The secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon has reaffirmed remarks given last December to the Church of Ireland Gazette the Anglican Churches in Africa were being manipulated by American conservatives for political ends.
At a 3 Oct 2017 press conference at the primates meeting in Canterbury, Dr. Idowu-Fearon was asked if he stood by his earlier comments. “I have not seen anything to contrary and so I still maintain the statement I made,” he said.
In an interview with The Church of Ireland Gazette, Dr Idowu-Fearon said: “The very strong minority conservatives, not in the UK but in America, they have found a footing amongst some of the leaders in Africa,” he said. “They are the ones that sort of pumped this thing into the leaders, and the leaders decided to make it an African thing. It is not an African thing. There are homosexuals everywhere — even in my diocese.”
He further denied that there were tensions between African Christians and Muslims. “It’s not true. It has not stopped church growth in my part of Nigeria. . . Nobody talks about it.”
He added that he had “never subscribed to the principles behind GAFCON”, telling its general secretary Dr. Peter Jensen that GAFCON was “not a movement of the Holy Spirit, because it is divisive”.
Dr. Idowu-Fearon said he had told GAFCON chairman, the Most Rev Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria, that “our effectiveness is in remaining participating in all that is going on”.
A problem facing the African Anglican churches was “effective leadership.”
African bishops “do not see themselves as leading the way Christ leads his Church. Rather the African church leader sees himself in the light of the traditional rulers: those with absolute authority. There is no consultation.”
GAFCON spokesman, the Rev. Canon Andrew Gross, told reporters on Tuesday Dr. Idowu-Fearons accusation that the African churches were mere stooges for the Anglican Church in North America and other wealthy groups was false.
The African Churches were motivated by fidelity to Scripture and faith in Christ, not American money, Canon Gross said.