Thinking Anglicans

Archbishop of Uganda writes

Updated Saturday

More than one conservative American site has published this Pastoral Letter from the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda. (The Uganda provincial website appears to be out of order.)

Some excerpts:

…I am writing with a heavy heart to share with you sad news about our beloved Anglican Communion. On Saturday, 4th November, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) enthroned as their Presiding Bishop a leader who has permitted the blessing of same-sex unions and who also denies that Jesus is the only way to the Father. Her name is the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Our problem with ECUSA is not that they have enthroned a woman as their Presiding Bishop. We in the Church of Uganda do support the ordination of women and women in all levels of leadership in our church. In fact, I am very pleased to report that the House of Laity elected Dr. Sarah Ndyanabangi to serve as the next Chairperson of the Provincial House of Laity.

Our problem with the new Presiding Bishop of ECUSA is that she has publicly denied what the Bible teaches about faith and morality. And now she is in the position of Archbishop of one of the most influential and wealthiest Provinces in the Anglican Communion, even though it is one of the smallest in number.

and this:

…Finally, one of the most significant decisions we have made to support Biblically faithful Anglicans in America is to provide a diocesan home for American congregations who could no longer be submitted to a revisionist Bishop and the national church leadership of ECUSA. Ten of our dioceses in the Church of Uganda are now providing spiritual oversight to twenty congregations in America. These are congregations of Americans in America, but they are officially part of the Church of Uganda.

I have been in consultation with the other Primates and Archbishops of Africa and the Global South about this crisis in our beloved Anglican Communion. We have written to the Archbishop of Canterbury and informed him that we cannot sit together with Katharine Jefferts Schori at the upcoming Primates Meeting in February. We have also asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to invite an orthodox Bishop from the Anglican Communion Network in America to attend the Primates Meeting and represent the orthodox believers. We await his decision on these matters.

We are also praying about whether our House of Bishops should attend and participate in the Lambeth Conference of Bishops in 2008. Every ten years, the Archbishop of Canterbury invites all the bishops of the Anglican Communion together for prayer and mutual consultation on matters of mission and our common life together as Anglicans throughout the world. The next conference is planned for 2008. However, the Archbishops of Africa and the Global South have received a report and a recommendation that we not participate in the next Lambeth Conference if ECUSA, and especially their gay bishop, are also invited to the conference. The House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda has not yet made a decision about this, but I wanted you to know that we are praying and asking the Lord to give us the mind of Christ on this matter…

Update Saturday
A Clarification on the November 2006 Pastoral Letter from the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi Archbishop of Church of Uganda has been issued by The Rev. Canon Aaron Mwesigye Provincial Secretary. You can read it here.

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Merseymike
14 years ago

Given that there are many within the CofE who would agree with KJS: this is another clear sign that there will be a global split.

Martin Reynolds
14 years ago

That would seem to be the end of the Primates Group.

The future of Lambeth looks rather bleak too.

It looks as if the plan is all coming together now.

Lois Keen
Lois Keen
14 years ago

I weep for Archbishop Rowan. He must feel like he’s been mugged after this week. I truly feel sorry for him. I see no way back from the brink that opened up these past few days. I hope he does, and that it honors the faithfulness on both sides of the divide.
The Rev’d. Lois Keen

Richard III
Richard III
14 years ago

The Bishop of Uganda is a homophobic bigot and a poor example of a Christian, simple as that. If the issue of homosexuality was as important as these folks today believe why didn’t Jesus speak of it in the Gospel? If God’s love is unconditional and our salvation a free gift from that same God, then the sins of the flesh people make such an uproar over aren’t as important as they believe.

Marshall Scott
14 years ago

This is sad, I suppose, but hardly a shock. I feel great concern for the Archbishop of Canterbury in this instance. Essentially, this is a statement of, “This is where we are. He who is not with us is against us.” Actually, I had expect this several years ago from Rwanda over invitations to AMiA bishops in the United States. However, living and working within a short distance of one of those twenty congregations, I can’t be shocked; only saddened. Of course, Jesus said in Matthew, “He who is not with me is against me” (Matthew 12:30a); and also “Whoever… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

Holy Vaca,

This bordercrossing, defiant, demanding forgetful, pontificating, non-Windsor observant +Orombi gets terribly carried away as he makes overtly zealous and meanie puritanical pronouncements/judgements about our beloved NEW Christian/Episcopalian/Anglican Primate Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Don’t he *get* it?

