THINKING ANGLICANS

Archbishop of Church of Uganda writes to Archbishop of Canterbury

Updated Friday afternoon twice and Saturday afternoon

The Most Revd Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda has written to the Archbishop of Canterbury today about “about the shift in the balance of powers among the Instruments of Communion”. He complains that the Joint Standing Committee is being given “enhanced responsibility” whilst the Primates of the Anglican Communion (of which he is one) are being given “diminished responsibility”. In the letter he resigns from the Standing Committee.

He also says that “There is an urgent need for a meeting of the Primates to continue sorting out the crisis that is before us, especially given the upcoming consecration of a Lesbian as Bishop in America.” However “the meeting should not include the Primates of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada who are proceeding with unbiblical practices that contradict the faith of Anglicanism”.

The full text of the letter can be found here and is also copied here below the fold.

Update
Pat Ashworth reports this for the Church Times: Anglicans ‘moving into darkness’ says Orombi.
Ruth Gledhill is reporting in her Times blog that Orombi has not in fact resigned from the Standing Committee.

We also have a copy of the original letter.

Matthew Davies at Episcopal Life reports this as UGANDA: Archbishop Orombi expresses concerns about Standing Committee.

The Most Rev. Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury
Lambeth Palace
London

Your Grace,

Easter greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

In February I read with great interest Bishop Mouneer Anis’ letter of resignation from the Joint Standing Committee. I am grateful for his clarity and honesty. He has verbalized very well what many of us have thought and felt, and inspired me to write, as well.

As you know from our private conversations, I have absented myself for principled reasons from all meetings of the Joint Standing Committee since our Primates meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007.

The first meeting of the Joint Standing Committee was later that year in New Orleans. At our Primates meeting in February 2007, we made certain requests of the Episcopal Church. In our Dar es Salaam communiqué we did not envision interference in the American House of Bishops while they were considering our requests. For me to participate in a meeting in New Orleans before the 30th September deadline would have violated our hard-won agreement in Dar es Salaam and would have been another case of undermining our instruments of communion. My desire to uphold our Dar es Salaam communiqué was intended to strengthen our instruments of communion so we would be able to mature into an even more effective global communion of the Church of Jesus Christ than in the past.

Subsequent meetings of the Joint Standing Committee have included the Primate of the Episcopal Church (TEC) and other members of TEC, who are the very ones who have pushed the Anglican Communion into this sustained crisis. How can we expect the gross violators of Biblical Truth to sanction their own discipline when they believe they have done nothing wrong and further insist that their revisionist theology is actually the substance of Anglicanism? We have only to note the recent election and confirmation of an active Lesbian as a Suffragan Bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles to realize that TEC has no interest in “gracious restraint,” let alone a moratorium on the things that have brought us to this point of collapse. It is now impossible to regard their earlier words of “regret” as a serious gesture of reconciliation with the rest of the Communion.
Together with Bishop Mouneer, I am equally concerned, as you know, about the shift in the balance of powers among the Instruments of Communion. It was the Primates in 2003 who requested the Lambeth Commission on Communion that ultimately produced the Windsor Report. It was the Primates who received the Windsor Report at our meeting in Dromantine in 2005. It was the Primates, through our Dromantine Communique, who presented the appropriate “hermeneutic” through which to read the Windsor Report. That “hermeneutic,” however, has been obscured by the leadership at St. Andrew’s House who somehow created something we never envisioned called the “Windsor Process.”

The Windsor Report was not a “process.” It was a Report, commissioned by the Primates and received by the Primates. The Primates made specific and clear requests of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada. When TEC, particularly, did not clearly answer our questions, we gave them more time in 2007 to clarify their position.
Suddenly, though, after the 2007 Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam, the Primates no longer had a role to play in the very process they had begun. The process was mysteriously transferred to the Anglican Consultative Council and, more particularly, to the Joint Standing Committee. The Joint Standing Committee has now evolved into the “Standing Committee.” Some suggest that it is the Standing Committee “of the Anglican Communion.”

There is, however, no “Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion” The Standing Committee has never been approved in its present form by the Primates Meeting or the Lambeth Conference. Rather, it was adopted by itself, with your approval and the approval of the ACC. The fact that five Primates are included in no way represents our Anglican understanding of the role of Primates as metropolitan bishops of their provinces.

Anglicanism is a church of Bishops and, at its best, is conciliar in its governance. The grave crisis before us as a Communion is both a matter of faith as well as order. Matters of faith and order are the domain of Bishops. In a Communion the size of the Anglican Communion, it is unwieldy to think of gathering all the Bishops of the Communion together more frequently than the current pattern of every ten years. That is why the Lambeth Conference in 1998 resolved that the Primates Meeting should be able to “exercise an enhanced responsibility in offering guidance on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters.” (Resolution III.6).

What has emerged, however, is the Standing Committee being given “enhanced responsibility” and the Primates being given “diminished responsibility,” even in regard to a process begun by them. Indeed, this Standing Committee has granted itself supreme authority over Covenant discipline in the latest draft. Under these circumstances, it has not been possible for me to participate in meetings of the Joint Standing Committee that has taken upon itself authority it has not been given.
Accordingly, I stand with my brother Primate, Bishop Mouneer Anis, in his courageous decision to resign from the Standing Committee. Many of us are in a state of resignation as we see how the Communion is moving away further and further into darkness, especially since the Primates’ meeting in Dar es Salaam.
Your Grace, I have urged you in the past, and I will urge you again. There is an urgent need for a meeting of the Primates to continue sorting out the crisis that is before us, especially given the upcoming consecration of a Lesbian as Bishop in America. The Primates Meeting is the only Instrument that has been given authority to act, and it can act if you will call us together.

The agenda for that meeting should be set by the Primates themselves at the meeting, and not by any other staff in advance of the meeting. I reiterate this point because you will recall our cordial December 2008 meeting with you, Chris Smith, and the other GAFCON Primates in Canterbury where we discussed the agenda for the Primates meeting to take place in Alexandria the following month. None of our submissions were included in the agenda. Likewise, at the beginning of the January 2009 Primates meeting I was asked to present a position paper on the effect of the crisis in the Communion from our perspective, but I was not informed in advance, so I did not come prepared. Yet, other presenters, including TEC and Canada, were given prior information and came very prepared. I have never received a formal written apology about that incident, and it has caused me to wonder if there are two standards at work in how a Primate is treated.

Finally, the meeting should not include the Primates of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada who are proceeding with unbiblical practices that contradict the faith of Anglicanism. We cannot carry on with business as usual until order is brought out of this chaos.

Yours, in Christ,
The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi
ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA.

xc: Primates, Moderators, and Members of the Standing Committee of the ACC

37
Leave a Reply

avatar
37 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
28 Comment authors
JOhn RobisonbadmanRev Laurence RobertsFather Ron SmithGil Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Hugh James
Guest
Hugh James

To me, it seems ridiculous to have a primates meeting, which excludes two of the primates. If they are primates, surely they are entitled to be there. Anglicanism is inclusive by nature and calls to hold exclusive meets in order to exclude others should not be countenanced. Lambeth 1998 is quoted as the authority for this, but Lambeth is not a legislative body, and it certainly didn’t authorise the exclusion of certain provinces from dceision making. It also called for a listening process for provinces to hear and understand the experience of gay and lesbian christians. All the more reason… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

Orombi evinces strange notions of leadership — the joint standing committee is gaining too much power and so he resigns from it? The primates’ meeting should have more power but shouldn’t include some of the primates? Wrong on both counts.

Deacon Charlie Perrin
Guest
Deacon Charlie Perrin

Don’t go away mad your Grace… Just go away.

Such childishness; it’s like the kids in the playground. “If I can’t play I’m going to take my ball and go home.” “If you don’t get me what I want I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue.”

These guys are worse than the “Tea Partiers” and their Republican enablers.

++Henry, mind your own business and grow up!

toby forward
Guest

If anyone would like to understand the sickness that infects the Anglican Communion and its fear of gay people I suggest reading Mary Douglas, ‘Purity and Danger’. We’re supposed to be freed from this curse by the operation of grace.

John Thorp
Guest

“Anglicanism is a church of Bishops…” says Archbishop Orombi. And isn’t that just the problem? Not, I mean, that it IS a church of Bishops, but that he and others are trying to make it so.

Malcolm+
Guest

“Anglicanism is a church of Bishops . . .”

