Africa's Anglican archbishops have vowed not to receive donations
from western churches which support the ordination of gay
"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 the 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.
Last August the Episcopal church consecrated Gene Robinson, who
had lived with a man for 13 years, as bishop of New Hampshire
The move prompted the majority of churches from Africa, Asia and
Latin America to sever links with Robinson's diocese.
The Lambeth Commission was formed to gather views on
homosexuality and look into measures to mend the differences that
have threatened to tear apart the 450-year old Anglican
"We believe the commission will accept our recommendation because
we represent more than half of the entire Anglican world,"
Of the 70-million Anglicans worldwide, 42-million live in Africa.
To show their seriousness, the bishops issued a three-month
ultimatum on Friday to the Episcopal Church of the United States
to repent or face dismissal from the Anglican Church.
The church in Africa depends on funding from the west,
particularly from the Episcopal Church of the United States to
run its projects.
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% of the African church's
funding comes from the United States.
"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
By refusing the funds, the Anglican church in Africa will not be
subjected to manipulation by the west, he said.
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
During a visit to Kenya last year, former South African Anglican
archbishop Desmond Tutu said he did not understand the hue and
cry over the gay debate.
He urged gay people seeking election in churches to remain
celibate. This sparked a furious reaction from Kenyan clergy.
"I do not see Africa ever taking a homosexual to be a bishop,"
"The answer to the homosexual problem is continuous teaching and
convincing them that homosexuality is not a way of life." -