MOST ALL of us God fear’n Americano Episcopalianos/Anglicanos ain’t go’n nowhere/nohow! Go fish!

Such wasteful and overly wordy pontificating during Advent (when silence is best and blessed) ain’t nice make’n nor respect’n Christ expect’n neither!

I better shut up and go pray for a spell!

ruidh
ruidh
14 years ago

Wow. This appears to be a coordinated attempt to seize control of the Primate’s Meeting. It’s a naked power grab. I’m actually sort of relieved. The Machiavellian shenanigans we’ve witnessed are disgraceful. I can’t imagine that all of the Global South is on board with this palace coup.

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

I await the statements from Kenya and Central Africa, though not exactly with bated breath. Nigeria and Singapore will follow their “brethren” in due course. The least dishonorable response ++Rowan could make at this point would be to cancel the entire Primates’ Meeting. That would have one desirable consequence, namely that one of the three a-historic “Instruments of Unity” would have self-destructed in less than three years. If this Primates’ Meeting is canceled, it is unlikely there would ever be another. However, I expect ++Rowan to cave completely. Like the mediocre kindergarten teacher he should have been, he will throw… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
14 years ago

One way to start weighing this strong announcement is to briefly imagine what it would mean if the shoe were on the other foot, and liberal or progressive believers were so loudly announcing that they required Archbishop Akinola, say, or a bishop clearly associated with Reform or FiF or somebody else on the right to be disinvited from attending the near future 2008 Lambeth. This thought experiment begins to suggest what is undoubtedly going on here as Uganda seeks the mind of Christ for dissing TEC and PB KJS – and of course any believer who isn’t offended by her… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

I followed the link to the American Anglican Council and stumbled on their blog with commentaries. Better than Vitriolonline, worse than Titusonline – so now you don’t have to read it yourselves ;=)

NP
NP
14 years ago

Lois – I think the poor old ABC was “mugged” in 2003 when he asked certain people not to take actions which have led to this situation – but he was ignored………..

The fabric of he communion was torn a long time ago – and that was done knowingly and deliberately

Anglicanus
Anglicanus
14 years ago

I am saddened that an Anglican archbishop has such a lack of theological awareness as not to be able to differentiate between the pre-existant Logos (of whom John’s Gospel speaks) and the incarnate Jesus. It is the Logos who is the way to the Father and is the ‘the light that enlightens every man who comes into the world’. I hope and pray that the Archbishop of Canterbury will use his gifts as a teacher of theology to explain this to the Archbishop of Uganda. I also hope that the Archbishop of Uganda will have the humility and the sense… Read more »

Merseymike
14 years ago

And so it should have been, NP. A communion dominated by the ideas of much of the so-called Global South (premodern fundamentalists) is not worth preserving

Celebrate the split!

badman
badman
14 years ago

Has the Primate of Uganda ever met Presiding Bishop Schori? “…we cannot sit together with Katharine Jefferts Schori…” Was there anyone with whom Our Lord could not sit? The refusal of these unnamed Primates to sit with a fellow Primate is not only fatal to a Primates Meeting including the Primate of TEC. It is also fatal to an Anglican Consultative Council meeting including her when, as resolved at the last one, Primates are included ex officio. It is also fatal to a Lambeth Conference of all Anglican bishops including her, although the statement holds back from a definitive statement… Read more »

Tim
Tim
14 years ago

Can someone tell me where +Schori’s kicked over the traces?

Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

The bravest thing a soul can do is show up at an event where they are unwelcome by the “in crowd” but should be there by right of position or birth. The next bravest thing is to be “above reproach” and be true to their beliefs and the souls whom they represent. Even if that means they are shunned by most of the “in crowd”. I hope KFS has the courage to do so and ABC rediscovers his spine and invites all the primates from all the dioceses. Then souls can be judged by their overt conduct, not by their… Read more »

Davis Mac-Iyalla
Davis Mac-Iyalla
14 years ago

Speaking as West African Anglican, our African and Global South Archbishops should come out with some new positive ideas and not these old scripts. The sad part of the debate is that the African Archbishops never consult their own House of Bishops or Laity but impose their views on them. At least, the Archbishop of Abuja does that and how are people to oppose him when they might be labelled as a supporter of homosexuals and could be sent to jail for 5 years under the new Bill. The anchor which those who are splitting the Anglican Communion are using… Read more »

dave williams
14 years ago

Anglicanus,

And I’m hoping that you will explain your very non-Anglican, non Nicaean sounding statement! Are you trying to split Jesus from The Logos?

