Monday, 23 August 2010

African bishops conference starts tomorrow


As previously reported here (scroll down), the conference website explains:

The Council for Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) will convene the 2nd All Africa Bishops Conference (AABC) from the 23rd – 29th August 2010 at the Imperial Resort Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda.

The conference brings together Bishops from 400 dioceses in Burundi, Central Africa, DR Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Seychelles, Mauritius, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Tanzania, Egypt and Uganda.

This year’s All Africa Bishops Conference (AABC) running from 23rd – 29th August 2010 will be hosted by the Province of the Church of Uganda.

Entebbe is located in Namirembe Diocese which is one of the 33 dioceses in the Province of the Church of Uganda.

Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi is the current Primate of the Province.

It has been confirmed that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Dr. Rowan Williams, will be at the conference.

Dr. Rowans is scheduled to preach at the opening service on Tuesday August 24, 2010 at 09:00 AM local time.

This will be the first time that the Head of the Anglican Communion is visting Uganda since he became primate in 2002.

The conference programme is listed here, and continues here.


ENS has a report, African bishops, global partners head to Uganda for weeklong meeting.

New Vision has a lengthy report, 400 African bishops meet in Entebbe which includes an interview with the CAPA General Secretary, the Reverend Canon Grace Kaiso.

Daily Monitor has Orombi to meet Archbishop of Canterbury over homosexuality.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 23 August 2010 at 11:31am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Anglican Communion

Will there be independent press reporting on the conference? Sounds like a full agenda addressing a lot of pressing problems.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Monday, 23 August 2010 at 1:48pm BST

One can only hope and pray that Archbishop Rowan will, once and for all, admit to his intellectual consonance with the idea of homosexual people as equal in God's sight to heterosexuals. He once took the trouble, as a Bishop of the Church and an academic, to bring his own perspective - by reasoned argument and hermeneutical study - to a highly commended work on sexuality & grace. Should he not now, in view of the present serious stand-off in the Church, while in the presence of the Bishops of Africa, bring his own personal thoughts on the subject before them, recommending joint studies on Homosexuality and the Church.

After all, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the very same person who, as a Bishop and respected Academic once challenged the status quo of the one-time common Anglican perspective on sexuality.
It really is time for Rowan to 'come out of the closet' regarding his own deeply-held convictions on this important subject, and its importance for understanding by the African Churches, and others of the Global South conglomerate who continue to rebel against the understanding of Western Society and the Church on the issue.

An eirenic word from Rowan now could do wonders for the integrity and justice of the Anglican Churches in every Province of the Communion.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 23 August 2010 at 2:49pm BST

Let´s see...Many of the 400+ African/Global South/Gafcon/ACNA-recognizing Bishops are ¨loaded for bear¨ in Entebbe, Uganda this week. Some have been pre-bought/sold by schismatic self-proclaimed-evangelicals from the U.K. and the Americas (¨Follow the Money¨) to further their cause of exclusion by validating the demonizing/ outcasting of LGBTI Anglicans in Africa and beyond.

Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury struggles for central-power/standing but unfortunately it is he who has sold-out LGBTI Anglicans at all levels of Church life in Africa and beyond Africa (The celibate Very Reverend Jeffrey John?).

I don´t think there is much hope/surprise for acts of good-will/good-faith, basic honesty to be expected for the ¨marginalized¨ the ¨persecuted,¨ the LGBTI ¨damned¨ in Entebbe, Uganda at the African Bishops Conference this week.

+Orombi may confront Dr. Williams, face-to-face, on the ground, in the land of child witchburnings, vast vertical corruption, human sex slavery, rampant exploitation of fellow human beings and greedy grabs for newly discovered ¨oil¨ profits and let us not forget the ongoing, and deadly, civil war and the decades old ¨resettlement camps¨...but so what´s NEW?

Are dehumanizing LGBTI Christians Orombi´s price for ignoring Ugandas dreadful problems by way of extortion at The Anglican Communion? Are bishops in Africa expected to validate their honorability by demeaning others and making unreasonable demands?

Is Dr. Williams willing to pay any price for damaging codependent behavior at The Anglican Communion?

What is IT that +Orombi insists he must have in order to continue to defend his deadly stance by initiating worldwide exclusion and hate against LGBTI Anglicans?

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Monday, 23 August 2010 at 4:18pm BST

I often find your posts helpful, Father Ron, but in your comment here: "the African Churches, and others of the Global South conglomerate who continue to rebel against the understanding of Western Society and the Church on the issue..."

