Nigerian archbishop in Lambeth meeting with Dr Williams

“Archbishop Wabukala’s absence was explained as due to a diary conflict.

However, Kenyan leaders tell The Church of England Newspaper this explanation for Archbishop Wabukala’s absence by the ACC staff was not entirely straight forward.”

George Conger in CofE Newspaper

The head of the Anglican Communion’s largest province will meet with the Archbishop of Canterbury this week at Lambeth Palace.

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria is scheduled to meet with Dr. Williams on Feb 17, and will also meet with officials from the Nigerian High Commission and Nigerian expatriates during a three day pastoral visit to the UK

A spokesman for Archbishop Okoh said this week’s visit will be his first to London since his election as primate. A trip set for December 2010 was postponed due to inclement weather. The trip will also provide an opportunity for Dr. Rowan Williams to mend fences with the Nigerian Church, which along with a majority of the African church has become estranged from Lambeth over the past three years.

Regaining the trust of the estranged members of the Anglican Communion would be a “long task” and would be “difficult”, Dr. Williams said at the closing press conference of the Dublin primates meeting last month. However, that is the “task we’ve been given, it’s part of the gift of living in the Church” and “part of the cross we carry.”

The Anglican Communion was faced with a “critical situation,” Dr. Williams said. “Nobody would deny that. But that critical situation has not ended the rela­tionships, often very cordial and very constructive, between Churches within the Communion.”

The archbishop noted he had recently met with Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, who did not attend the primates meeting, taking part in “a very long and detailed conversation on a variety of matters.”

In a statement released at the start of the meeting, the Anglican Communion News Service stated that 7 primates had absented themselves from the meeting due to “recent developments in the Episcopal Church,” while 8 others were not able to attend “because of health reasons, others for personal reasons and a few because of issues in their Provinces, such as the referendum in Sudan.”

Archbishop Wabukala’s absence was explained as due to a diary conflict.

However, Kenyan leaders tell The Church of England Newspaper this explanation for Archbishop Wabukala’s absence by the ACC staff was not entirely straight forward. The reason there was a diary conflict, a Kenya bishop told CEN, was because Archbishop Wabukala had already told Dr. Williams last autumn he was not going to Dublin if Bishop Jefferts Schori was present at the meeting. Archbishop Wabukala adjusted his schedule, removing the primates meeting from his calendar after Dr Williams issued the invitation to the US presiding bishop.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.