Archbishop Orombi threatened prelate or drama queen? (revised)

Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda in New Vision, a Uganda website is quoted as saying, “Nowadays, I don’t wear my collar when I am in countries which have supporters of homosexuals." “I am forced to dress like a civilian because those people are dangerous. They can harm anybody who is against them. Some of them are killers. They want to close the mouth of anybody who is against them.”

Well that ups the ante doesn't it? Homosexuals, or their supporters, are dangerous. "Some of them are killers." So now the stakes are these: the battle against homosexuals and their supporters is a battle against killers who make it impossible for the Archbishop to dress in clerical garb.

I have never seen a picture of the Archbishop in other than clerical garb. (Actually I did see one, an Anglican TV interview in Uganda.) Here is a picture of him in taken in Florida on September 17, 2007 posted by St. Peter's Anglican Church. (Please note the picture posted previously may not have been of the Archbishop.) Looks clerical to me. The Archbishop was in London with two decidedly protestant looking Archbishops in jacket and tie. Archbishop Orombi was in clericals. It's on Anglican TV. So there he is, in the US and the UK, hotbeds of angry homosexuals and their supporters out to get him, in clericals. Maybe he is being just a tad dramatic.
Clockwise from bottom: Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, Fr. Eric Dudley, and Bp. John Guernsey
If the Archbishop's life is being threatened that is awful. It is never acceptable. But his statement is out of line with his actions and smacks of drama. And his contention that there are homosexuals and or their supporters who wish to kill him is in no wise a basis for bragging about how he none the less is holding the line against the inroads of a homosexual agenda. The reporter writing the article opined that "Despite the threats, Orombi yesterday continued his anti-gay campaign, asking Christians to pray for him and others who are against homosexuals." Threatened Archbishop or drama queen?


  1. There is a quarter for the first person who can identify the "other" bishop with his arm around Orombi? If death threats are there can cooties be far behind?

  2. Hmmm. Then why is it that +Gene is the one who has to have a body guard and had to wear a flack jacket for his ordination. It is more reflective of the neo-con sentiments on SFinF.

  3. Definitely a drama queen.

  4. Mark - That's not ++Orombi in the picture - that's John Guernsey, I know, and I don't know the other person. +Gene Robinson is always talking about death threats and taken seriously, so why are you disparaging ++Orombi's concerns?

  5. Can we not just agree to pass these kinds of stories by? Here is a similar collection of stories about death threats made against V. Gene Robinson.

    Either you ignore these stories and expect that people will do the right thing, or you relay them over the Internet and thereby give credence to the very behavior that we all deplore, against no matter whom the threats are made. Neither you nor I are in any position to judge their credibility. Best leave them lie.

  6. I think Drama Queen.

    He probably saw how Big Pete was held in such awe with his "Mossad" security detail at GAFCON and started feeling left out. Too much competition for attention among these Archbishops.

  7. However... in the picture above, the person to the left is not Orombi -that's Guernsey. Nor is the chap to the right -that's Nzerebende.


  8. Clearly, this is not about what homosexuals want to do to Henry Orombi but what Henry Orombi wants to do to homosexuals.

  9. I'm sure that in his own country the bishop is a very important man and a rain pain in the backside to the gays there. However, in the UK I don't think there are many people, even in the Anglican hierarchy who would recognise him, with or without clericals on. We have plenty of our own, very recognisable, homophobes, who are a pain in the backside of our gay community. And you know what? Nobody, gay or otherwise, has ever tried to kill them.

    Of course, gay people are always being attacked by thugs and religious nutters and it wasn't that long ago that many were blown up in Soho by some evil individual with pretty similar views to this bishop.

  10. Anonymous 1....I am not disparaging Orombi's comments if true. But he does travel in the US and UK in clericals. I found this morning a picture of him in "civilian" clothes...in an Anglican TV interview of him in Uganda.

    Leonel...I got the picture from a page I no longer have bookmarked from the meeting he had at St. Peters Anglican Church in Florida. It was a mistake. I have replaced it with a smaller but more obvious one.

