The Rev. Canon Aaron Mwesigye, the Provincial Secretary of the Church of Uganda has written a “Clarification on the November 2006 Pastoral Letter from the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi Archbishop of Church of Uganda” posted on TitusOneNine. Supposedly this was meant to clarify something. It doesn’t.
In it Canon Mwesigye says,
“The actual words of the Primates’ 2005 Communiqué from their meeting in Dromantine notwithstanding, our understanding of the decision of the Primates was captured in Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi’s press release following that meeting: “In our Ireland meeting the Primates suspended the Episcopal Church of America and the Canadian Church until they repent.” Therefore, to sit with the new Primate of ECUSA when they clearly have not repented is to surrender commitment and follow through on a previous decision.”
So now the challenge will be that, no matter the actual Communiqué, The Archbishop of Uganda’s press release will prevail, and on the basis of that The ABU will refuse to sit at the same table with the Presiding Bishop.
Well, perhaps that does clarify something: The Global South Steering Committee, and Archbishop Orombi in particular, intend to make the Primate’s Meeting the “come to Jesus” moment. Either the Archbishop of Canterbury will side with the Global South or with the North. If the decision goes to the Global South, they will set the agenda, which will include recognizing a new province in North America, or more specifically the United States. If it goes to the North the Global South will begin its own processes towards an alternative Communion.
The point of contention around which this move will come will have to do with the seating of the Presiding Bishop at that meeting and the seating of someone from the Network. The seeming accommodation to include the Moderator as part of any meeting where the Presiding Bishop is present would play into the agenda the Network and the Moderator has had for some time. It is a very bad idea.
This meeting is being held hostage by the Global South Steering Committee. No matter who or what in turn holds the GSSC in its influence, the fact is the GSSC is the point group on this.
The Primates Meeting, whose mandate is to provide “an opportunity for ‘leisurely thought, prayer and deep consultation,’” in theory has no authority beyond offering the results of their thoughts, prayers and deep consultations. What power their words have as a whole will be significantly reduced by having a block of Primates control the agenda, seating arrangements, and outcome. More, it will reduce the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury to titular head, if that.
Whatever else we might have wanted in an Archbishop, we have wanted neither a Patriarch or a reflection of the Monarchy in England. We want neither Pope or Queen.