Congolese archbishop repudiates illicit Florida consecrations

The Archbishop of the Congo has distanced his province from the illicit consecration of two bishops in Florida last week for the successor to the Anglican Mission in America — the Anglican Society for Mission and Apostolic Works (ASMAW).

On 2 May 2015 the Most Rev. Emmanuel Kolini, the former primate of Rwanda, and the Most Rev. Yong Ping Chung, the former primate of South East Asia, the Rt. Rev. Charles Murphy, the former leader of the AMiA assisted by three Congolese bishops, a Tanzanian bishop and a Ghanaian bishop consecrated the Rev. Gerry Schnackenberg and the Rev. Carl Buffington as “Bishop Emissaries” for the Congolese diocese of Boga and the Tanzanian diocese of Kibondo.

According to the AMiA’s website, the “Bishop Emissary of a Mission Partner allows the Bishop of that Diocese to promote their Diocese, bringing awareness of its works and needs to other organizations and Christian bodies outside the geographical borders of their Diocese.”

Then two bishops will also be licensed as bishops of the ASMAW  — an independent denomination in the Anglican tradition — said the Rt. Rev. Philip Jones, its Apostolic Vicar and will provide episcopal ministry to its congregations.

 

“Both priests will add value and manpower to assist in confirmations, ordinations and other such responsibilities as designated by me. I will be grateful for this additional help,” Bishop Jones said.

 

However, the primate of the Anglican Church of the Congo, the Most Rev. Henri Isingoma, Bishop of Kinshasa told Anglican Ink he had sought “in vain” to dissuade Archbishop Kolini from proceeding with the consecrations. He also accused Archbishop Kolini of “manipulating three congolese bishops” who had given him “their loyalty” in exchange “for the financial support that he is providing to them from AMIA.”

 

On 19 April 2015 Archbishop Isingoma wrote to the Congolese church saying the consecrations did not have the sanction of the church’s House of Bishops.  “We do not recognize them as legitimate bishops nor do we know their intentions/objectives in their mission among us,” he said.

 

The consecrations weakened the Congolese church, he said. “We deplore AMiA’s behavior to try and weaken the structure of our Province in order to achieve its goals that greatly contribute to the disobedience among the bishops and to the division in our church.”

Archbishop Kolini did not respond to a request for comments as of our going to press.

 

Letter from the Archbishop of the Congo concerning the ASMAW

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