Jim Naughton
14 years ago

I am wondering if the Primate of Uganda has reached his conclusions about Bishop Jefferts Schori’s theological convictions based entirely on media reports and the commentary on conservative blogs. I can’t think of any other sources available to him. Can a decision of this magnitude really be based on such flimsy documentation? I don’t think he can possibly judge whether her soteriological beliefs fit within the parameters of orthodoxy. At least when the Roman Catholics do this sort of thing to one another they conduct a thorough investigation.

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

About a week ago, a number of us were saying that the ++Akinola-led faction in the Communion wanted the Primates to vote out the Episcopal Church and Presiding Bishop Schori at the February meeting, but didn’t have the votes to do it.

So now they are doing the next best thing: sabotaging the Primates’ Meeting, preventing it from taking place at all.

NP
NP
14 years ago

So Jim Naughton, do you really think that if Reform and the Global South and New Wine etc all sat down with KJS they would find she is actually not very different to them on key presenting issues??

Göran Koch-Swahne
14 years ago

But then Charlotte, maybe it’s for the good.

It will most certainly be very interesting, though not very comforting to behold, when the musical chairs begin to fall…

How many “Global South” grandees will remain in situ when the smoke has vanished, I wonder?

toujoursdan
14 years ago

I am pretty sure that +Katharine Jefferts Schori believes that Jesus is the gatekeeper to salvation but leaves open the door on who can get through the gate (i.e., non Christians may or may not be saved through Christ; we can’t limit God’s grace).

This isn’t different than statements from the Vatican, Eastern Orthodox and even the Presbyterians (USA). It’s hardly heresy.

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

“…explain your very non-Anglican, non Nicaean sounding statement!” Dave W.

Nobody can explain/hear anything ANGLICAN anymore after receiving the “final word” on Christianity and “selective” Scriptural nonsense from shrill puritan zealots. Pushing out-of-control fear and Biblical hate inspiring thuggery against LGBT Christians is now gone into frundamentalist overdrive mode.

David Huff
David Huff
14 years ago

My goodness, the “covenant” (and implied financial blackmail) from Reform, et. al, Tanzania, and now Uganda. As Göran commented, musical chairs beginning to fall, indeed 🙂

I’ll shamefully admit that, in my weaker moments, I’m enjoying a bit of schadenfreude at the ++ABC’s expense. He was so terribly lenient and, well…, “wishy-washy” with the machinations of the extremist, conservative trouble-makers in the U.S., and now he’s been rudely confronted with the same thing on his home turf. (I’ll try, very hard, to resist comparisons to Neville Chamberlain)

StAndTheolStud
StAndTheolStud
14 years ago

Anglicanus, I am afraid that the ABC will probably side with Uganda on that one. As has been said on this post already, you cannot divorce the Logos from the Jesus Christ, that is what the incarnation means. The divine hypostasis of the sun has enhypostatically assumed an anhypostatic human nature for the purpose of revealing to us, who cannot comprehend what is outside of the created world, an uncreated God in a son of the creation. For further reading, see the Council of Chalcedon, Cyril of Alexandria, Pope Leo 1, Athanasius, and the so-called athanasian creed, not written by… Read more »

laurence
laurence
14 years ago

Perhaps it should be faced once and for all, that theology and theological language is metaphorical. (for heavens sake ! : – )

John Henry
John Henry
14 years ago

The real heretic is not PB Jefferts Schori, but the ‘man in the purple shirt’ who re-designates the Lord’s Table in the Holy Communion as “Orombi’s” Table, where the host presumes to turn away the ‘unwashed’. It is high time for Mr. Orombi-Donatus to repent.

J. C. Fisher
J. C. Fisher
14 years ago

After nearly a decade of a Primatial-majority REFUSING to “sit with” any LGBT Anglican, it’s only fitting, somehow, that they would extend this to “we won’t sit with them, nor sit with anyone who DOES sit with them”.

“They will hate you, because they hate me” said Our Lord. 🙁

Kyrie eleison!

[“I am wondering if the Primate of Uganda has reached his conclusions about Bishop Jefferts Schori’s theological convictions…” Jim N, I had the exact same thought. Gob-smacking, really.]

counterlight
counterlight
14 years ago

All those people so eager to pin all the blame for the current troubles of the Anglican Communion on +Robinson and on the actions of the Episcopal Bishops in ordaining him should pin it where it really belongs; the Diocesan Convention of New Hampshire that elected Robinson to be their bishop, and on all the Episcopalians in New Hampshire who chose the delegates to their convention. If +Robinson must be deposed and excommunicated to appease his detractors, then those who chose him to be their bishop must also be likewise excommunicated; an entire diocese.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
14 years ago

The divine hypostasis of the sun has enhypostatically assumed an anhypostatic human nature for the purpose of revealing to us, who cannot comprehend what is outside of the created world, an uncreated God in a son of the creation. OK – but if you’re not careful that backs into Docetism. I remember an ex-Brethren person in the next parish to my old one who was scandalised when I said that Jesus did not possess all knowledge – ie Jesus could have designed a thermonuclear device had he so wished. The C5 christological controversies suggest we need to take care not… Read more »

Anglicanus
Anglicanus
14 years ago

In response: The pre-existant Logos is not separated from the Incarnation. But there is a time gap. The Incarnation is time specific. Access to the Father was possible prior to the Incarnation. Therefore, although we now have the more perfect and unique access to the Father through a personal relationship with the Incarnate Son that does presume to destroy other means. I am always concerned when submissions on any site say simply ‘Jesus said’ or ‘God said’ without identifying the source. When the source is identified it is possible to apply textual criticism and understand more fully the truth that… Read more »

John Henry
John Henry
14 years ago

Good response, Anglicanus. Sadly, the GS primates and metropolitans, together with their reasserter allies, have hi-jacked the Bible. Only their reading of scripture is orthodox, valid and bestows the gift of eternal salvation. To hell with the wisdom of the Church Fathers, biblical exegesis from the time of Martin Luther to the present, and the papal magisterium since the pre-Vatican II era! Wrote Pope John Paul II (probably Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was involved, too) in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the… Read more »

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
14 years ago

John Henry mused
the GS primates would like to see us shut down all major theology faculties in our universities as a sign of our repentance.

Not at all! They’d just find a degree from one a permanent impediment to ordination, and any bishop who had knowingly ordained a practising theologian would no longer be in communion with them…..

JPM
JPM
14 years ago

You know, it was barely thirty years ago that the president of Uganda was eating people.

Now the primate of that same country presumes to serve as the world’s spiritual overlord.

What a difference a few years can make!

Dave Williams
Dave Williams
14 years ago

Anglicanus,

firstly it was Jesus the incarnate son of God who made the claim to the the way, the truth and the life. Secondly, the way is possible through his death on the cross. Thirdly we live post incarnation!

Merseymike
14 years ago

Errr…no, it wasn’t.It was the person who wrote John’s Gospel, some 80-90 years after the event, from second hand sources, and with an agenda to spread a new religion to the gentile population.

NP
NP
14 years ago

Mynsyter / John Henry……are you suggesting the Global South Primates are uneducated people or have inferior education or minds to you or other Primates? If so, why?? If you look, you will find they are very well qualified for the positions they hold, they have real pHDs from leading institutions……or are we seeing some sort of racism implicit in your views since you seem to want to label them anti-intellectual? Why do you not question the Archbishop of Sydneys approach to what you call “theologians”? Why do you not explicitly or implicity question his intellectual credentials when he holds very… Read more »

dave williams
14 years ago

Merseymike

1. The person writing the gospel was quoting Jesus
2. 80-90 years after. Depends upon your viepoint I guess but as the latest date for writing it tends to be placed at 90 AD then your time lag is somewhere out!
3. As for whether it was second hand sources that’s only if you accept some fairly modern folks with their own agenda of questioning God’s supernatural involvement

Anglicanus
Anglicanus
14 years ago

In response to Mr D Williams: The words are those of the writer of John’s Gospel, as Merseymike, points out. May I restate the point that the Word of God is alive and active and does not return to Him empty handed. From that I would like to posit that, whilst offering us the more perfect way through a living relationship with the the Risen Christ, God has not closed down other avenues which human beings may use. I am thoroughly accepting of the uniqueness of the Christian revelation given to us in Jesus Christ without desiring to make it… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Anglicanus – I agree – there were greater reasons to object in the past (eg “bishops” like Spong and David Jenkins) – they helped create the mess the AC is now in….we are seeing reactions to symptoms because people were too quiet, polite, maybe too tolerant in the past.

