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West African Archbishop to retire: The Church of England Newspaper, May 27, 2011 p 7. May 27, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of West Africa.

Archbishop Justice Akrofi

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of West Africa has called for the election of a bishop-coadjutor and has announced his intention to retire as primate.

However, Archbishop Justice Akrofi’s announcement was coupled with a warning against politicking amongst the clergy for the post.  It was “an open secret that already there is jockeying for the position.,” he said, but called such maneuverings vulgar and “unsavory”.

The West African archbishop, a member of the Gafcon primates’ council, who also had been elected as alternate representative from Africa to the Primates Standing Committee before resigning in protest last year, broached the topic of his coming retirement during his presidential address to the Diocese of Accra Synod held at St Paul’s Church in Accra on April 30.

Archbishop Justice Akrofi reported the diocese had purchased a new residence for the bishop, but added “the incumbent is not moving into it, clearly in preparation for my successor. My experience has left me in no doubt that it is psychologically, physically and emotionally unhealthy for the Diocesan to live on the same premises as the work place.”

“Let me now turn to a very important issue which is an open secret. In accordance with the Diocesan and Provincial Constitutions, I shall have to retire at the age of 70,” on Oct 29, 2012, he said.  The archbishop announced a special session of synod for Jan 21, 2012 to elect a co-adjutor, who would be consecrated on June 24.

Archbishop Akrofi stated he had informed the Provincial Synod at its March meeting in Conakry, Guinea of his pending retirement, and “by this announcement it has now become official that the search for the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Accra is on.”

The question of campaigning for high office in the church was also discussed at the provincial synod, the archbishop noted.  His fellow bishops asked “for a pastoral letter from the Primate to go out, admonishing that politics may not be allowed to hijack authentic, essential spirituality that should characterize such quest” for a new bishop.

“While Scripture itself says, ‘it is good to aspire to the bishopric’, we should nevertheless allow God the Holy Spirit to guide the process and that, in any event, the process, style and atmosphere surrounding the search shall be consistent with the standards of ‘fruit of the Spirit’ and values of the Kingdom of God. That is a task laid on each one of us. May God the Holy Spirit lead us to the candidate after His own heart,” Archbishop Akrofi said.

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