THE Bishop of Kaduna, in Nigeria, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, has
been appointed as the next secretary-general of the Anglican
Communion. He succeeds the Rt Revd Kenneth Kearon, now the
Bishop of Limerick & Killaloe, in the Church of Ireland (News, 12
Dr Idowu-Fearon said that it was an honour to be chosen for the
position. "I am excited to take up the post of secretary-general of
the Anglican Communion, and to continue the fine work undertaken by
my predecessors in this office," he said.
His appointment has been welcomed by the Archbishop of
Canterbury. "I look forward to working closely with him",
Archbishop Welby said, "in the renewal of the Anglican Communion
amidst the global challenges facing us today."
The chairman of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Rt Revd
James Tengatenga, said that Dr Idowu-Fearon's experience in
building bridges between Chris-tians and Muslims would be
Shortly after his appointment was announced, Dr Idowu-Fearon had
to defend his position on homosexuality, after newspaper reports of
previous sermons of his appeared online. In a statement on
Saturday, he said that the reports were misleading, and that he had
always opposed a Nigerian law that criminalises homosexuality.
Bishop Tengatenga said that the panel that appointed Dr
Idowu-Fearon agreed that it was "long overdue" for the post to be
held by someone from the "majority world". "It is well known that
Bishop Josiah holds a conservative view on sexual relations outside
of traditional marriage," he said. "There is more than one issue to
address, and, while some may question his suitability, many in the
Communion - from different convictions on the issues, and both
sides of the Atlantic Ocean - can vouch for his integrity and
commitment to reconciliation."
Dr Idowu-Fearon became Bishop of Kaduna in 1998, having been
previously Bishop of Sokoto; Warden of St Francis of Assisi
Theological College, in Wusasa, Nigeria; and Provost of St
Michael's Cathedral, Kaduna. He was, for a period, Archbishop of
the province of Kaduna.
He studied theology at Durham University, and has a Master's
degree in Islamic theology from Birmingham University, and is an
acknowledged expert on Christian-Muslim relations.
In 2007, he was appointed a Six Preacher at Canterbury. In 2013,
he was awarded the Cross of St Augustine by Archbishop Welby.
Dr Idowu-Fearon, who is married and has two children, will take
up his new post in July.