Thinking Anglicans

Uganda: Sentamu speaks

The BBC Today radio programme interviewed the Archbishop of York this morning. Listen to what he said here:

The death penalty could be introduced in Uganda for acts of gay sex. The proposed bill is due to be voted on in the new year and has attracted international outrage and controversy. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, who is Ugandan and left the country in the days of former President Idi Amin, discusses reaction to the bill.

He refers to the wording of the Dromantine communiqué. And gives reasons for him and Canterbury not having spoken out.

Transcript of Interview

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Hugh of LincolnLeonardo RicardoMartin Reynoldskaren macqueen+Father Ron Smith Recent comment authors
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Colin Coward
Guest

There’s a transcript of the interview on the Changing Attitude blog:

http://changingattitude-england.blogspot.com/2009/12/john-humphries-interviewed-archbishop.html

Pluralist
Guest

He is hiding behind formulas. Sometimes there are issues of basic humanity and conditions that should transcend bureaucracy speak and all the ‘we passed this resolution in year this’ and ‘we decided that in year that’. You just say something is completely wrong, and inhuman.

When a Diarmaid MacCulloch surveys modern Church history and adds that then the Church lost the ethical argument, here has been a demonstration of the reason why. They are lost in their own world of formulas. These prelates are useless and should be ashamed of themselves.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

I see he’s trying to pass this off as the result of colonial influence and to pass off his and Canterbury’s silence as working quietly to understand the situation – at least that’s what this mealy-mouthed statement sounds like to me. What’s to ‘understand’ about bigotry and hatred and the proposal to murder gays for ‘aggravated’ gayness? I know our naming customs differ across the pond, but every time I read something like ‘that’s why Canterbury and I…’ I think about how silly it would sound in America, as in, “That’s why Southwestern Virginia and Southern Virginia and I have… Read more »

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

So, the Abp of York thinks the bill is bad, … I think. But he also seems to think it’s a mere tuning up or re-ordering of the Ugandan penal code. Hmmmm …
He talks about the listening process. A process that I think in Uganda and other countries is a myth. When Ugandans and others seek to demonize, imprison, and execute people who are thought of as evil incarnate, listening to what the demonized, imprisoned, and dead evil ones is rather difficult, isn’t it?

badman
Guest
badman

Timid and mealy mouthed. He was asked open questions which gave him ample opportunity to make a clear statement. He did not want to make a clear statement. Is that because he is ashamed of what he thinks or because he is afraid to say what he thinks? Is it because he is closer to the Ugandan view than to the average Today listener’s view and wants to fudge it? Or because he is more concerned about Anglican politics than speaking clearly to the English about a point of clear moral evil and failure? I don’t know but it doesn’t… Read more »

john
Guest
john

I agree it was a bit Jesuitical. Nevertheless, he managed to articulate decency.

More important: Happy Christmas, everyone here.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

After listening to Sentamu, I think he sounds a good bit clearer and a good bit stronger than Rowan Williams. Sentamu clearly makes the point that the bill fails to distinguish between violent forms of sexuality and ordinary sexuality in queer folks living daily life in Uganda or elsewhere. He does quote the neglected bits of bureaucratic church documents, when I would much have preferred him to reference scripture and empirical reasons for a positive changed attitude towards queer folks as neighbors. Sentamu talks strongly about Listening; and then works that bit into saying how criminalization contradicts listening, let alone… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Archbishop John, despite the idiosycratic and sometimes hazy delivery of his responses to questions in this article, at least admits that Uganda has not entered into even 20th century thinking on the issue of the LGBT community in Uganda – or anywhere else in the world. His excuse for the Anglican Church of Uganda’s negativity on homosexuality and related sexual-orientation matters, is that Uganda’s Government and Church culture on matters of morality have remained unchaged since the colonial missionary era, when such things were generally not spoken about in polite society – much less, understood. This excuse for the A.C.of… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
Guest

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16 “Yes Minister” poltico speech might be pleasing to those who preserve a church institution, but that does not make them righteous? “Yes, it’s all rather sad that people might be murdered because they are gay” or “Yes, it’s all rather sad that children are molested by Christian “leaders””. Examples of whitewashing, and justice is denied in both instances. The Australian Prime… Read more »

sr. holy house
Guest
sr. holy house

Sentamu is just as self serving as Williams. The CofE is disgraced. Do they plan to condone the barbarism of the Anglican Church of Uganda? The answer seems to be yes.

