Thursday, October 22, 2009

If You Can't Beat 'Em....

Almost half the Anglicans in the world, some 40 million people, live in Nigeria. The primate of the Anglican church in both Nigeria and Africa generally is Archbishop Akinola of the See of Abuja.

The Anglican church is suffering splits and defections now. They are fighting over the widespread ordination of women as priests in the US and Canada. And fighting over the investiture, in New Hampshire, of an openly gay bishop. (Giving a whole new meaning to "bishopric"?)

In an open attempt to woo wavering conservative Anglicans to convert to Roman Catholicism, the Catholic church has issued what it calls "an apostolic constitution". Under this constitution, married Anglican priests could remain priests. It would permit whole parishes, sees, and regions, to join the Catholic church yet retain autonomy within it.

One major obstacle to merging large sections of the Anglican church into the Roman one is the coolness of Archbishop Akinola to the idea. Akinola is low church and bible oriented. Benedict is an elitist who pursues the most refined and intellectual of high church theologies.

With my usual impeccable moral standards, I propose to resolve the question with bribery.

I wonder if making Archbishop Akinola a cardinal with the expectation that he would succeed the now 82 year old Benedict XVI as pontiff would help. Having an African pope would greatly enhance Catholic evangelism in Africa where Christianity often comes in a lame second to Islam. An African pope oriented to the Bible, as Archbishop Akinola is, would also be a sharp turnaround from Benedict XVI's elitist (some would say) emphasis on the the most refined and intellectual of theologies.

An African pope might energize the church, make it more inclusive, and make it more attractive to young people. There have been many African saints, maybe it is time for an African pope as well.

As pope, Archbishop Akinola might do for the Catholic church what Barack Obama has done for the Democratic Party and for the United States.


  1. Unless any of you happens to be the pope or at least a cardinal, none of us has anything whatsoever to say on the issue. But it's fun to have opinions.

  2. A Polish Pope, yes. A German pope, only if he is very old. An African Pope????? When Kosher pigs fly.

  3. Anonymous3:32 AM

    You anti catholic bigot.

  4. Anonymous4:22 PM

    Wow, this is one of the worst blogs I HAVE EVER SEEN! Congratulations!

  5. Anonymous11:46 PM

    Jack, I actually liked your creative solution until I came to this sentence...until I realized what a genius you really are! (NOT)

    what Barack Obama has done for the Democratic Party and for the United States.

    And what exactly would that be?

  6. In reply to Anonymous - schane punim that she is -

    What Barack Obama has done for the United States is to change our fears about black people from the risk they will mug us in alleys to the fear that they will nationalize our medical insurance.

    As pope, Akinola would change our fears about Africans from them all having AIDS to fears they will liberalize the church.