Thinking Anglicans

Archbishop Orombi's views on Anglicanism

The Ugandan primate, Archbishop Henry Orombi has written an article entitled What Is Anglicanism?

The article is a very clear statement of his views. He says that he will not meet with the ECUSA House of Bishops in New Orleans, as he has been invited to do by the Archbishop of Canterbury. And the Ugandan bishops will not attend the Lambeth Conference next year if ECUSA bishops attend. There are further comments on this at TitusOneNine including some by Ephraim Radner and Stephen Noll. Mark Harris has also written about this here.

It ends with this:

…If, as I have suggested, the future of Anglicanism lies in a revival of the key Reformation and evangelical principles that shaped the Church of Uganda and our mother Church of England, then our instruments of communion need to find a way to serve that vision. I fear, however, that our conciliar instruments are in danger of losing their credibility and being rendered irrelevant. The resolutions of the Lambeth Conference of Bishops have always had a moral authority among the communion’s autonomous but interdependent provinces, yet some of those resolutions are now flagrantly defied and even mocked.

We primates have worked hard in recent years to find consensus even in our present situation of broken or impaired communion. Through the grace of God, our communiqués have been consensus statements, unanimously agreed upon, and they are evidence of our commitment as primates to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3). Yet some provinces have not taken our communiqués seriously, and the primates, as an instrument of communion, have been scorned.

The current crisis presents us with an opportunity to mature into a global communion that represents not just historic bonds of affection but also an advancing mission force for the Kingdom of God that Jesus inaugurated. For this to happen, our instruments of communion may also have to become instruments of discipline. As a member of the primates’ standing committee, I was invited to come to the United States in September 2007 to attend the meeting of the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops. But I recently wrote the archbishop of Canterbury and informed him that I could not participate.

Among my reasons is this: In February 2007, the primates of the Anglican Communion met in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and made certain requests of the Episcopal church. It is my conviction that our Dar es Salaam communiqué did not envision interference in the American House of Bishops while they are considering our requests. For me to violate our hard-won agreement in Dar es Salaam would be another case of undermining our instruments of communion. My decision to uphold our Dar es Salaam communiqué is intended to strengthen our instruments of communion so we will be able to mature into an even more effective global communion of the Church of Jesus Christ than in the past.

In December 2006, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda unanimously adopted “The Road to Lambeth,” a statement drafted for a council of African provinces. Among other things, it stated, “We will definitely not attend any Lambeth Conference to which the violators of the Lambeth Resolution [1.10] are also invited as participants or observers.” Accordingly, if the present invitations to the Lambeth Conference stand, I do not expect the Ugandan bishops to attend.

It is important that this decision not be misunderstood as withdrawing from the instruments of communion. On the contrary, our decision reflects the critical importance of the Lambeth Conference: Its value as an instrument of communion is greatly diminished when the persistent violators of its resolutions are invited. If our resolutions as a council of bishops do not have moral authority among ourselves, how can we expect our statements on world affairs to carry weight in the world’s forums? An instrument of communion must also be an instrument of discipline in order to effectively facilitate meaningful communion among its autonomous provinces.

The Church of Uganda takes its Anglican identity and the future prospects of the global Anglican Communion very seriously. Our thoughtfulness in how we participate in the instruments of communion reflects our fundamental loyalty to our Anglican heritage. Likewise, our devotion to the Word of God—expressed through our martyrs, revival, and the historic episcopate—reflects our commitment to the ongoing place of the Church of Uganda as a province of the Anglican Communion.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
41 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

Very skillfully crafted. On the surface, there’s not much I disagree with, but scratch a little deeper. There’s the usual “Scripture is the only source of authority” in which he goes so far as to imply that only this approach is “authentic”, thereby asserting that the Orthodox and Romans are not “authentic”, neither is anyone else who isn’t an Evangelical, I guess. He even claims this as a basic principle of Anglicanism, yet to say that nothing can be required of a person except what is written in Scripture is quite different from saying that Scripture is the only authority.… Read more »

Pluralist
14 years ago

What’s happening here then is the expected tightening up from that end of the current Anglican Communion, the tightening up so that the Covenant is more than as presented to the General Synod, but along the lines of “process” rather than dogma. That the Instruments of Communion are to be instruments of discipline, and therefore, via both contributions, it does amount to an internationalist takeover of national Churches, and goes beyond autonomy and interdependence. Such Instruments of Discipline (let’s call them) will of course be intended to operate along their lines. But, as the English bishop Tom Wright said, “Because… Read more »

