THE Archbishop of Canterbury has defended the appointment of the
next Secretary General of the Anglican Communion (News, 8 May),
after a statement on the website of the Church of Nigeria said that
it had not approved his acceptance of the post.
The statement is signed by the Registrar, the Episcopal
Secretary, and the General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria. It
says that the incoming Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion,
the Bishop of Kaduna, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, is "not in accord
with the theological and doctrinal posture of the Church of
Nigeria", because he does not support the law in Nigeria that
criminalises the gay community.
It goes on: "His acceptance of the post of ACC General Secretary
neither received the approval of the Church of Nigeria, nor does it
in any way affect the Church of Nigeria's theological posture on
the issues of homosexuality and the gay movement. Thus, the Most
Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon represents himself at the ACC, and not the
Church of Nigeria.
"He has taken early retirement from his episcopal
responsibilities in the Church of Nigeria with effect from 01 July
2015. We wish him every blessing."
A statement issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury last Friday
seeks to clarify the process for appointment of the Secretary
General, which "follows a due process of advertising, short-listing
and interviews. In the advertising process emphasis was placed on
giving it the widest possible publicity."
Archbishop Welby said that he was "delighted" Dr Idowu-Fearon
had "emerged as the clear appointee from this transparent
"This highly competitive process has produced a Secretary
General who is an eminent scholar with an international track
record of reconciling people, especially of different faiths. It is
very good news that he comes from the largest and one of the most
vigorous Provinces of the Communion."
Dr Idowu-Fearon's "view on the criminalisation of people of same
gender attraction" was "fully in line with Resolution 1.10 of the
1998 Lambeth Conference".