Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ugandan Archbishop commended the Communiqué but apparently had not carefully read it!

The Archbishop of Uganda was one of the five Primates who met the Media and Press in Northern Ireland on Friday February 25, to commend the joint Communiqué (which he had signed) and to explain it. I was there.

What he said (see below) at his own Press Conference in Uganda is in conflict with the actual wording of the Communiqué which he supported at the Press Conference in Ireland.

The Communiqué merely & only requests the North Americans to call a moratorium on their innovations and to cease attending the meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council. Nowhere does is speak of these innovations as sinful or of needing repentance.

Below the Archbishop states that the North American Churches were suspended as an action of the Primates. Although this is what some African Primates obviously thought they were doing, and may turn out to be what eventually happens, it was not in fact what they did in terms of law. Since the Primates’ Meeting has no authority it cannot legislate; it can only use moral suasion. And it did use moral suasion and in a very restrained manner – in Anglo-Saxon understatement perhaps!

If other African Archbishops say what this one has said publicly, then there will be growing confusion around the Anglican world and the Communiqué will be show to be what it is – an attempt by Dr Carnley of Australia and others to present what happened in the softest terms possible, Further, it will show, I fear, that the African Primates need to be much more vigilant in what is written on their behalf by scribes from the liberal western churches! Why did they not make it clear in the Communiqué what they really believed and that they are actually in broken communion with the North Americans.

Statement from the Archbishop of Uganda on the Primates’ Communiqué

Primates Meeting In Dromantine, Northern Ireland 21–25 February 2005

This meeting of the primates was specifically called to receive the “Windsor Report”. This is a document that came as a result of the threatened breakage of the Anglican Communion following the consecration of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire in November 2003

Church of Uganda did not agree with the line of action taken by the Episcopal Church of America. We have disagreed with the consecration of a practicing homosexual as a leading Church leader in the Church of God. The scriptures require that anybody who takes to this office should be properly married - “A man married to one wife”.

Since September 2003, the House of Bishops took a strong stand to break our fellowship with the Episcopal Church and the Church of Canada. We refused any funding from these churches. The same decision was endorsed by the Provincial assembly in August 2004.

We see homosexual practices as unbiblical and against the teaching of the Church. Only Jesus who makes a difference to people can transform them not debates.

In our Ireland meeting the Primates suspended the Episcopal Church of America and the Canadian Church until they repent. We are committed to other members of the Episcopal Church who are orthodox in their interpretation of the scriptures and adore Jesus Christ as their savior and Lord. We continue to provide support for them because they share with us in the same mission.

I will state again our position in clear terms as follows;

· The Church of Uganda upholds the biblical position on sexuality, namely that sexual intimacy is reserved for a husband and wife in a lifelong, heterosexual, monogamous marriage. For us in Uganda we teach this without fear. For our own good the bible teaches abstinence before marriage and faithfulness in marriage. And marriage is defined as between one man and one woman.

· The Church of Uganda also supports the “1998 Lambeth Resolution” which states that, “Homosexual practice is incompatible with scripture”.

· We continue in a state of broken Communion with EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF AMERICA and CANADA because they have not repented of their actions and decisions in approving and consecrating as Bishop a man actively involved in a same-sex relationship.

· The Church of Uganda is committed to offering the gospel to those struggling with homosexuality. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more”, not “go and sin some more”. For the North Americans Pastoral care means providing services for the blessing of same-sex unions. For us in Uganda pastoral care means leading people into the fully transformed life that Jesus promises to those who call upon his name.

· Contrary to reports coming out of North American that say, “we have more in common that we do than what divides us”, I am not convinced of that. We have a lot that divides us and we are praying that ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada will repent and rejoin Biblical Anglicanism.

We remain committed that Church of Uganda will continue to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ zealously. I am prepared to remain a preacher of this Gospel as the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda until we see Jesus changing the hearts of those who believe his word.

The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi

Archbishop of Church of Uganda

No comments: