The outgoing conservative Ugandan Anglican Archbishop, Henry Luke Orombi, has said the Church in Europe and America has lost vision and direction over gay rights and prosperity.
He said if the Anglican Church of England elects the gay sympathetic Ugandan-born Archbishop of York, John Sentamu to replace the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams and “ it imposes (Sentamu) on the Anglican communion”, the communion would have to decide whether to work with Sentamu or not.
Orombi who is the Archbishop of the (Anglican) Church of Uganda and Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Kampala is retiring one year before his official tenure ends.
It is not clear if he is resigning, given that his fanatical anti-gay sentiments have put him at odds with members of the global Anglican Communion.
He came in as head of the Ugandan Anglican Church in 2004 at the height of internal friction on the Church’s stand on gay rights as a result of the 2003 election of the openly gay non-celibate Bishop Gene Robinson to lead the Anglican Church in New Hampshire, in the USA.
At that time his fellow Ugandan Anglican Bishop, Christopher Senyonjo a prominent rights activist in the Anglican Church, was encouraging the Ugandan Church to allow diversity by including homosexuals in the local Church. This position saw Senyonjo stripped of his bishopric by the House of Bishops.
While at the helm Orombi has been a great supporter of the infamous Ugandan Homosexuality Bill 2009 though he later modified his stand against gays saying that while homosexuality was in no way a human right, killing them as proposed in the bill would be wrong.
Orombi has been an anti-gay role model and a voice of intolerance on the issue of human sexuality in Sub-Saharan Africa.
While writing in the Journal of Religion, Culture and Public Life, Orombi praised the early Christian converts who were executed on the orders of the historical Buganda King, Daniel Mwanga on June 3, 1886, allegedly because they refused his homosexual advances and would not recant their belief in Christ.
In an interview published on Sunday April 15 in the influential Ugandan magazine, the Independent, Orombi said that while he believes in unity for the worldwide Anglican Communion disagreements on the issue of same-sex relations meant “The Western church and the African church are no longer walking on the same premises. The African church is still a Bible-believing church. Its congregation responds, worships, is growing. You will never say the same about the church in Europe, not even in America.”
He added: “We don’t interpret the Bible the same way. Whereas for them (Western Europe), they’re influenced more by the status quo in terms of the modernised way of interpreting sexuality, we still, as believers, understand sexuality from the creation story, from our cultural background, which to them is all mixed up.”
Orombi also spoke passionately about his anti gay sentiments saying the human rights movement that embraces gay people had “a different agenda.”
He said, “If they were talking about human rights per se, don’t I have the right to exercise my faith and believe the way my faith teaches me? These guys will say no. Do it the way we want you to do it. That’s not human rights. That’s imperialism.”
The election of the next Archbishop will take place in June 2012 by the House of Bishops. The enthronement of the new Archbishop will take place in December 2012. Orombi was elected in July 2003 and enthroned as Archbishop on January 25 2004.
Archbishops in the Church of Uganda serve a 10 year term and must retire by the age of 65 or at the conclusion of their ten-year term, whichever comes first.
Orombi’s term was set to expire in January 2014, before he turned 65.