  11. There was that aggressive vicious killer Matthew Shepard.
    Oh wait, he was the one who got killed.

    Not only drama queen theatrics, but projection as well.
    I think the gay folk have far far more to fear from ++Orombi and his FOCAS kin than he does from a whole Pride Parade full of LGBTs.

    I recall how acute and powerful were the feelings of victimization among the white opponents of desegregation in my childhood. The Republican party built a whole regime on the conviction by Southern whites (like my father) that they were the victims of Civil Rights workers and their East Coast Establishment enablers. I know people who still cherish that grudge to this day. There are more of them than you might think.
    As I remember, no one was lynched for opposing civil rights laws. Plenty of people were murdered (and not all of them Black) for supporting them.

    The whole segregationist movement in the Anglican Communion is for me a bad childhood memory come to life. "Deja vu all over again."

  12. Given that Orombi, by his own admission (see below)is heavily bankrolled by the American "Orthodox" Right - which makes a farce of his claim that “we should not accept any donation that comes our way and has strings attached", strikes me that this might well be a practical demonstration of the old adage that "the squeaky wheel gets the most oil"?

    I hate to keep plugging Orombi's Anglican TV interview of September last, but when it comes from the horse's mouth:

    "... they support us, they give us money. Oh they give us money. Since we began to relate with our orthodox brethren they have given us much more money, much more money, oh yeah, much more money. They have given us more money."

    Unedited transcript from Anglican TV interview of September 2007. Full interview, with "assistant for international relations" Alison Barfoot keeping guard, at this URL:


  13. +Gene Robinson can (and has) produced the cards, letters, and emails threatening his life. Let +Henry Orombi do the same--put up or shut up.

    Once +Orombi was reported to have described his feelings as he was driven to a chuch in Uganda to meet with a group of 300 gays and lesbians. He admitted that he was shaking with apprehension. So, I wonder if what he has said to the journalist is an expression of his mind's own fears arising from a denial projected outward.

    The saddest thing about this is that it may well incite more violence against homosexuals in Uganda, which kinds of violence in the press conference following GAFCON he professed not to know about, and kept silent when asked if he condoned such violence.

  14. Am I the only one who was taken aback by his comment about having to "dress like a civilian"?

    What is the military metaphor doing in the mouth of a bishop? And since when is being a civilian for Christ a bad thing?


  15. Mark - In the second paragraph, "anti" should be "ante."

  16. Let me just add me voice to those who point out, accurately, that Bp. Robinson also plays the "victim" card by seeking solitications, $70,000 (of a reported $100,000) needed to protect him from "right-wingers" in England. That was reported by Elizabeth Kaeton.
    This for a man who lives in New Hampshire (not the turbulent contintent of Africa) and who has never been physically attacked.
    For many of us, this is simply a way to ramp up sympathy and support for his cause.
    I ask you, how many poor people could you feed with the $100,000 being used to protect a man who is planning to crash a party to which he was not invited.
    All the wasted carbon on the trip to Lambeth belies TEC's expressed positions on the environment and MDGs. If you're serious about protecting the environment and helping poor people, put your money where your travel plans are.
    On the other hand, bishops in Africa have been physically attacked, killed or had family members killed.
    So who is being the drama queen?
    Unless you have a camera on Bp. Orombi ever moment of the day (especially outside of a church setting) any pictures of him posing with other clergy is a little disingeneous, don't you think?

    Jim of Lapeer

  17. ".... bishops in Africa have been physically attacked, killed or had family members killed."

    So have 600+ Yelwa Muslims, Jim of L. We're still waiting for clarification of that incident. You will recall that the assailants wore white name tags identifying them as members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, then headed by Archbishop Akinola. The closest we have come to an explanation to date is Akinola's statement "I’ve said before: let no Muslim think they have the monopoly on violence”. Fair oozes the essence of Christianity, doesn't it?

    And please let's not have anyone wasting our and their time and trying our patience regurgitating the clapped-out allegation that Eliza Griswold's relationship to the last PB is proof positive that the whole business is a groundless anti-Akinola smear cooked up by TEC "Liberals".

  18. anonymous said:"...+Gene Robinson is always talking about death threats and taken seriously, so why are you disparaging ++Orombi's concerns?"

