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Uganda plea to the CoE: The Church of England Newspaper, March 7, 2014 March 20, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria, Church of the Province of Uganda.
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The Primate of the Church of Uganda has urged the Church of England not to follow the Episcopal Church into the abyss by endorsing gay marriage or blessing gay unions.

The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali told The Church of England Newspaper that while the Church of Uganda “has had no discussions about breaking away from the Church of England or the Anglican Communion,” it was troubled by its apparent indecision over sin and sexuality.

“It’s true that the fabric of the Anglican Communion was torn at its deepest level in 2003 when the American Episcopal Church consecrated as Bishop a gay man living in a same-sex relationship. Not only was this against the Bible, but it went against the agreed position of the Anglican Communion. Our current concern is that the Church of England seems to be drifting rapidly in the same direction,” he said.

In a sermon delivered on 1 March 2014 the archbishop stated the Western churches appeared unaware of their double mindedness. “Many people have spiritual blindness but let us not mix issues. One hundred and thirty six years ago, the Church of England sent graduates from Oxford University to Africa to evangelise. America is a super power built on Christian principles… but in all this money is involved,” he said.

In a note of clarification to his sermon, the archbishop told CEN: “We are very grateful to them for sending missionaries who told us about the good news of Jesus Christ. Ironically, they seem now to be reversing themselves. Fortunately, we no longer need to be directed by them. We can read and interpret the Bible for ourselves, and we know what it says about sexual behaviour belonging between one man and one woman in holy matrimony.”

“Homosexual practice is incompatible with scripture, and no one in the leadership of the church can say legitimise same sex unions or homosexuality,” Archbishop Ntagali told AFP, urging the “governing bodies of the Church of England to not take the path advocated by the West”.

Last week the Church of Nigeria congratulated the Church of Uganda for standing strong against overseas pressure for it to accomodate Western cultural practices to its preaching of the Gospel. In a letter dated 21 Feb 2014, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Primate of All Nigeria, commended the Church of Uganda for “uphold the authentic Gospel and the historic heritage of our Church, by rejecting the erroneous teaching and practice of homosexuality.”

Uganda Martyrs Shrine fundraising campaign begins: The Church of England Newspaper, February 14, 2014 March 20, 2014

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The Church of Uganda has launched a fundraising campaign to build a shrine to the Martyrs of Uganda at Namugongo.

At a press conference held last week at the provincial offices in Kampala, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali announced that former Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyoyo would spearhead the campaign to raise funds to build a guest house and museum at the site of the martyrdom of 23 Ugandan Anglicans.

The Uganda Martyrs were Christian converts – Anglican and Roman Catholics — who were murdered for their faith by the King of Buganda between 1885 and 1887, after they refused to offer sacrifices to the traditional gods and because they resisted King Mwanga’s homosexual practices.

In 1964 Pope Paul VI canonized the Catholic martyrs and the Roman Catholic Church built a basilica near the site of their martyrdom.  Anglican and Catholic pilgrims from across the Uganda gather at Namugongo on June 3rdto honor their faith and celebrate the conversion of Uganda to Christianity.

The Anglican site presently consists of a small chapel, park and the restored hut of the King’s executioner. The museum and guest house will enable tourists to “understand our rich culture but also understand the power of the Gospel to bring hope and transformation to people’s lives because of the testimony and legacy of the early martyrs,” Archbishop Ntagali told the press conference.

 

Anglican Unscripted Episode 94, March 7, 2014 March 8, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Anglican.TV, Church of the Province of Uganda, The Episcopal Church.
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Anglican Unscripted is the only video newscast in the Anglican Church. Every Week Kevin, George, Allan and Peter bring you news and prospective from around the globe.

Story Index
00:00 Can Jesus bake cake?
06:54 Imagine there is no Episcopal Church
14:14 Ashes to choke on
19:19 How to clarify an secular interview
21:50 closing and bloopers

Schism warning from Uganda over the Pilling Report: The Church of England Newspaper, January 17, 2014 January 27, 2014

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The Primate of Uganda has denounced the recommendations of the Pilling Report, calling upon the Church of England to pull back from the apostasy of solemnizing same-sex relations. .

