THINKING ANGLICANS

Orombi replies to Jefferts Schori

I reported earlier on the letter sent to the Primate of Uganda, Archbishop Henry Orombi.

On Thursday he responded to this. The full text of his letter is below the fold.

Episcopal News Service reported on this in Uganda archbishop responds to Presiding Bishop’s objection to his ‘incursion’ into Georgia by Matthew Davies.

14th May 2008

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
The Episcopal Church USA
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY

Dear Bishop Katharine,

I received word of your letter through a colleague who had seen it on the internet. Without the internet, I may never have known that you had written such a personal, yet sadly ironic, letter to me.

Unfortunately, you appear to have been misinformed about key matters, which I hope to clear up in this letter.

1. I am not visiting a church in the Diocese of Georgia. I am visiting a congregation that is part of the Church of Uganda. Were I to visit a congregation within TEC, I would certainly observe the courtesy of contacting the local bishop. Since, however, I am visiting a congregation that is part of the Church of Uganda, I feel very free to visit them and encourage them through the Word of God.

2. The reason this congregation separated from TEC and is now part of the Church of Uganda is that the actions of TEC’s General Convention and statements of duly elected TEC leaders and representatives indicate that TEC has abandoned the historic Christian faith. Furthermore, as predicted by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in October 2003, TEC’s actions have, in fact, torn the fabric of the Communion at its deepest level.

3. May I remind you that the initial reason the Lambeth Commission on Communion was appointed was because of unbiblical decisions taken by TEC in defiance of repeated warnings by all of the Anglican Instruments of Communion. The Windsor Report was produced and accepted in amended form by the Primates at our meeting in Dromantine, Northern Ireland, in February 2005. It is, therefore, quite ironic for you to be quoting the Windsor Report to me. Nowhere in the Windsor Report or in subsequent statements of the Instruments of Communion is there a moral equivalence between the unbiblical actions and decisions of TEC that have torn the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level and the pastoral response on our part to provide ecclesiastical oversight to American congregations who wish to continue to uphold the faith once delivered to the saints and remain a part of the Anglican Communion. Your selective quoting of the Windsor Report is stunning in its arrogance and condescension.

4. You and your House of Bishops rejected outright the Pastoral Scheme painstakingly devised in Dar es Salaam, and to which you agreed. You have, therefore, left us no choice but to continue to respond to the cries of God’s faithful people in America for episcopal oversight that upholds and promotes historic, biblical Anglicanism.

5. An important element of the Dar es Salaam agreement was the plea by the Primates that “the representatives of The Episcopal Church and of those congregations in property disputes with it to suspend all actions in law arising in this situation.” This was something to which you gave verbal assent and yet you have initiated more legal actions against congregations and clergy in your short tenure as Presiding Bishop than all of your predecessors combined. I urge you to rethink, suspend litigation and follow a more Christ-like approach to settling your differences.

Finally, I appeal to you to heed the advice of Gamaliel in Acts 5.38ff, “Leave these [churches] alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop [them]; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

Yours, in Christ,

The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi
ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA.

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Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Apparently, Orombi has completely abandoned the idea that dioceses and churches in the Anglican polity are geographical entities.

In that case, Jefforts-Schori would be perfectly in her rights to find a church in Uganda that objects to Orombi’s policies and to “minister” to it as a parish in TEC.

I suspect Orombi would cry foul at that, however.

John Robison
Guest
John Robison

Well, Orombi shows himself to be an able politician in that he repeats the Donatist-Scismatic line with out even blinking. One could break each of these accusations down, but that has been done before in the rope-a-dope that passes for the communications of the Communion thus far. I suppose that the most egregious is the insistence that Windsor makes no requirements of these purple clad thieves. If a Brazilian Bishop wrote this we would hear accusations that it was paid for by TEC. Of course if I were to say that about the IRD as Orombi’s paymasters, I would be… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
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Lapinbizarre

Money talks!

