About that Apology

The Washington Statement reported that Bishop Murphy had used the phrase reverse colonialism while meeting with the Rwandan House of Bishops:

Given these financial and ecclesiastical concerns, some of the Rwandan bishops expressed the desire to exercise greater authority over the AMiA,  including the Rwandan House of Bishops electing the AMiA chairman. In response, Bp  Murphy cautioned the Rwandan bishops against “reverse colonialism.” During the  presentation, he claimed to have told the Rwandan House of Bishops that their “directing  and shaping what happens in North America is a bad idea.” He went on to say that their  increased involvement would be both “missiologically crazy and practically foolish.”

In his resignation letter to Archbishop Rwaje, Murphy said:

Let me begin by sincerely apologizing both to you and to the House of Bishops for any language that I have recently used that has caused hurt or pain to you or to any of my fellow bishops. I did not sense, nor did anyone tell me, that my reference to the dangers of reverse colonialism at the September House of Bishops meeting was received as being abusive. Since it appears that it did bring offense, then I do apologize and ask your forgiveness.

Two days ago, however, retired Archbishop Kolini appeared to walk back that apology when speaking to AMiA clergy, where he is reported to have said that “it is reverse colonialism.” Later, during the Bishops’ Roundtable, Kolini said: “Rwanda wanted to hold a remote control to the AM, that had to be resisted…But we shall resist the spirit of remote control.”

This division between former Archbishop Kolini and his own Province is astonishing and very revealing. What would he have done with the AMiA if it has “resisted” his “remote control” during his tenure? This group is entirely unfit for insertion into ACNA as currently constituted.

5 thoughts on “About that Apology”

  1. Joel,

    Archbishop Kolini’s role in this whole affair is increasingly becoming more evident. As we both know, he appointed Kevin Donlon as Rwandan’s canon for ecclesiastical affairs, enabling him to participate in the GAFCON Theological Group and the the GAFCON Theological Education and Formation Committee, he championed Canon Donlon’s ideas, and he ensured the passage of the canons that Donlon had drafted. It was to Kolini rather than the PEAR central accounting office that Bishop Murphy channeled the monies raised in the United States for Rwanda. Kollini then used the money for various projects in his Province. The evidence does not suggest Kolini misused the money. It was used for worthwhile projects. Nonetheless the provincial canons were ignored in the process.

    When large sums of money are distributed by one person as was the case, there is always the strong possibility that ecclesiastical politics played a role in the determination of what projects received money and what projects did not. I am reminded of the bad old days in the Church of England when clergy vied with each other for the patronage of the king, the bishops, and other influential people. With the right patron a clergyman had a better chance of receiving preferment as well as obtaining one or more of the better livings.

    From what I gather the distribution of the money that the PEAR received from the United States was not the only matter in which Kolini saw himself as not bound by the canons of his province.

    Kolini claims that Murphy was the victim of politics. But if that is the case, they are politics in which Kolini himself played a large role.

    1. I’m not too interested in the Deere / Brust presentations. I’m sure Virtue will have a nice version of events up for the world to see.

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