?

And of course, they would claim, the Holy Spirit had nothing to do with the consecration of Bishop Minns, the creation of CANA, the success of the AMiA, and so on.  This is because the Holy Spirit defends our Episcopal borders!

The truth is these people do not really believe there is a Holy Spirit in the Trinity of God.  The Holy Spirit they talk about is an extension of their own egos.

Liberal “Christianity” is a mental disorder.


[26] Posted by DietofWorms on 08-25-2006 at 11:34 AM • top

DoW: Well said! One of the most infuriating things about the revisionistas is their claimed monopoly on the attention of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is NOT just a revisionista “alter ego”.

the snarkster shut eye

[27] Posted by the snarkster on 08-25-2006 at 11:51 AM • top

Notice how Dan and his compadres on the revisionist side don’t talk about “staying at the table” any more when it is their ox that is being gored.  Staying at the table was strictly for the orthodox when the revisionists thought they could weather the storm precipitated by the “progressives” at GenCons 2003 and 2006.  Now that their decks are awash, our revisionist friends are in a full fledged panic mode lashing out mindlessly at all things orthodox.  Their new, improved mantra goes something like this:  we are too sophisticated and enlightened to remain in communion with the unwashed orthodox masses if we should lose the battle for the soul of Anglicanism in the U.S.  The hubris and smarminess of their rhetoric is almost palpable. Dan’s piece is also a great example of how delusional the revisionists have become since they began sensing that they could find themselves on the outside looking in on the AC.  The delusion goes something like this:  there we were in Columbus, minding our own business as we have for years, not bothering anyone, when all of a sudden it turns out not only that “[t]he homophobic, misogynist, biblical literalists had their plans in place [to splinter the AC via B033],” but also that “[t]he archconservatives in this country have been waging ideological wars in the Episcopal Church and other mainline Protestant denominations…for years.”  Well, folks, there you have it.  If it weren’t for “...a faction of so-called Christians who are driven by power and control rather than grace and justice [that’s us]...,” everything in TEC would be just fine, thank you.  As I said, delusional.

[28] Posted by William R. Hurt on 08-25-2006 at 11:53 AM • top

Dr. Witt—vis a vis my “espitemological premises” I’m reminded of the old story about the ultra liberal revisionist—born in Massachusetts and raised in Vermont— Episcopalian who died and went to the pearly gates.

St Peter questioned him, “Why should I let you in Heaven? It takes 100 points to get in.”

Our revisionist hero full of fine liberal theology and good deeds replied, “I was Sr Warden of St Apples for 40 years in a row.  Taught the adult class at Sunday School, even mentored a group of that Sewanee EFM program.”  He was feeling pretty good about his chances.

St Peter said, “Fantastic, that’s 3 points.”

Our liberal brother began to sweat.  He continued, “I headed up the United Way campaign for 27 years in a row - we always did better year after year.  I’ve been married for 55 years to the same sweet lady.”

St Peter said, “Fine, that’s three more points.”

Finally our theologically unsound brother with the “questionable at best” epistemological premises said, “I’m cooked, no way.  It’d take the grace of God to get in this place!”  He started to walk away, head down.

To which St Peter replied, “That’s 94 points, come on in.”

[29] Posted by Almost Live Priest on 08-25-2006 at 12:16 PM • top

That’s a funny story, ALP.  To put a serious spin on it, this is why I’m disturbed that we hear incessantly about the U.N. Millenium Development Goals (6 points) from Mrs. Schori and never the name of Jesus (94 points).  Let’s put all of this unpleasantness aside so we can get on with our 6-point mission.

[30] Posted by Phil on 08-25-2006 at 12:22 PM • top

Daniel replied quickly.  Below is what he said:

On the comment section I posted “A footnote to those questioning the existence of African polygamist bishops: 1) Three people who attended
Lambeth 98 confirmed to me meeting one or more bishops from Africa with more than one wife. 2) The Anglican Communion News Service would not answer (i.e. confirm nor deny) the existence of said bishops.”

It is regretable that Church employees fear reprisals so to use their names would violate the conditions under which I agreed to quote the
information they gave me.  I consider them credible.

As a journalist a compelling support for a fact not in evidence is the official news agency’s response.  When ACNS refused repeated queries,
one gets the message.  It is a simple question that deserves a simple answer. 

None was forthcoming.

Peace and gratitude,
Dan Webster

[31] Posted by Almost Live Priest on 08-25-2006 at 01:01 PM • top

ALP, to repeat what I said elsewhere.

Balderdash. This accusation is absolutely false, and he knows it. Give us a name of these unnamed “witnesses, and within one day I guarantee that they will either be “unavailible for comment” or will directly repudiate your statement. 

Read carefully. He hides a deception behind a deception, e.g., a third hand report from individuals that apparently dont exist, verified by a non-answer from the ACNS.

With such an obvious lie, why give this guy any ink?

[32] Posted by Going Home on 08-25-2006 at 01:20 PM • top

So Mr. Webster’s quoting hearsay from unnamed sources and presenting it as fact: “the U.S. bishops treated the African polygamist bishops with respect and courtesy.”  And we’re to take him at his word despite his obvious political bias?  Exactly what “reprisals” would be faced by these people anyway?

“As Episcopalians, to do so would be to violate our baptismal covenant. And we can’t do that.”  Can someone please explain to me the revisionist fascination with baptism?  In every single argument they make it’s “baptismal” this and “baptismal” that.  Is it just that one (modern) line about “dignity”, or is there something more to it?

[33] Posted by st. anonymous on 08-25-2006 at 01:23 PM • top

Dan Webster: What are the names of those allegedly polygamous bishops?

I’m not asking the names of your sources, only the names of the bishops in question.

[34] Posted by Irenaeus on 08-25-2006 at 01:28 PM • top

Read the sentence carefully,

And I’m told that most, if not all, the U.S. bishops treated the African polygamist bishops with respect and courtesy.

Webster reports the existance of polygamist bishops as a FACT.  He does not add the typical “My sources say…” or something like that, which all reporters do with earth-shaking accusations (and at least in the Anglican world, this would be a big deal).  He states “the African polygamist bishops” as a matter of fact, as if it is something well-known.

Until he retracts this statement, or names names, he is a liar.  It’s very simple.

[35] Posted by DietofWorms on 08-25-2006 at 01:28 PM • top

It is mighty strange that in the 8 years since Lambeth 98, not one of the hundreds of ECUSA bishops and staffers that attended have had even one word to say about any “polygamist” African bishops. Webster needs a tinfoil hat.

the snarkster

[36] Posted by the snarkster on 08-25-2006 at 01:31 PM • top

A quick Google search found this comment by Craig Goodrich in another Internet forum:

“Sr Macrina comments “African Bishops who are permitted more than one wife for ‘cultural’ reasons should not be deciding whether gay or female clergy are permissible in others’ cultures.”

Polygamous converts are allowed to retain their household as a charitable accomodation, to avoid placing the wives in an economically and socially anomalous position in the local culture. Once baptized, a polygamous convert may not take any more wives, and though he may participate fully as a layman in church affairs, he may not be admitted to holy orders at all, much less become a bishop.

These are the same general principles that have been used by a broad spectrum of missionaries in polygamous cultures—Methodists among the Navajo of the American Southwest in the 19th Century, for example.

I do not know where Sr. Macrina gets her information.”

Looks like this isn’t the first time this accusation’s been made—and debunked…

[37] Posted by st. anonymous on 08-25-2006 at 01:38 PM • top

St. Anonymous: If baptism is the only requisite for good standing in the church, then conduct that violates scripture becomes relatively unimportant.

More broadly, emphasis on the “baptismal covenant” fits many revisionists’ theology of what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace”—- grace without repentance.

BTW, remember how in baptism we vow to repent and turn to the Lord if we do sin? Rarely do we see “baptismal covenant” enthusiasts say much about repentance (except in the case of politically incorrect sins).

[38] Posted by Irenaeus on 08-25-2006 at 01:41 PM • top

If Anglican churches in Africa really have polygamous bishops, WHY HAS NO ONE NAMED THOSE POLYGAMOUS BISHOPS?

Radical revisionists have HUGE INCENTIVES to ferret out and disclose the identity of any such bishop, but none has done so.

Not Louie Crew.
Not Susan Russell.
Not VGR.
Not Integrity.
Not Via Media or any of its affiliates.
Not Bp. Spong.
Not Fr. Jake.
Not Bp. Bennison.
Not Bp. Ingham.
Not Bp. Chane.
Not Bp. Roskam.
Not Jan Nutley.
Not nobody.

Nobody says it. Nobody even tells an eager, muck-raking journalist about it.

If bishops are living with multiple wives (in Africa or elsewhere), that should be brought to light.

Why hasn’t it happened? Could it be that no one names names because there’s no one to name?

[39] Posted by Irenaeus on 08-25-2006 at 02:06 PM • top

St. Anon—Thanks for the credit; I was about to post essentially the same comment here.  This is one of the many revisionist “urban legends” that refuses to die no matter how often it is refuted.

As a footnote, by the way, I understand that in Arab Muslim countries where polygamy is permitted by law, it is generally confined in practice to a small minority in the upper strata of society for purely economic reasons.  It would not be surprising to find that this is also generally true in more “primitive” tribal cultures, though I have no specific references on the subject. 

(As many of us can, I am sure, testify from personal experience, keeping one wife emotionally and economically satisfied is quite challenging enough; the Koran contains numerous verses which reflect the difficulties faced by the head of a polygamous household.)

[40] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 08-25-2006 at 03:22 PM • top

this is a common racist slur used by the reappraisers
(along with attributing to AKinola comments made by Mugabe)

It is racism pure and simple.
In the UK, Canada, or NZ such comments would count as hate speech and merit a jail term.

by their fruits you shall know them;
once again, these fruits show these poeple are not Christian

[41] Posted by Sinner on 08-25-2006 at 04:56 PM • top

I think that many, many, many people should write Ms. Breuer at “The Witness” and ask for a retraction and an apology.

She is highly thought of (by Dr. Harmon!!!) and I think would respond to a sincere critique.

Sarah Dylan Breuer
The Witness
c/o The Episcopal Divinity School
99 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Tel: (857) 225-0433
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

[42] Posted by DHR on 08-25-2006 at 05:01 PM • top

At the risk of becoming a bore on the subject, here is an extract from the Submission to the Lambeth Commission from The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC), dated July 29, 2004 (available here, two-thirds of the way down):

11. Similarly, traditionalists in ECUSA - and we - are familiar with committees which claim a theologically neutral (or theologically superior) stance from which it can see that both sides are equally at fault. We strongly repudiate that this double and equivalent fault is the case, and deny the claimed theological superiority that sees it.

12. Evidence of that technique already being in place is the equivalence being placed on (alleged) toleration of polygamy in some African Provinces, and homosexual expression in (some) Western Provinces. We urge the Commission to study the Constitutions of those African Provinces with great care before such toleration of polygamy is assumed or described. The Anglican Church of Kenya, for instance, has a lengthy description of the disciplinary procedures to be followed for a polygamist, and they are deeply offended to see their pastorally nuanced discipline wrongly described as toleration.

I have come across accusations of polygamy against some of the Rwandan bishops who were convicted of participation in in the horrific genocide in that country in the ‘90s.  Whether these accusations are true or not, it is the height of mendacity to suggest that other African Anglican churches support or condone any of these clerics’ activities, or that they are in any way representative of African Anglicanism, as it would be absurd to attack John Paul II’s theology on the basis of some of the Papal scandals of the medieval Roman Church.

[43] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 08-25-2006 at 05:08 PM • top

Craig referred to accusations of polygamy against some Rwandan bishops convicted of participating in genocide.

Not exactly a representative selection of African bishops, eh?

[44] Posted by Irenaeus on 08-25-2006 at 05:59 PM • top

It is racism pure and simple.
In the UK, Canada, or NZ such comments would count as hate speech and merit a jail term.

