More news here on the slow schism of the Episcopal Church.

The installation of a local minister who recently broke with the Episcopal Church and will now oversee other breakaway congregations was a unique and historic event and one that the Nigerian Anglican leader called "just the first step."

Archbishop Peter Akinola of the Anglican Church of Nigeria makes remarks after his installation of Rev. Martyn Minns (standing, L) as the Missionary Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America by in Woodbridge, Virginia, May 5, 2007. The convocation represents a group of congregations who have broken from the Episcopal Church over various social and church issues and have now officially become part of the Nigerian church body.

In the West the Anglican Communion is withering away. Here in the U.S. the Episcopal Church (Anglicans in the US) fights among themselves, primarily over stands taken by the U.S. bishops on same-sex practice and marriage, and fidelity to Scripture. In Africa Anglicanism is growing and is conservative. Perhaps we have here a blessed irony, the children of the Western missionary movement returned to save the parent church.

Here is the letter Episcopal Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori sent to Archbishop Akinola. (from the official Episcopalian website) I want to highlight this paragraph from her letter:

First, such action would violate the ancient customs of the church which limits the episcopal activity of a bishop to only the jurisdiction to which the bishop has been entrusted, unless canonical permission has been given. Second, such action would not help the efforts of reconciliation that are taking place in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion as a whole. Third, such action would display to the world division and disunity that are not part of the mind of Christ, which we must strive to display to all.

What a howler! What unblessed irony. "violate ancient customs of the church . . ." that is exactly what the Episcopal church in the U.S. is doing with regard to same-sex practice and Scripture; "would not help the efforts of reconciliation" the Presiding Bishop herself has said that the Episcopal church would not back down on same-sex ordination and marriage, and condescendingly predicted that the rest of Anglicanism eventually would catch up; "would display to the world division" well, who started the division? not Nigeria.

Why are liberals always so irony-impaired?