EOfizH
EOfizH
14 years ago

I think a crucial statement in +Orombi’s article is the following: “in the current Anglican crisis, we are at risk of losing our biblical foundation. As bishops, we are constrained, in the word of the 1662 Ordinal, ‘to banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God’s Word,’ and we are determined ‘out of the same Holy Scriptures to instruct the people committed to [our] charge and to teach or maintain nothing, as necessary to eternal salvation, but that which [we] shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved by the same'” As a… Read more »

L Roberts
L Roberts
14 years ago

The so-called ‘instruments’ have no existence in reality. They have never been agreed or accepted by the Anglican Churches,or even the ACC or the Lambeth Conferences. Yet this kind of language (‘Instruments’ capital ‘I’ I notice) has taken off, and seems now to be taken for granted. The so-called ‘Primates Meeting’ is nothing of the sort — it is a meeting of primates — that’s all. No capitals, no special authority– just an informal, ad hoc thing. Not an instrument of anything — but definitely a source of mischief and unconscionable arrogance. Of course the bishops lack moral authority and… Read more »

Prior Aelred
14 years ago

L Roberts on Friday, 13 July 2007 at 2:35pm BST — My understanding was that the Virginia Report (which was not accepted by the ACC or any other group) introduced the term “Instruments of Communion” as a sort of description of how things actually functioned & the Windsor Report “upped the status” to “Instruments of _Union_” which certainly sounds a lot more like they are to be the magisterium that Anglicanism has so far been happy to be without! Re: Orombi — it seems to me that he is saying that the Ugandan experience of Anglicanism is valid & binding… Read more »

Cynthia
Cynthia
14 years ago

“The story of the Ugandan martyrs though is crucial. We Westerners can’t dismiss this, since our insistence on being friendly to gay people looks to them like saying their martyrs died for nothing.” I do not have my copy of Lesser Feasts and Fasts handy, so I may be wrong about this and will appreciate correction. My understanding is that the Martyrs of Uganda were threatened with homosexual rape, much as were the visitors to Lot’s house. Both instances are like the initiation-by-sodomy that is part of the culture of American jails [and possibly elsewhere – I just don’t know].… Read more »

Andrew in Montreal
Andrew in Montreal
14 years ago

This vision of primatial authority wouldn’t fly in Canada at present. Our primate has limited powers and is styled more in line with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the US. There were rumours that bishop Victoria Matthews wanted to push the idea of a primacy held in conjunction with a diocesan bishopric, which fell flat as a lead balloon. Abp Orombi’s vision of authority of the primates is more draconian than anything the Church in Canada has seen since a very long time, not since colonial times when appointments of bishops were made from Canterbury or London.… Read more »

Malcolm+
14 years ago

A small quibble with Andrew of Montreal. The first Canadian Primate who was not concurrently a diocesan bishop was Howard Clarke. He was Bishop of Edmonton at the time he was elected Primate and, as was the practice at the time, continued as diocesan. He was subsequently translated to the Metropolitan see as Archbishop of Rupertsland. (There was apparently a priest of that dioceses who would pray in the liturgy for “Howard our Primate, Howard our Metropolitan and Howard our Bishop.”) When the decision was made that the Primate should no longer be a diocesan bishop, Howard resigned his see.… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

Cynthia, I agree with you, I was saying what it looks like to Ugandans. And, no, it isn’t too difficult to understand. But who is going to even try to understand how important this is in the Ugandan context or how Westerners can diffrentiate between the two? And notice how the attempted rape as a sign of submission to the royal authority gets turned in Orombi’s talk into “homosexual advances”. Is this deliberate, or is he so concerned with asserting his righteousness that the listening process that would have told him how wrong this is wasn’t worth carrying out so… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

“The Road to Lambeth” was, as Archbishop Orombi states, drafted for a group of African provinces, but it was not accepted by them — indeed, it was publicly and strenuously rejected by a number of their Primates. Yet Archbishop Orombi has decided that this draft document, never formally accepted, trumps the Windsor Report and any subsequent agreements by the whole Communion. He himself agreed a deadline of September 30th for the Episcopal Church to accept the terms of the Primates’ Communique. Though it is not yet the middle of July, he has unilaterally voided the deadline. Then he immediately adds… Read more »

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

Why is it for Orombi (et al?), heterosexuality is never defined by *heterosexual* ACTS OF VIOLENCE (rape), but homosexuality is?

