“The end of 2007 on the ecclesiastical front sees a fascinating correspondence between a conservative theologian Peter Toon and Archbishop Akinola, apparently penned in large part and as usual by Martyn Minns.”I was following reports that Martyn tells me were speculation and in error. He further suggests that the implication that Archbishop Akinola cannot think for himself is racist. I am quite prepared to believe Martyn and have never been in doubt that the Archbishop can think for himself. I suspect that the following suggestion by Greg Griffith and written in response to the original Church Times article showing that a statement from the Archbishop had been written on Martyn Minns’ computer is closer to the reality:
“Archbishop Akinola was in Virginia last week, when the statement was released. He and Minns spent much time together. It is entirely possible that +Akinola was using Minns' computer to compose his statement. It is more likely that +Akinola was dictating the statement to Minns. It is far more likely that +Akinola was giving shape and form to the statement, while relying on Minns for the exact wording... in other words, exactly what a trusted confidant and Assistant Secretary of the Global South Steering Committee is for.”
I accept that the thinking of two or more people, along with phrasing, drafting and so on, can be a collaborative effort fully owned by the person who signs the statement.
Martyn further indicates that this correspondence alleged to be from Archbishop Akinola was not from him, that there has been some correspondence with another Primate and that they are still doing their best to keep private correspondence private.
Even accepting all of the above, I still find the whole business heartbreaking and am proud of our House of Bishops for defining themselves, being clear about our constitution and canons (which apparently used to be fine for those who committed themselves to the ‘doctrine, discipline and worship of this church’ but are no longer), and seeing through the consequences of the trust that they hold as Bishops in the church. I count everyone who feels that they have to leave The Episcopal Church as a loss at the same time that I am proud of the way the gospel is made incarnate in the witness of the branch of Christ’s Church to which I belong.