Thanks be to God we’re not in any of those countries.

[45] Posted by Greg Griffith on 08-25-2006 at 07:55 PM • top

I posted the following at “The Witness” site in response to DW’s essay: “It is quite evident that Mr. Webster has a completely different set of foundational beliefs than we members of the “Vast Conservative Anglican Conspiracy”. Without commonality of reference it is impossible to discuss or debate. Moreover, making bald assertions (polygamous African Bishops) without at least attempting to name sources is specious. Most of the arguments about the so-called “holiness” of same sex unions or attractions is equally specious, and intellectually flaccid. It does no good to engage in ad-hominem attacks, and certainly questioning the motives of others does nothing to build on any kind of relationship or reconciliation.”

[46] Posted by El Jefe on 08-25-2006 at 09:04 PM • top

With all the attention to the polygamy accusation, there is an important point raised by the sentence immediately preceding it that might be lost:

Some misogynist bishops would not participate in events with the women.

Notice the assumption here:

If some bishops do not recognize females in sacramental roles, it must be due to mysogyny.

If some bishops refuse to commend the ordination of practicing homosexuals, it must be due to homophobia.

There can be no other explanations.  Any other explanation is simply verbiage to try to disguise the underlying phobias.

Consider now the entire body of apologetic for accepting homosexual behavior that we have seen over the last decade.  An argument is advanced (e.g. the shellfish argument), it is decisively and completely refuted, then another argument is advanced, generally even more obviously tendentious than the first—while the first continues to be trumpeted, even by those well aware of its destruction.  And so on and so on, over and over. Refutations are ignored and stonewalled, or the motives and character of the refuter attacked.

Is this the way we do things in academic discussion?  In scientific study? Of course not.  Where are things done this way?  Political spinning.  Whether it is Clinton’s (unsuccessful) push for total government control over health care or W’s (successful) push for war with Iraq, the technique is the same.  It is the goal that matters, discussion/dialog/argument is solely to provide cover, never to actually discover the truth. 

We make a serious mistake if we think we are dealing with theological disagreement here.  Our opponents are not theological, religious people in the midst of a Nicea-style doctrinal dispute; they are political operatives working towards a political goal.  They will do church talk to whatever degree necessary to achieve that goal, but the talk itself is meaningless noise to them, another manipulative tool.

This explains their utter inability to conceive of legitimate theological reasons for rejection of WO or for refusal to condone ordination of homosexuals.  And it explains why apparent contradictions in their reasoning don’t seem to bother them, or the obvious fact that the logic of their position leads to a complete abandonment of any standards for Christian sexual ethics.  The entire discussion is just noise; the goal is all that matters.

This also explains their occasionally-obvious projection, e.g. in accusing +Duncan of being power-mad or speaking (in this piece) of “so-called Christians who are driven by power and control rather than grace and justice”—or, most ludicrously, speaking of an orthodox plot for the “takeover” of the church.  (What do they think happened in 1979?)  For whatever reason, not only do they perceive every situation solely in political terms, but they are totally blind to the idea that there may even exist an alternative (or better, substantially wider) set of perceptual categories.

Observe that the interpretation with which I began this comment is just precisely a projection of this coverup-verbiage syndrome onto their opponents.

I have seen several learned articles on “why we can’t talk to each other”, all thought-provoking and subtly-reasoned—Drs Harding+ and Radner+, for example, have both addressed the subject.  But my personal belief is that the matter is much simpler:  the reason is that they pay no attention; since talk is only a means to achieve their goal, they need to listen to you only to determine how best to shut you up—whatever you are saying is of less than no interest in any other respect.  And since what they respond is just noise, too, to help achieve their goal, such concepts as “lying” and “self-contradiction” simply become meaningless.

In short, we are not in the midst of a theological disagreement here.  We are in the midst of a political struggle. This is not the Reformation; it is the Thirty Years’ War.

[47] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 08-26-2006 at 02:04 AM • top


Thanks be to God we’re not in any of those countries.

But - as Anglicans -  some of us are in those countries

The world is not *yet* American.
And as both Tom Wright and Peter Akinola has said - the communion no longer wishes to be told by Americans what to do!

[48] Posted by Sinner on 08-26-2006 at 04:25 AM • top

Craig - bingo!  As well put as I’ve seen it.

[49] Posted by Phil on 08-26-2006 at 08:21 AM • top


I think you are right on the money.

For the revisionists this is a political movement.  Theology just does not matter.  What the Bible says is besides the point.  What the church has taught over the are just hurdles in front of the goal.

This is probably not true of all revisionist, but it is true for the ones claiming to be in charge of the Episcopal Church (the call themselves “The Episcopal Majority).

Keep writing Craig!


[50] Posted by DietofWorms on 08-26-2006 at 08:23 AM • top

I had been critical of the AMiA before 2003, as had +++George Carey, then just skeptical between 2003 and 2006…

Now Bishop John Rucyahana, who originally oversaw TJ Johnston in Little Rock, and Archbishop Kolini are looking downright prophetic, and I wonder if they might be worth listening to because they seem to be ahead of the curve on the movement of the Spirit toward realignment.  They are not wringing their hands about bureaucratic or political moves, nor are they spending hours on blogs trying to guess what is going to happen next, only to watch the Anglican Communion play kick the can for another several years.  They are simply planting churches in anticipation of the New Anglican Province that God’s Spirit has already told them will emerge.  It seems they are proceeding by faith and not by sight, and that is convicting to this over-blogged clergyman.

Regardless, I don’t think the Network folk have any right to criticize the AMiA any longer….  the higher ups are sure starting to get along in anticipation of a merger…

[51] Posted by Christoferos on 08-26-2006 at 10:16 AM • top

At the risk of spreading consternation among my fellow orthodox, I have to report that according to “Dan” Daniel (+East Carolina) at least one African polygamist bishop attended Lambeth 98.

[52] Posted by Invicta on 08-26-2006 at 01:06 PM • top

Invicta, I don’t know Daniel++ (unless you are speaking of the Bishop)but I have never heard any actually give the name of an polygamist Bishop attending Lambeth.