I don’t get it.

I can’t help feeling, when the Gospel was brought to Uganda, SOMETHING GOT LOST in translation. 🙁

[God bless and protect LGBT Ugandans]

Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

“It is my conviction that our Dar es Salaam communiqué did not envision interference in the American House of Bishops while they are considering our requests.” Interference is an interesting word to use. TEC elected their bishops in fair elections (would that some others would learn from this example rather than manifesting the worst forms of organisaitonal politics). TEC has not gone lightly down this path and have taken decades to get to this point. The same as Desmond Tutu and the South Africans did not lightly evolve to where they could peacefully end apartheid. There has been some stuff… Read more »

Pluralist
14 years ago

Well Orombi is entitled to think whatever he wants about whathis actions mean, so long as he can’t impose them on others. The danger with a Covenant is that whilst some actions would be defined for him, some other of his actions would be defined for others. Anyway, I doubt a Covenant text would be so long to cover so many options, and his meanings of the situation might not be regarded as essential enough for primates (or whoever) to make an international decision.

Marshall Scott
14 years ago

I was moved by the Archbishop’s recounting of the Anglican martyology – Cranmer and Latimer and Ridley- and of Anglican heroes – Wilberforce and Simeon; moved, but also concerned. As I recall, the Anglican tradition also includes Donne and Pusey and Maurice, who were certainly not part of the revivalist tradition within Anglicanism. I agree there is an Evangelical tradition with the Anglican tradition. I disagree strongly that it is the only, or even the “mainstream” Anglican tradition. I can’t help but feel a certain sense of irony in the publication of this paper in “First Things.” While it is… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
14 years ago

“And are we so accustomed to our own beliefs that we cannot understand, or don’t want to understand, the importance of this sginificant event in Ugandan culture?”

The difference between same gender rape as a tool of dominance and being gay is not a ‘belief’ but a fact.

If some people believed that the earth was flat, would we let them dictate to us how astronomy was taught because it was part of thier culture?

Leonardo Ricardo
Leonardo Ricardo
14 years ago

Why is it for Orombi (et al?), heterosexuality is never defined by *heterosexual* ACTS OF VIOLENCE (rape), but homosexuality is?

I don’t get it.

I can’t help feeling, when the Gospel was brought to Uganda, SOMETHING GOT LOST in translation.” JCF

That’s Orombi’s best weapon…ditch fact/ignore reality…ignore property laws…ignore despicable personal violations against LGBT Anglicans in Uganda and ignore HONEST questions and conversations/listening processes with REAL PEOPLE.

Reality may take longer for Orombi to get used to…but, I think there are few places for him to hide.

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

Pluralist, I agree: Archbishop Orombi can interpret his own actions in whatever way he wishes. But he wishes to interpret (for example) his refusal to attend the Episcopal House of Bishops meeting in September as being in accordance with an agreement called the Dar es Salaam Primates’ Communique. The truth of this interpretation, however, does not depend on the Archbishop’s own self-reported perceptions of his behavior. Not anything counts as fulfillment of an agreement, not even if it is one made by Anglican Primates. The Primate of Uganda, apparently an extreme subjectivist, appears to think otherwise. (I suppose he also… Read more »

Charlotte
Charlotte
14 years ago

Cynthia Gillett asked: “If some people believed that the earth was flat, would we let them dictate to us how astronomy was taught because it was part of their culture?”

Well, yes, we liberals in the developed nations would, and have done exactly that, and that is part of the tragedy of this thing. We played with sentimental and inexpensive forms of anti-rationalism we called “postmodern” and “postcolonialist” all the way through the Seventies and Eighties, and now, as they say, the chickens are coming home to roost.

Malcolm+
14 years ago

“Cranmer and Latimer and Ridley”

Indeed, I believe these gentlemen were executed precisely for denying that the church in a particular place should be governed by foreign prelates.

It is disgusting to see their names being used in defence of the very thing they died opposing.

JCF
JCF
14 years ago

Also lost in translation: the term “interference”.

++Orombi is *specifically invited to attend* the September HofB meeting, but declines, as that is “interference.”

…yet Orombi *interferes* in the Diocese of Los Angeles (where he emphatically has NOT been invited, in terms of his exerting episcopal authority there!), yet that’s OK?

I don’t get this, either.

