06.13c. The African Church, Principle, and Money. . The chairman of The Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) said in April that he will not accept money from apostate American churches. As the International Press Service News Agency puts it

"We do not want any money from the Episcopal Church of the United States of America. This is not rhetoric. It is not a matter of a joke. We mean what we say," the chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, Nigeria’s Archbishop Peter Akinola said, as the other clergymen nodded in affirmation.

Akinola was addressing a news conference in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, on behalf of the continent's 12 archbishops, on Friday. The conference followed a two-day meeting to review the African bishops’ stand on homosexuality. Five archbishops from Latin America, Asia and Middle East also attended the gathering. The church in the four regions does not condone homosexuality.

"Those who have chosen a different path away from Anglican doctrines must repent and come back to the Anglican fold or be kicked out of the communion," Akinola said. "We have recommended to the Lambeth Commission (in London) to take this clear line of disciplinary action against ECUSA because of what it has done."

He said the Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA) had violated Anglican teachings by supporting gay unions.


IPS could not establish how much money they received from the west. But Akinola said, "A few provinces have been receiving money for HIV/AIDS programmes and rehabilitation projects. We have just requested our primates to get exact figures of what they have been getting from ECUSA and make them available by end of May. But at the moment, we don’t have any figures."

According to unofficial statistics, 70 percent of the African church’s funding comes from the United States. But this time, "We are saying no to dependency syndrome. We have realised that we have to be self reliant," Akinola said. "If we denounce ECUSA, then it is also best that we refuse their money. We will not accept their money because they have decided to redefine Christianity to suit their needs."

"We are going to suffer for a while. But if we do so to gain our independence, it will be a good thing for the continent," said Akinola. By refusing the funds, the Anglican church in Africa will not be subjected to manipulation by the west, he said.

An official of the Anglican Church of Kenya, who was close to the meeting, told IPS, "It was not easy for the clergy to reach a consensus. Many of them have reservations, but they are just trying to speak with one voice".

In a desperate attempt to make money, the bishops have decided to embark on profit- making activities to support the church. These activities will include renting out church buildings and using the money to support existing projects, as "we look for other ways of ensuring that the church sustains itself", Akinola said.

The Episcopal News Service adds this information:

Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, chair of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), declared April 15 that African Anglican primates will refuse money from any US diocese that allows gay men and lesbians to function as clergy in the Episcopal Church.

"If we suffer for a while to gain our independence and our freedom and to build ourselves up, I think it will be a good thing for the church in Africa," Akinola told the Associated Press during a news conference in Nairobi. "And we will not, on the altar of money, mortgage our conscience, mortgage our faith, mortgage our salvation."

But a statement released on behalf of the CAPA primates the next day does not refer to any plans that reject US funding, although it does call for the Episcopal Church to be disciplined if it shows no "signs of repentance" within three months for consecrating a gay man as a diocesan bishop in November 2003.

"As CAPA Primates we stand firm to what we have decided that if there is no sign of repentance on the part of ECUSA, the consequences will determine the next line of our action," the statement said.


It was not clear what would be the immediate effect of Akinola's declaration that the CAPA primates would not accept donations from certain dioceses within the Episcopal Church.

"All disbursements for mission from the national budget for this year have been made already," said the Rev. Pat Mauney, director of Anglican and Global Relations (AGR) for the Episcopal Church. "The disbursements are offered without strings attached. If they decide not to accept, we respect their decision."

Of the 12 African provinces, Nigeria and Central Africa do not request mission funds from AGR. Of the remaining ten, only Uganda has rejected a $7,500 grant, and Rwanda has not yet responded for the 2003-2006 triennium. The CAPA secretariat accepted a $16,000 grant from AGR for 2003.

Other mission funds come through wealthy parishes such as Trinity Church in New York and Truro Church in Virginia, as well as independent foundations and mission organizations. Another source is the companion diocese relationship between American and African dioceses and provinces. Currently 19 US dioceses whose bishops voted in favor of the Robinson consecration have formal or informal relationships in Africa, while another 17 whose bishops voted against Robinson have formal or informal links with African dioceses.

The stance is admirable. I'm trying to find or help create a way to aid the African Church financially, if they really are carrying through with their noble words. Contact me if you want to donate.

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