Thinking Anglicans

A report from Uyo

Updated Thursday morning

Changing Attitude sent somebody to Uyo, Nigeria, to find out more about what the bishop had or had not said.

There is a report here: Changing Attitude Nigeria investigates Bishop Orama of Uyo.

Thursday morning

First, the Nigerian provincial website has published: BISHOP ORAMA CALLS FOR YOUTH RE-ORIENTATION TO CURB VIOLENCE IN THE NIGER DELTA REGION. This includes:

Also, speaking on the recent publication in some dailies on homosexual issue in the North America as he expressed in the last synod of Uyo Diocese, Rt. Revd. Isaac Orama lamented over what he called a false statement published on the internet and called on the media to desist from publishing wrong statements for public consumption.

According to him, what he said was that CANA is the offshoot of the Church of Nigeria’s response to the unbiblical agenda of the Episcopal Church of United States of America in supporting same sex marriage and consecrating in the year 2003 the publicly acknowledged gay priest V. Gene Robinson as bishop.

Second, I received an email yesterday from The Venerable AkinTunde Popoola which is reproduced in full below the fold.

Email from the Director of Communications, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion):

Subject: Re Bishop Orama
Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 17:30:48 +0100
From: CofN Communications Dept.

Peace,

I have obtained both a soft copy (PowerPoint) and a booklet copy of the Bishop’s Synod address in order to be sure I had what was given out at the synod the NAN reported covered.

There was no mention of the word ‘homosexual’
There was one mention of the word ‘gay’
There was one mention of the words ‘same sex’

The paragraphs containing these words are copied below. The offending reporter is pleading for forgiveness (his job on line) the Bishop has told him to first publish the retraction.

Many others need to do something similar for name calling.

The Lord bless you as you remain in Christ

The Venerable AkinTunde Popoola
Director Communication

G. INAUGURATION OF CANA
The formal inauguration of CANA-Convocation of Anglicans in North America and the enthronement of its pioneer Bishop, Rt. Revd. Martyn Minns took place on 4th May, 2007, at a service presided over by the Primate and Metropolitan of Church of Nigeria, The Most Revd. Peter J. Akinola at Hylton Chapel woodbridge, Virginia in the United States of America.

CANA is the offshoot of the Church of Nigeria’s response to the unbiblical agenda of the Episcopal Church of United States of America in supporting same sex marriage and consecrating in the year 2003 the publicly acknowledged gay priest V. Gene Robinson as bishop.

The aim of CANA, in the words of the Primate of Church of Nigeria, The Most Revd. Peter J. Akinola is “to provide a safe place for those who wish to remain faithful Anglicans but can no longer do so within the Episcopal Church. The Primate was assisted by the following bishops of Church of Nigeria, Rt. Revd. Emmanuel Chukwuma (Enugu); Rt. Revd. Benjamin Kwashi (Jos); Rt. Revd. Ignatius Kattey, (NDDN); Rt. Revd. Edafe Emamezi (Western Izon). The chairman of board of trustees of CANA, Barr. Abraham Yisa was also in attendance.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matt. 5: 8 – ‘Tunde

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Robert Leduc
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Robert Leduc

It’s nice that the representatives of Changing Attitude could find no report of the statements in question by anyone.

It would be nicer, straightforward and an easy resolution for the good bishop to repudiate these putative remarks as strongly as, e.g. Canon Kendall Harmon has done. Surely there is no lack of media outlets to do so in this day and age.

Colin Coward
Guest

The report in the The Sensor on Friday September 7 written by Absima Urua indicates that Bishop Orama included remarks about the Communion and homosexuality in his address to the Fourth Synod of the Diocese. The report says his theme was chosen “in response to the increasing rebellion against God and the expansion of false doctrines.” The bishop “lamented that there is a deliberate attempt to exclude God from this world, by the distortion of truth through false doctrines even within the church.” The reporter concerned with the original report offered a verbal apology and promised to publish a retraction.… Read more »

Colin Coward
Guest

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has published a report on their web site – http://www.anglican-nig.org/main.php?k_j=12&d=101&p_t=index.php? “Also, speaking on the recent publication in some dailies on homosexual issue in the North America as he expressed in the last synod of Uyo Diocese, Rt. Revd. Isaac Orama lamented over what he called a false statement published on the internet and called on the media to desist from publishing wrong statements for public consumption. “According to him, what he said was that CANA is the offshoot of the Church of Nigeria’s response to the unbiblical agenda of the Episcopal Church of United… Read more »

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

This story has been effectively buried by Akinola. Get UPI to take it down and Orama to deny he said it at the synod and you’re done. – nevermind that the report never said the statements were at the synod, or that a transcript of what was said was never provided. Nevermind that the name of the original reporter was ever disclosed, or that he never retracted the story as he “promised” There’s no one with whom to do a follow-up so nevermind about the whole thing. I just hope Rowan isn’t buying what they are selling. It’s pretty cheap… Read more »

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

So Orama maintains that he was only making comments in his synod address about CANA. But the original report states “Orama told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) today in Uyo, that the practice, which has worsened over the years, was “unbiblical and against God’s purpose for creating man”. “Homosexuality and lesbianism are inhuman. Those who practice them are insane, satanic and are not fit to live because they are rebels to God’s purpose for man,” the Bishop said.” Again nowhere does the original report speak about the synod address. Rather it states that the statement was made directly to… Read more »

Anthony W
Guest
Anthony W

Only one person in the world admits publicly to hearing Isaac Orama speak The Sentence, and it was not at the synod, and she is anonymous and likely to remain so. What is the opposite of schadenfreude?