Cheryl Clough
14 years ago

I liked your posting Cynthia, and Charlotte’s reply gave a chuckle. “If some people believed that the earth was flat, would we let them dictate to us how astronomy was taught because it was part of thier culture?” We might not have people teaching that the world is flat anymore, but I note with concern that we have people in denial over our animal origins, and that they do try to dictate how biology is taught. Personally, I am far more impressed that humanity evolved from a monkey derivative. It shows off God’s age, endurance, wisdom, cleverness, patience, innovation, visioning,… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

shock! horror! Anglican Archbishop believes in the bible, the 39 articles and …… even seems to believe that Lambeth resolutions and communiques from the Primates ought to mean what they say!

What is the AC coming to…..tell this good man he is supposed to stand for nothing much and let his church decline to be a national laughing stock (as in England) or representing less than 1% of the population (as in the US)…..all this believing in stuff and having strongly growing churches is not very Anglican , you know, ++Henry!

Malcolm+
14 years ago

Correction, NP. The archbishop appears to believe in only 38 of the said articles. He seems quite indifferent to that one regarding the role of foreign prelates in ecclesiastical governance.

NP
NP
14 years ago

Malcolm – as has been said many times, intervention is necessary when there is false teaching…it’s even in Anglican articles etc JCF says “when the Gospel was brought to Uganda, SOMETHING GOT LOST in translation”…..well, you know it was brought to the US and translated too? Maybe your current translation is wrong? Imagine if the Ugandan church wanted to ordain polygamists….I would have a problem with that and I guess you may (unless you are ultra-liberal)….but you ask them to accept what is now ok in your culture, though against scripture. THank goodness the AC is getting a covenant. Things… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

So “liberal” is NP (“don’t be dumb, be a smarty”)’s push-button scare word of the day? Counted three times, on different threads, this morning.

And no, NP, your folks, not the “liberals” should have the confidence to make a united church of their own rather than being a militant minority disrupting the AC.

NP
NP
14 years ago

Lapin – what do you mean?
If conservatives are such a minority in the AC, how have we got Dromantine, TWR, Tanzania and now the covenant coming up???

Very powerful minority…….except it is not at all a minority which wants the church to stick to its agreed positions and holy scripture.

I really don’t understand this “liberal” thing about pretending to represent the mainstrea….at least be honest that you are radicals in the AC context…….or if not, explain how we get decision after decision in the AC which does not support your position (even if some just ignore these)

NP
NP
14 years ago

Lapin says “no, NP, your folks, not the “liberals” should have the confidence to make a united church of their own rather than being a militant minority disrupting the AC” Well, if we are minority, why has the AC given us Dromantine, TWR, Tanzania and now the covenant?? But you are right, Lapin, we should “have the confidence to make a united church” as you say…..this is what we are in fact doing with the Covenant – watch and see, the whole aim of it is to get the AC to be a workable, united, happy organisation and this will… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“it is not at all a minority which wants the church to stick to its agreed positions and holy scripture.”

It is a bunch of poeple who hypocritically want everybody else to stick to a position they themselves ignore with impunity. The Right is not Lambeth compliant, NP, and only obeys the dictates of Scripture that fit in with their particular choice of lifestyle. That they (you) demand the rest of us do something they themselves happily do not do is just laughable, as is your continued assertion that such behaviour is Scriptural, much less Christian.

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

“If conservatives are such a minority in the AC, how have we got Dromantine, TWR, Tanzania and now the covenant coming up???”

Your question was answered by Edmund Burke when he said that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

The Global South and its allies on the American and British Right will never again achieve the free range of action that they seized and foisted on the Anglican Communion between Lambeth 1998 and Dar es Salaam.

Malcolm+
14 years ago

NP: “Malcolm – as has been said many times, intervention is necessary when there is false teaching…it’s even in Anglican articles etc”

So, the article in question, properly interpreted, means “the Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England, unless, of course, he happens to agree with me, and then he has all sorts of authority to crush those who don’t agree with me.”

Seems to me that the previous rendition was far more elegant.

NP
NP
14 years ago

Lapin – which “good men” do you expect to rise up and support the case of TEC for electing VGR? I suspect all in favour of that action have spoken already. Ford, again, the “right” as you call it is NOT trying to get the AC to ignore what the bible says on any issue, is it?? For the nth time, I agree with you that all of us are sinners and hypocrites….but this does not mean we must accept the innovations of TEC or Changing Attitude….this just does not follow. And as for “Listening” a la Lambeth 1.10 –… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Malcolm – what do you make of verses like Gal 5:12?? Not vey polit or full of compromise, is it?

