Thinking Anglicans

Primates Meeting: media coverage

Updated Tuesday morning

RTE has two video reports which are linked from this report: Anglican leader in warning over homophobia.

Associated/Canadian Press has Anglican leader says reuniting communion will be a lengthy task, but work will continue.

Irish Times Archbishop reacts strongly to queries over homophobic climate in Uganda

THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, reacted strongly to media questions in Dublin yesterday which queried the role of the Anglican primate of Uganda, Most Rev Henry Luke Orombi, in fomenting a climate in which gay activist David Kato was murdered there last Wednesday.

Bishop Orombi was one of seven Anglican Church leaders who boycotted the Anglican Primates Meeting in Dublin which concluded yesterday, because Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the US Episcopal Church, was attending it.

The absent primates do not approve of the US church’s ordination of actively gay bishops or its same-sex blessings.

Defending Bishop Orombi, Archbishop Williams, head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, emphasised that, as with other relevant Anglican primates, Bishop Orombi’s position concerned “exclusion from ministry on grounds of behaviour, not orientation”.

Belfast Telegraph Top cleric warns against demonising gay people

Guardian Riazat Butt Anglican leaders condemn victimisation of gays and lesbians

At a press conference, held at the Emmaus Centre, Dublin, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, reminded journalists that Orombi had signed an earlier pledge “deploring and condemning all violence and language about homosexual persons” while also warning that homophobic language had consequences – as illustrated by Kato’s murder.

Williams acknowledged there was “a critical situation” in the communion.

“The division is very real. The question is how we cope with it. Whether we are able to stay in the same room and argue the case.”

Church Times Ed Beavan has further reports, at Primates’ Meeting, Dublin: updated reports (new material is at the top of the page).

Dr Williams said that there were a “significant number of absentees for a number of reasons”, but in particular the absence of the Global South Primates “was felt and noted every day”, with their names placed on empty chairs in the meeting room and candles lit for them.

“There is a critical situation in the Communion, no one would deny that,” he said. But they would not be “closing the doors on those who are not with us”. He planned to engage in bridge-building visits to some of the absent provinces, such as South-East Asia, and had recently met the Archbishop of Kenya, who did not attend the meeting, engaging in ”a very long and detailed conversation on a variety of matters”.

Such diplomatic endeavours would be a “long task”, he admitted, and trying to keep the diverse Communion together was “difficult”; but “the task we’ve been given and part of the cross we carry.” He said he hoped the standing committee of the Primates’ Meeting, whose role was discussed in Dublin, could also be part of the process to help “re-establish local and regional relationships”.

Asked if he and the Primates would take any disciplinary action against the US Episcopal Church if it continued to ordain gay bishops, he said did not know: “he did not have a crystal ball about the future,” and that he had “no idea” if the boycotting Primates would attend the next Primates’ Meeting.

ENS Primates outline their roles, commit to ‘journeying together in honest conversation’

ENI via Christian Century Anglican archbishops end meeting on a quiet note

Christian Post Anglican Head: Nobody Denies Division

Christian Today Re-establishing relationships in the Anglican Communion will be a ‘long task’, says Archbishop

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Father Ron Smith
Guest

It is just so disappointing that the ABC, after leading the other Primates to condemn the culture of homophobia, should feel it necessary to defend one of it’s most active proponents in the Anglican Communion – Ugandan Archbishop Orombi. This failure to address the real problems of misogyny and homophobia within certain Provinces of the Communion signifies the fact that – it may not really matter what the Western Church says or does about the dignity of LGB and T persons, let them ‘behave’ according to the heterosexual *norm* (where child-slavery, rape, and sexual molestation is rife in certain third-world… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

“Defending Bishop Orombi, Archbishop Williams, head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, emphasised that, as with other relevant Anglican primates, Bishop Orombi’s position concerned “exclusion from ministry on grounds of behaviour, not orientation”.

In the words of my 20-something sons, “I’m calling BS on that one.”

Counterlight
Guest
Counterlight

It appears that the Archbishop is back to his usual form after that temporary attack of conscience.

badman
Guest
badman

“exclusion from ministry on grounds of behaviour, not orientation”. Actions speak louder than words – and the forced withdrawal of celibate homosexual Jeffrey John from the bishopric to which he had already been appointed shows that this is not true. But, in any event, the distinction between behaviour and orientation fundamentally fails to respect human rights, as the UK Supreme Court has recently decided in the HJ and HT case [2010] UKSC 31. As Lord Hope put it in that case: “To pretend that… the behaviour by which it [i.e. sexuality or sexual orientation] manifests itself can be suppressed, is… Read more »

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

‘Dr Williams rejected a suggestion that the Church of Uganda’s position on homosexuality could have fuelled homophobic actions’. I am sorry but I just can’t believe that this is true. The Church of Uganda has been active in supporting the parliamentary bill which proposes the death penalty for a variety of homosexual activity and makes the non reporting of homosexual activity a criminal offence. It is in such a climate, egged on by an irresponsible popular press (like our own over the past 30 years) that lives are seen a cheap and that religion is the excuse or the cause… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Positive comments from participating Primates notwithstanding, Anglicans should remain very concerned about, and critical of, the evolution and development of this body and the role it is taking on for itself without much consultation from laity and clergy in the Communion. We must keep the Primates meetings on our “hierarchy watch list.”

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

The ABC’s defence of Orombi is disingenuous, at best. He must have used up all his courage in condeming David Kato’s murder and the disgracful scene at his burial.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

Archbishop Henry Orombi, Primate of Uganda has been identified by Anglican MP David ¨Kill All the Gays¨ Bahati as his ¨spiritual advisor¨– Jeff Sharlet (author of The Family/¨C¨ Street Brotherhood), who has a ongoing professional relationsip with MP Bahati, communicates with him regularly by telephone.

Sadly Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, refuses to face reality and continues to live/work/minister in his very own world of ¨sensibile¨ defensive pretend. How I wish he´d not make me wonder if his six months spent in Georgetown/Washington D.C. didn´t include briefings by the ¨C¨ Street Family.

peterpi - Peter Gross
Guest
peterpi - Peter Gross

Yeah, we get it, Abp Williams and Primate Orombi, love the “sin”ner, hate the “sin”. We all know that’s a load of 100% pure Ministry of Agriculture-approved tripe. In speaking at Mr. Kato’s funeral, the CofU reader may have been superficially condemning “sin”, but in reality was condeming Mr. Kato. In introducing the “No Homos in Uganda” bill, the authorities in Uganda, with the blessing of former primate Akinola and other CofU officials (their concern was with the severity of the penalties, not the concept of the bill itself), were condemning “sin”ners, not the “sin”. So, Archbishop Williams, your desire… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

“exclusion from ministry on grounds of behaviour, not orientation” (Rowan Williams)

“I am sorry but I just can’t believe that this is true. The Church of Uganda has been active in supporting the parliamentary bill which proposes the death penalty for a variety of homosexual activity and makes the non reporting of homosexual activity a criminal offence.” (Richard Ashby)

That probably happened to stop all those gay people from wanting to become priests.

Malcolm French+
Guest

Richard Ashby: “The Church of Uganda has been active in supporting the parliamentary bill which proposes the death penalty for a variety of homosexual activity and makes the non reporting of homosexual activity a criminal offence.”

As odious as I agree the Primate of Uganda is, I think we have an obligation to be accurate here. The Church of Uganda, while supportive of the presumed intent of the bill, has specifically opposed both the death penalty and the non-reporting penalties.

Savi Hensman
Guest
Savi Hensman

Richard Ashby, the Church of Uganda does not fully support the Anti Homosexuality Bill, and peterpi, former Nigerian primate Peter Akinola is more extreme than Henry Orombi. But the Church of Uganda is against human rights for LGBT people and those seeking greater equality. To quote: ‘The Church of Uganda associates itself with the concerns expressed in the Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009. However, instead of a completely new Bill, the Church recommends a Bill that amends the Penal Code Act (Cap.120) addressing loopholes, in particular… ensuring that sexual orientation is excluded as a protected human right… ‘We particularly appreciate the… Read more »