What I have heard, with my own ears, is a so called moderate Bishop tell leadership of a parish that the African church supported polygamy and thus should be kept at a distance. That was the Big Lie, a slur spread in private meetings and conversations to discredit giants like Akinola++ and Orombi++. 

It is almost like this was included in a talking paper to those opposing the ACN, AMIA and other initiatives. The good news is that they were called to task for it and seemed to back off as the truth became known on the internet. It is sad to see this reappear.

[53] Posted by Going Home on 08-26-2006 at 02:51 PM • top


Bishop Daniel made his remarks during a parish forum which was called to address our concerns about an internal parish matter springing from the actions of GC ‘03, VGR, and GC ‘06.

According to ++Daniel, a Sudanese bishop attended the conference with “his wife and his mother-in-law”. Over time it “became clear” that these women were both wives.

As for not being familiar with Bishop Daniel, let me say that he is not receptive to the orthodox point of view, believing that those who have joined ACN and AAC are outside “this church”.  He stated (at our forum) that he will replace the vestry of any parish that chooses to join either organization.

He also stated that sacred scripture, the creeds, and the BCP are “non-negotiable”.  However he had no problems with confirming the ordination of his friend Gene Robinson.  D’ya see why we have “concerns”?

[54] Posted by Invicta on 08-26-2006 at 04:22 PM • top

Bishop Daniel - a NAME please

[55] Posted by JackieB on 08-26-2006 at 04:54 PM • top


It should be noted here that according to a recent comment by the poster Sander over at T19, well-connected with 815 and a civilized person of revisionist sympathies (yes, that is possible, apparently), the Sudanese church is financially supported almost entirely by ECUSA and (if I recall correctly) the C of E Dio of Salisbury. 

[I don’t have a link to the exact comment, but it was within the last couple of weeks.  Help, someone?]

So it strikes me as not a little disingenuous (to say the least) to support a revisionist church in Africa, and then use the moral laxity of that particular church to tar the overwhelming orthodox majority there.

But again, remember that the purpose of verbiage is to advance the goal.  This is propaganda, not serious discussion.

[56] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 08-26-2006 at 04:56 PM • top

As per the Anglican Communion website - these are the names of the Bishops of Sudan - note not all are Anglican.  This should make it easier for the good Bishop of NC to pinpoint the culprit.  I for one want to write a letter to the ABC and the GS in protest of any sitting Bishop who is committing polygamy.

1. Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro - Catholic Church

2. Bishop Nathaniel Garanga - Episcopal Church of Sudan

3. Pastor Hani Khamis - Sudan Pentecostal Church

4. Rev. John Tong Puk - Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church

5. Bishop Andrew Wawa - Africa Inland Church

6. Fr. Antonius Fakious - Coptic Orthodox Church

7. Elder Daniel John - Greek Catholic Church

8. Rev. Mahgoub Kacho - Sudanese Church of Christ

9. Rev. Ramadhan Chan - Sudan Interior Church

10. Rev. Peter Makuach - Presbyterian Church of Sudan

11. Fr. Mark Kumbonyaki - Chairman NSCC

12. Rev. Musa Kodi Jura - Chairman SCC

The Episcopal Church of the Sudan

[57] Posted by JackieB on 08-26-2006 at 05:01 PM • top

Unfortunately, Clifton Daniel 3rd, Bishop of East Carolina,

[58] Posted by Invicta on 08-26-2006 at 05:19 PM • top

Wait a minute, let me get this straight - a couple of leftists from the U. S. see an African bishop with his mother in law and they PRESUME that this is his 2nd wife?  They call him a liar based on what evidence - their own spin on his relationship?  That’s almost as rich as +KJS claiming to the dean of a school of theology when she taught adult Sunday school.  The mendacity of the left never ceases to amaze me.

[59] Posted by MJD_NV on 08-26-2006 at 05:21 PM • top

Sorry, for the hiccup.

++Daniel did not give any names. But I can tell you that the Sudanese Bishop in question had a young baby (<6mos). 

I’m guessing that it’s pretty typical of the revisionist camp to cast aspersions and muddy the waters in order to deflect attention from, or justify their own erroneous thinking and actions. 

The subject of polygamy came up in response to some very pointed questions about VGR.  Having followed this thread, I can now see that it was purely an attempt to say “if you think Gene Robinson violates church rules, I know of people who have done far worse worse”. 

I get more maturity from my middle school students!

[60] Posted by Invicta on 08-26-2006 at 05:36 PM • top

All this discussion about whether ECUSA is being mean, dishonest, slanderous, etc. is moot.

<(em>If it is indeed true that an African bishop is in a polygamous relationship with two or more wives then he ought to be deposed ... by whatever authority he is under.  ... as should VGR.  That would be consistent ... oh, and same ought to apply to the new bishop of Calornia, the one with multiple divorces and wives.</em>

[61] Posted by Bill C on 08-26-2006 at 06:14 PM • top

Sorry about the block quote.  I was just experiment .... red face
The words are mine, for what they are worth.

[62] Posted by Bill C on 08-26-2006 at 06:16 PM • top

I wasn’t clear.  It was a question for Bishop Daniel.  He needs to own his words or eat them.

[63] Posted by JackieB on 08-26-2006 at 06:51 PM • top

uh sorry - apologize for them.

[64] Posted by JackieB on 08-26-2006 at 06:51 PM • top


I thought that’s what you were getting at.  ‘Twon’t happen.  He’s afflicted with “Griswold’s disease” and can’t/won’t give a strightforward answer to a simple question.

[65] Posted by Invicta on 08-26-2006 at 07:26 PM • top

The Bishop of East Carolina isnt the only southern Bishop to spread that trash about African Bishops.  I have heard it first hand.

None of the orthodox leadership in the Southern Hemisphere are polygamists, nor do they tolerate it among their Priests and Bishops.

I guess there is nothing to do but respond aggressively every time someone drags this out this slur.

