Click here to advertise on

Akinola in combat

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 18, 2005

Your Uncle Di makes no secret that he's a fan of Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria. Here's a link to his recent letter in response to the Primate of Ireland, Robin Eames. A good read.

Content apart, Akinola writes some of the most un-episcopal prose on the market, and for an author I can think of no higher compliment. His writing is almost entirely fat-free, almost all muscle. Try cutting out a clause without loss and you'll find you can't do it. C.S. Lewis once wrote that the secret of a good style is to decide exactly what you want to say and to say that just that. Akinola clearly knows what he's about.

I also admire the way he refuses to be patronized, refuses to have his head patted, refuses to be talked out of the Faith by that div school jargon that impresses -- or at least cows into submission -- less robust souls.

His challenge to his opponents is quite simple: I claim that you have abandoned the biblical faith, the 'faith delivered to the Saints.' You deny it. Yet you can point to no orthodox Christian in the history of the Church -- outside your own contemporary clique -- who did not abominate the opinions you profess. I can't join in your beliefs without cutting myself off from the Church that preceded us, without ceasing to be a Christian -- not because I'm narrow, but because the thing is a logical impossibility.

Akinola is a Protestant, but his reasoning owes more than he acknowledges to Catholic readings of Scripture and the development of doctrine. It seems that a split from Canterbury is inevitable. He might end up a new Wesley, using moral rigorism to rescue Anglicanism from itself, or he might end up on our side of the Tiber. Not for his good alone, I pray it's the latter.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 9 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Fr. William - Oct. 19, 2005 4:45 PM ET USA

    I join you in prayer, Diogenes and "FrPhillips," for Abp. Akinola, & his conversion to the fullness of the Faith in the Catholic Church... and, afterward, for the Holy Father to appoint him to a diocese in the US, where he would, I hope, have a very motivating impact on our bishops in the USCCB...

  • Posted by: - Oct. 19, 2005 9:11 AM ET USA

    The name of the bishop who chided Akinola was John Chane

  • Posted by: Janet Baker - Oct. 18, 2005 6:51 PM ET USA

    Not too long ago, the Episcopal bishop of Washington DC chided Bishop Akinola for his focus on matters of morality while "neglecting social justice" and other such tripe. This bishop (name escapes me at the moment) was present at the "ordination" of the openly gay bishop - figures, doesn't it? God bless Bishop Akinola! Perhaps he could give Cardinal McCarrick and others some pointers!

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Oct. 18, 2005 6:49 PM ET USA

    Are we exalting Peter or are we exalting Jesus (and I don't mean Peter Akinola most definitely)? If a man follows God he will ultimately find the Catholic Church, either in this life formally or mystically in the next It would seem to me that many of us make an idol out of "formal" membership in the Catholic Church instead of facing squarely issues of repentance and reparation We prefer to keep our eyes shut, under the guise of "concern for others" and pretend that hypocrisy doesn't matter

  • Posted by: - Oct. 18, 2005 6:04 PM ET USA

    Historically, the Anglican Church has been a "big tent" for extremely diverse groups. Once it fragments --- and it will --- the various sects will go their own way. Some will seek unity with Peter. Others will splinter further, mutate, or eventually die off.

  • Posted by: FrPhillips - Oct. 18, 2005 6:02 PM ET USA

    While I have the deepest respect for Archbishop Akinola and his stance, Anglicanism still contains the seeds of its own destruction, which is why I left it for Rome nearly a quarter of a century ago. Separated from the Rock upon which Christ founded His Church, even a man like the archbishop, trying to remain faithful, cannot walk in mid-air forever. I pray that he, and those like him, will find the firm foundation they yearn for, which necessitates unity with the Successor of St. Peter.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Oct. 18, 2005 5:22 PM ET USA

    Can anybody name a Roman Catholic bishop who would be capable of as many consecutive words of one syllable? With the possible exception of Cardinal Arinze.

  • Posted by: Gerry H - Oct. 18, 2005 5:04 PM ET USA

    It seems to me that Akinola is on the verge of forming a new denomination. It may have "Anglican" in its name, but it will be distinct. It will have to be, if it is to hold the tenets he is espousing, because the existing Anglican denomination has clearly shown itself incapable of doing so. That has been its failing. It has proven incapable of holding and defending those truths that it has. Simply espousing them has proven not to be enough.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Oct. 18, 2005 4:14 PM ET USA

    I have only one editorial suggestion for your homage to Akinola. Your reference to div school jargon and less robust souls should echo TS Eliot's hollow souls; less robust is much too kind an adjective. Less robust souls are merely playing footsie with heresy; hollow souls are most of the way there.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Insights on the enigma that is Pope Francis March 27
Our Most Characteristic Vice? March 27
Recognizing the Noonday Devil March 27
Patricia Jannuzzi on gay activists: And the real problem is? March 27
Surrogate parenthood = exploitation of desperate women March 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope announces Jubilee: a Year of Mercy CWN - March 13