I’m now regretting my decision not to fly to Uganda next Monday to report from the All African Bishops Conference (AABC) meeting from August 23 to 29 in Entebbe.
A report published today by Icebreakersuganda says that the Ugandan bishops have been meeting in Mukono for the bi-annual three day provincial assembly. In the course of the meeting they reaffirmed their opposition to gay rights and gay acceptance in the Church of Uganda and vowed to confront the Archbishop of Canterbury over his stand on homosexuality and gay bishops serving in the church at the All Africa Bishops Conference next week.
Archbishop Rowan could probably do without me adding complexity to the mix, but as I’ve learnt at other meetings, there’s value in having someone present able to report from a different perspective.
The Ugandan bishops promised to let Archbishop Rowan know where they stand with him and also make it clear that they will never agree with him on the issue of homosexuals in the church.
During the Mukono meeting, Henry Orombi, the Archbishop of Uganda (pictured above with Eluid Wabukala, Archbishop of Kenya) said they would not break away from Canterbury but would not cooperate with it until after Archbishop Rowan Williams changed his stance on homosexuality in the church or retired as Archbishop.
Speaking at the opening of the three-day provincial Assembly in Mukono, Archbishop Orombi noted that the Communion has lost credibility. He proposed that the Church of Uganda engages church structures at a very minimal level until godly faith and order have been restored.
“I can assure you that we have tried as a church to participate in the processes, but they are dominated by western elites, whose main interest is advancing a vision of Anglicanism that we do not know or recognise. We are a voice crying in the wilderness,” he said. “What I can tell you is that the Anglican Church is very broken. It has been torn at its deepest level, and it is a very dysfunctional family of the provincial churches. It is very sad for me to see how far down the church has gone.”
The Monitor reports that at the same meeting, the Principal Judge of the High Court of Uganda, Justice James Ogoola, called for love and tolerance to diversity. He said when love met justice in Israel, the nation blossomed and noted that there was a need to deeply reflect on the fear of God. He said: “The church and the court must ascend to the mountain top, hold high the flag and stay at the forefront of the effort to dispense love and justice to the desperate and the disenchanted and to the oppressed and the suppressed.”
I suppose it doesn’t cross the minds of the Archbishop and Judge to remember that the same sentiments were expressed when black people were fighting for freedom from slavery in the USA, and the same Biblical roots have inspired the Christian campaign to free lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from an oppressive and prejudiced church.
The Archbishop of the Church of Kenya, Eluid Wabukala, was also present at the meeting and asked church leaders to reinvent their attitude in the interest of the church’s development. “I know it is good to always question the credibility of some developments but don’t get paralysed,” Bishop Wabukala said. “Let your leadership always know seasons of growth to accord the opportunity to church to develop.”
‘Reinventing Attitudes’ now there’s another good name for an LGBT Christian campaign group.