In his Christmas letter to the Ugandan Church, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali warned the African Church would break relations with the Church of England should it permit its clergy to perform liturgical blessings marking same-sex unions.

“We are very concerned that our mother Church of England is moving in a very dangerous direction,” he said, adding that it seemed determined to follow “the path the Americans in the Episcopal Church took that caused us to break communion with them ten years ago.”

“The Church of England is now recommending that same-sex relationships be blessed in the church. Even though they are our mother, I want you to know that we cannot and we will not go in that direction. We will resist them and, with our other GAFCON brothers and sisters, will stand with those in the Church of England who continue to uphold the Bible as the Word of God and promote Biblical faith and morality,” he said.

Surprised by sin – African clerical celibacy: Get Religion, May 9, 2013 May 9, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church of the Province of Uganda, Get Religion, Roman Catholic Church.
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Bishop: “I’m afraid you’ve got a bad egg, Mr Jones”

Curate: “Oh, no, my Lord, I assure you that parts of it are excellent!”

“True Humility” by George du Maurier, in Punch, 1895.

There is much to praise in the Los Angeles Times article “Uganda priest ostracized for publicizing sexual abuse”. The May 4 article addresses the question of sexual misconduct by Roman Catholic clergy in Africa – – child abuse and violations of the vow of celibacy. And it does so through the voice of Fr Anthony Musaala, an Ugandan priest suspended in March by his Archbishop for having brought the church into disrepute for exposing these problems.

I also like the article because it “gets Africa”. It understands the culture of shame that often manifests itself as cover up and denial, and makes reporting about the African scene so difficult. But there is also curate’s egg quality to the piece. Parts of it are quite good yet there is a bit that is off.

It is a mistake to conflate the sexual abuse of children scandal with the question of clerical celibacy. In this case while the African church is loathe to talk about child abuse it is not correct to say that they are silent on the question of celibacy. The article would also have been helped by addressing the question “why” — Why the homosexual abuse of young boys prompts such a visceral reaction by the church in Uganda.

The article begins:

He is a celebrity across eastern and central Africa, a gospel music star known to many as the “Dancing Priest.” But for years he also was a keeper of painful secrets — his own and many others’. In going public, Anthony Musaala has forced the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda to confront a problem it had insisted didn’t exist. And he may stir a debate far beyond Africa’s most Catholic of countries.

The Ugandan priest has been suspended indefinitely by the archbishop of Kampala for exposing what he calls an open secret: Sex abuse in the Catholic Church is a problem in Africa as well as in Western Europe and North America. The African Catholic Church is fast-growing, pious and traditional. As the church elsewhere forks out billions of dollars to compensate the child sex abuse victims of priests, few African Catholics have questioned the assumption, voiced recently by Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson that the African church is purer than its counterpart in the West, which is regarded as secular and permissive.

It’s not more pure, says Musaala. He says he has the evidence to prove it. “The Vatican turns a blind eye because it doesn’t want to be embarrassed about this blooming church. But I think it’s time we had the truth,” Musaala says.

The article reports that in March Fr Musaala wrote Archbishop Cyprian Lwanga “about priests who fathered children, kept secret wives or abused girls or boys, and called for a debate on marriage for priests” and stated that as a young boy he too had been abused. It said:

The letter was leaked to the news media. And in response, Lwanga suspended Musaala, saying his statements stirred up contempt for the Catholic Church and damaged the morale of believers. Later in the month, Lwanga acknowledged that abuses had taken place, apologized to victims and set up an internal inquiry. But he did not backtrack on Musaala’s unpaid suspension.

This account conflicts with other press reports. All agree that Fr Musaala was suspended, but the Ugandan press reported this was an open letter given to them and to the Archbishop. It would also have helped this story if the LA Times had unpacked the religious context. The Catholic and Anglican churches in Uganda, who account for 80% of the population, celebrate the feast of the Martyrs of Uganda. As an aside if you should ever want evidence as to why you should not trust Wikipedia compare the politically correct and false version on Wikipedia with the story told on the website of the shrine to the martyrs.

The first martyr to die was King’s major domo and leader of all Christians, Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe, on 15th November 1885. He was killed because he had pleaded to King Mwanga to abandon the vice of homosexuality and not to kill Bishop Hannington, an Anglican missionary who had entered Buganda from Busoga (the backdoor of Buganda kingdom). From that time he became angry with all Christians as they all refused to give in to his sinful demands and were persuading all other pages to do the same. On 25th May, 1886, King Mwanga ordered for a number of Christians to be brought before him and he passed on them the death penalty. 20 of the 22 martyrs were killed between 26th May 1886 and 3rd June 1886.

The Ugandan martyrs died because they refused to countenance the king’s homosexual advances because their Christian faith taught them that sodomy was a sin. Omitting this historical context — one of the defining sagas of the Catholic Church in Uganda leave the story untold.

Would the story have been helped by mention of the Ugandan Martyrs? Or by mention of Fr Musaala’s on-going fight with the archbishop in the press? Does it make a difference to the denouement of the piece if the letter was leaked to the press or given to the press by Fr Musaala?

The linkage between abuse and clerical celibacy was also unfortunate, as the Church has been far from silent on this point.  The 2009 Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of Africa convened by Pope Benedict discussed the question and problems of priestly celibacy for the African church. In the neighboring Central African Republic an archbishop was suspended for having families, while a number of clergy in Kenya have quit the church over mandatory celibacy. Silence over celibacy and its challenges for the clergy is not a problem — silence over abuse is.

First printed in Get Religion.

Proposed Marriage and Divorce Bill draws church ire: Anglican Ink, April 12, 2013 April 12, 2013

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Archbishop Stanley Ntagali

The Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) has called for the rejection of the Domestic Relations Bill  before Parliament arguing that proposals to turn common-law marriages into legally recognized marriages was bad social policy and jeopardized the rights of women.

In a speech delivered on 27 March 2013, the chairman of UJCC, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali — the primate of the church of Uganda – said: “Marriage for us in the Church is not a union of convenience but it is a lifelong partnership that can only be extinguished by the death of the partners.”

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Easter messages from across the Communion: The Church of England Newspaper, April 7, 2013 p 6. April 9, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Church of North America, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Church of Ireland, Church of Nigeria, Church of the Province of Uganda, Church of the Province of West Africa, Scottish Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church.
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Easter messages from the overseas leaders of the Anglican Communion sounded a common theme this year of hope and joy. While the archbishops of the church touched upon issues of local concern, each spoke to the victory of Christ over death and the grave.

The Archbishop of Uganda Stanley Ntagali urged Christians not to lose heart in the face of economic and political uncertainties. “There could be social pressures in the country and many people might have lost hope. Many people no longer trust fellow human beings, but let the risen Lord Jesus whose victory over death we are celebrating this Easter give us a new hope.”

He also warned of the dangers of alcohol. “I urge our people not to celebrate [Easter] by drinking. They should go to church and worship the Lord and return home. This a time to repent and make our homes, offices, schools and business places more enjoyable and suitable to glorify God who gave us the greatest gift of salvation through his Son Jesus Christ,” he noted.

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council, also spoke of the joy found in life in Christ. “In his resurrection from the dead there is the glorious ‘yes’ of the fulfilment, actual and yet to come, of the promises and purposes of God. Through repentance and faith we share in his risen life and at its heart, our calling is to simply say the ‘Amen’ and glorify the God who has triumphed over sin and death.”

The GAFCON leader also urged Christians to reject the “ungodly innovations” coming from Western liberal churches which seek to “substitute human effort and speculation for divine grace and revealed truth.  It is a profound contradiction to say this ‘Amen’ and then go on, as some do, to deny the real physical resurrection of Jesus.”

When Christians say ‘no’ to false teaching it is for the sake of truth. “There can be no more positive a movement than one which gives an unqualified ‘Amen’ to the fulfilment of all God promises in Jesus Christ.”

The Archbishop of West Africa Dr. Tilewa Johnson said the Christian’s response to the sufferings was to turn towards God. “Where to start? We have tools and guidelines to hand. One of the greatest tools we have is prayer. Prayer is a means of communication with God.”

“As with so many things, it requires practice. We know what it is like when we become close to another human being – a husband, wife, brother, sister or close friend. In time it is possible to read their thoughts, and know what they are going to say before they say it. It is the same with God. To sit in the presence of God – maybe in silence; maybe with a few words – it is possible increasingly to come to know God and the will of God. Gradually we know the way to go,” the Gambian archbishop said.

