Shyira writes to Arkansas
The Bishop of Shyira, the Right Rev. John Rucyahana, has made
public a letter that he wrote to the Bishop of Arkansas, the Right Rev. Larry E. Maze, on the topic of Rucyahana opening a parish church
in Arkansas. Anglicans Online reported
this event in April 1998. We reproduce the letter in its
entirety, including the French-language telegraphic clutter surrounding it:
EGLISE EPISCOPALE AU RWANDA
Diocese de SHYIRA
Tel: 46.602 (Bureau)
Fax: 46.449 (Fax)
V/Ref: No ........
The Rt. Rev. Larry E. Maze
The Diocese of Arkansas
300 West 17th Street
P. O. Box 164668
Little Rock, Arkansas
Dear Bishop Maze,
RE: T. Johnson and St Andrew's Church.
Thank you for your letter to me dated 27-4-98, which came to my office
on the 10th of June 98.
It is an opportunity to share my conviction and concern on the issue
of the Rev T Johnson from the Diocese of South carolina.
I will respond briefly on two issues raised in your communication:
you said that the issue with The Rev Tom Johnson is not ideological.
Which is so, even more deeply, it is doctrinal and fundamental faith.
Your difference has been based on the concepts of faith on the person
of Jesus, His purpose of incarnation, the virgin conception, the cross
as an act of God for atomment of sins, resurrection and ascension.
You differed on the Authority of the bible and its interpretation for
this matter, you did not want St Andrew to exist as an Anglican
community in your Diocese, they say, and Advised them to find an other
My simple but clear concern and commitment is to give St Andrew's and
Rev Johnson spiritual Asylum. I am saddened even more that you got at
a point where Church leaders force people into schism. I pray that
this congregation remains Anglican up to a time you resolve your
differences. Give it a flying bishop, who will nurture their faith
from your province. We have had flying bishops in the history of the
Anglican communion on light differences, than such issues of faith
between you and St Andrews. I am very flexible, as I said my role
was to provide refuge for my fellow Anglicans, so, It will be my joy
if you resolve this issue as Anglicans other them having St Andrew's
to find an other home.
As for the mentioned 72 resolutions of 1998 Lambeth Conference. The
Unity of the Church is centered only in Jesus Christ our Lord and
Saviour, who did for our sins, rose from the dead and lives (as we
have it in the Christian creeds). So the issue of boundaries and
collegeality can not hold when the central Unity in Jesus is damaged.
We have to revisit some issues. Faith is our priority and the rest
are supportive measures.
The Rev T. Johnson and St Andrew's community do not want to go into a
schism. They want to remain Anglican. They were being pushed to the
edge and applied for a refuge, they have it. I hope that you and your
province will find a solution to this problem.
With a copy of this letter am requesting The Rev T. Johnson and Judge
Young to write in detail the cause and history of your differences.
They also need to explain why did they appeal for assistance from
Africa leaving the Bishops of your province and give copies to all the
people I am giving copies of my response t your letter.
The Rt Rev John Rucyahana
cc: - The Archbishop of Canterbury
- The Archbishop of PEER
- The Presiding Bishop EE.USA
- All Primates
- All Bishops
- The Rev T. Johnson