[66] Posted by Going Home on 08-26-2006 at 10:02 PM • top

According to ++Daniel, a Sudanese bishop attended the conference with “his wife and his mother-in-law”. Over time it “became clear” that these women were both wives.

If that’s indeed the case, then he shouldn’t be deposed. He should be committed.  tongue laugh

[67] Posted by Greg Griffith on 08-27-2006 at 12:54 AM • top

Jackie - he cannot just apologise for such comments. He needs to repent and resign.

Do you really think that a bishop may make racist statements and remain a bishop?

If a bishop brought out - I dunno - the protocols of the elders of Zion - and then later apologiesed for that fact, does that make it OK?

As Timothy says, this racist slur should be called for what it is immediately: along with the line that people who make such remarks have forgeited the right to be BIshops of the church.

If asked in isolation many ECUSA revisionistas in the pews would agree with you there. Ask any of them what a police officer or government official (or president) should do to apologise for making racist comments and they will all say: yes apolgise personally, yes make amends, but they must also resign as they have shown themselves unworthy to hold such positions.

the same logic must apply to any bishop who brings out this slur, or Mugabe’s “gays are dogs” comment that is repeatedly and completely inaccurately often attributed to AKinola.

In fact, no less a person than Rowan Williams (but along wih Tom Wright, and of course Akinola, Orombi and much of the Global South) points out that liberal racism is really a core problem driving the current realignment in the communion, much more so than Global South homophobia.

[68] Posted by Sinner on 08-27-2006 at 01:35 AM • top

Back to the beginning…

The point in all of this long, long thread is to ask Mr. Daniel Webster to verify his claim.  It is a scandalous claim and it should be verified or retracted.

(Trying to get a bishop to eat/retract words spoken long ago is pointless…unless he is running for office somewhere.)

What if I said in a sermon (not that I’m a preacher) “A member of the school board is keeping a mistress at the Holiday Inn!”  or “There is a local Muslim business recruiting young men for acts of terrorism.”

As a preacher, I would be held to account:  Show me!  Prove it!

If I can, then I should name names.  If I can’t name names, then I shouldn’t say it.  If I have names but can’t name them I should keep my mouth shut in the public realm and report the behavior to the authorities.

Dan WEbster needs to come clean with either the name of the bishop who keeps two wives…or the names of the bishops who say there are bishops who keep multiple wives…or retract the line.

[69] Posted by DHR on 08-27-2006 at 07:43 AM • top

What’s especially disturbing is that, unless/until the supposedly guilty bishop’s named, *all* the African bishops will be suspected & tainted by the whisper of scandal.

Even if it turns out to no more than gossip, it will still have been an effective smear campaign.  This is really ugly.

[70] Posted by st. anonymous on 08-27-2006 at 09:30 AM • top

This is true St. Anonymous.

This is a McCarthy-like attack on all African Bishops, but instead of Communists we have Polygamists.

Webster appears to be a person who will lie or give distorted information to make his point.

It says on the front of The Witness website, “An Anglican Voice for Justice since 1917”.  I see no justice in this.

I am friends with a Bishop in Africa; to him this is deeply offensive and hurtful.

Daniel Webster and Sarah Dylan Breur: is this the kind of people you are?  Is this the type of person you want to be?  At long last, have you no decency?

[71] Posted by DietofWorms on 08-27-2006 at 12:36 PM • top

DoW:  The irony is thick here.  Mr. Webster would probably condemn Sen. McCarthy, in the same breath in which he shouts, “I hold in my hand the names of polygamous African bishops . . .”

Of course, the comparison is not exanct:  there really were communists in government when Sen. McCarthy served.  The existence of polygamous African bishops attending Lambeth seems quite doubtful.

[72] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 08-27-2006 at 11:54 PM • top

I should add that some of the revisionists, such as Mr. Webster, make me feel like a liberal.  I am viscerally repelled by their unfair and unfounded allegations, and their frankly racist attitudes toward the African bishops of the church.  Actually, I find it even more repulsive than Jim Crow, since the revisionist clergy also maintain an arrogant attitude of superior holiness.

[73] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 08-28-2006 at 12:03 AM • top

“Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold has been preaching, living, and holding up reconciliation throughout his nine years’ tenure. Those who come to hear him, those who are interested in reconciliation, are those whose minds and hearts are open to live a new dream of Christ’s body on earth.”

ECUSA has based the center of their Gospel on “reconciliation.”  I agree that the Gospel is one of reconciliation, but not in the way ECUSA interprets it.  The good news is that man and God may be once again reconciled—but man has to humble himself, repent and enter sanctification.

ECUSA interprets reconciliation as reconciliation between man and man and has apparently left God out of the equation.  The greatest sin to them is to judge one another, or, horrors, to be rude to one another.  After all, ECUSA espouses, if we are nice to each other, we will go to heaven!

How can that be when Ephesians lists discernment as one of the gifts of the Spirit?  God does not mean for us not to judge one another, but we must, however, discern.  Jesus loved the young rich man, but He spoke truthfully to him.  Jesus loved the woman at the well, but He spoke truthfully to her.  Can the utmost gift of love therefore be to speak truthfully to our brothers and sisters in love?

[74] Posted by MizMay on 08-28-2006 at 02:31 PM • top

I have written +Daniel, Breuer and Webster but so far no response.

The silence is deafening.

[75] Posted by JackieB on 08-29-2006 at 08:29 AM • top

I’ve bumped this post to bring it back to the top of the queue. I think Breuer and Webster need to respond to it.

I don’t know Mr. Webster, but Sarah and I have had a couple of very pleasant email echanges. She seems to be a kind and gentle person, so please keep your remarks respectful.

[76] Posted by Greg Griffith on 08-29-2006 at 09:06 AM • top

- - - - - - - - - - - - * R E W A R D * - - - - - - - -

If Stand Firm would be willing to forward the cash, I’d be willing to offer a $100 REWARD to anyone who can prove that any orthodox bishop of any Anglican church in Africa is living in a polygamous marriage.

Just prove the polygamy to my satisfaction by Nov. 1—if you can.

