I'd laugh my Episcopalian self silly if this were not true. Picked up by Google News, The Jerusalem Post has reported that
In a revolutionary move bordering on schismatic, African archbishops unilaterally announced Sunday in Jerusalem that they have taken over the leadership of the Anglican Church from England and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.
Following the installation of Rev. Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as Bishop of New Hampshire, many displeased conservative Episcopalians searched for a new way to express their love of Jesus and hatred of gays by leaving ECUSA (Episcopal Church in the United States of America). Some, like the Truro Church, have aligned themselves with the Anglican Church of Nigeria, headed by Peter Akinola.
Frederick Clarkson's diary covers Akinola very well, so I'll head you there, since he is far better writer than I! Not to mention more thorough.
The African Bishop's statement, called the Jerusalem Declaration, says the Archbishop of Canterbury has failed to discipline those who have supported Bishop Robinson, and have instead been preaching a "false gospel".
The declaration criticizes the Archbishop of Canterbury for failing to take action against those who proclaim this false gospel.
"Bishops of unrepentant churches are welcome to Lambeth 2008," said the declaration adding that there has been a "failure to honor promises of discipline."
The conservative clergymen go on to say that "we do not accept that Anglican identity is determined necessarily through recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury."
I'm a cradle Episcopalian myself. I'm no theologian. This Jerusalem Declaration is an abomination, and if Rowan Williams does not finally stand up to these heretics, he should resign and allow someone with the love of Christ in heart to take action against these steeplejackers.
According to Rev. Dr. Arne H. Fjeldstad, who's the head of communications for Communications for the Global Anglican Future:
"Jerusalem was the natural place for us to go back to our Jewish roots and our Christian heritage. It is a way of reaffirming that we are Bible-believing Christians."
The rabid religious right has stretched it's tenacles to Africa, and is poisoning the faith there as well. I tend to take offence at people who use the codeword "Bible-believing Christians" as it always turns out they are bigots of one form or another.
To me, the 1928 Book of Common Prayer says it best:
Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith.
THOU shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
The Church of England, the Anglican Communion and ECUSA should keep us all very amused, and angry, for some time. I remember when women were ordained and the outrage that occurred then. This however, is much worse. In the end, I'm hopeful that love will prevail.