Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon interviewed by CoI Gazette
Ian Ellis, editor of the Church of Ireland Gazette, recently interviewed Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Secretary General at the Anglican Communion Office. The full interview lasts 45 minutes, and the recordings can be found here.
There is a report in the Church Times today: Idowu-Fearon: US conservatives manipulating African Anglicans.
THE importance that African church leaders attach to the question of same-sex relationships is the result of interference by conservatives in the United States, the secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has said.
In an interview with The Church of Ireland Gazette, published last week, Dr Idowu-Fearon said that Anglican leaders in Africa seemed “to be so much taken in” by the issue, not because of concerns about the impact on relations with Muslims, but as a result of “very strong minority conservatives” in the US.
“The very strong minority conservatives, not in the UK but in America, they have found a footing amongst some of the leaders in Africa,” he said. “They are the ones that sort of pumped this thing into the leaders, and the leaders decided to make it an African thing. It is not an African thing. There are homosexuals everywhere — even in my diocese.”
He denied that African leaders were anxious about relationships with Muslims: “It’s not true. It has not stopped church growth in my part of Nigeria. . . Nobody talks about it.”
Another report of the interview has been published here: Are the Leaders of Africa’s Anglican Churches “Despotic”?
Posted by Simon Sarmiento (‘T.A.’) on Friday, 16 December 2016
The Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon, a former Archbishop in the Anglican Province of Nigeria, in his recent interview with the Editor of the Church of Ireland Gazette, has admitted that GAFCON is a breakaway part of the worldwide Communion, that he hopes may yet be reconciled with the rest of the Communion Provinces.
Archbishop Josiah is concerned at the fact that the African Primates of the GAFCON group have been influenced by ‘very strong minority conservatives from the U.S.A’, who have brought pressure to bear on the African Provinces on matters of gender and sexuality, in a way that has led to the formation of a conservative bloc in the Churches of the Global South. These conservatives have also been influenced by the fundamentalist outlook of the former archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, who still serves as an official on the GAFCON Council.
The idea that all Africans are ‘anxious’ about their relationship with Muslims is, according to the Secretary-General, a myth; quoting his own Nigerian Province as still growing – despite the presence of Muslims in the area. Also, Africa has to cope with the ‘despotic’ behaviour of some if its Anglican Primates. Archbishop Josiah himself was deposed from his role as an Archbishop in Nigeria by the current Primate of the Province, who did not approve of Josiah’s unwillingness to link up with GAFCON.
It is surely salutary, that an African Archbishop – General Secretary of the Anglican Communion – should be able to offer criticism of some Provinces of the African Church. however, he can do this on the basis of his own treatment by the Primate of All Nigeria.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand