Thinking Anglicans

News about the Church of Uganda

Episcopal Café has drawn attention to several articles in Religion in the News about the Church of Uganda and the proposed anti-homosexuality legislation in that country.

Mark Fackler writes about Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill.

Jesse Masai writes about The Word from Kampala’s Anglicans. This is based on interviews with Archbishop Orombi’s communications director, Amanda Onapito, and Assistant Bishop of Uganda David Zac Niringiye.

“The church’s position on human sexuality is consistent with its basis of faith and doctrine and has been stated very clearly over the years as reflected in various documents,” she said. “From a careful and critical reading of Scripture, homosexual practice has no place in God’s design of creation, the continuation of the human race through procreation, or his plan of redemption.

“The Church of Uganda believes that homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture. At the same time, we are committed at all levels to counseling, healing, and prayer for people with homosexual orientation. The church is a safe place for individuals who are confused about their sexuality or struggling with sexual brokenness, to seek help and healing.”

On the bill itself, she continued, the COU prefers that current law (Penal Code Cap. 120) be amended, clarifying gaps, protecting all parties from uneven enforcement and from the anti-homosexuality bill’s encroachment into family life and church counsel. Currently, the bill outlaws failure to inform authorities of homosexual activity, much as standard criminal law forbids failure to testify concerning wrongful acts observed. Ugandan law protects underage girls from sexual predators, Onapito explained, but not underage boys.

The COU wants the law to protect, not criminalize, confidential relationships of medical, pastoral, and counseling professionals and their clients, she said. An amended Penal Code must, in fairness and for the protection of youth, specify lesbianism, bestiality, and “other sexual perversions” as targeted behaviors. The free marketplace of ideas must have legal boundaries prohibiting material that “promotes homosexuality as normal or as [merely] an alternative lifestyle.”

Onapito added that while the church’s position may be contrary to Western notions of fair treatment for gays, it hardly poses the desperate risk to life and freedom that gay rights advocates fear. There should be no doubt, however, that the COU wants to ensure that “sexual orientation is excluded as a protected human right.”

We also learn, from the Church of Uganda website, that

Church of the Province of Uganda will be hosting the second All African Bishops’ Conference from August 23- 29, 2010 in Kampala, Uganda.

Read lots more about it at the conference website.

Now, as Episcopal Café explains here, this conference is being funded with a grant from Trinity Wall Street to CAPA. This listing of grants includes:

Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

$25,000 over one year to fund the All Africa Bishops Conference, a week long gathering in August [2010] that will address the emerging pastoral and contextual education concerns in Africa.

The Church of Uganda itself does not accept money from such sources but is nevertheless the host of this conference.

The official position of the Church is explained in this FAQ about Church of Uganda, GAFCON, and the Anglican Communion.

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Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

Jesse Masai reiterates the same-old, same-old blinkered understanding of homosexuality as other than a naturally existing phenomenon within the range of human sexuality. It is time the Ugandan Anglican Church took off the blinkers and began to engage with the reality of the situation. It is no longer an excuse to use out-dated hermeneutics to propagate a puritanical doctrine that no longer bears comparison with what has been revealed through science and modern, reason-based theological method about the diversity of human experience in this and other areas of sex and gender studies. One wonders why, if the Old Testament was… Read more »

Lois Keen
Guest
Lois Keen

So who did apply to Trinity for the grant? CAPA?

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

Dear Ms. Amanda and Bishop David Zac, ¨The church is a safe place for individuals who are confused about their sexuality or struggling with sexual brokenness, to seek help and healing…” Amanda Onapito, and Assistant Bishop of Uganda David Zac Niringiye Of course there is no sense having Archbishop Orombi soil his brain/hands with this nonsense by speaking openly and honestly, but we, the Anglican LGBT WORLD, request of you that Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo, retired Anglican Church Bishop of Uganda, be RESTORED his pension and his excommunication be reversed or revised by the Uganda HOB´s! Clearly, by offering REAL, and… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“Archbishop Orombi has said “Violence against homosexuals is wrong.”
– Church of Uganda Statement –

Then how does he justify the C.o.U.’s constant vilification of homosexuals in his own country; and in other parts of the Anglican Communion?

Methinks the archbishop protesteth too much – about his attitude towards homosexuals. It was important enough for him to break communion with Lambeth and the Episcopal Church of the USA. To say that this does not constitute violence is to play with the truth – a sin against the God he elects to serve.

Susannah Clark
Guest

All the more reason why I am

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Positively-in-communion-with-the-Episcopal-Church/128612660494946

positively in communion with the Episcopal Church

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Uganda and Human Rights is an ongoing horror story.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

The Kampala Conference sub-themes don’t stike me as Anglican, only something out of a Sectarian American handbook:

1. Nurturing Family Life and Building Healthy Populations
2. Nurturing Harmonious and Dignified Communities
3. Securing our Economic Future Empowering for Transformation
4. Making Leadership work to secure our Future and unlock our Potential.”

Rosemary Hannah
Guest
Rosemary Hannah

I do not in any way defend the attitudes of the Church of Uganda, but you have to realise they are part of the attitudes of the culture around them. Everybody they meet will have just those attitudes, so it is hard for them to be changed. I am old enough to remember when in the UK suggesting that homosexual behaviour was loving and appropriate was met with anger and derision. Also, in the days when we ran the slave trade, when we colonised Africa, the West did a great wrong. I do not believe that we are in a… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

Rosemary Hannah, I think we also need to consider two on-going and massive traumas, through which Uganda has been suffering post-independence. One is the AIDS epidemic, which in Africa is afflicting primarily heterosexuals. It has devastated Uganda, killing off adults in their most productive years and leaving their children orphans who carry a stigma. The other ongoing trauma has to do with the vicious and intractable civil wars in much of the country, which no one seems to know how to end. The wars bring a long train of misery: rape, child soldiers, butchery in all forms. They destroy the… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Common sense advises us to take history and our own imperial western roles into account, as well as perhaps testing Uganda for fruits of the spirit by putting their high flown talk of healing, right next to their down and dirty and mean activities. In fact, Uganda has yet to ever hint at a global conference aimed at updating African Anglican believers on the empirical science about sexual orientation, or any empirical topic of research and changed empirical knowledge even slightly associated with sex and sexual orientation. If we still lived in less travelled days, when it took weeks to… Read more »

penwatch
Guest
penwatch

The African Bishops’ Conference website home page has two photographs. One is a very grand portrait of Archbishop Henry Orombi at the top, followed by an extraordinarily informal picture (even for him) of Rowan Williams and his wife Jane.

I can’t help feeling that there is a subliminal message being portrayed here as well as a statement about hierarchy. Orombi once described Willams as ‘the Cantuar’ I guess that the website sees him in the same demeaning way?

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

but surely the informal picture of him and Jane will convey Xnty’s spirit more than some pontifical pose ?

I always think of our dear minister years ago and his wife. Really lovely and welcoming they were.She always referred to him as, “the Vicar”until after I was grown, then she’d sometimes say, “Albert”. But they never stood on ceremony all the young people would crowd in after evening church for tea ad sing choruses ad she’d play the piano.