Tuesday, April 20, 2004

So what did you expect?

The Diocesan Board of our Diocese of Central Florida voted to send funding to the Anglican Communion Network. I think that's what they're calling themselves now. I tried to look at their web site and got a message I'm not authorized to enter it, though my diocese is sending them $20,000, which includes payment retroactive to January 1.

That we're sending them money comes as no surprise. Back in the old days last fall when the AAC was getting individual parishes to sign up, part of the charter was that the parish would send a significant contribution to the AAC. (Now, even the Network has quit denying that they are the AAC.) I suspect that diocesan money has been going to the AAC for a good while, in one way or another.

So while my diocese is not sending the money it should to the national church, because of the "default," which I never trusted, anyway, it is funding this organization which operates in secrecy, which operates against the national church.

So I'm not putting any money in the collection plate. No portion of my donation will go to the Network or the AAC. Not one penny for tribute. That's MY default. I'll put donations into specific ministries of my parish, money that stays in my parish, and send some to the national church. Not that my little bit makes any difference. It's just the thought of it.

At the same time, Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria is saying the African provinces are rejecting US funding, since it's tainted by having a homosexual bishop in the church. As someone in the Voices of Central Florida Via Media group asked, just who will suffer from this? Not the archbishops. Hungry, sick children, most likely. Akinola made a lot of noise, but the official CAPA statement the next day didn't say it would refuse money -- it's giving ECUSA three months to "repent."

This is from an article on Episcopal News Service, with a quote that pretty well sums up my own sense of their mixed-up priorities:

At the Episcopal Church Center in New York, the Rev. Benjamin Musoke-Lubega, partnership officer for Africa, expressed surprise at the CAPA statement's strong emphasis on the issue of human sexuality.

"In my capacity, I have visited many of the provinces in Africa and observed what goes on the continent," said Musoke-Lubega. "I wonder why the primates did not address the issue of genocide that is currently an issue in the Darfur region of Sudan, the conflicts in Northern Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the continuing situation in Liberia, and especially the tragedy of HIV/AIDS, which affects millions of Africans daily?"

(From an article "Mixed signals emerge from Nairobi meeting of Global South primates" by Jan Nunley, Friday, April 16.)

These primates made statements to the effect that they're going to maintain their African culture, whatever that implies. Too bad they don't want to allow for anyone else's cultural difference.

Well, I thought to myself, if they refuse ECUSA's money, maybe it will make up the national church's budget deficit. Of course, if they should refuse money from ECUSA, I'm sure they will accept it from our Network dioceses.

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