JamesW
Guest
JamesW

So….what??? We are supposed to take an unnamed reporter’s word against the word of the people who actually spoke??? Goodness gracious people – haven’t you ever heard “innocent until proven guilty”? In this case there is simply no evidence that would stand up anywhere that Bishop Orama made the statements that one unnamed reporter attributed to him. I realize you have a marketing campaign to push, but perhaps you could at least stick to the verifiable truth in your victim campaigns. If Orama did not make the statements alleged to have been made, there is nothing to retract, repudiate or… Read more »

Anthony W
Guest
Anthony W

If Bishop Orama didn’t exist, we would have to invent him.

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

JameW – Tunde says he spoke to the “reporter.” Tunde then knows who the reporter is. This is in part about Orama, but it is also about how you can say vile things and get away with it. If Tunde was REALLY interested in countering the statement he would give up the name of the reporter. He hasn’t and won’t. Further he has gone to great lengths to set up a false context. Of course Orama denies that he said any such thing in his address. But it never was proposed that he ever did say it in his address.… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

I’m sorry…in this case, I think the onus is on Orama, not the reporter. Orama must demonstrate that the reporter made the quote up…and just pointing to his official speech is not enough, because the reporter never said it was in the speech.

Why would the reporter make it up? What was his motivation for doing so?

ettu
Guest
ettu

Oh for clarity – oh for a reporter who had a simple tape recorder! Without evidence one can only work from probabilities and preconceptions. After all without DNA on her dress Monica Lewinsky would no doubt have been branded as a liar – she was in the “process” until the existence of her dress came out. Could it be that a formal denial is unwise until the existence of a tape becomes less and less likely? Or until no one else steps forward to support the reporter? I can only imagine but assume there is fairly strong societal pressure to… Read more »

AlaninLondon
Guest
AlaninLondon

The fact that the reported so-called ‘comments’ of Bp Orama occasioned such swift condemnation from the likes of Kendal Harmon and others before the words could be verified illustrate the fact that they believe Nigerian Bishops are more than capable of spouting such hateful and loathsome words. They didn’t wait for the comments to be verified. They assumed the likes of Bp Orama to be more than capable of saying such things. No one said, ‘It is impossible that this was said’. It was only too believable. Is this not shameful in itself? Does this not illustrate what we are… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

I can imagine that the reporter is being told by his editor, his publisher, “You didn’t hear what you think you heard.”

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I realize you have a marketing campaign to push, but perhaps you could at least stick to the verifiable truth in your victim campaigns.” Oh, please! If anyone is pushing a marketing campaign, it is those who have constructed a romantic little fantasy about the Faithful Remnant being persecuted by the Faithless Pagans who control TEC and are seeking to bring it under the authority of society. I remain deeply suspicious. We have seen a lot of official, and selfrighteous, pronouncements from Akintunde Popoola, but nothing any more documentable than the original report. Not exactly the most reliable of sources.… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

I just twigged to this. The original report said the comments were made to UPI. Why then has Fr. Popoola made reference to Bp. Uyo’s statements at Synod? He wasn’t alleged to have made the statements at Synod, unless I miss my guess. That’s like saying someone didn’t get married in a church on Friday because they can be proven not to have made their vows in a bar on Saturday. Still, Changing Attitude Nigeria sees no reason to accept the story whole. So, we wait for the promised retraction, from a reporter who is nameless. If (s)he is guilty… Read more »

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

These sorts of comments are not only rooted in the person, time, and place where they get specifically repeated; they are also clearly rooted in the larger negative heritage we receive from our traditionalistic readings of scripture and tradition. Realignment believers are probably just whistling dixie when they talk as if we all could pretend otherwise. Can there be a circumspect traditionalistic and roundly negative view of queer folks, which nevertheless does not slowly but surely pressure to spill over to embarrassing trash talk and mistreatment? That does not sooner or later seek to deny or abridge the basic human… Read more »

George
Guest
George

The 12:58 BST comment is priceless. By condemning the reported statement, they tacitly admit the statement was made or could have been made? And if they hadn’t promptly responded, they would have been complicit in them. Heads I win, tails you lose! No wonder no one trusts anyone else!