The Primate of All Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh said that when celebrating Easter it was “important” to “re-emphasize the incontrovertible fact that Jesus has risen from the dead and He is alive for ever. Through His resurrection power, therefore we can overcome all sorts of challenges we might have as an individual, as the Church of God and as a Nation.”

The Archbishop called on “all Christians and Nigerians as a whole to reaffirm their trust in God, and in corporate Nigeria.”

“Let us remain resolute and resilient, having our hope in the strength and power of the Almighty God. Our prayer for our country, Nigeria is that we shall overcome the present challenges of lingering insecurity: bloodshed, destruction of lives and property; poverty and political squabbles. We should keep hope alive of a corporate Nigeria,” he said.

Preaching at the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral of St. George the Martyr in Cape Town, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba told the congregation he had just returned from a retreat in “frozen rural North Wales”, staying in an attic room overlooking the Irish Sea in the mountains of Snowdonia.

“I was there to follow the 30-days Full Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola,” he explained “to explore what God was wanting to do in my life.”

But even found that the spiritual journey did not end there as God was leading him “to integrate all I’ve experienced and learnt into my ministry and life” –  “And I certainly came back to find an awful lot had been going on,’ he said.

“The over-riding lesson of my retreat is that God, in his redeeming love, is everywhere. Nothing is beyond his care, or his desire to bring healing and new life to you, to me, to everyone,” the archbishop said.

“If you truly want to know what Easter is all about, look at the places where there are tough challenges, difficult issues, hard wrestling, painful contexts – and where God’s people nonetheless dare to go, and to stay for as long as it takes, witnessing to light and hope and life.” Archbishop Makgoba said.

In in his final Easter message before he retires in July the Archbishop of Sydney Dr Peter Jensen reflected on his tenure in office. “As I think on my time as Archbishop, naturally I look back and try to judge myself – not with much success!” he says. “Like you, I have a real judge. Think how much more God, who knows all the secrets of our hearts, must be able to hold me to account. It should make us tremble.”

But Easter filled him with hope. “What happened at the first Easter reminds me of the love of God. Through the death of Jesus even I, and all of us, can have forgiveness as we turn to him in sorrow and trust him for our lives” he says.

“Our failures are not the last word over our lives. And, through the resurrection of Jesus I have a great and undeserved hope of my own resurrection and future,” Dr. Jensen said.

Archbishop-elect Philip Richardson of New Zealand reminded Kiwi Christians that “life comes out of death; the horror of crucifixion bears the fruit of redeemed and renewed humanity; the worst that we are capable of becomes the access way to that intimacy of relationship with God that Christ makes possible; it is in the bowl and towel of the servant that true power is expressed; it is in losing ourselves that we are found.”

The “heart of the message of Easter,” he observed was not the “passion or the suffering, but the resurrection.”

“As Martin Luther King rightly reminded us, ‘Hate begets hate, anger begets anger, killing only begets more killing. The only thing that can turn an enemy into a friend is the power of love’,” he said.

In a joint message released with the leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada celebrated the bonds of friendship between the two denominations and also urged Christians to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem”.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori the Episcopal Church stated: “Easter celebrates the victory of light and life over darkness and death.  God re-creates and redeems all life from dead, dry, and destroyed bones.  We are released from the bonds of self-obsession, addiction, and whatever would steal away the radical freedom of God-with-us.”

At Easter “our lives re-center in what is most holy and creative, the new thing God is continually doing in our midst,” she said, “practicing vulnerability toward the need and hunger of others around us” thereby cultivating “compassionate hearts.  We join in baptismal rebirth in the midst of Jesus’ own passing-over.”

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, writing from Juba where he was standing holy week with Archbishop Daniel Deng of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, wrote: “This Easter I am looking back,” he said – “I am asking, ‘What does it all mean?’ Whether in Juba or in Pittsburgh – and wherever you find yourself – what I testify is that the Gospel is my strength and my song, and that Jesus has become my salvation.”

“Easter is the day that lights and gives meaning to all the others, wherever I – we – spend it and with whomever I – we – spend it.  The tomb is empty.  The world, the flesh and the devil are defeated.  Jesus is alive.  In Him, the alien becomes familiar, loss becomes gain, sorrow becomes joy, and death becomes life.  This Easter I am also looking around and looking ahead,” Archbishop Robert Duncan wrote.

The Archbishop of Armagh Dr. Richard Clarke said what Ireland need this Easter was “confidence – a full–blooded confidence – that we actually want to allow Christ to run loose and dangerous in the world around us. We need to recover that spirited confidence to assert that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is not our private property as churchy people, but is truly for the whole of society and the entire world.”

Dr. Barry Morgan the Archbishop of Wales in his Easter sermon preached at Llandaff Cathedral stated that: “If you wanted to sum up God’s work, He is a God who is in the rescue business.  That is the root meaning of the word ‘salvation’ – it means being saved from something or someone.”

“Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we too as members of His body, are rescued from sin, despair, meaninglessness, disaster, and death,” he said, adding that “this offer of rescue, of salvation, by Jesus, is for all people not just for the select few – a bit like being rescued by a lifeboat.   When a life-station receives a distress signal, no enquiry is made about the social status of those who need rescuing, or whether they can pay for the service, or whether they are at fault for having got themselves into danger in the first place by being careless in going out without life jackets when a storm was forecast.  Lifeboats simply go to the rescue.”

The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church Bishop David Chillingworth of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane stated: “We greet with joy the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We look forward to welcoming many people to worship in our churches at Easter.  We hope and pray that they will experience joy and hope in our congregations.

“As disciples of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are people of the resurrection.  We are Easter people – shaped in our baptism through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We feel deeply the pain of the world and its people.  We bring compassion and care to the ministry which we exercise in our service of others.  We have a passion for justice.  We are also people of hope.  Because of the resurrection, we believe that good will triumph over evil and life over death.”

Clergyman under police supervision: The Church of England Newspaper, March 17, 2013 p 7. March 24, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda.
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The former assistant Bishop of Kampala, Dr. Zac Niringiye, reports that he remains under police supervision following his arrest last month for having distributed leaflets calling for an end to government corruption.

In a statement distributed by the Langham Partnership on 20 February 2013, Dr. Niringiye wrote: “I have since reported twice to the Police in keeping with what I was required to do. Each time I am told to report again. I guess the file is still with the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions). I am aware that I could be taken to court and charged with the crime of ‘inciting violence’; or asked to report again; or, released with the case dismissed on the advice of the DPP. But clearly there is no case. These are just efforts of a regime in survival mode…worried of any dissent. It is tragic that now, it seems, it is protecting the corrupt.”

On 4 Feb Dr. Niringiye and members of the Black Monday Movement — an initiative by Ugandan Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to combat government corruption — were arrested by police for distributing their newsletter on campus of Makerere University. A Visiting Fellow at the University’s School of Law, Dr. Niringiye said he was handing out around the Catholic Students Chapel and when he returned to his car for a second bundle he was arrested.

“It is as I was leaving the precincts of Lumumba Hall that a Police pick-up blocked me. Then another two pick-ups police in riot gear…. and then the Police Officer (one who is notorious for dealing with political opposition figures ruthlessly) came to my window, informed me that I was needed for questioning at the Police Station, in respect to the activities I was undertaking that morning. I followed in my car to the Police Station. On arrival, I was ushered in one office, at which point Officer Omala told me I was under arrest for ‘inciting violence’. I was interrogated for about three hours in total, put in the police cell where I was for about 6 hours. I was later released on Police bond. I was told that I would have to report to the Police Station on Thursday 14 February, as my file was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).”

“Keep in prayer with me and all our colleagues with whom we are engaged in this work in Uganda,” the bishop asked.

Ugandan bishop arrested in anti-corruption protest: Anglican Ink, February 7, 2013 February 8, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Church of the Province of Uganda, Corruption.
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A retired Ugandan bishop was arrested this week, accused of disturbing the peace and unlawful assembly for handing out pamphlets denouncing government corruption.