    The problem with ++Orombi's remarks is that he categorically maligned ALL "supporters of homosexuals" (and presumably homosexuals as well), as potentially violent, implying that we are capable of any atrocity, whether he has received actual death threats or not. Despite his bullet-proof vest, I do not believe that +Robinson has ever accused his opponents in toto of conspiring to kill him.

    Really, this is a no-brainer. If someone makes a statement with the phrase "international Zionist conspiracy" in it, you recognize that person as an anti-Semite and will not attempt to defend him or her. ++Orombi has done the equivalent. We know what he says is ludicrous, but he is creating in members of his flock a paranoia about homosexuality which is making it impossible for any genuine dialogue to take place on this issue.

  19. Apparently Orombi is running in the same circles as the simple Country Bishop - Gene Robinson. Supposedly VGR has been threatened so much that he had no marry his partner to ensure benefits before he gets assassinated.

    Drama? Yes. Probably also a sign of psychological instability by Orombi and VGR. It's not limited to one side or the other....it just gets attention more or less depending on who your hero is (or isn't).

    My bishop (in SW Va.) told me personally that he regrets agreeing to VGR and that he wishes that he would stay away from cameras and microphones and stop making a fool of himself with such clatter. I'm sure that others feel the same about Orombi.

  20. Dear Jim of Lapeer,

    Bishop Robinson had indeed received numerous threats to himself and to his family since the Diocese of New Hampshire elected him bishop.
    If you do not believe these threats are real, then try this little experiment.
    Find another man, hold his hand, and walk down any street in your town in the middle of the day, and see what the reaction is.

    I've heard that some Canadian police departments do this as part of their training in how to deal with lgbts.

  21. My bishop (in SW Va.) told me personally...

    Are you in the habit of betraying personal confidences, Allen? Unless your bishop has said publicly that he repudiates his initial support for +Robinson, I suspect he might not appreciate your speaking for him in a highly public and widely-read forum.

    Of course, I could be wrong...but, in my opinion, a real leader would speak his own mind and not rely on a disgruntled member of the laity to do his dirty work for him.

  22. Maybe Bishop Robinson has never actually been physically attacked, maybe because of the protection he has received, but he most certainly has been emotionally and spiritually attacked. Substantiable death threats are not a matter of dramatizing and "playing" the victim. They are a matter of serious legal and moral import and your (Jim) downplaying of them only serves to ramp up symapathy and support for him because it isn't people who are of reasonable mind who make, support, or downplay such threats; and it isn't people from outside our tradition because no one from outside our tradition would even care or know who Robinson is. That means violence is threatened by those in our own tradition. You downplay it to your own peril.

    And Bishop Robinson WAS invited, but in a peripheral role, which is the only way he is functioning. Nothing inappropriate about that, especially because, by being at Lambeth, he may very well be able to build relationships that can positively affect a great many lives who are devastated by poverty (including the poverty that is perpetuated by environmental degradation.) Oh, but wait. If Orombi et al. can't even stand the thought of Robinson's name, I guess they wouldn't allow the use of "tainted" resources to help. Who then is not only playing the drama queen, but denying desparately needed resources to those in their care who need them most?

    Finally, you've proposed one of the flimsiest analogies I've ever seen. Yes, some bishops have been attacked and killed, but surely you aren't suggesting by homosexuals? Those of other faith traditions, maybe; those from other tribes, maybe. Your implication that gays are responsible for the deaths is nothing more than engaging in the very same drama queen tactics that Orombi is using to "ramp up sympathy and support for his/[your] cause". Sorry, not working.

  23. No wonder Jake retired exhausted, Mark. You could print their comments yourself at the same time that you post the article. And do they ever read what other people write?

  24. I'd say he's a threatened Archbishop. His hold on conservative respect is threatened. Does that count?

    At the very least, I'm not sure the word "queen" really applies to Orombi, although I do appreciate the irony. :)

  25. Allen, "VGR" has produced the copies of his death threats. Orombi has not done the same. James at the Three Legged Stool has a post about that angle of the issue today, and Bob Schneider pointed it out upthread.

    I go to school in New Hampshire. +Gene's ministry does not focus on media attention and homosexuality, but on social justice and the social Gospel. His sermons are among the most inspirational I have ever heard. He does not seek out the cameras, they seek out him. He does not discuss the death threats on his own, he only addresses such things when asked. When the discussion is left up to him, he talks about Jesus.

  26. Mark,
    You're welcome.

  27. The phenomenon of gaybashing is well known. The case of the crucified Matthew Shepard (yes, crucified - that IS what they did to him) is simply one of the best known.


    "Shortly after midnight on October 7, 1998, 21-year-old Matthew Shepard met Aaron James McKinney and Russell Arthur Henderson in a bar. McKinney and Henderson posed as gay men and offered Shepard a ride in their car.

    "Subsequently, Shepard was robbed, pistol whipped, tortured, tied to a fence in a remote, rural area, and left to die. McKinney and Henderson also found out his address and intended to burgle his home.

    "Still tied to the fence, Shepard was discovered eighteen hours later by a cyclist, who at first thought that Shepard was a scarecrow. At the time of discovery, Shepard was still alive, but in a coma.

    "Shepard suffered a fracture from the back of his head to the front of his right ear. He had severe brain stem damage, which affected his body's ability to regulate heart rate, body temperature and other vital signs. There were also about a dozen small lacerations around his head, face and neck.

    "His injuries were deemed too severe for doctors to operate. Shepard never regained consciousness and remained on full life support. As he lay in intensive care, candlelight vigils were held by the people of Laramie.

    "He was pronounced dead at 12:53 A.M. on October 12, 1998 at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins. Police arrested McKinney and Henderson shortly thereafter, finding the bloody gun as well as the victim's shoes and wallet in their truck."

    Any of us who know real, breathing gay men and women will have heard of other attacks -perhaps less severe, but still dangerous and damaging.

    By contrast, a quick google of "straight-bashing" led me to:

    - an embittered review of A Streetcar Named Desire which suggested that the play was "bashing" straight white males;

    - a story about how four lesbians were given excessive prison sentences after defending themselves from a man who choked them and threatened to sexually assault them because they were lesbians;

    - a thought-provoking and amusing column about how one gay man responded to the homophobic comments of a teenage couple on a bus - and no, he didn't hit them (he pretended to recognize the boy from a gay club).

    Nothing about a massive outbreak of gay on straight violence.

    Yes, bishops and other Christians have been killed in parts of Africa. They were not killed for being straights

    Perhaps some queer activists have threatened Henry Orombi. Let him show us the threats.

    In the meantime, the preponderance of gay-bashing and the rarity of straight-bashing, I think I'll take Henry's paranoid prattle with a grain - or perhaps a large block - of salt.

    After all, when I hear someone claiming to have seen something common (say a blue Volkswagon bug - "punch buggy!"), I tend not to question it.

    When I hear someone claiming to have seen something far fetched (say a blue unicorn with polka dot horn), I tend to apply a different standard.

  28. Wormwood's Doxy said:

    "...a real leader would speak his own mind and not rely on a disgruntled member.."

    Well, you're right. You ARE wrong.

    If asked, Bishop Powell would say the truth and not hide anything. His comment to me was a direct aside during public comments. I disagree with Bishop Powell about many things, but at least he's modest. Unlike VGR, many bishops don't run forward to the media at nearly every venue to tick people off and instead prefer to deal with individuals and keep their public statements to a minimum - and then only on common themes (very seldom about themselves).

    Did VGR receive threats? Sure. But it doesn't stop him from leaving New Hampshire at the drop of a hat - which tells me that it can't be that life-altering a reality.

    Hence my bishop's observation.

  29. Sounds to me like courage and faith in the One who can raise the body, Allen.

  30. Allen---you see a publicity hound, while most of the rest of us see a man who is hounded by the press. You will never find anything to admire about Gene Robinson, and that says a lot more about you than it does about him.

    Here's a question for you: When was the last time YOU received a death threat for sharing the Gospel as you've experienced it in your life? How do you think it would affect your faith if you got death threats against your family for doing so?