“… they support us, they give us money. Oh they give us money. Since we began to relate with our orthodox brethren they have given us much more money, much more money, oh yeah, much more money. They have given us more money.”

Henry Orombi on his relationship with his “reasserter” brethren. Unedited transcript from an interview for Anglican TV. September, 2007.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

TEC would not be in court had the departing Diocese of Virginia people not filed [simultaneous and identical – what a coinikidink!] lawsuits in an attempt to steal property held in trust for TEC.

The rest of his letter does not merit comment.

Walsingham
Guest
Walsingham

@Pat O’Neill:

While I have to agree with your point, on the other hand I would argue that such a step (TEC trying to intervene in Global South jurisdictions in retaliation) not be remotely considered. We have to exercise as much restraint and charity as possible and hope to weather out the storm. Otherwise it just makes the schism a final reality, with no turning back.

badman
Guest
badman

Orombi is the man recently singled out by Bishop N T Wright of Durham as a “great leader”.

He has recently said that the American church has to die: http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/002677.html

His humility is well short of Archbishop Akinola’s achievement of embarrassing people.

I am sure we all reach a point when this sort of behaviour undermines our confidence in the church, and in our Christian leaders. I am sad to say that I am reaching that point.

Malcolm+
Guest

The only breathtaking arrogance I see is someone hypocritically claiming that, because his sin isn’t as bad as the other sin, he should be allowed to keep doing it. This is the same way hypocrites have always used homophobia. They make out homosexuality as the worst sin – even though it didn’t make it to “the top ten.” Then they can justify every act of idolatry, every act of covetousness, every other sin as acceptable or even holy because “at list I don’t do THAT.” “Sure I’m an idolator, an adulterer and even a murderer – but at least I’m… Read more »

badman
Guest
badman

Interesting to see this very week the Roman Catholic Church taking a very hard line indeed about a bishop’s power to silence an unwelcome travelling bishop within the diocese.

http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com/2008/05/bishops-to-robinson-keep-out.html

JCF
Guest
JCF

A Ugandan making territorial claims in the Heart of the Confederacy*: oh, the irony…

* The Confederacy still cherished, no doubt, at this “a congregation that is part of the Church of Uganda” [sic]. Check this out: http://revjph.blogspot.com/2008/05/cana-show-their-true-colours.html (A member of Akinola’s U.S. flock, afraid to ask him to send a priest, for fear he “will send them a black person.”)

Leonardo Ricardo, San Juan, Puerto Rico
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Leonardo Ricardo, San Juan, Puerto Rico

In that case, Jefforts-Schori would be perfectly in her rights to find a church in Uganda that objects to Orombi’s policies and to “minister” to it as a parish in TEC. I suspect Orombi would cry foul at that, however. Posted by: Pat O’Neill on Friday, 16 May 2008 at 1:34pm BST Orombi is not a balanced man and “fair play” doesn’t exist for him: Orombi destroyed the INTEGRITY UGANDA group/center and demoralized the leadership, scattered the flock and silenced it’s +patron (perhaps the ABC wasn’t paying attention or simply didn’t care)…there was simultaneously a phony online emergency “fundraiser” to… Read more »

christopher+
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christopher+

This is one of the church leaders Archbishop Williams thinks he is going to pacify in the interest of unity? Good luck.

Archbishop Orombi doesn’t seem at all interested in Windsor processes and peaceful coexistence in a spirit of love and respect for difference – just in getting his way, if he can. Meanwhile, it’s Bishop Robinson who doesn’t get invited to Lambeth. This is clearly the Anglican Communion’s version of Bizarro World.

Neil
Guest
Neil

Good idea Pat! Why not? The Presiding Bishop would be quite within her rights to found congregations in Africa as you suggest. There will certainly be Lesbian and Gay Africans who would welcome such a move. Let the Apostolic mission commence…

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Kudos to Orombi for speedy, efficacious spin doctoring in reply to KJS’ letter to him. He will eventually reap all or most or some of the whirlwind blowback he is so busily sowing to the four winds in an effort to narrow Anglican spaces, and claim Anglican oxygen that God offers to everybody as his own special, high-conservative blend O2. Or not. Or not much. God after all graces us with something less that tit for tat in our frail, brave lifecycles. KJS had to write him, however, for to let his visit pass without noticing right before Lambeth would… Read more »

Truckee
Guest
Truckee

The third world countries don’t have the nation-state traditions to the same extent as the West and maybe the idea of national churches is a casualty. The Global South churches are more like personal prelatures, centered on the charisma of their primate, and welcoming members from anywhere in the world. Tribal, in a way. I think the naational churches are going to have to adapt to it.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

What Malcolm+ said.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“The Global South churches are more like personal prelatures, centered on the charisma of their primate…”

And what happens to the church when that charismatic primate dies…or is revealed as having feet of clay…and his replacement is not as “wonderful”?

For that matter, what prevents such a “personal prelature” from becoming a cult of personality?

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Take it from me, white southern or Bible Belt USA conservatives do not want to find themselves taking orders from strict African bishops or priests, any more than they would set themselves up to take orders from some bishop or priest whom they regarded as revisionist aka liberal aka progressive. In odd and combination ways, the heat and ire against queer folks gathers often to itself this or that remnant of former – now less automatically true and worthy? – prejudices about non-white citizens and about women – all in traditional negative frames that owe much to tribal and cultic… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“personal prelatures, centered on the charisma of their primate, and welcoming members from anywhere in the world. Tribal, in a way.”

How is this—in any way, shape or form—ANGLICAN, Truckee? (nice handle, BTW: brings back memories of the Sierra Nevada mountains)

And if it’s not, why should the national churches of the ANGLICAN Communion “adapt to it”?

robroy
Guest
robroy

“The only breathtaking arrogance I see is someone hypocritically claiming that, because his sin isn’t as bad as the other sin, he should be allowed to keep doing it.” Hmmm, the Dar es Salaam stated that the interventions were unfortunate but would continue till an oversight scheme was put into place. This was assented by all the primates including KJS. I just got back from a wonderful Anglican men’s retreat. ABp Orombi was a featured speaker. Though a lot of the readers here are too hard hearted to hear this, but he is a humble, caring man seeking after God’… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

And, Robroy?

There still remains, it seems to me, the small matter or decency and manners.

Not to mention treating others as one self would like to be treated…

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

If KJS assented to anything at Dar, she was mistaken in doing so; the PB of TEC has no power to agree to anything for TEC…only general convention (or, in between GC years, the House of Bishops) can make binding policy for TEC. I’m pretty sure KJS knows this and wouldn’t have assented to anything beyond saying something like “I will take this to my House of Bishops”. Oh–and that description of your encounter with Orombi sounds an awful lot like descriptions of encounters with the likes of Jerry Falwell, Oral Roberts, and many even worse on the US scene.… Read more »

Truckee
Guest
Truckee

Robroy’s account of Archbishop Orombi’s visit – the charisma I was talking of above. * “And what happens to the church when that charismatic primate dies…or is revealed as having feet of clay…and his replacement is not as “wonderful”? For that matter, what prevents such a “personal prelature” from becoming a cult of personality?” -Pat O’Neill Nothing prevents it from becoming a cult of personality, like megachurch and TV preachers. In fact, it tends to become a personality-centered church all down the line. That’s surely the impression I get from the South American San Joaquin diocese, for example. When the… Read more »

Geoff McLarney
Guest
Geoff McLarney

He may be visiting a parish that has purported to place itself in his care, but of course such a move is ultra vires and invalid. If they are an Anglican church in the United States, they are subject to the canons of ECUSA – unless they want to start their own continuing denomination, a far more honest option than saying one wants to belong the Communion through a Province one does not live in.

