Commenting on the Barnum Letter – 2

Continuing to examine Bishop Barnum’s letter:

On December 5, my last COB conference call, I learned of a conversation that would eventually take root and change the course of AMIA altogether. Our Chairman reported that in June, at some point during or after the turbulent House of Bishops meeting in Rwanda, retired Archbishop Kolini said to our Chairman that he believed it was time for AMIA to leave Rwanda.

Why was Archbishop Kolini telling anyone what to do? He is retired. Further, why would he counsel leaving the very Province that he comes from? Could it reflect the fact that he was born in Zaire and lived for quite some time in Uganda? In any event, it looks like the interpersonal relationships between Murphy, Kolini, Tay and others outweigh any ecclesiastical loyalty. The institutions exist to serve the leaders, and not the other way around. 

By mid-summer, our Chairman met in London with AMIA’s retired and founding archbishops. It was here, as I understand it, that the concept of a new AMIA Missionary Society took shape out of a perceived concern that AMIA was suddenly vulnerable to the leadership changes in Rwanda.

In what way was AMiA ‘vulnerable’? Vulnerable to what? Oversight? Giving a close account of its finances? Not having its bishop candidates rubber stamped by PEAR? Oversight really does seem to have been a fiction. 

As this meeting took place, the vision of the Missionary Society — a real, tangible “option” — was as yet completely unknown to, and outside the counsel of, our own Rwandan Archbishop, Onesphore Rwaje.

Note Bishop Barnum’s wry use of quotes around the word ‘option.’ He did not buy the line that this was optional. He goes on:

And I realized then, even when I first heard of this plan in late August, I knew that the possibility of leaving Rwanda and starting a new Missionary Society was more than just an “option.”

To me, it felt like a done deal.

Here you have it from a bishop on the inside of AMiA. Despite how this proposal was sold in public as a draft, open to revision, an option, not final, in point of fact the train could not be derailed. It was so unstoppable that Bishop Murphy resigned rather than have this option stopped. 

More later.

4 thoughts on “Commenting on the Barnum Letter – 2”

    1. I don’t know Duane. I would guess that maybe some are nearing retirement (Greene, Johnston), but that’s just a guess.

      1. Even then, minus two, it seems like there would be enough to go around. but maybe I’m speaking as someone who previously lived in San Antonio, Texas too long, where the Catholic archbishop has at 100+ churches and at least 400,000 souls under his care…

        BTW, one of my articles was just published in case you are interested in some of the research I’ve been working on:

        That article is not about Anglicanism though. If you want to read my stuff on Anglicanism both in the Middle East and the West my articles can be found here:

        Forgive me for the shameless self promotion! But I do think my article on Anglicanorum Coetibus and Our Lady of the Atonement might be interesting to you.

        1. Thanks for the links, they look very interesting. I have studied Islam quite a bit, so I am doubly interested. Have you seen this blog?

          As far as the bishops, you are correct. There are way too many for way too few churches. I think AMiA has as many as PEAR, and PEAR has vastly more people to worry about.

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