I don't think it's an issue of rebellion, because that would imply that Western Society has some position of rule against which Africans Churches need to "rebel".

Maybe "oppose"...?

Posted by: Susannah Clark on Monday, 23 August 2010 at 6:26pm BST

Maybe this comment belongs here vs. last week's thread?)

This week CAPA is meeting in Entebbe. Virtue On-line has posted a loved picture of the very fine resort hotel where these CAPA (Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa) bishops will assemble. The tab is being picked up by TEC parish Trinity Wall Street and the accommodations look grand. +Orombi, however, has made a strong statement of refusal when it comes to the Ugandan church's acceptance of any TEC tainted money and, true, the grant was made to CAPA whose offices are in Nairobi. But it is the Ugandan church that is hosting this group. It is the Ugandan church's reputation which we will bolstered and it is Uganda's economy that will benefit--- certainly bringing with it more esteem for the Ugandan church. +Orombi seems more than happy to take US money funnelled through Dallas, or garnered by Stephen Noll or Alison Barfoot, and despite his claims of purity, he seems very happy to take TEC's long as it's been well laundered, or at least is made to look so. So much for purity.
Posted by: TBL on Saturday, 21 August 2010 at 3:29am BST

Posted by: TBL on Monday, 23 August 2010 at 6:47pm BST

Sadly, I no longer place much hope in Rowan Williams when it comes to standing up for the glbt community within the Church and the wider Anglican Communion. He has to date, only "put on his listening ears" to those right wing elements within the Communion. Rowan's standing is now weak and blemished. He had many chances to stand up for the glbt community but he choose to play it safe and put his stock with the fundamentalist elements in Anglicanism. Is it any wonder that so little trust of Rowan is left by the rest of the Communion? Rowan is looking foolish and out of focus. I would expect very little from him. The very fact that he is in Africa meeting with bishops who are clearly focused on EXCLUSION and DISENFRANCHISEMENT of an entire minority, should tell us a great deal about Rowan, the man. Feet of clay.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Monday, 23 August 2010 at 6:58pm BST

Of course you are right, Susannah, about the need for a little more restrained commentary on my part on the stance of the GS Bishops, as opponents of the pro-gay stance more easily understood by 'Thinking Anglicans' of the West. In my irritation with them I confess my misplaced description of their recalcitrance by calling it 'rebellion' instead of 'opposition'. My mistake! Sorry!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 23 August 2010 at 10:16pm BST

Father Ron Smith

'more easily understood by 'Thinking Anglicans' of the West'

There's still a grave problem with your formulation; I would point to the courageous example of +Gerard Mpango, Bishop of Western Tanganyika, committed to his threeway partnership with +Mary Gray-Reeves, Bishop of El Camino Real and +Michael Perham, Bishop of Gloucester, searching for Christ in all, not just the few who happen to agree with everything they are told to agree with. As noted in their joint letter to Rowan Williams:

'Above all, we have been able to accept one another within the body of Christ; as our African brother and sister Christians reported when they visited the Diocese of El Camino Real in California, “I see Christians”.

I hope there may be many more bishops of the stature of +Gerard Mpango, and that they may follow in his foot steps.

As for the science on the nature of sexuality, there are plenty of churchs in the West, including our own, which also completely ignore it. They also ignore the science that demonstrates that Noah's Ark was scientifically impossible.

Thus the hard-core creationists at Reform maintain that it really did happen, placing us in no position to claim that we educated Westerners can help out by enlightening all those African bishops...

Posted by: chenier1 on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 at 12:10am BST

I am surprised to find that Trinity Wall Street, usually considered a very liberal parish, is funding this meeting.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 at 1:30am BST

I'm a gay man. I am grateful for the stand the ECUSA has taken. However, I am more than willing to be in communion with churches and individuals who respectfully disagree. I have no problem with African churches expressing profound theological differences--I am against them supporting the death penalty for gays and promoting violence against gays. I am against them saying false things about gays.

It looks like many African churches are willing to express their opposition in more thoughtful ways at this conference. It may be the case that the Holy Spirit sees different needs on different continents. If we are all willing to tone down the rhetoric and stay in communion even when we wholeheartedly disagree, then that's fine, that's church.

I don't want the African Anglicans to feel any obligation to go against their conscience on the issue of homosexuality as long as they recognize that we in the U.S. are also following our consciences. I don't want to impose a pro-gay agenda on a church which is not being led in that direction by the Holy Spirit. I would like to find ways to stay in communion while we both seek the will of God.