And here we see the real problem with Orombi’s heretical ecclessiology.

As though all that talk about “power” wasn’t already a clue.

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

I have no problems with his going. If he wants to take himself off that’s his problem. Our role is to get on with life as it is lived.

David | Dah•veed |
Guest
David | Dah•veed |

UPDATE
It seems you lot cannot understand your native tongue!

Stole from SFiF blog –
The Rev. Canon Alison Barfoot, Asst. to the Archbishop for International Relations:
“Archbishop Henry supports Bishop Mouneer in resigning from the JSC, but Archbishop Henry has not himself resigned. ‘I stand with my brother Primate’ means he supports his decision.”

Old Father William
Guest
Old Father William

“Anglicanism is a church of Bishops. . .”

It’s this attitude which prevents people like Orombi from understanding the profoundly democratic polity of TEC. Mary Glasspool has been duly elected by the people of the diocese, and the election has received the required number of consents. There is, therefore, nothing any bishop can do to prevent the diocese from moving forward with the consecration.

JCF
Guest
JCF

It’s clear we’re talking about two very different faiths here.

…and yet I (TEC collectively, if I may be so bold) remain willing to meet ?Orombi at the Altar of Christ (Primates Meetings, Joint Standing Committee, Lambeth, any old Anglican parish anywhere) DESPITE his “strange and erroneous doctrines”.

However, if he isn’t, then so be it. Go w/ God, Henry Luke.

Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

Whatever else might be said about Orombi’s petulant letter, he is inaccurate on two particular points. He suggests that Anglicanism consists of churches with Metropolitan primates. It most certainly does not. The Scottish Episcopal Church, of which I am a member, certainly is not such a church. Bishop Orumbi may think our Scottish Primus to be the Metropolitan Bishop in Scotland, however, Anglicans in Scotland know their canon law and think differently. He also suggests that matters of faith and order are the domain of Bishops. Very many Anglicans would find that ridiculous, amongst them those who remember that a… Read more »

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

Orombi hardly reflects the inclusive love of Jesus in his letter to the ABC. If anything, he is the source of much DARKNESS that has taken hold in the fundamentalist elements in the Anglican Communion. The same mind set exists in Roman Catholicism and it is alienating millions of Catholics who believe in the goals and spirit of the Second Vatican Council. I hope the Archbishop of Canterbury is able to see Orombi for exactly what he represents and is able to take a stand which will reflect INCLUSION, rather than exclusion of glbt people and women their legitimate vocations… Read more »

badman
Guest
badman

The problem with Archbishop Orombi’s narrative is that it completely ignores the Lambeth Conference of 2008 – the oldest of the instruments of communion, open to every bishop of every province of the communion – except the gay one. Orombi boycotted that as well, of course.

Lawyers have a concept called “forum shopping”, where you pick the venue which suits you and not the one most natural to the case.

Perish the thought that a man of God and a pillar of the church should stoop to that…

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

It´s especially healthy to have THE member of the Standing Committee (who never attends for fear of Standing around with other sinners or take Communion with Anglican equals) take a powder! Off to Gafconning for Grander grandstanding and better possibilities of backslaps no doubt…really, if one wants to be noticed for ones purity there is no sense hanging around with
Christians or anyone else! Welcoming the vulnerable, the persecuted (especially by Orombi), the marginalized and the abominated at The Body of Christ is very unclean business.

badman
Guest
badman

I gather that Archbishop Orombi’s American adviser Canon Alison Barfoot has put the Archbishop right on the suggestion that he is resigning from the Standing Committee.

She says “Archbishop Henry supports Bishop Mouneer in resigning from the JSC, but Archbishop Henry has not himself resigned. ‘I stand with my brother Primate’ means he supports his decision.”

Odd that he does not speak for himself, though.

Rev Laurence Roberts
Guest
Rev Laurence Roberts

Fortunately, till now, CofE bishops down the centuries, have had a very clear and very limited role.

A little confirming sometimes if not too busy huntin and fishin ; and some Ordaining from time to time. May be visitng parishes, maybe listening to ministers and others. Or not.

Certainly, no nonsense about running the Church and everyone else.

