Friday, 6 November 2009

The Church of Uganda and the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill”

For Immediate Release
6th November 2009
Contact: Rev. Canon Aaron Mwesigye, Provincial Secretary
+256 772 455 129

The Church of Uganda and the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill”


The Church of Uganda is studying the proposed “Anti-homosexuality bill” and, therefore, does not yet have an official position on the bill. In the meantime, we can restate our position on a number of related issues.

1. Our deepest conviction as the Church of Uganda is that, in Christ, people and their sexual desires are redeemed, and restored to God’s original intent. Repentance and obedience to Scripture are the gateway to the redemption of marriage and family and the transformation of society. (Position Paper on Scripture, Authority, and Human Sexuality, May 2005)

2. The House of Bishops resolved in August 2008 that “The Church of Uganda is committed at all levels to offer counseling, healing and prayer for people with homosexual disorientation, especially in our schools and other institutions of learning. The Church is a safe place for individuals, who are confused about their sexuality or struggling with sexual brokenness, to seek help and healing.”

3. The Church of Uganda upholds the sanctity of life and cannot support the death penalty.

4. In April 2009, Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi said, “I am appalled to learn that the rumours we have heard for a long time about homosexual recruiting in our schools and amongst our youth are true. I am even more concerned that the practice is more widespread than we originally thought. It is the duty of the church and the government to be watchmen on the wall and to warn and protect our people from harmful and deceitful agendas.”

5. “Homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture.” (Resolution of the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Bishops.) Homosexual behaviour is immoral and should not be promoted, supported, or condoned in any way as an “alternative lifestyle.” This position has been repeatedly reaffirmed by the House of Bishops and the Provincial Assembly of the Church of Uganda.

6. We cannot support the blessing of same-sex unions or the ordination of homosexuals (Resolution of the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Bishops), and we will oppose efforts to import such practices into Uganda. Again, this position has been repeatedly reaffirmed by the House of Bishops and the Provincial Assembly of the Church of Uganda.


Rev. Canon Aaron Mwesigye
Provincial Secretary
Church of Uganda
P.O. Box 14123
KAMPALA
+256 772 455 129

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 6 November 2009 at 6:59pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion
Comments

If he is not simply lying, Archbishop Orombi is delusional. Homosexuals want to kill him, there's some "deceitful agenda" to recruit the children of Uganda, gay people are a danger to human civilization because we aren't reproducing. And yet this is the sort of person we've been anguishing about remaining in communion with?

And how quick the Ugandan Church is to quote a Lambeth resolution about the unacceptability of homosexuality, while remaining mute on the parts of that same resolution calling on the Church "to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals" or stating that "We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ."

And how reassuring to know that harshest punishment the Church wants the Ugandan state to impose against gay people is life imprisonment.

Shame on Archbishop Orombi, shame on the Church of Uganda, shame on the Global South, and shame on the Anglican Communion for not forcefully opposing this law.

Posted by: BillyDinPVD on Friday, 6 November 2009 at 7:35pm GMT

Pilate washes his hands...

Lord have mercy!

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 6 November 2009 at 8:53pm GMT

The Church of Uganda upholds the sanctity of life and cannot support the death penalty.
How about the prison penalty?

Posted by: Davis Mac-Iyalla on Friday, 6 November 2009 at 9:25pm GMT

Yes - well, only what one might have expected. But sickening and grossly inadequate all the same.

Whatever the House of Bishops resolved in 2008 has no basis is reality - so it is a complete waste of space. Exotic claims of healing are folly - "healings", if by that they mean real changes of orientation, are so unusual and so controverted as to be hardly the thing to hold out to anyone.

That church is not a safe place for LGBT people - or that is what they tell us. The voices of LGBT Ugandans tell us that the churches are some of the main protagonists in the wave of hostility and homophobia.

Orombi should be ashamed of himself for repeating the "recruitment" slander without a shred of evidence. All decent LGBT people I know would condemn sexual activity with minors and all coercion and violence. This kind of smearing is precisely what gives the lie to his false protestations of care for the LGBT community.

It is sickening that this Church cannot oppose clearly and unequivocally the criminalisation of homosexuality under existing statutes among consenting adults.

Posted by: Jeremy Pemberton on Friday, 6 November 2009 at 10:14pm GMT

Such nice people.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Friday, 6 November 2009 at 10:18pm GMT

"Such nice people." LOL!

I learned early in my childhood days of hanging around the "WASP" types at the country club: Nice people generally aren't.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 12:24am GMT

"The Church is a safe place for individuals, who are confused about their sexuality or struggling with sexual brokenness, to seek help and healing." - Statement from Church of Uganda -

This is the most dismal and duplicitous part of the whole statement from the House of bishops of the A.C. of Uganda, on the following grounds:

1. It is an out and out lie. No LGBT person in their right mind would ever approach a member of the Anglican Church of Uganda for help. Indeed in the current culture of 'anti-gay', homosexual persons would be advised not to reveal their true identity for fear of being reported to police.

2. The 'Help and Healing' offered would be on the basis of a method of harassment of the person concerned, relying upon out-dated and unreliable
psychological bullying, based on a questionable method of 'spiritual counsel'.

3. The Church of Uganda, and certain other Provincial Churches of the Anglican Communion are unwilling to listen to the stories of people who are actually part of the LGBT community, to hear their side of the story. Such Churches base their evidence solely upon certain Biblical passages which bear no relation to the real evidence of the experience of LGBT people.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 4:48am GMT

This statement seems to be his response to pressure (perhaps he's got a call from Lambeth Palace too?)

He thinks that the following will allay the outrage: “The Church of Uganda is committed at all levels to offer counseling, healing and prayer for people with homosexual disorientation, especially in our schools and other institutions of learning. The Church is a safe place for individuals, who are confused about their sexuality or struggling with sexual brokenness, to seek help and healing.”

Not the ingenious word "disorientation".

His stuff about same-sex blessings and ordination is from a wildly remote context of ecclesiastical discussion and has little to do with the sheer destructive brutality of the proposed Uganda law. Perhaps there will be a follow-up from him criticizing that law more forthrightly.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 4:58am GMT

What is the legal situation now for gays in Uganda? Is it any better than it would be under this proposed law?

Posted by: anthony on Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 5:18am GMT

Shame, shame!

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 5:20am GMT

Would that those who set so much store by "Lambeth 1.10" would quote and affirm the whole of it.

Posted by: Mark Bennet on Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 8:05am GMT

And this delusional bigoted liar is what passes for a *leader* in Uganda?!

Outrageous.

And the greatest shame of all should rest on Rowan Williams who has been so viciously quick and outspoken in alienating would-be allies, while maintaining an assenting silence with enemies like Orombi.

How . . . HOW can our leaders maintain that this is even a Christian communion any longer, with this sort of outrageous, shameful behavior? How can we trust leaders who tolerate this sort of abuse, deceit and diabolic evil?

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 8:46am GMT

It's all the same hatred with a thin attempt to make it sound a little more palatable. The Church of Uganda is a "safe" place for gay people - don't think so! How on earth do you "recruit" homosexuals? "Warn and protect our people from deceitful agendas" - who protects LGBT people from the Church's deceitful agenda of universal heterosexuality? Who protects gay Ugandans from the agenda of hatred and humiliation, accompanied by persecution and brutality ?

I agree, this is a shameful statement.

Posted by: Sue on Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 1:12pm GMT

Yes, "disorientation" is crafty indeed. One might say, clever.
But what a sad testimony, all 'round.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 3:34pm GMT

"'Homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture.' (Resolution of the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Bishops.) Homosexual behaviour is immoral and should not be promoted, supported, or condoned in any way as an 'alternative lifestyle.'"

What a marvelous tool for literally life-threatening, anti-gay rhetoric and activity the 1998 Lambeth Conference has effectively presented to Archbishop Orombi and all those who share his apparent view that LGBT persons should be fixed, hide or otherwise be imprisoned. Even if the resolution said more than that originally, that political compromise was only ever little more - and has been, in effect, *nothing* more - than a vain attempt to bridle the predictable effects of declaring with supposed biblical and thus divine sanction that some among us are not *really* meant to exist.

Posted by: christopher+ on Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 7:58pm GMT

I am expecting the Global South to intervene.

I am expecting the Archbishop of Canterbury to intervene.

I am expecting the Archbishop of York to intervene.

If they do - well and good.

If not we see their truth displayed for all to see and their credibility is in utter tatters, no more than empty words, hollow clashing cymbals of no worth value or import and a discredit to the faith they profess to hold.

Message to Rowan - let your words have some meaning and for the sake of your own integrity stand for something, anything.

Posted by: Craig Nelson on Saturday, 7 November 2009 at 9:22pm GMT

I expect they will do nothing, as usual.

More and more I feel my respect for the established Church seep away.

I feel they don't even care.
I feel anger.
I feel disgust.

I try to rationalise, I remember how deep the divisions are, I recognise that the situations are complex.

But all I hear in the face of injustice and atrocity is silence.

When I look at the response (lack of) from the established Church,I don't see Christ's compassion, I don't see Christ's righteous anger, I struggle to see the presence of Christ at all.

It has stopped looking like caution, it looks like cowardice.

It looks like walking by on the other side of the road.

Posted by: Sue on Sunday, 8 November 2009 at 10:10am GMT

Some stanky ole prophet somewhere sometime got all fired up and wrote: Their lips say, Lord, Lord; but their hearts are far from me.

Alas. Business as usual in antigay Uganda Anglican church life. By their protestations of purity and false care, ye shall know them? Imprisonment, yeah, right? The Uganda bishops cannot tell the difference between sexual assault and ethically committed same sex relationships. A discernment and vocation church life blind spot, then?

Alas. Lord have mercy.

Posted by: drdanfee on Monday, 9 November 2009 at 5:45pm GMT
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