Malcolm+
Guest

Robroy, try telling the truth about what the Dar document said. Any conservatives telling the truth would be a refreshing change.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Robroy wrote: “Hmmm, the Dar es Salaam stated that the interventions were unfortunate but would continue till an oversight scheme was put into place. This was assented by all the primates including KJS.”

One for thenm!!! is the motto of this Age, don’t you think?

The Age of Guantánamo.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

BTW I have heard of several AlPO schemes being proposed over the years for the benefit of the seceders, but all to no avail.

All have been rejected.

So I don’t think “alterative oversight” is more than a (another) ploy.

robroy
Guest
robroy

Malcolm+ writes: “Robroy, try telling the truth about what the Dar document said. Any conservatives telling the truth would be a refreshing change.” I don’t really understand this. ABp Orombi quotes the document directly. Here are the fuller citations: “The Windsor Report did not see a “moral equivalence” between these events [actions by the churches of Canada and the U.S. and “border crossing”], since the cross-boundary interventions arose from a deep concern for the welfare of Anglicans in the face of innovation.” “Second, those of us who have intervened in other jurisdictions believe that we cannot abandon those who have… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“he is a humble, caring man seeking after God’ heart.” Well, then, let him prove it. Let him acknowledge some truths. Let him repent of his role in opposing such truths. He could start by addressing the following: gay people do not choose their sexuality; so called “ex-gay” ministries are dangerous, drive people to suicide, and manipulate damaged vulnerable people; the current rhetoric from the Right is contributing to an environment that legitimizes anti-gay violence, and he could also at this point admit that there actually IS such a thing as anti-gay violence. Let him acknowledge that TEC is not… Read more »

Susan in Georgia
Guest
Susan in Georgia

Ford, Don’t expect an answer from RobRoy to your latest post. I lurk on TA a lot. I have noticed that the conservatives tend to abandon their posts, so to speak, the minute a passionate challenge like yours appears. I finally figured out (slow me) that the difference between so-called conservative free speech and progressive free speech is that what conservatives want is the right to publicly vilify those they despise. They want to call people names. What they don’t want is dialogue that demands that they examine their assumptions in the light of actual facts, and they refuse to… Read more »

robroy
Guest
robroy

Susan, as I just explained on another thread, my postings here do seem to generate some heat, but I do not want to overstay my guest status here, so I limit my postings to a couple a day. But let me respond briefly to Ford’s questions: “Gays don’t choose their sexuality.” Possibly true, possibly false but wholly irrelevant. (There was a study that showed that 70% of females who stated they were lesbian as a teen, said they were heterosexual in their 30’s.) A disposition towards alcohol or drug dependency is most certainly hardwired. This can be genetic or acquired.… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Ford, Don’t expect an answer from RobRoy to your latest post.” Oh, I don’t. After 2 years here, I have realized that any such statements on my part are just so much venting. That’s largely why I tend to slip into sarcasm and scorn more and more frequently. Even those conservatives who, in some cases I believe sincerely, claim to want dialogue put the walls up the minute you challenge their base assumptions. They have so far bought into the persecution myth that it is now, I think, impossible to change those assumptions. Anyone who isn’t an Evangelical, or at… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Possibly true, possibly false but wholly irrelevant.” I agree we are called away from things we may be hardwired to do. Yet, the Right deliberately gives the impression that gay people are wilfully rebelling against God. The same has been said here. It is used to paint us out as evil, and makes it easier for the haters to hate, so it isn’t irrelevant. Gay people and science tell you quite clearly it is false. Why do you, a straight man, say otherwise? The fact that you know a lot of vulnerable people, many of whom may not have been… Read more »

robroy
Guest
robroy

Ford, if you are really interested in orthodox engaging in the “listening process”, you will cease the ad hominem accusation that orthodox are “hateful.” I follow Lambeth 1.10 which states “in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds faithfulness in marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, and believes that abstinence is right for those who are not called to marriage;” and “rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture.” This is not hateful. I also believe that cohabitation is incompatible with scripture. If I say that also, is that hateful? No. I think that divorced and remarried… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