Spirit of Vatican II
Guest
Spirit of Vatican II

I am confounded by these utterances from Abp Sentamu. I am shocked to see him lost in such a morass of moral ambiguity and cowardly weasel words. Some kind of twisted national loyalty and, worse, some sort of deep inarticulate homophobia have trumped the Gospel here.

John-JulIAN, OJN
Guest
John-JulIAN, OJN

Friends:

Don’t forget that Archbishop Sentamu has a brother who is an Evangelical (Pentecostal?) minister in Uganda.

I would guess that he may have his brother’s welfare in mind when he hesitates to be more forward, more specific and more condemnatory of Uganda’s political moves.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Just a thought experiment: Contrast MLKingJr’s Letter from Birmingham Jail with recent statements by either archbishop, York or Canterbury.

MarkBrunson
Guest

For a time, I’ll put aside Uganda and Sentamu and my reaction, and just wish everyone, including Sentamu, Williams, Orombi, et al, a Merry Christmas.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

What the Lord of York and ALL Anglicans need remember is that we´ve heard not a peep of regret or amends from Archbishop Henri Orombi of Uganda…Bishop Orombi EXCOMMUNICATED retired Bishop Christopher Senyonjo for serving the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of desperate LGBT ANGLICANS in Uganda…so much for any ¨listening¨ +Henri is capable of…the WORLD would be glad to see a crumb of WILLINESS=WELLNESS from Bishop Orombi if, in fact, he intends to learn then educate the Anglicans of Uganda on human sexuality and basic TRUTH (and not continue to eradicate Christian of Integrity)…where is Bishop Orombi as the… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Regarding Leonardo’s comment about Ugandan Abp. Orombi’s failure to defend the cause of Gospel inclusivity towards the LGBT community in his Province of the Communion; this sort of behaviour from certain Primates of the Communion can only be regarded as a negative mark to all who value the justice and truth of Jesus in the Gospel. Such inaction on behalf of the marginalised is the direct antithesis of the holiness required of bishops, priest, deacons and the faithful laity of our Church. As we celebrate the reality of Christ’s Incarnation, how can we view such un-Christian disdain for the outcast… Read more »

karen macqueen+
Guest
karen macqueen+

“Don’t forget that Archbishop Sentamu has a brother who is an Evangelical (Pentecostal?) minister in Uganda. I would guess that he may have his brother’s welfare in mind when he hesitates to be more forward, more specific and more condemnatory of Uganda’s political moves.” Posted by: John-JulIAN, OJN Then, with the utmost respect for Fr. John-Julian, Sentamu should step down. Or do ethics count for nothing in the Anglican Communion? Sentamu, himself, knows too well the capacity of government to manipulate the people of Uganda into turning against each other in murderous violence. If Sentamu has nothing but excuses and… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest
Martin Reynolds

Karen writes well and sadly all she concludes is true. I was deeply moved as I read it and traced the hope and betrayal I have felt over the years.

In conversations with Pope Benedict the question was asked if Anglicanism could achieve any real unity without a Magisterium – Rowan said that this was possible, His Holiness, not unsurprisingly, demured.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

RW has been so bold as to invite LGBT persons in the Communion to sacrifice themselves for the unity of the Communion, during an interview in Kingston, Jamaica. The utter lack of ethics in his thinking is evident in the fact that RW did this in the capital of the country with the worst record in the western hemisphere for officially supported violence and murder against LGBT persons.¨ Karen Mcqueen+ +Rowan knew it too. He knew there was a boycott of Jamaica during the ACC Meeting. ++He knew there was fresh ¨Gay¨ blood in the streets of Kingston. ++He knew… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

The problem with appealing to the Dromantine 2004 Communique is that the same language could be applied to prisoners and those convicted of offences:

eg. ‘we continue unreservedly to be committed to the pastoral care and support of prisoners; the victimisation or diminishment of human beings is anathema to us. We assure prisoners that they are children of God, loved and regarded by him and deserving the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship.’

So it might be argued that there is nothing the Primates have actually said which could be construed as being against the Bill.