Thursday, August 30, 2007

Kenya's Anglicans consecrate conservative US clerics

From Christian Today:

The Anglican Archbishop of Kenya has consecrated two conservative US priests as suffragan bishops to take over the pastoral care of congregations that have broken away from the Episcopal Church in the US because of its pro-homosexual stance.

Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, leader of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), told the Rev Canon Bill Atwood and the Rev Bill Murdoch during Thursday’s service at the All Saints Cathedral Nairobi, “As a bishop ... you are to maintain the Church's discipline, guard her faith and promote her mission in the world.”

Hundreds of Christians, including around 10 primates from the “Global South”, looked on as Atwood and Murdoch pledged their word to “serve the international interests of the Anglican Church of Kenya, to serve clergy and congregations in North America under the Kenyan jurisdiction,” according to Reuters. . .

. . . Bishops Atwood and Murdoch will now oversee 30 North American congregations that have turned to the ACK for leadership.

And from Ruth Gledhill at the Times Online:

The worldwide Anglican Church took a further step towards schism over homosexuality today with the ordination of two American Bishops to pastor to conservative US Anglicans under the jurisdiction of Kenya.

The Right Rev William Murdoch and the Right Rev Bill Atwood were consecrated at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobu by Kenya's Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi. The ordinations are valid but are expected to be counted as "irregular" by Lambeth Palace in London, placing the two outside the officially-recognised Anglican hierarchy.

Nonetheless, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will come under pressure from conservatives to invite the two new bishops to next year's Lambeth Conference. . .

. . . At the service, attended by ten primates from the Global South bloc of conservative African, Asian and Latin American churches, the two men pledged to serve the international interests of the Anglican Church of Kenya and of the congregations in North America that have rejected the care of their own, liberal bishiops and opted for Kenyan jurisdiction.

Archbishop Nzimbi said: “It is evident that the conflicts in the communion affect us all and we have a responsibility to address the areas that we are able to impact.". . .

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