- - - - - - - - - - - - * R E W A R D * - - - - - - - -

[77] Posted by Irenaeus on 08-29-2006 at 03:31 PM • top


Offer accepted. Let the word go forth.

[78] Posted by Greg Griffith on 08-29-2006 at 08:42 PM • top

I have received the following response from Daniel Webster.  Note:  I accidentally sent him an email intended for Bishop Daniel which may explain his opening remarks.

Dear Ms. Bruchi,

Thank you for writing.  But please know that I am a mere presbyter.  I doubt I will be elected bishop anywhere anytime soon.

It is more than a suspicion.  For nearly eight years the stories were everywhere of polygamist wives of bishops at Lambeth 98.  I have asked
several people who I know and trust.  They have confirmed for me personally seeing and being introduced to these bishops and their wives.  That, coupled with a de facto ‘no comment’ from the Anglican Communion News Service, prompted me to report this.

Now that you have found another source about this would seem to confirm my reporting.

What you do with this information is clearly up to you.  Do keep in mind that the Episcopal Church has never sought to invoke its polity into another province of the Anglican Communion.  In fact, I believe it was Presiding Bishop Grisworld who either said or reported from one of the Primates’ meetings that the Holy Spirit can be doing different things in different settings/churches/cultures in the world.

May God continue to help bring about the kingdom here on earth.

Peace and gratitude,

(The Rev.) Dan Webster

This is my reply to him:

Dear Rev. Webster:
I apolgize that you received the email intended for Bishop Daniel.  I sent the three emails to you, Ms. Beurer and Bishop Daniel at the same time and was obviously careless with the names.  That was inconsiderate of me and I again apologize.

I do not feel I have confirmation of this.  I have found that once a rumor is started it is tended to be picked up as fact by even the best of us.  And yes, it will be a big deal, as even though it is not happening (yet) in ECUSA, we are a communion.  We either share a common faith and the requirements of living into that faith or we do not.  In any event, until such time as this is confirmed, you are reporting rumor and you need to say so.

Thank you for your response. 
Jackie Bruchi

I still have not received a response from Bishop Daniel nor have I received one from Ms. Beurer.  So here we are with more rumor and conjecture.  It seems to me if that many people are able to confirm the matter, at least one of them could come up with a name.  Until that time, this is nothing more than a rumor that the writer is unwilling to support with fact.  Irenaeus, I think you money is safe.

[79] Posted by JackieB on 08-30-2006 at 05:01 PM • top


I am no Solomon, but it sure does seem like they are using the non sequitur of “if someone else in the episcopate is living in a non-biblical sexual relationship somewhere else in the world, then it must be okay here.”

The same type of logic says: “alcohol can be abused, and it is legal, so we should legalize all drugs.”

The sexual self-actualization of a polygamous heterosexual is just as much of a biblical disqualification for the episcopate and presbyterate as someone living in a sexual relationship outside the context of marriage.

What they are trying to do is dismiss the theological determination of a whole continent of Anglicans with this non sequitur, and this from people who pride themselves on being intellectuals to the point of elitism…. not very sound reasoning for people who are using reason over and against 2/3 of the “stool” and 2/3 of the Anglican Communion.

[80] Posted by Christoferos on 08-30-2006 at 08:02 PM • top

For me the issue is still the ‘slam’ against the Global South…and still unsubstanitated and only rumored.

If the article had been about “polygamy in the Anglican Communion” and some investigation was done, some(ANYONE) named source had said, “I have seen it and I know someone who is…”, then maybe I’d respect the comment.

But it is a tower of irresponsibility for the writer to slam the Global South’s based on a rumor or something heard but not seen.

Writers should at least be held to a standard usually applied to preachers and politicians.  Can you imagine a preacher or a politician of any stature saying, “I have heard it said that there are members of the Taliban posing as Bishops in the Episcopal Church!”

Dan, Sarah, The Witness… (cue the music voice and scratchy voice please) “’ve got to know when to hold ‘em…know when to fold ‘em”

[81] Posted by DHR on 08-31-2006 at 06:35 AM • top

We are clearly taking the wrong approach on this polygamy issue on several fronts.

Just think how many more people we could bring into the Church if we promoted polygamy? Membership would go through the roof.

Plus, think of the economic opportunity. Instead of just one wedding per male member of the Church, we could get two or three. More money for the priest. Don’t be so hide bound in your traditionalist, orthodox, thinking folks.

[82] Posted by BillS on 08-31-2006 at 07:08 AM • top

Rev. Webster: All I can say is that if all those people were introduced to all those polygamist bishops and their wives, obviously they know their names. So what are the names? Please enlighten us. If you are simply reporting based on rumor and baseless innuendo, you should shut your damn mouth and get back to your day job. So how about it? Either you have the facts or you don’t. PUT UP OR SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!

the snarkster mad

[83] Posted by the snarkster on 08-31-2006 at 08:50 AM • top

“It is more than a suspicion.  For nearly eight years the stories were everywhere of polygamist wives of bishops at Lambeth 98.”

Wow.  “The stories were everywhere.”  Well gee, *I’m* convinced.

“I have asked several people who I know and trust.”

Well, *we* don’t know them.  So how can we trust them?

“They have confirmed for me personally seeing and being introduced to these bishops and their wives.” 

So you’re relying on 2nd-hand reports, without proof.  I’m sure you know people who’ve “seen” ghosts, UFOs and the Loch Ness Monster, too.

“Now that you have found another source about this would seem to confirm my reporting.”

Sorry, but “would seem to” doesn’t cut it when you’re making accusations of this type.  Anyway, how do we know this *is* a different source when you won’t say what yours is?  Could be the same people—or someone else that they’ve blabbed to.  Rumor is viral: one lone source can infect thousands.

“What you do with this information is clearly up to you.  Do keep in mind that the Episcopal Church has never sought to invoke its polity into another province of the Anglican Communion.  In fact, I believe it was Presiding Bishop Grisworld who either said or reported from one of the Primates’ meetings that the Holy Spirit can be doing different things in different settings/churches/cultures in the world.”

What a charming piece of moral relativism.  The Holy Spirit should sue for defamation.

What’s the deal here?  We know about polygamous African bishops, but we’ll keep mum about the matter so we can use it later to justify practising gay/bisexual clergy?  Is that it, Mr Webster?

So, StandFirm people, what *are* we going to do with this info?  I say, keep making waves.  Let the African clergy know what’s being said about them.  Give them a chance to confront their accusers, or to discipline any miscreants on their side—*if* these rumors are true, which I very much doubt..

[84] Posted by st. anonymous on 08-31-2006 at 10:51 AM • top

From a journalistic standpoint, this is something my editor would have tossed as unprincipled.

[85] Posted by oscewicee on 08-31-2006 at 11:06 AM • top

st anonymous - if you and Matt are serious there can be only one response: start either legal or canonical proceedings.

Surely such unstantiated racist comments are conduct unbecomming of a member of ECUSA, and are also either libel or slander.

If you are serious, this must now be the next course.

[86] Posted by Sinner on 08-31-2006 at 05:52 PM • top

In the interest of running this rumor to the ground, I have written Canon Popoola and received the following response:

Dear Jackie,


I do not know of any polygamist bishop or priest. I doubt the possibility in Nigeria as I am aware of some members being denied Eucharist because of polygamy.

The Lord bless you as you Remain in Christ

Rev. Canon AkinTunde Popoola
Church Of Nigeria Communications Department
Episcopal House,
24, Douala Street, Wuse zone5’
Abuja, Nigeria

If this is more than just a vicious rumor being spread, we need to confront those responsible who knew and did nothing.  If it is false, an apology needs to be issued by everyone who has spread it.

I don’t know about you guys but I am tried of the cloak and danger, poke and sniff.  This is the Church of Our Lord and Savior.  May all involved start acting like it.

[87] Posted by JackieB on 09-01-2006 at 11:54 AM • top

Gossip is gossip. And most of us know how despicable it is. And in it’s meanest forms it becomes libel and slander.

[88] Posted by Gulfstream on 09-01-2006 at 11:40 PM • top

Most people have difficulty keeping secrets. Hence the saying, “Three can keep a secret if two are dead.”

If polygamous African bishops sashayed around the 1998 Lambeth conference, why has no one named their names?

Revisionist dismay about Lambeth resolution 1:10 on human sexual conduct provided a huge incentive to unmask episcopal polygamists. African bishops played a pivotal role in the decision to pointedly affirm traditional Christian teaching about sexual conduct.

If the ranks of African bishops included practicing polygamists, why would no one have blown the whistle on such bishops and their hypocrisy?

[89] Posted by Irenaeus on 09-02-2006 at 01:41 AM • top

You are right Ireneaus, not only would this hypocrisy be exposed, it SHOULD be exposed.

To be honset, I am really disappointed by Sarah Dylan Breuer.  She has built up a lot of credibility amongst reasserters.  She has always seemed like a reasonable and kind person.

This is no longer true.  She is becoming just one more radical “voice” to ignore, like Elizabeth Kaeton.  Which is sad.


[90] Posted by DietofWorms on 09-02-2006 at 07:07 AM • top

There is no truth to this story. There never has been any.

Similarly there is no truth to the “dogs and gays” rumour that liberals ascribe to Akinola (that’s a Mugabe quote).

The only way this rumour can be quashed now is sucessful action in a secular or canonical court. I’m sure Matt can put you in touch with me when you’re serious.

[91] Posted by Sinner on 09-02-2006 at 08:30 AM • top

Wormser Diet: Although Sarah Dylan Breuer edits “The Witness,” which published the accusation in question, she did not make it herself. We should be wary of drawing inferences about her character from the mere fact of publication.

“The Witness” is not a news magazine, not a large, for-profit enterprise. We cannot reasonably expect it to have a fact-checking department. But Christians (and responsible people in general) should be careful what they publish and should readily acknowledge errors.

[92] Posted by Irenaeus on 09-02-2006 at 09:43 AM • top

PS: I would not expect Breuer or the author to brand the accusation erroneous in the sense of being factually wrong. They simply may not know whether it is factually correct or incorrect. But if they cannot substantiate it, they should say so and express regret that the article presented the accusation as a statement of fact.

[93] Posted by Irenaeus on 09-02-2006 at 09:48 AM • top

I agree with Irenaeus.  If the sources Mr. Webster quoted are not willing to provide names to him, I believe as a part of his professional ethics, he needs to publically publish that fact.  He need not reveal his sources, just the names of those who are the subject of the rumor.  I assume if the same rumor were being spread about him, he would appreciate the courtesy.

[94] Posted by JackieB on 09-02-2006 at 09:50 AM • top

Worms - Irenaeus is right. Breuer didn’t write the article - Webster did. But as editor, Breuer does need to respond.

Until we see that response, I’d prefer if commenters here refrained from criticizing her. Certainly let’s not lump her in with Kaeton.

[95] Posted by Greg Griffith on 09-02-2006 at 10:12 AM • top

I understand your sentiment Greg.  Breuer is not Kaeton.

But if she is not the one to respond, nobody over there will.

I suggest we send this off to as many African Bishops as we can, since they are the ones under suspicion, then forget the whole thing.

[96] Posted by DietofWorms on 09-02-2006 at 06:24 PM • top

DietofWorms, how would sending this gossip off to any African bishops help anything? I think it would be both wounding and also make whoever sees it wonder why you had done so.

[97] Posted by oscewicee on 09-02-2006 at 06:39 PM • top

I’m pretty sure they already know about it.. Besides the ‘revisionists have made a big deal about some members of the church having more than one wife.

Here’s what they said:
Yes that is true.. Some members do have more than one wife.  We explain to them that is against our religion.  HOWEVER, we do NOT force them to give them up for the sake of any children, and also the dependency of the wife.  We do ask that no longer have “relations” with them, but don’t throw them out in the street.

However, they CANNOT be in leadership positions in the church..

Now that’s probably not exact, BUT, that’s what it amounted to.

As for any possible situation like that in the Bishopric, I would sincerely doubt that would be case once the situation was evident.

I can’t remember how long ago it was discussed, but it was in the open, and widely publicized.
Grannie Gloria

[98] Posted by Grandmother on 09-02-2006 at 08:33 PM • top

I posted the email from the Church of Nigeria over at The Witness and asked that they either provide proof of the matter or retract the statement.  So far no response.

[99] Posted by JackieB on 09-02-2006 at 09:34 PM • top

They may not have a fact checking department but - Why can’t they understand the commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness”?

[100] Posted by Betty See on 09-02-2006 at 11:08 PM • top

While doing a little research on this topic, I came across this postively hilarious “briefing” (at first I thought it was real, then I couldn’t stop laughing).  It was written sometime after Lambeth 98, but it could have been written last week (maybe it was, I don’t know - but I think it’s been around a while).

What is truly funny - and I had forgotten this - but the Archbishop of Capetown did at one time lump together all the liberal topics to push at Lambeth, including homosexuality, euthaninasia, and - yes indeed - polygamy together.  Strange now that the liberals are suddenly jumping in the anti-polygamy bandwagon and pointing fingers and saying “see!  see!”).  hah hah hah.  Anyway, this “briefing” really could have been written last week, the cast of characters - nor the strategic planning - haven’t changed.  It is quite interesting that every time liberals open their mouths and accuse of something, what they are accusing us of is their own transgressions.  Isn’t that just kinda weird?

Causes one to pause though.


[101] Posted by BabyBlue on 09-03-2006 at 09:47 AM • top

Don’t miss BabyBlue’s “Lambeth Briefing” link. It’s clever, funny, and (alas!) still very timely.

[102] Posted by Irenaeus on 09-03-2006 at 02:27 PM • top

Reading here:

it’s pretty clear these people have committed an offense against canon 1 section 1. We now need three priests or seven laypeople (from their diocese) who are willing to lay charges in writing.
Unfortunately, otherwise we have to convince a majority of their vestries or standing committee.

[103] Posted by Sinner on 09-03-2006 at 05:22 PM • top

Yes, but who gets to be the court.  Probably everyone on the panal would also fall under canon 1.  Don’t plant flowers in the dessert.

[104] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 09-03-2006 at 07:29 PM • top

Nor in the desert, especially not the politicized, principle-short desert of ECUSA’s judiciary.

[105] Posted by Irenaeus on 09-03-2006 at 08:08 PM • top

Ironically, the subject article by Daniel Webster declares that TEC is nothing more than part of the one holy catholic and apostolic church and if everyone is not included, then we are violating our baptismal covenant. 

Given that, how can a baptized person be brought up on charges of abandoning the communion of TEC if they still go to a church that is also part of the one holy catholic and apostolic chruch?  Also, if it is determined that some bishops are no longer part of the one holy catholic and apostolic church, then does it follow that they are no longer TEC and cannot hold office?

Maybe both sides really want to be “exclusive” and the only disagreement is about who gets to determine who and how one is excluded.

[106] Posted by BillK on 09-04-2006 at 07:11 PM • top


read the canons. The way they are phrased says its not about whehter ECUSA is “in communion” with the other church or recognises that church as Christian (or Uniatrian, Gnostic, Buddist, Sufist, or whatever ECUSA is)

but whether the other church which someone has joined reconises (“is in communion with”) ECUSA.

Nigeria does not recognise ECUSA as Christian, let alone Anglican.

And this canon is simply a matter of facts, rather than interpretation.  While Peter Lee may not like the consequences, my guess is both Minns and Akinola would welcome the clarity the use of this canon would provide.

It would be better if someone it the diocese wrote to the standing committee, but I could do so I guess even though I’m outisde the US

[107] Posted by Sinner on 09-05-2006 at 04:14 PM • top


I applaud your attempt to pin down +Dan Daniel who has repeated this story (most recently embellished with the 6 month old baby) numerous times since 2003 in his attempt to prove that “they” are worse than VGR.  Very recently he told this story to the vestry and then at the parish meeting Invicta mentioned.  He has told it frequently, including at Clergy conferences.  Dan has a reputation for being very loose with the truth when it suits his purpose.  After a while he starts to believe his own spin, for example, regularly asserting as fact that the Network is not a part of TEC and threatening any parish that would consider becoming an affiliate.

I encourage you to pursue this effort and to make him give a name or admit the real truth—that this is a horrid lie.  It may be worth a more formal letter to both PB Griswold and ABC Williams to ask that they directly inquire of Dan.  I can guarantee you that Dan will never respond to you.  However, he needs to be called on it and, as you so aptly said, eat his words.

[108] Posted by hanks on 09-05-2006 at 08:12 PM • top

Hanks: If, as you say, Dan Daniel has long been repeating and continues to repeat this story without substantiation, perhaps we should have a web page to keep track of when, where, and what he says.

Let’s see, we could call it the ...
—- Polygamy Prevarication Patrol
—- Multimarital Mythmongering Mobilization
—- Spurious-Surplus-Spouse Spotting Service

[109] Posted by Irenaeus on 09-05-2006 at 09:18 PM • top

Make that last item the
“Spurious-Surplus-Spouse-Story Spotting Service”

[110] Posted by Irenaeus on 09-05-2006 at 09:20 PM • top

Irenaeus - ROTFLOL!

Hanks - I haven’t heard anything since the first email he sent - which I posted along with my response.  Bishop Daniel has remained silent also.  I think it is time to send a follow up email?  Are you with me mates?

[111] Posted by JackieB on 09-05-2006 at 09:22 PM • top

I don’t know about Webster, but Dan’s ego would not allow him to respond to mere mortals.  That’s why (and I was serious) letters to the PB and ABC would be appropriate.  These are serious smears that, if unsubstantiated, warrant discipline.

[112] Posted by hanks on 09-05-2006 at 09:37 PM • top


[113] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 09-05-2006 at 10:56 PM • top

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