Now, some lament that TEC has pushed the boundaries too quickly because patience was paying off nicely in subverting the church slowly………

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“Could it be that African bishops may be just as bright and just as “well-educated” …as TEC bishops….?” In actuality, NP, I’d suggest moreso. That’s part of the problem. Going all the way back to Liturgical reform and the debate over the ordination of women, bishops here in Canada, and priests as well, have seemed to at least have problems with a theological argument if they can actually make such arguments, and seem to be unable to understand theology apart from human rights. My believe on this has been softened recently, after hearing Bishop Virginia Matthews speak. There are theological… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Ford – I am not surprised you like KJS.

I think KJS is a big improvement – at least she seems honest and willing to say what she thinks rather then pretending to be united with everyone….this allows some real progress for everyone even if that progress is a realignment.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
14 years ago

NP: “bishops” like Spong and David Jenkins) – they helped create the mess the AC is now in. Well, it took a while, but we have the names of two of NP’s ‘heretic’ bishops, both retired I note. 0n what ground is +DJ being condemned, btw? So far as I am aware, no comment he made fell outside historic Christian boundaries, and most of them were almost tedious in their orthodoxy. His Synod expose of the unchristian nature of some late ’80’s miracle claims was a classic (for those with short memories, it was something on the lines of ‘If… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

NP, I didn’t say I “liked” +KJS, merely that she seems to be a bishop who isn’t afraid of speaking theologically. And it isn’t a realignment, it’s a schism, pure and simple. Whether or not it’s progress is another thing entirely. For me, in my more sinful moments, I relish the idea. I’m still not comfortable with the idea that there are those who call themselves Anglican who seem to have more in common theologically and liturgically with the Pentecostals I knew growing up than with anything I recognize as Anglican. But that’s my failing, my inability to see the… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Dear Mynster….would you really make the case that people like Jenkins did the CofE (let alone the gospel) any good? I saw people leave the CofE because of the damage done by the bizarre tradition of promoting “academics” and eccentrics to be bishops with pastoral responsibilities which they are not experienced enough to fulfil. One great thing about the ABC is that he says explicitly that what he wrote as an academic (and he was a credible one) is not what he pushes through as ABC: he understands his role is different and is not following some agenda (much to… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Mynster – by the way, there are, sadly, bishops who have not retired who are clearly heretical in teaching and / or lifestyle – maybe they are being more honest about it in TEC but in England too, there are people trying to subvert the church – and making the ABC’s life very hard.

We would not have the problems we have in the AC if it were not for such people pushing a particular agenda which is not part of the mission given to the church and not accepted by the vast majority of Anglicans (north or south)

NP
NP
14 years ago

Dear Ford, I have no doubt that realignment / schism will be progress – for both sides.
Being forced to stay “united” is destructive for everyone and wastes so much time and energy, leaving everyone unhappy…

…my only worry is that the ABC and AC bureaucrats are working overtime to create a fudge which traps everyone together for more years of self-destructing.

dave williams
14 years ago

Anglicus,

1. You obviously missed my second post
2. I’m not sure how my comments as one who consistantly in his preaching refers to context can support your worry
3. The fact that the words are reported by John makes them no less the words of Jesus than the words of Anglican Mainstream quoted by Simon are Anglican Mainstream words as opposed to Simons words
4. Your asking the wrong person about why it has taken this long for Evangelical Anglicans to move!

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

NP,
I disagree entirely about the “benefits” of schism. I do not fear it, the CofE started in a much worse position than an excluded American Church would find itself in, and look what happened there. But it represents our failing as human beings to put our own pride aside, to put others ahead of ourselves.
And :”there are, sadly, bishops who have not retired who are clearly heretical in teaching and / or lifestyle”.
I agree. I count the Archbishop of Sydney among their number. Don’t you?

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