Posted by: Ashpenaz on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 at 2:53am BST

As Ashpenaz suggests: 'if only' the anti-gay Provinces were willing to co-exist with Anglicans in other Provinces - whose way of accommodating gays in their own context are obviously out of kilter with the Global South's theology of sexual ethics - all could still be well in terms of our relationships.

However, it has been the schismatic actions and virulent criticism of the more liberal Provinces that has brought disunity, enmity and dysfunction within the Communion. The liberal Provinces have not moved out of the Communion. It is only those who fear the general acceptance of homosexuality as a normal aspect of daily life for a certain number of human beings who have broken Communion.

'If only' people like Akinola and Orombi had not been so blatantly in opposition to the burgeoning new understanding of sexuality from a modern, scientific and hermeneutical perspective, there might have been ways of maintaining ecclesial relationships on a more eirenic basis.

This could still happen if the CAPA Bishops were to indicate their willingness to embark on a program of study which took into account new scientific learnings on sexuality and human development, and were willing to allow the other Provinces to act according to their own specific contextual situation - without prejudice.

No-one is saying that Africa as a whole - or any other region of the Churches of the Communion - must follow the path of liberation in sexual ethics that has brought justice to gays in other Provincial Churches. What many of us are saying is: Let's all be respectful of the fact that there may be such a reality as the need for a climate of theology in context - which may vary in the different cultural and social settings in our Churches.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 at 11:34am BST

" ... I am more than willing to be in communion with churches and individuals who respectfully disagree."

As are many of us. The problem so far has not been TEC declaring itself not in communion with others; it's the others who have refused table fellowship with us. We have not sent border-crossing bishops to start TEC churches or invade existing churches in Nigeria; it is the Nigerians, led by Martyn Minns and others, who are trying to steal our property.

I am glad there will be some TEC people present so that we can find ways of mutual ministry in that very needy continent.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 at 1:06pm BST

Pat O'Neill, remember that the Conference of Anglican Provinces in Africa, although meeting in Kampala, is not a Ugandan event. It will include bishops from provinces that won't talk to the Episcopal Church (Uganda, Nigeria); provinces that largely agree with us (Southern Africa); provinces that are divided (Central Africa); and provinces that disagree but want to remain in communion with the Episcopal Church (Burundi). So, Trinity's small participation (and $25,000 is pretty small for an event like this) isn't per se supporting those who hate us.

I think we also need to remember that we in the Episcopal Church have always said that we would support mission without requiring agreement, in a direct, "coals of fire" challenge to decisions like Uganda's. We don't want to be required to conform, and we don't ask folks to conform to us. Trinity as an individual institution has made the same commitment. So, it seems an expression of integrity to support the CAPA meeting, even at the cost of some voices of rejection.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 at 4:05pm BST

The concept of 'being in Communion with' is an unAnglican innovation - a modern nonsense. We don't get to choose who are the members of Christ and his body. Where, when or with whom we make eucharist has no bearing ontThat.

It is a further instance of an apeing of the RC denomination - that backfires.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 at 8:48pm BST

My surprise wasn't so much that Trinity contributed the funds as that Uganda, Nigeria, etc., would accept anything from that source.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Wednesday, 25 August 2010 at 2:22am BST

"The concept of 'being in Communion with' is an unAnglican innovation - a modern nonsense. We don't get to choose who are the members of Christ and his body. Where, when or with whom we make eucharist has no bearing ontThat."

Laurence, I don't think that's so. After all, weren't there laws in England that barred people from certain positions and universities unless they received Holy Communion according to the rites of the Church of England? It would seem that "being in communion" has a long history in Anglicanism.

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 12:25am BST

Laurence, I found the phrase in the Concordat signed between the Episcopal Church in Scotland and what would become the Episcopal Church in the United States on the occasion of Bishop Seabury's consecration (1784):

"Article III: They agree in declaring that the Episcopal Church in Connecticut is to be in full communion with the Episcopal Church in Scotland."

Posted by: Bill Dilworth on Friday, 27 August 2010 at 7:23pm BST

Having made known the stand of African on the issue of homosexual, African church leaders should hence forth use the same high spirit to fight prejudice/tribalism, poverty, diseases and uneven distribution of wealth within the church.

Posted by: ayo fasusi on Monday, 30 August 2010 at 2:15pm BST
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