JamesW
Guest
JamesW

Oh come off it, people! If an unnamed reporter had quoted Jefforts-Schori as saying “Mark Lawrence and those conservative are vile, evil people and unfit to live”, if KJS then denied ever saying this, and if the media outlet retracted the statement, would you all then declare it was up to KJS to prove she didn’t say it? No, I think that you would all say that the reporter was clearly a plant by the conservatives who meant to plant a false quote. Why did Kendall and others dissassociate themselves from the alleged statement so quickly? Because they were shocked… Read more »

George
Guest
George

From: Emeka Samuel Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2007 6:00 AM To: nanabuja@nannigeria.org Subject: REJOINDER FROM: EMEKA OGENYI, NAN, UYO REJOINDER: HOMOSEXUALS, LESBIANS ARE INSANE- BISHOP This is to inform the agency and the general public that the report on the above subject credited to the Anglican Bishop of Uyo Rt. Rev. Isaac Orama was untrue. I wish to state here that the report was not a true reflection of what the interview he granted journalists while Bishop Orama never made any statement at any time to condemn perpetuators of such unbiblical acts to such an extent as was reflected in… Read more »

Robert Leduc
Guest
Robert Leduc

Heck – I don’t even care if we establish that the bishop said it or didn’t.

If it is a statement he disagrees with, then he should publicly repudiate it, regardless of whether he said it or not. Not just call it unfortunate or lamentable or even protest that he did not say it.

Just say flat out that such a statement is heinous and I’ll be satisfied.

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

JameW – The reporter clearly wasn’t a plant was he? UPI never “retracted the statement” it merely withdrew publication and said it would publish a retraction if one was ever issued. We are waiting for UPI or NAN to publish the reporter’s “retraction.” And hope the reporter will answer questions as to what was actually said in the interview while other journalists were present. All of which every reasserter would do in the same circumstances.

Ian Montgomery
Guest
Ian Montgomery

Hey – You now have the reporter’s retraction. How about retracting the bile directed at Bishop Orama and the other Nigerian bishops? This has been a near lynching of the good Bishop.

JCF
Guest
JCF

[Leaving aside the provenance of “George’s” source] “I wish to state here that the report was not a true reflection of what the interview he granted journalists while Bishop Orama never made any statement at any time to condemn ***perpetuators of such unbiblical acts*** to such an extent as was reflected in the report.” Ooops! I guess the cat is out-of-the-bag re the (lack of) journalistic neutrality of “EMEKA OGENYI, NAN, UYO”. Knowing how Mr. Ogenyi feels about LGBTs—not to mention that apparently Mr. Ogenyi was NOT the journalist to whom Bp. Orama spoke (who was it?)—how the heck are… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“While I apologize for the mistake and to state that the report was not written in bad faith I wish to express my commitment to the evangelization of the gospel through this medium.”

Huh? Why is a reporter committing himself to the “evangelization of the gospel”? That’s not his job, nor should it be….particularly when reporting on something like the current situation in the Anglican Communion. Whose version of the gospel is he committed to spreading–Orama’s?

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

Reporter’s retraction?

I have no such thing.

I have an incoherent thingummy posted by one of the arch-conservatives who wanders by from time to time.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“No, I think that you would all say that the reporter was clearly a plant by the conservatives who meant to plant a false quote.” Well, as far as I’m concerned, you’d be thinking wrongly. I would certainly want +KJS to publically deny that she hadn’t said such things. I would want the reporter to apologize. I would want him to explain why anyone with the obvious attitude he has towards gay people (“unBiblical acts”) would be interested in smearing a bishop with whom he agrees. Or was he trying to inflame the situation further and justify something a lot… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“what world are you folks living in to think that journalists don’t have agendas they want to push?” I am a Newfoundlander. For the past forty years the animal rights industry has co-opted the media to push it’s agenda of making money off our backs. They have lied about and slandered us relentlessly. Two years ago, the Boston Globe published a report from a freelance “journalist”, employed by some animal rights company or other, that described her “eyewitness” account of events that did not take place until three days after the report was published! The Globe subsequently published a retraction… Read more »

Anthony W
Guest
Anthony W

“Or do you think this is so much hysteria?” – Ford Elms

I do think it is so much hysteria, but at the same time, I am not going to go to Nigeria anytime soon.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

Anthony, My wording might have sounded hysterical, in which case I need to find a better way to express myself. All the same, the road to genocide begins with the identification of a group and the subsequent dehumanizing of that group. Jews were “vermin”, Tutsis were “cockroaches”, etc. Of course, the suggestion that because one bishop is accused, perhaps falsely, of making Nazi sounding statements doesn’t mean people in Nigeria are going to start dragging gay people off to the camps any time soon, just because something is the first step in a process doesn’t mean that process must unfold… Read more »

Malcolm+
Guest
Malcolm+

As a heterosexual, I’m a trifle reluctant to go to Nigeria, since my coreligionists there apparently believe I should be jailed for asking that they be nice to gay people.

After all, homosexual offences are already criminal offences in Nigeria. The new law that Peter of Abuja was pushing would have made it a criminal offence to say that perhaps homosexuals should be treated with a modicum of respect.