The move comes weeks before the “global south” conservative Anglican leaders meet in Alexandria, Egypt, to discuss their continuing programme of opposition to gay rights. Some sources say that this meeting could mark the start of the formal process of schism, with a new Anglican communion being founded to represent orthodox Anglicans.
Communion with Canterbury is regarded as one of the defining characteristics of Anglicanism. The Nigerian Primate, Dr Peter Akinola, has previously said that it is not necessary to go through Canterbury to get to Christ. According to a statement posted on the Anglican Church of Nigeria website, it has now decided to make this official and has “redefined” its relationship with all other Anglican Churches.
Any references to “communion with the See of Canterbury” have been deleted from the [Nigerian Church's] constitution. Instead, the Nigerian Church is defining itself as in communion with Churches, dioceses and provinces that uphold the “historic faith, doctrine, sacrament and discipline of the one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church”. This will certainly rule out the pro-gay Churches of the US and Canada. It will probably also exclude the Church of England.
The Nigerian Church is one of the biggest and is the fastest growing in the communion. It is strictly evangelical and does not ordain women. Dr Akinola recently started a missionary campaign to double the 17.5 million members by 2007 with the aim of making Anglican Christianity the country’s leading religion within a few years.
But his ambitions extend beyond the borders of Africa. Further changes in the constitution allow Nigerian missionaries for the first time to create Anglican “chaplaincies” outside Nigeria.
Did somebody say "massive pastoral provision"? Talk about a feather forArinze's cap.....