Shock Exclusive – Martyn Minns and Peter Akinola are colleagues who work together
OK, who wants some internal Anglican politiking? Really? Go on then…
The Church Times has a piece this morning “revealing” how a recent letter by Peter Akinola, the Primate of Nigeria, was extensively edited before publication by Martyn Minns, the new CANA bishop in Virginia. Apparently this is a huge scandal and indicative of some evil right wing conservative orthodox conspiracy. Here’s what the Church Times said:
Close examination of the document, tracing the authorship, editing history, and timing of changes, reveals about 600 insertions made by Bishop Minns, including whole new sections amounting to two-thirds of the final text. There is also a sprinkling of minor amendments made by Canon Chris Sugden of the conservative group Anglican Mainstream.
The first three paragraphs, which seem to be from the hand of Bishop Minns, describe a “costly and debilitating” ten-year journey, “as most recently demonstrated by the tepid response to the invitations to the proposed Lambeth Conference 2008”. There is “little enthusiasm even to meet”, the writer suggests.
This all seems to be quite bizarre. Not the editing of the letter you understand, but the story. Firstly, who in their right mind who knows anything about the current Anglican shenanigans thinks that Akinola and Minns don’t work together? They were together in Dar Es Salaam, together in Nottingham for the ACC meeting in 2005, and in numerous other places. They have a close working relationship and that’s part of the reason for Akinola asking Minns to help edit his pronouncements. He trusts him.
Secondly, it’s perfectly normal for most senior leaders to let others help write their public missives. Do you think Gordon Brown and George W Bush write their own speeches? What about Rowan Williams? Do you think everything that ever officially echoes from Lambeth Palace with his name on it has been entirely created by himself? Do we believe that in the liberal camp no-one looks at other people’s important pronouncements?
Rich Anglican Fudge (welcome back!!!) have the understanding of the story absolutely right with this gem of a poster:
I think that just about covers that. In other news, Giles Fraser wrote in his column his outrage that Mexico was full of Mexicans. The Church Times leader also expressed amazement that water was wet and that fire burns.