    Did VGR receive threats? Sure. But it doesn't stop him from leaving New Hampshire at the drop of a hat - which tells me that it can't be that life-altering a reality.

    Hmmm...seems to remind me of someone. Who is it? Oh yeah---St. Paul. He too faced death threats, imprisonment, beatings, etc. I think he would have called those "life-altering realities"---but his love for God would not allow him to be silent and stay quietly in the shadows.

    Guess you wouldn't have had much use for him, either...loud-mouthed publicity hound and international gadabout that he was. (Personally, I pretty glad he was able to carry the Gospel to those "unclean Gentiles.")

  31. Wormwood,

    I would just love to see VGR actually STAY in New Hampshire for one solid year and demonstrate how his take on Christianity can turn that ever-hobbling diocese around! Wasn't he elected to do something like that? Isn't there enough challenge and need in his own diocese to devote all of his extraordinary energy to the home crowd? He's been there for 4+ years and things are worse now (statistically speaking) than when he assumed office. Is the Church of the New Thing working there or not? When does the turnaround begin? Supposedly this take on Christianity of KJS, VGR, Chane, and others is worth widespread acceptance. Trouble is no one can see where it is working.

    If you can't fix it at home...then don't teach it to the neighbors.

  32. I would just love to see VGR actually STAY in New Hampshire for one solid year and demonstrate how his take on Christianity can turn that ever-hobbling diocese around!

    Since you've already mentioned that you are in a completely different diocese, I fail to understand why this is your concern. I'm sure the folks in New Hampshire are perfectly capable of letting +Robinson know if he's gone too much.

    And you clearly don't get out much if you think that progressive Episcopal churches are dying on the vine. Because I have to travel a lot, I attend two different progressive Episcopal parishes in allegedly conservative North Carolina. Both of them are bursting at the seams with young families who tell me they came to TEC because they loved that all are welcomed, and they wanted their children to learn about the love of God.

    You see what you look for, Allen. You are looking for evil motives and shrinking churches---so you'll find them and declare them to be "the true picture."

    But I see good and faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, and vibrant communities of faith that are attracting people who had given up on God because they thought He was a hateful old man in the sky, just waiting to catch them doing something wrong and smite them for it.

    I like what I see better.


  33. Sorry, doxy,

    The overall Church statistics aren't with you. The New Thing has been rejected as seen in ever-shrinking ASAs - even in Chane's enlightened D.C. metro.

    Sure, you'll find thriving churches. But do you really want a church with less than 500,000 members? That's where this is headed. I don't "look" for this. It is what it is. God is NOT prospering revisionism on widespread, national level.

    Why is VGR's dioces my concern? Because it IS my church. That's been the whole problem. Bishops acting for ther own benefit and according to their own will in their pocket of responsibility as though they by themselves are the sum total and accountable to no one. We are not congregationalists. What gets a free pass and unchallenged ultimately becomes canon for the rest.

  34. In response to Counterlight's experiment about two men holding hands: ironically, Archbishop Orombi could do that in Uganda with impunity. And probably has. Men holding hands is a common sight in Kampala.

    Regarding the Archbishop's statment: I think he has put his feelings of fear outside himself. Rather than saying, "I am afraid" he is saying, "Those people are dangerous." The first is subjective but true and cannot be denied, and also is a rather vulnerable statement. The latter is subjective as well, and places that subjective experience on other people. It's the old "you statement" situation that causes so much division and defensiveness.

    I'm sorry that Archbishop Orombi--and Bishop Robinson--are afraid. I hope and pray neither of them has reason to be.


  35. Wormwood says, “And you clearly don't get out much if you think that progressive Episcopal churches are dying on the vine. Because I have to travel a lot, I attend two different progressive Episcopal parishes in allegedly conservative North Carolina. Both of them are bursting at the seams with young families who tell me they came to TEC because they loved that all are welcomed, and they wanted their children to learn about the love of God.”

    Hmmm that is interesting. The Diocese of NC had to sell the Brown Summit Conference Center and Diocesan House to balance the budget. The Diocese went from 120 pledging units to 80. An entire congregation in Fuquay Varina just left for the AMIA.

