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General News of Wednesday, 5 November 2003

Source: GNA

West African province of Anglican Church breaks away

Kumasi, Nov. 5, GNA- The West African Province of the Anglican Church has with immediate effect broken communion with the Episcopal Church of the United States, following the consecration of gay Anglican Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

The Most Reverend Justice Ofei Yaw Akrofi, Bishop-elect of the Province, who announced the decision was emphatic that homosexuality was "unscriptural, unnatural and totally incompatible with Christian values". It was therefore wrong "to accept Gene Robinson as a Bishop of the Communion".

The Most Reverend Akrofi said this at the opening of a four-day Joint Anglican Diocesan Council Meeting in Kumasi on Wednesday. The theme for the meeting is "Mission 2020 - Without Vision, My People Perish".

The Bishop-elect acknowledged that technically the Spiritual Head of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the Church's Constitution now stands could not have intervened to prevent the disgraceful act from taking place.

He said it was to help avoid any such unfortunate incident in the future that the Anglican Communion globally was taking another look at the present Constitution.

The Right Reverend E.A. Arongo, Presiding Bishop of the Church in Ghana, asked churches in Africa to engage in United Prayer for peace on the continent so as to pave way for its development.

He noted that prayers of people of faith work wonders, adding, "bombs and guns only destroy, they are not powerful".

He also called for genuine and sincere partnership between the church and the state and said government and the church should listen and consult each other for smooth implementation of development programmes. The Right Reverend Arongo said criticisms and suggestions made to the government should not always be interpreted and seen through the lenses of politics.

He asked the Anglican Church to critically examine the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) document and look at aspects it could incorporate into its own development plan.

"The Church seeks to present a holistic Gospel that seeks not only to win souls but also develop the mind, physical and socio-economic well being of men and so I see NEPAD as a vision for both the Church and state which must be embraced," he said.