‘Bishop Dobbs’ in New Zealand to represent CANA @ ACC15

Noted by their refusal…an Anglican Bishop and clergy rep from Nigeria and one from CANA

(article from ‘Praeludium’ web-site – Fr. Mark Harris, TEC)

David Virtue, on Virtueonline has reported that two Nigerianbishops and one clearly irregular bishop, Julian Dobbs, have refused to receive communion at the ACC meeting in New Zealand.  He reports,”The Most Rev. Ikechi Nwosu, Archbishop of Aba in the Church of Nigeria, the largest Province in the Anglican Communion, the Ven. Dr. Abraham Okorie, Diocese of Nsukka and US-based CANA Bishop Julian Dobbs said they could not take communion because relationships are fractured over serious Gospel issues such as: the uniqueness and Lordship of Jesus Christ, the unchangeable standard of Christian marriage between one man and one woman, and the historic understanding that the Bible contains all things necessary for salvation.”Bishop Nwosu and Dr. Okorie are both members of the Anglican Consultative Council. That they decided not to receive communion is not unexpected, given past experience, but continues the strange notion that refraining fromCommunion ought to be used as a political / theological statement. In particular the opening Eucharist of the ACC makes the refusal a “prime time” protest event. Oh well.Meanwhile Bishop Julian Dobbs has surfaced again.  He is a bishop chosen by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) and serves, I believe, on a commission or committee of the ACC as an “advisor.”  He is at the ACC meeting, but is not a member. So although his not taking communion is a show of solidarity with the two Nigerian members, it is not much else.  Except of course to remind us that the Anglican Communion Office has deemed it proper to invite as a participant from its networks a person whose office is the result of recent deliberate continuation of incursion into the life of a member church by another church.Once the camel gets its nose under the tent flap we are just talking about the details. Pretty soon the camel will be in the tent and there will be no end of it.Meanwhile, the ENS reports that

“Anglican Communion General Secretary Kenneth Kearon said an Oct. 29 (local time) press briefing that while no province is officially staying away from the ACC15 meeting, there are some people missing.

Anglican Communion News Service reported that out of 87 delegates, 10 are not yet present. They include three members from Uganda and one each from Congo, Ireland, North India, Pakistan, Philippines, Tanzania and from among those invited by the Anglican Communion Standing Committee to ensure diversity of membership on the council. Some of those seven are still in transit while others have declined because of personal or administrative reasons, or because of visa issues.

“There’s no province staying away,” Kearon said.

The Church of the Province of Uganda is not represented at the meeting, but only because it forgot to choose its members, he said. The province was due to have chosen its three members this past summer at the same meeting during which the Rt. Rev. Stanley Ntagali was elected the 8th Archbishop of the Church of Uganda.”

The briefing puts a good face forward, although reporting that “some people are missing” leads one to wonder. Uganda I suspect did not come on purpose. The others are subject to the problems of life in this troubled world.

Maybe it is just as well Uganda did not come. Had they come they too could have refused communion and joined those whose sense of what “together” is about is limited to making statements one way or another by their presence or absence at the Lord’s Table.

               I find it rather odd that a former New Zealand clergy-person – from the Nelson diocese in New Zealand, but now a ‘bishop’ in CANA (the foundling child of the Anglican Church in Nigeria planted in North America), should even have been invited to this ACC Meeting. What purpose could this serve, except to give CANA the idea that the Anglican Communion Office welcomes CANA to the Table at ACC15?
               bishop Dobbs is a former member of ACANZP, who has moved schismatically to take up a quasi-episcopal post with the GAFCON-sponsored opposition to one of the ACC’s partner-Churches – The Episcopal Church (TEC). Dobbs’ ‘refusal’ to sit at the Eucharistic Table with the representatives of TEC at this meeting in New Zealand might best be seen as his disqualification from that privilege – on account of his wilful schismatic departure from TEC. However, with the Anglican Communion’s odd invitation for him to appear at the conference as even an ‘observer’, has now given him this unique opportunity to ‘cock a snook’ – not only at the Presiding bishop of TEC, but also at his former Church of ACANZP in New Zealand, and at the whole Communion – of which CANA is NOT a member.
               How sad that this should have come about in the first place – a situation that has now been exacerbated by the maladroit action of someone at the Anglican Communion Office. One can only hope that, while ‘Bishop’ Dobbs is in Aotearoa/New Zealand for this conference, the current Bishop of Nelson (ACANZP) does not invite him (with or without ‘canonicals’) to preside and celebrate in his former diocese.
               That would be rather a case of  ‘rubbing it in’.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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3 Responses to ‘Bishop Dobbs’ in New Zealand to represent CANA @ ACC15

  1. Paul Powers says:

    Paragraphs 3 through 12 of the post you are quoting from actually comes from Mark Harris at Preludium: http://anglicanfuture.blogspot.com/2012/10/noted-by-their-refusalan-anglican.html.

    Also, you talk about Bishop Dodd’s schismatic departure from TEC, but was he ever canonically resident in a TEC diocese to begin with?

  2. kiwianglo says:

    My understanding, Paul, is that Julian Dodds left New Zealand to become a priest in the Episcopal Church in the U.S. If you have other information to the contrary, I would gladly amend my posting. have you contrary evidence?

  3. Paul Powers says:

    I thought I had read in an article when he was chosen to be a CANA bishop that he had maintained his canonical residence in New Zealand, but it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been mistaken.

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