The Heavy Hand of Uganda Weighs In

Just posted over on TitusOneNine (thanks) is the following: A Pastoral Letter from the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda It has no date attached, but was posted at 4:59 PM December 14, 2006.

In it the Archbishop reiterates much of what he has said before, but with singular force he directs all of his bishops concerning any relationship with the Episcopal Church, and in particular with bishops and clergy who have voted for, coluded in, or other wise associated with people advocating the election or consecration of a gay or lesbian person as bishop, or anyone who thinks that The Presiding Bishop is a reasonable person of faith expressing views that are not heretical.

What we have here is the equivalent of the proposed Nigerian law outlawing all forms of engagement with the support for gay and lesbian persons.

Read it and weep.

Here is the crux of the matter:

“I have been in consultation with the other Primates and Archbishops of Africa and the Global South about this crisis in our beloved Anglican Communion. We have written to the Archbishop of Canterbury and informed him that we cannot sit together with Katharine Jefferts Schori at the upcoming Primates Meeting in February. We have also asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to invite an orthodox Bishop from the Anglican Communion Network in America to attend the Primates Meeting and represent the orthodox believers. We await his decision on these matters.”

The Kigali Communiqué stated, “At the next meeting of the Primates in February 2007 some of us will not be able to recognize Katharine Jefferts Schori as a Primate at the table with us. Others will be in impaired communion with her as a representative of The Episcopal Church. Since she cannot represent those dioceses and congregations who are abiding by the teaching of the Communion we propose that another bishop, chosen by these dioceses, be present at the meeting so that we might listen to their voices during our deliberations.”

The statement, “some of us will not be able to recognize Katharine Jefferts Schori,” now becomes “we cannot sit together with Katharine Jefferts Schori.” I note, with distress the seeming inability of these communiqués to address her as Presiding Bishop, or even Bishop. But the main issue, of course, is that the matter of recognition is now a matter of even sitting at the table.

The second notion, that “orthodox Bishop from the Anglican Communion Network in America to attend,” reflects the work done in November in Washington. There those American bishops meeting with the Global South Steering Committee are reported to have agreed that Bishop Duncan would be their spokesperson. So now, instead of “we propose that another bishop, chosen by these dioceses, be present at the meeting so that we might listen to their voices during our deliberations,” we now have this: “We have also asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to invite an orthodox Bishop from the Anglican Communion Network in America.”

So here we are: Hard ball pitched from Uganda. “We won’t sit at the same table with KJS and we want an ACN Bishop (read the Moderator.)

Time to call the game on account of a wild pitch.

This is an outrageous development and the Archbishop of Canterbury ought to have nothing to do with it.

If there is a meeting of the Primates (and I recommend that there not be one, or at least not in Tanzania) it has to be of ALL the Primates, and that includes Presiding Bishop and Primate Katharine Jefferts Schori – and no one else.


  1. It's high time for Canterbury to give these folks a clear "no." The Bishop of Pittsburgh cannot be permitted to attend, not even as an observer. He has not been elected to any ecclesial office, except that of diocesan bishop. Canterbury must insist that the meeting include all primates and presdiding bishops and no one else.

  2. The timing of the CofE evangelicals "covenant statement" putting internal pressure on Archbishop Williams seems less than coincidental in light of this missive from Uganda. Looks like a one-two punch to me. Will it knock out Canterbury for good, or finally knock some sense into him?

  3. The 'purple shirts' of the Global South are showing their true colors: hate-filled people, gay-bashing and misogynistic. Why give them a stage on which publicly before the secular world to act out their four-year-old temper tantrums and bring shame on Christians world-wide?

    ++Rowan Cantuar would be well advised to cancel both the February 2007 Primates' Meeting and the 2008 Lambeth Conference, until such time as saner heads emerge in the Anglican Communion.

    John Henry

  4. The game is up. It's clear the ACN and their allies overseas are ready to try pushing the Episcopal Church out by isolating ++Katharine and otherwise do violence to the Primates meeting and the greater Communion.

    There are no kind or Christian words I can write beyond that. May ++Rowan at last stand up to this shameless behavior.

  5. Last time I checked TEC was still out of the Anglican Consultative Council. Hello? What is it going to take for TEC to wake and realize - it's a crisis! Hello? Hello?


  6. BabyBlue said..."Last time I checked TEC was still out of the Anglican Consultative Council."

    Maybe you had better check again. TEC is a member of the ACC and it takes a change of its Constitution to change that fact. TEC *voluntarially* chose not to participate in a meeting. TEC did not resign its membership.

    As much as your faction would like to have TEC already kicked out, it has not yet happened.

  7. Gosh, it's too bad Uganda won't be there.

    Isn't it.

    Well, nobody can force them.

  8. I think Rowan Williams may wind up drinking more this Christmas than the Bishop of Southwark recently consumed at the Irish Embassy party.

  9. The good news is that one of the a-historic "Instruments of Unity" has self-destructed in just under three years. If this Primates' Meeting is canceled, it is unlikely there will ever be another.

    However, though canceling the February Primates' Meeting is the least dishonorable course ++Rowan could take, I fully expect him to cave. Like the mediocre kindergarten teacher he should have been, he will throw all his energies into placating whichever child is throwing the loudest and most spectacular tantrum.

    Lord Carey was right to want to keep Rowan Williams out of England -- though for all the wrong reasons.

  10. Surprise! Surprise! For three plus years, TEC and Canterbury have been repeatedly told the probable consequences of the innovations being brokered into the church by a hard core radical left wing lobby. So the chickens are coming home to roost and all of you are shocked. It is still not too late. Acquiesce in real alternate oversight and the creation of a tenth province and perhaps, someday, a healing of the rift may take place. Persist in your stubborn pride, and watch it go to pieces around you. Choose this day indeed!

  11. Shocked? who's shocked here? Please. And by now few of us will be shocked by Rowan Williams's response whatever it may be -- frankly, I think most of the posters here and on the other "liberal" boards will be more surprised if Rowan stands up to Orombi than if we caves.

  12. Surprise, surprise?

    No one who has read the Chapman Memo is even slightly surprised by the latest antics of the schismatic fundamentalists.

    They laid out their conspiracy in writing for the world to see and have followed it to the letter.

  13. Well, Brant Wiley, he might have done.


    ACNS 4229 | ACO | 15 DECEMBER 2006

    From the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion

    'In response to a number of queries, and following consultation with The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion has issued the following statement:

    "The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) is, to my knowledge, a "mission" of the Church of Nigeria. It is not a branch of the Anglican Communion as such but an organsation which relates to a single province of the Anglican Communion. CANA has not petitioned the Anglican Consultative Council for any official status within the Communion's structures, nor has the Archbishop of Canterbury indicated any support for its establishment." '

    The Revd Canon Kenneth Kearon

    So the Archbishop of Uganda may refuse to recognize Presiding Bishop Katharine and TEC if he wishes (and who could stop him), but no separate ecclesial structure in North America exists for him to recognize in TEC's place.

    CANA's Communion status is no different from AMiA's.

  14. Don't forget those heavy handed Scots:

    Church Rejects Proposal on Same Sex Blessings

    The Church of Scotland has voted overwhelmingly against a proposed church law to allow ministers and deacons to conduct services of blessing in conjunction with civil partnership ceremonies.

    The General Assembly in May 2006 decided to consult the church‟s presbyteries on whether to give permission to conduct such services. The proposal would have needed a majority of the Kirk‟s 45 voting presbyteries to be accepted.

    The final results of this vote are that 9 presbyteries voted for the proposal, while 36 voted against.

  15. The Church of Scotland is not Anglican.

    They are Calvinists, just like our own schismatics.

  16. This is hardly something that has been pushed by a radical left wing. It is a pastoral response to the needs of same sex couples, who are already members of the Church. The politics of many Anglican evangelicals are left of center in most respects. But that's beside the point. But we are a comprehensive, i.e. Catholic, Church, trying to comprehend, i.e. include, the people God has put us in communion with. The real issue here is whether God is the God of all creation, or just the "straight" parts. This is why the anti-gay position is heresy. It is a denial of the doctrine of creation, of human kind as imago dei, and of the catholicity of the Church.

    The catholicity of the Church is an eschatological reality. It has never yet been achieved, but full inclusion of lgbtq people is a step toward catholicity, just as the inclusion of the Gentiles was. It is for this reason that there is no turning back. Issues of inclusion unmask a false understanding of the Gospel that has been running rampant in the Church for thousands of years. One could say something similar with regard to the unfinished feminist revolution. It exposes similar heresies in the tradition.

    Make no mistake, though, the Episcopal Church is viscerally conservative. The movement toward full inclusion would have no traction at all unless it appealed to people with pretty conventional faith, grounded in the Scriptures and the Creeds. I count myself in this group. I am thoroughly orthodox, although I prefer not to use the word anymore, because of the abuses that the right wing is making of the term. Orthodox Christians are all "revisionists," liKe Jesus and Paul. Our foundational documents are inherently subversive. True orthodoxy leads us to comprehensiveness. It frames a radical Gospel, which opens us to ongoing conversion, i.e. revision. The Truth for Christians is a person, not a static set of propositions. The Creeds and the Biblical story are meant to point us to this Person, Jesus Christ, the Alpha and Omega, fully divine and fully human, the crucified and risen One. They are not meant to freeze us in the sixteenth or nineteenth century. The Church has always struggled forward, toward full Catholicity and a more adequate confession of the one God who creates and redeems us all.

  17. Well, one might have thought that this "Instrument of Unity" (BTW, I far preferred the earlier descritopn "Instrument of Communion") was already in trouble when at the last Primates' Meeting in Dromantine about half the members refused to receive Communion (I don't have the exact list at have -- basically Africa minus South Africa & Southeast Asia) -- the coming schism will probably fall along those lines.

    And I very much concur with Bill Carroll's last post. TEC got to its current positions on issues by confronting the Gospel & submitting to its claims.

  18. One thinks you need an interpretation to what 'invited' actually means in British. We're a polite lot you know.

    Well, Peter, so was Pilate (very gracious w/ that "King of the Jews" sign, wouldn't you say?)


    Bill Carroll: Amen, Amen and Amen! :-D


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