    But all is well.

  36. "Men holding hands is a common sight in Kampala."

    But it ain't common in Waco. Hell, it ain't even all that common here in this decadent liberal cesspool of iniquity, New York City.

  37. But do you really want a church with less than 500,000 members?

    Were there even *5* members on Good Friday at the foot of the cross?

    You've said a LOT of ridiculous things here at Preludium, Allen, but I think you've hit a new low!

    Do you worship God, or do you merely count beans?

  38. For all you people who count butts in the pews as $ucce$$, check this out. This comes by way of Toujoursdan's blog.

    Conservative Evangelical Christianity is in DECLINE in the USA.

  39. I guess what I'm gathering is that the Church of the New Thing is going to be forged in a relentless revisionist fashion. It will exclude the vast majority of Anglicanism under the guise of being "smarter" and more "compassionate", when in reality it is more egocentric and permissive. It will excise itself from mainstream Christianity and be haughty enough to believe that it is more enlightened. No, I don't count beans....these are people that are being counted. The Church of the New Thing is throwing its members under the bus and offering nothing of substance in a world that is confused. Explain, please, WHERE this new take on Christianity IS working. Except in dense pockets of well-numbered parishes in metro areas (except DC) it is not. The more reviionsists talk the more apparent it becomes that people are expendable by the tens of thousands for an extreme and narrowly held agenda by a tiny fragment of world Christianity.

    ARROGANT. So, by all means forge on. But will SOMEBODY please come to the aid of poor Bishop Chane in D.C. who can't get his population to buy this stuff? Better be quick; they're already closing down cathedral ministries and can't wait for chatter and advice.

  40. Allen, if you really are that concerned about Bp. Chane, then by all means, offer your services. Seems a time that some focused volunteer efforts would be greatly appreciated.

    You appear to have a potent combination of penetrating insight and indefatigable drive. A real get-things-done guy. Surely that's more productive than hectoring and heckling people who are basically ignoring you.


  41. Hi rudigervt,

    I'm sure that revisionists don't want my twisted kind of help. I'm just wondering why the New Thing is going down in flames in a wealthy, densely populated diocese with a magificent cathedral at its center. Right now they're living off more endowment money and over 1/2 of the members are staying away from the parishes under Bishop Chane.

    Nope. Don't need me in that. Perhaps some of Chane's fellow travelers can come out to his aid.

  42. You know, Allen---I always wonder how people like you expect to "win" people to your "side" by the words you use...

    I do not attend "The Church of the New Thing." I attend the Episcopal Church, where I have found God and a community of faith that changed my life.

    Apparently, you don't think I really have any faith at all--that I'm just using the church for some reason I can't figure out. I'm extremely grateful that it's God who will judge me, and not you...

    Even though I disagree with you, I am sure that you are trying to follow God the way you deem best. Can you not grant that others are equally trying to do what we believe God is calling us to do? Do you HAVE to spit venom at us? Is there no room in your world for the possibility that God can do a new thing? (e.g., Peter and the unclean animals)

    With Louie Crew, I am willing to say "I might be wrong about whether God wants gays and lesbians to be priests. But I know that the property of God is always to have mercy, and when I meet God, I will fall on my knees and say 'Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!'---and I know God will."

    I'm not going to argue numbers with you or anyone else any more. In the United States, the fastest growing "religious" group is "None." I suspect it is because they see that Christianity has not made any of us much better as human beings---that we speak loudly and often of love, but don't practice it, even among our co-religionists. I can hardly blame them for abandoning the church when all they can see is hatred, spite, and contempt on all sides.

    Peace to you, Allen. I'll pray for you, but I'm not going to argue with you anymore. I could care less about how many people are in the pews---all I care about is trying to discern the will of God, and doing it as best I'm able.


  43. I'm sure that revisionists don't want my twisted kind of help.

    Really gets you off the hook, huh?

    You've made yourself quite clear.

    Keep being inflammatory and pointlessly provocative. The time I spend reading what you write and attempting to write in response is gone. I can never get it back.

    I've more interesting things to do, and so that'll do it.




OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.