Carey Denies Funds to African Bishop. Says Primate Kolini is to Blame
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Mon Dec 23 00:22:58 EST 2002
CAREY DENIES FUNDS TO AFRICAN BISHOP. SAYS PRIMATE KOLINI IS TO BLAME
By David W. Virtue
Dr. George Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury denied funds to a
bishop in one of the poorest diocese' in the world, because of the
actions of his primate, Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini of Rwanda.
In a letter written on October 25, just six days before he was due to
leave office, Carey wrote to the Rt. Rev. Josias Sendegeya, Bishop of
Kibungo and told him "that the activities that your Primate is engaged
in undermine the polity of other parts of the Anglican Communion and
have repercussions for the standing of the Province as a whole."
Carey then told the struggling bishop that the Trustees of the
Archbishops of Canterbury's Anglican Communion Fund (ACF) would not
provide funding for the construction of the Bishop's house in Kibungo.
While not mentioning the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA)
specifically by name, Carey's remarks were very clearly directed at the
action of Rwanda Primate Kolini who along with then Southeast Asian
Primate Moses Tay consecrated two bishops - Dr. John Rodgers and
Charles Murphy - to the mission based movement in Singapore nearly two
"It would be inappropriate to channel funds from the Anglican Communion
Fund to Rwanda in preference to applications from other Provinces of
the Communion. It was a decision that Trustees reached with great
reluctance, knowing the pressing needs of the Church in Rwanda," wrote
Carey. "They sincerely hope that the situation will be different in
years to come, in order that they can give unimpeded consideration to
future applications from your Province."
This is the second time funds have been denied the Province of Rwanda.
Trinity Episcopal Church on Wall Street this summer turned down a
$146,000 grant request from the Anglican Province of Rwanda.
What nettled the Trinity parish were the actions of three Rwandan
prelates: Archbishop Emmanuel Mbona Kolini and Bishops Venuste
Mutiganda of Butare and John Rucyahana of Shyira. These men, along with
two retired American bishops and Archbishop Yong, took part in a June
24 ceremony in Denver. There, four American priests were consecrated as
new bishops in the Anglican Mission in America, a conservative offshoot
of the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church.
Both actions infuriated Trinity Wall Street, a 304-year-old parish at
Broadway and Wall streets in New York that is one of the world's
The week after the Denver consecrations, Trinity Wall Street slashed a
$146,000 grant request from the Anglican Province of Rwanda, then
posted its decision in a letter on the church's Web site
"Your archbishop and two of your bishops are actively working to
promote schism within the Episcopal Church in the United States," wrote
Trinity program associate Judith Gillespie. "We have reached the
difficult decision that Trinity Church cannot provide support to a
church that undertakes such divisive activity."
Trinity Wall Street spokesman John Allen said church members supported
the decision, pointing out the church was funneling hundreds of
thousands of dollars to other African causes.
"We decided to make a decision affecting the dioceses that took this
action," he said, referring to the Denver consecrations. "The grant was
to the province of Rwanda and Kolini is head of the province."
Bishop Rucyahana said the Rwandans will not change their theology.
"Certainly we need the money," he said, "but not the type of money that
diverts us from the call of Jesus. We are not willing to bow before the
apostasies and heresies that will deny who we are in the Lord Jesus
Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey had termed all Lambeth-linked
withholding of aid "immoral and deeply un-Christian," as has the
archbishop of Singapore, the Right Rev. Yong Ping Chung.
"I am very outraged that money and resources provided by God for the
world church is being controlled, manipulated and applied as a pressure
point to poorer churches to comply with the will and agenda of the
givers," Archbishop Yong said last week. "I suspect that more pressure
will be applied and more money will be used as the battle for the truth
of the Gospel intensifies. The whole intention is to silence any voice
that dare to speak up against the mighty donors."
The Rev. Stephen Noll, a Pennsylvania priest serving as vice chancellor
of Uganda Christian University, says the withholding of funds is
"common knowledge" among Africans. Rwandan bishops, he added, have
taken the hardest hit from U.S. dioceses because of their strong stance
on sexuality issues.
A year ago, he added, a trio of three Tennessee dioceses that had been
contributing to Rwandan Anglicans since 1979 cut off their funding as
well. A retired Tennessee bishop confirmed this took place.
"It sure raised some questions as to why now," said the Right Rev. Alex
Dickson, former Episcopal bishop of West Tennessee. "We were giving to
them for a long time and then [Africans] participated in the
ordinations in Singapore. Then the money stopped. The two coming near
each other makes me wonder.
"Even to the Africans, $1,000 is big money," he said. "Rwanda is an
economy building itself up after genocide and the diocese has an
orphanage of 600 orphans. All available funds go to support those
orphans, so if something is taken away, the Rwandans will take money
out of their own living expenses."
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