robroy: please do not confuse “orthodox” and anti-gay. You do not have a monopoly on the definition of “orthodox”, and I’m getting so fed up with hard-liners telling me I’m not a Christian because I have a different view from them. To be orthodox or not has historically meant to be in agreement with the credal and conciliar statements of doctrine: I would be surprised if any of the General Councils of the Church had ever mentioned homosexuality; the creeds certainly don’t. And the Lambeth Conference is not a General Council of the Church. So please, don’t elevate an issue… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“Interestingly, it would improve longevity to renounce active homosexuality and take up smoking.” Really? How? Don’t quote Cameron, please, give me some reliable science, not propaganda. And just because you think American, or British, society is besides the point. We still get killed just for being gay, even in what you seem to think is the Great Sodom. Me being gay is even seen in some places as mitigating circumstances that will get you a lesser sentence for killing me. Just because you are upset over Western liberality doesn’t mean I’m safe. I do not base accusations of conservative hatefulness… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“”Did you make a conscious choice to live a heterosexual lifestyle? If not, what makes you think I made a choice?” My father and three brothers all have had problems with alcohol or drug dependence. I made a choice. While I am not a teetotaler, I don’t drink more than one drink at a time and no more than once a week. People may not choose to have same sex attractions, but to act on them or not is certainly a choice.” False analogy. In order to become an alcoholic or drug addict, one must first–in one way or another–be… Read more »

robroy
Guest
robroy

“I’m getting so fed up with hard-liners telling me I’m not a Christian because I have a different view from them. To be orthodox or not has historically meant to be in agreement with the credal and conciliar statements of doctrine: I would be surprised if any of the General Councils of the Church had ever mentioned homosexuality; the creeds certainly don’t.” I admit that you and Gene Robinson are free to call yourselves orthodox. Of course, there are no creeds saying “I will not be a homosexual.” There are no creeds saying “I will not commit adultery”, either. But… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Robroy: I think you will find it difficult to prove that it is “liberalism” that caused the decline of Christianity in Sweden (or anywhere else). That one thing is on the rise while another declines is correlation, not causation. Many things correlate with one another that have no cause-and-effect relationship. For instance, temperatures rise in the Northern Hemisphere every spring while simultaneously millions of school children graduate. Are the graduation ceremonies causing the temperature rise? Or vice-versa? And, if there is a cause-effect relationship between liberalism and Christianity, how do we know it is not the reverse of what you… Read more »

Susan in Georgia
Guest
Susan in Georgia

Robroy, Nice to see you have proved me wrong for the moment. But you failed to answer the question: Did you make a conscious choice to live a heterosexual life style? You skipped that question to note the substance abuse in your family. By association, you class homosexuality as pathology with substance abuse. Apples and oranges. My partner of 21 years (Ph.D. in genetics, ten years as a geneticist) says research does NOT show sexuality or substance addiction is hardwired. Both are extremely complex phenomena and neither (pace everyone who “believes” otherwise) has a definitive, traceable genetic pathway. You want… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“It is simply not possible to not question your commitment to the faith if you would like to replay these tragedies in Britain, Canada, and the U.S.” How so? It isn’t about “replaying” these tragedies in other countries. The Church has fallen from grace in Canada because of past abuse of power. The resdidential school scandal for Anglicans, sexual abuse for Romans, all have cemented a developing disillusionment with the Church as the pit prop of society. Frankly, the Church has lost Her moral authority, and She won’t get it back screaming for the “good old days” when She had… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

robroy: the Church is going down the pan in Europe not because it is “liberal”, but largely because it is in the hands of extremists who are more concerned with keeping people out than attracting new ones in. The reason they do this is not because they are specially godly, but because they use Church as a shield behind which to hide from all sorts of societal issues they can’t deal with. Theology doesn’t come into it, but psychology clearly does (and my degree was in Theology). I don’t need to be patronised about this: I work to bring people… Read more »