Phil Andrews
Guest
Phil Andrews

It becomes clear from a serious study Anglican populations that the official figures usually given for the provinces that are the heartland of theological liberalism are grossly exaggerated. This applies not just to England and the USA, but also to provinces in countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, increasingly South Africa, and even Brazil. Of course, the exaggeration arises by virtue of including millions of non-practising Anglicans in the count. This is not to suggest that Anglican churches don’t have a special kind of ministry to “the nominals” . . . it’s just that because the figures from “Global… Read more »

karen macqueen+
Guest

“Defending Bishop Orombi, Archbishop Williams, head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, emphasised that…Bishop Orombi’s position concerned “exclusion from ministry on grounds of behaviour, not orientation”. Just when we would like to give +Rowan Williams a little credit, he exposes his capacity to lie in the service of his project to prevent schism in the Communion. One cannot lie before the whole world! +Rowan has read the statement of the Church of Uganda regarding proposed legislation to imprison and execute LGBTI persons in Uganda. In that statement, the Church of Uganda commits to working to defeat the belief that LGBTI persons… Read more »

David Shepherd
Guest
David Shepherd

Father Ron Smith: ‘let them ‘behave’ according to the heterosexual *norm* (where child-slavery, rape, and sexual molestation is rife in certain third-world countries)’ Your remark is rather flattering to the ‘enlightened’ first and second world countries that escape your contempt. Also, it omits the true origin of these social ills (that lies beyond heterosexual or homosexual orientation). Most of this behaviour was happily ignored during the rape and pillage era of the Imperial expansion. No wonder the global South is further alienated when the sinister self-serving demonisation begins to surface. But then, Africans just need new masters to colonise their… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

What karen macqueen said.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

Phil Andrews:

How do we know the numbers reported by the Global South provinces are any more accurate than those reported by the “liberal” provinces? Has any third-party organization–a polling company on the order of Gallop, a government census–asked about church affiliation and attendance in those countries?

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Karen MacQueen: quite right, well said. Phil Andrews: so what if some Global South provinces have a lot of churchgoers? They are at a different stage of ecclesiastical and social development from us in Europe, I suppose. (They don’t all have large numbers, though, do they – how many practising Anglicans does the ohso vocal Province of the Southern Cone contain, for example?) More to the point, the standard Con Evo line is that we should challenge prevailing social norms and dare to be unpopular (in the West). How about doing the same in the Global South and radically sticking… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

I agree Karen, and that is why I am no longer part of the Church and no longer see Christianity as the path for me to follow

Counterlight
Guest
Counterlight

I agree with Karen’s comments too.

… and I’m staying. It’s God’s Church, it’s yours, and it’s mine.

Full dignity for all of the baptized.

JPM
Guest
JPM

Looks like Rowan’s sudden attack of courage passed quickly.

peterpi - Peter Gross
Guest
peterpi - Peter Gross

Bravo, +Karen MacQueen! Elegantly put! David Shepherd, TEC is not asking the Global South to ordain and consecrate women and gay priests and bishops. TEC is asking that TEC be able to do so without the issue tearing apart the Communion, and without the Global South’s interference in TEC’s province. I can’t recall a single TEC presiding bishop or other bishop refusing to sit at communion with a Global South primate or bishop. Of course, given the Global South’s behavior, I guess PB Jefferts-Schori hasn’t been given the opportunity. How many Global South provinces or dioceses have TEC bishops poached?… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest

One might be moved to observe that “figures lie and liars figure,” but that would be uncharitab;le. Mr. Andrews does speak to a real issue – that the statistical data from across the Communion is not consistent in its meaning and that comparisons are fraught with problems. From that point, he goes badly astray. For example, he claims that the membership data for the Provinces he despises includes all the “nominals.” This is simply false. Doubtless it will include some number of “nominals” who have never been purged from parish rolls, but in Canada the census number for Anglicans has… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

If Orombi or Akinola or Okoh truly represented their churches, Phil A, then at most you’d have an impressive count of *spiritual corpses* there.

But, thank God, I don’t believe the Purple Power-Over Pirates DO represent their people! It is the spiritual children of David Kato that are the future of Anglicanism in Uganda, not the mob indoctrinated by the Orombi.

JCF
Guest
JCF

I would like to add, however (for clarification), that through the mercy of Christ, “spiritual corpses” may yet live! [I, too, need resurrection]