FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jim Pierobon, 301-520-1758
Bishop Minns Reaches Out To CANA Congregations, Assures Dissenters They Will Always Be Welcome As Anglican Christians in America
· Expresses sadness at ‘harsh language’ of Episcopal Bishop Peter James Lee
· Accompanying letter from Archbishop Peter Akinola reasserts respect for all persons regardless of sexual orientation
FAIRFAX, Va., Dec. 21 – Declaring a stronger bond with faithful Anglicans around the world, the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, missionary Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, today welcomed the eight congregations in northern Virginia that voted last weekend to join CANA after severing ties with The Episcopal Church.
In a pastoral letter to The Falls Church in Falls Church, Truro Church and Church of the Apostles in Fairfax, St. Margaret’s in Woodbridge, St. Stephen’s in Heathsville, Church of the Word in Manassas, Potomac Falls in Sterling and St. Paul’s Haymarket, Bishop Minns called the overwhelming votes a “remarkable testimony to your desire to find a way to continue to remain true to your call as faithful Christians within the Anglican tradition.”
“Everyone is welcome to participate in our common life regardless of their vote on this or any matter,” Bishop Minns said. “If someone tells you that they voted against the resolution (to sever ties), then I encourage you assure them that they are loved and included as full members of the family of God in this place.”
Bishop Minns expressed sadness and disappointment at “strangely harsh” language from Bishop Lee this week. “I am particularly troubled by the rather blatant attempt to create fear and division” among Anglicans. “This is not the Bishop Lee that I know and respect,” he added.
In an accompanying letter, The Most Rev. Peter Akinola, who as head of the Church of Nigeria initiated Martyn Minns’ consecration as the missionary bishop to head CANA, responded to questions about his views regarding a bill pending in the Nigerian legislature addressing same-sex marriages and homosexual acts.
“That is a distortion of our true position,” Archbishop Akinola said. “We are a church that teaches the truth of the Holy Scriptures and understands that every person, regardless of their religion or sexual orientation, is made in the image of God, loved by God and deserving of the utmost respect,” Archbishop Akinola wrote.
Archbishop Akinola said he does not want to see his nation “follow the path of license and immorality that we have witnessed in other parts of the world. And we also oppose the severe sanctions of Islamic law.”
Bishop Minns said his prayer is that events of the past few days will bear witness to the “Word of radical inclusion and profound transformation.”
Both letters are available at http://canaconvocation.org.