Nigerian Anglican Primate to Open New North American Anglican Diocese
By David W. Virtue
August 4, 2012
The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, will formally inaugurate the Missionary Diocese of the Trinity, in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 19, 2012.
This comes hard on the heels of the recent 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, a body of Anglicans the Nigerian Anglican Church no longer recognizes because of that church’s moral and theological innovations. TEC’s convention was held in Indianapolis.
In attendance with him will be the Most Rev. Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) other ACNA and CANA Bishops including Bishops Martyn Minns and Julian Dobbs.
The new bishop of the Diocese is the Rt. Rev Amos Fagbamiye, a CANA Suffragan Bishop. Archbishop Okoh’s wife, Nkasiobi Okoh, President Women Ministries – Women Guild & Mother Union Nigeria, The Registrar of the Church of Nigeria and three Nigerian archbishops will accompany him. Following the inauguration, Archbishop Okoh will visit Regina, Saskatchewan in Canada (August 21 -23) with three Nigerian archbishops. The Anglican Church of the Redeemer, Regina will host him at its newly purchased church building at 5000 8th Avenue, Regina, SK, Canada. As this will be his first visit to Canada, he has chosen the historic city of Regina, Saskatchewan as his first stop.
A banquet and worship is planned for Wednesday August 22, 2012 @ 7:00pm (CST) at the same venue. One of the halls in the building will also be named after him (Nicholas Okoh Hall).
The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) (www.canaconvocation.org) is a missionary district sponsored by the largest and most vibrant province of the Anglican Communion, the Church of Nigeria (www.anglican-nig.org). CANA is a founding constituent member of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) and is committed to reaching North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.
The formation of ACNA came following a break with the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) as a result of that church’s departure from the historical formularies and orthodox faith and traditions of the global Anglican Communion. Orthodox Anglicans can now be licensed by the Convocation of Anglican in North America (CANA).
The Anglican Church of Nigeria has 20 million evangelical Anglicans.
This gem from ‘virtueonline’, the self-proclaimed ‘Voice for Global Orthodox Anglicanism’, hosted by a former Baptist from New Zealand, now in North America, takes great delight in trumpeting this announcement of the continuing saga of the activities of one of the former GAFCON & Global South prelates, whose retirement from Nigeria has enabled him to step up his conservative campaign against TEC and the Anglican church of Canada, in North America.
There can be no doubt now about the intentions of Nigerian Archbishop Nicholas Okoh’s intention on retirement from his primacy of the Anglican Church of Nigeria. The news is now hot off the press that he is dedicated to the furtherance of Nigeria’s Border-Crossing technique in the creation of a ‘new diocese’ in the CANA/ACNA/AMIA jungle of over-lapping jurisdictions of quasi-Anglicanism in the USA and Canada.
How this will be viewed by the Anglican Communion Office in the U.K. is yet to be seen. However the presence of so many ‘big guns’ from the schismatic sodalities vying with one another for a foothold in North America bodes ill for the hopes of a continuing relationship between the border-crossing Provinces of the GAFCON constituency and the rest of the Provinces of the world-wide Communion.
Significant from a New Zealand perspective, is that one of our former clergy-persons from the Diocese of Nelson (with Sydney connections), the Rt.Rev. Julian Dobbs, who has been dubbed a ‘Bishop’ of the Nigeria diaspora (CANA), together with ‘Bishop’ Martyn Minns, will be accompanying schismatic ‘Archbishop’ Robert Duncan of ACNA to the opening ceremony of the new (CANA) ‘Missionary Diocese of the Trinity’ (sic).
There are now so many different organisations that have been spawned from GAFCON incursions into North America, that the faux-Anglican churches that have sprung up will have some difficulty in finding the numbers to finance the large number of bishops that have been specially ordained by the border-crossing provinces. The new congregations may find it difficult to maintain the life-styles their various new leaders might hope to attain to in their new environment. Already, the rifts occurring between and among the competing ‘new’ churches must be rather worrying for the insurgents.
On this Eve of the Feast of The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, one can only pray that the loyalists of The Episcopal Church in the USA, and of The Anglican Church of Canada, will be able to continue to give hope to those Anglican in the US and Canada who have felt betrayed by those who have departed schismatically from their parent churches.
In the meantime, the redeeming work of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will continue to be proclaimed by TEC, the ACof C, and all who believe that Jesus came into the world to save sinners – and that’s all of us.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand