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Akinola accuses agents of bribery

26 June 2008

by Paul Handley in Jerusalem

ENGLISH and American “agents” have been trying to bribe African bishops to go to the Lambeth Conference, said the Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Revd Peter Akinola, on Monday.

In his opening address, Archbishop Akinola said: “We know that the expert ‘divide-and-rule’ agents at TEC [the Episcopal Church in the US] and Lambeth have been at work using money and other attractions to buy silence and compromise from some gullible African and Global South church leaders; hence we have begun to see signs of disunity in our ranks.”

At a press conference, the Archbishop was asked to give more details. “You will hear . . . ‘Bishop, if you come to the Lambeth Conference, we can provide you access to those who can fund projects in your diocese.’ We have a lot of evidence.”

Archbishop Akinola said that these “agents” had failed because they had not realised the polity of many dioceses.

A spokesman for the Anglican Communion said on Wednesday: “We strive, through the generosity of parishes and dioceses in the richer parts of the Communion, to offer bursaries to bishops of dioceses who could not otherwise attend the Conference. This is not new and it is not secret. Quite the reverse. . . To suggest this is bribery is ignoble and shocking.”

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