We are not to compromise with false teachers….St Paul says have nothing to do with them and someone else said we were to expect and watch out for wolves in sheep’s clothing……it is not a biblical injunction that faithful ministers must not go and minister to faithful people in areas controlled by heretics…is it?

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“the Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England, unless, of course, he happens to agree with me, and then he has all sorts of authority to crush those who don’t agree with me.” But, you see, the issue is not about the Bishop of Rome’s unCatholic claim to be King of the Bishops. It’s about all that mystical mumbo jumbo. I mean, God doesn’t make bread be anything but bread, for instance, and the victory Christ gives us doesn’t extend beyond the grave, so don’t ask the saints to pray for you, and whatever you do,… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“we have been listening for decades” Given that you have never answered my questions about how your parish listened, NP, and given the things you say, I doubt you have listened to one word. If this is unfounded, then tell me, how did your parish listen? “We are not to compromise with false teachers” But you do, NP, you just claim they aren’t false. You don’t need t keep saying “we’ve listened” and “we don’t compromise with sin and those who teach it.” First, you have not listened(or you’d have told me by now how you did). Second, no-one is… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

“Mr. Bizarre”, if you’d be so good, NP – what’s good enough for our buddy Don Armstrong over in Colorado …. As you very well know, but as you whirl around Thinking Anglicans like a dervish on speed, making every effort to conceal, it’s not about the election of Bishop Robinson, it’s about the determined attempt of a rigid-minded, right-wing, fundamentalist, clique to shanghai the Anglican Communion – an intended hostile takeover of the Church, seeking shelter and concealment behind the Bogey Man of Bishop Robinson. On older but pertinent business – the implication that Pluralist’s use of the expression… Read more »

Malcolm+
14 years ago

NP said: “Malcolm – what do you make of verses like Gal 5:12??”

St. Paul (referring to those who would demand that all Christians conform to their traditional interpretation of the law) said, in Galationas 5:12: “As for these agitators, they had better go the whole way and make eunuchs of themselves.”

Malcolm observes: As much I a may find the Primate of Nigeria and his fellow agitators objectionable in their shrill demand that all Christians conform to their traditional interpretation of the law, I would not presume to suggest castration.

Malcolm+
14 years ago

(Forgot to ask before I sent the previous:)

Were you intending to cite some other proof-text, my friend? For this one seems to work better for me than for you.

NP
NP
14 years ago

Lapin – you speak in favour of African bishops!Hope you see the Nigerian bishop was confronting paganism! (this contradicts saying wanting the AC to stick to Lambeth 1.10 and the bible fitted with with African culture or “pagan-rooted” ideas etc etc!) Ford – are you sure I did not answer re listening….sorry if I did not. Well, our parish has had consultations, special seminars and the clergy have studied the academic literature closely in the last few decades, of course. Our rector has also met with the ABC a few times to discuss the issues in the last couple of… Read more »

NP
NP
14 years ago

Dear Rabbit – personally, I would not support Armstrong as a bishop….we have to be consistent, I agree.

note – people like me have been ok with “diversity” in the AC until TEC tried to force the AC to accept a bishop who is effectively saying ignore Lambeth 1.10 and ignore the bible when it conflicts with your personal desires……this is too much to tolerate even for many tolerant Anglicans (see the CofE synod vote for the covenant if you do not believe me)

Lapinbizarre
Lapinbizarre
14 years ago

Once again, NP, Lambeth V.13 – “Episcopal Responsibilities and Diocesan Boundaries”. Sauce for the goose … And don’t give me the “wasn’t re-affirmed at Dar es Salaam” runaround.

The Armstrong reference was to his having re-christened me “Mr. Bizarre Lips” in a moment of passion earlier this year.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
14 years ago

“our parish has had consultations, special seminars and the clergy have studied the academic literature closely in the last few decades, of course.” So basically, you listened to yourselves talk about gay people as abstractions, is that it? That’s not what Lambeth asked us to do, NP. Did you even ask one gay person why s/he considers the Church such a hostile place? Did you ask even one gay person how your message could be made less hurtful and emotionally and spiritually violent? Did you, in other words, actually DO the one thing you were asked to do? “we are… Read more »

41
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x