Let’s keep it that way
(minus the huntin & fishin maybe…)

Davis Mac-Iyalla
Guest
Davis Mac-Iyalla

I can’t believe that Archbishop Henry Orombi now sees himself as the new Anglican Conservative’s champion after the retirement of Archbishop Akinola. What I need to tell ++Orombi is that the Anglican Communion is moving forward and not backward so he won’t get the Primates of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Canada excluded from the Primates meetings. ++Orombi writes to the Archbishop of Canterbury who presided over a synod that approved equal pension benefits for the partners of clergy in civil partnerships in the Church of England, the mother Church and the reason why people like ++Orombi… Read more »

Robert Ian williams
Guest
Robert Ian williams

Finally, the meeting should not include the Primates of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada who are proceeding with unbiblical practices that contradict the faith of Anglicanism. We cannot carry on with business as usual until order is brought out of this chaos…..

Comment ..doesn’t Orombi realise that Sydney rgards him unsound as he ordains women!

Does Orombi allow divorce?

Gay candidate with English partner in running for TEC Bishop of Utah.

Jim Pratt
Guest
Jim Pratt

Despite the somewhat childish tone, Orombi has very succinctly articulated the trend of the last 2 years: the Primates are being pushed from the center of power. Dromantine and Dar es Salaam represented attempts by the Primates (or some of them) to become a supreme council or curia, with the ability to make binding pronouncements. This is a far cry from “enhanced responsibility in offering GUIDANCE on doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters” requested by Lambeth 1998 III.6. Orombi’s ecclesiology leaves no room for lay participation, much less lay theologizing. I’m particularly struck by his phrase, “Anglicanism is a church of… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Your Grace, I have urged you in the past, and I will urge you again. There is an urgent need for a meeting of the Primates to continue sorting out the crisis that is before us, especially given the upcoming consecration of a Lesbian as Bishop in America. The Primates Meeting is the only Instrument that has been given authority to act, and it can act if you will call us together.” – Abp. Henry Orombi – So, the wily Archbishop of Uganda is threatening his resignation! Well, well! Should the rest of us in the world-wide Anglican Communion be… Read more »

EmilyH
Guest
EmilyH

To quote from Stand Firm: “From The Rev. Canon Alison Barfoot, Asst. to the Archbishop for International Relations: ‘Archbishop Henry supports Bishop Mouneer in resigning from the JSC, but Archbishop Henry has not himself resigned. “I stand with my brother Primate” means he supports his decision.” My apologies for the confusion.” Interesting that it is Alison Barfoot who is apologizing. For what? Unless it was she, (previously at Overland Kansas, who, with Stephen Noll work for Orombi but are financed out of the US) who wrote this letter. +Akinola was recently caught with his heartfelt letter actually written by Minns.… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

You know, between Barfoot and Minns, the whole line of communication is beginning to have a really creepy Mother-Norman-Bates feel to it.

“If you don’t kick out those gay-loving apostates, I quit the Anglican Communion!”

“Mother! Oh, God, Mother, you didn’t mean that! We all go a little crazy sometimes!”

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

“…..doesn’t Orombi realise that Sydney rgards him unsound as he ordains women!” FAR worse, from Sydney’s point of view, RIW, one speaks for him.

Those commenting above assume that “So Much Money” Orombi is his own man and that the agenda he is attempting to lay down is of his own making. I don’t believe a word of it. Note that he has never attended a meeting of the Joint Standing Committee of which he is now not resigning. And the attendances of Mouneer Anis, who has resigned, were not that reliable.

Sue
Guest

What on earth does he mean by saying that there is no committee? Can you resign from a committee that you don’t belive exists/ or has the authority to exist?
Just compare his rantings with the poise and calm evident in Jeffert Schori’s letter.

Commentator
Guest
Commentator

The last time that the Primates of TEC and of ACC voluntarily absented themselves was a disaster! Had they been present and voting as they were entiltled to be (had not Dr Williams adopted his now usual role) then the result of the voting would have been dramatically different. – The Primate of ALL England should insist that ALL Anglican Primates are permitted to attend and to vote.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“The Primate of ALL England should insist that ALL Anglican Primates are permitted to attend and to vote.” – ‘Commentator’ on Saturday – Not necessarily so! In fact, Orombi has already scored what we call an ‘own goal’ here. He has, by his dismissive remarks towards two of the Loyal Primates – present at Lambeth 2008 – indicated his own disregard for that ‘Instrument of Unity’. He only calls on this Instrument when it suits him. And as for his comment that the primary Instrument is the Primates Conference, he dismisses the Communion’s corporate body of A.C.C. (containing bishops, clergy… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

This letter is very interesting. As others have already mentioned it tells the story from the point of view of the conservative hegemony of the struggle for power – or perhaps the attempts to create centers of power in what some saw as a vacuum – and others thought was a proper Anglican “dispersed authority”. It is a useful account, all the more because it is quite obviously a “group effort” and that is neither surprising nor deserving of snide remarks or criticism. It is intended as a position statement and although I would love to uncover the Word document… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

The Primate of All England should reject the demand, Commentator.

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

The serious problems with the Primates as a group surfaced at the Dromantine and became an open wound at Dar es Salaam. Firstly this “coup” supposedly granting the Primates enhanced responsibility had not ratified by any member Church – even though it had been suggested by at least two Lambeth Conferences – Rule by Communique was an unwelcome novelty and I remember Barry Morgan having serious difficulties accounting for it when he was questioned back home here in Wales. But the “outside influences” of a host of special interest groups and lobbyists started to bear heavily on the round table… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

What is significantly absent from this letter complaining as it does that the Primates Meeting has clearly lost its executive function is the fact that the Lambeth Fathers most recently have shown their displeasure with the short experiment and several of the Primates have made it clear they will not have such meetings again. Others have pointed to the complete failure of the authors of the letter to grasp the different make up of constituent Churches with regard to Primacy – and the claims made here are in any case false. The Anglican episcopacy as presently constituted and trained properly… Read more »

David | Dah•veed |
Guest
David | Dah•veed |

Commentator, you have confused two different meetings. The primates of TEC and the ACoC have not excused themselves from Primates Meetings. The delegates of those two churches excused themselves from vote at the Anglican Consultative Council of 2005 in England as requested by the Windsor Report. Although they were present as observers, and presenters.

Gil
Guest
Gil

Well Judging by the two primate letters (+Schori & +Orombi) It seems that they wont be focal point. The distance btn liberal & conservative anglicans appears to lengthen by the moment

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“As you know from our private conversations, I have absented myself for principled reasons from all meetings of the Joint Standing Committee since our Primates meeting in Dar es Salaam in 2007. – Ugandan Primate Ormobi’s Letter – warning of satirical intent!: Instead ‘I’ will be present at the next meeting of the ‘Global South Primates’ in Singapore, in order to sort out our strategy on our further schismatic action from the broader-based inclusivism of the Anglican Communion. However, ‘we’ will still reserve the right to call ourselves ‘Orthodox Anglicans’ – with David Virtue of Virtueonline as our primary source… Read more »

Rev Laurence Roberts
Guest
Rev Laurence Roberts

High time to disregard and Ordain outwith the so-called ‘historic episcopate’ which is nothing of the sort.

It seems to give delusions of what ? – infallibility ? grandeur ?

I really think this kind of ‘oversight’ really won’t do.

badman
Guest
badman

Archbishop Ernest of Mauritius and the Indian Ocean has added his voice; see http://contact-online.blogspot.com/2010/04/letter-from-archbishop-of-indian-ocean.html

Not only does he want a Primates Meeting which excludes the Primates in question (those of TEC and Canada) but he also says he forthwith suspends “all communication both verbal and sacramental with both the TEC and the ACC – their Primates, bishops and clergy”. So he won’t even speak to them.

badman
Guest
badman

The word from the conservative blogs seems to be that these letters are opening salvoes in a campaign which will be conducted at the much trailed Global South meeting due to take place in a few weeks time. One shrewd – or perhaps informed – guess is that this meeting will reject the latest draft of the Anglican Covenant because of its lack of process for the expulsion of liberal provinces such as TEC and Canada. The chronology of the development of the Covenant to date (which is set out on the Anglican Communion website) shows that oversight of the… Read more »

JOhn Robison
Guest

It could be argued that the Communion died in 1998 when the AMiA was formed and the (not yet so named) Instruments of Unity did nothing.
This ever tighter circling of the wagons is symptomatic of the Donatism these people have fallen into. The lack of intellectual, let alone spiritual, honesty is breath taking.