On 4 Feb 2013, Dr. Zac Niringiye, the former Assistant Bishop of Kampala, and seven other democracy activists were arrested by police at Makere University as they handed out leaflets documenting that called for action to combat corruption. After bail was posted the bishop was released from custody but ordered to return for a hearing before a magistrate on 14 Feb.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Stanley Ntagali to be installed as Archbishop of Uganda: Anglican Ink, December 14, 2012 December 14, 2012

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Archbishops Henry Orombi (left) and Stanley Ntagali (right)

The Rt. Rev. Stanley Ntagali will be installed as the 8th Archbishop and Primate of the Church of Uganda and translated to the Diocese of Kampala this Sunday at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Namirembe.

President Yoweri Museveni along with the country’s political, professional and social leaders are expected to attend the 16 Dec 2012 along with the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, the leader of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, Archbishop Robert Duncan of the ACNA, and 7 other archbishops and bishops representing the wider Anglican Communion.

Elected by the 34 members of the Uganda House of Bishops on 22 June 2012, Bishop Ntagali was consecrated on 19 December 2004 and has served as the first Bishop of Masindi-Kitara Diocese for eight years.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Orombi rejects rumors he is running for president: The Church of England Newspaper, September 16, 2012 p 7. September 16, 2012

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Henry Orombi (left) with his successor as Archbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali (right)

The Primate of the Church of Uganda, Archbishop Henry Orombi has denied rumours that he will enter politics following his retirement from the church in December.

“If politicians do their duty, people are blessed just as they are blessed when we perform our duties,” the archbishop said on 9 September 2012 in his sermon at Christ’s Cathedral in Bugemebe in the Dicoese of Busoga.

In an address to a meeting of the Ugandan House of Bishops on 7 January 2012, Archbishop Orombi issued a call for the election of a new archbishop and said he would retire following the installation of his successor in December.  In a statement given to The Church of England Newspaper in January by the Church of Uganda, Archbishop Orombi said he was leaving office a year before his mandatory retirement at age 65 in order to focus on mission and evangelism.

“I want to use my retirement to preach the Gospel single-heartedly. This has been my single passion and I want to fulfill the call while I can still do it,” the Archbishop said.

The archbishop affirmed his plans to take up a ministry of preaching and evangelism this week, stating “people should not be misled that I’m retiring to join politics. Someone in Kampala approached me inquiring about my plans to contest for the country’s presidency and even offered to support the bid. But even in retirement I will continue with God’s ministry not politics.”

The archbishop was quoted by the Kampala newspaper, New Vision as saying “I cannot get tired of this ministry, though I can give way for someone else to be Archbishop. Our role as a Church is to guide the county. We are not competing against political leaders, rather we work as partners.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Uganda drops Anglican Mission in America: The Church of England Newspaper, September 2, 2012 p 6. September 2, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda, Church of the Province of West Africa.
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The Church of the Province of Uganda has withdrawn its ecclesial sponsorship for the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA).

Formed in 2000 as an American arm of the Church of the Province of Rwanda (PEAR) the AMiA under its leader Bishop Chuck Murphy split from PEAR last year.  While many of the AMiA’s congregations and two of its bishops have transferred to the jurisdiction of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), some have remained loyal to Bishop Murphy – joining him in temporary oversight from the Anglican Church of the Congo.

Earlier this month the remaining AMiA clergy received a letter from its headquarters in Pawleys Island, South Carolina asking that they choose one of two new canonical jurisdictions.  In July Bishop Murphy, accompanied by his assistant the Rev. Canon Kevin Donlon, travelled to Africa to arrange alternative provincial oversight following the end of the Congo haven.

Last week the AMiA leader wrote that clergy may choose to affiliate with the Diocese of Bunyoro-Kitara of the Church of the Province of Uganda under Bishop Nathan Kyamanywa, or the Diocese of Dunkwa-on-Offin of the Church of the Province of West Africa in Ghana under Bishop Edmund Dawson Ahmoah.  Clergy were allowed to choose which jurisdiction they wanted to enter, or the office in Pawleys Island would assign a jurisdiction.  Clergy were asked to respond by 31 August.

However, on 21 August, the Provincial Office of the Church of the Province of Uganda in Kampala released a statement saying:

“The Rt. Rev. Nathan Kyamanywa, Bishop of Bunyoro-Kitara Diocese, in consultation with the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, has withdrawn his offer, effective immediately, to provide canonical residency to clergy in the AMiA, the Society of Mission and Apostolic Works.”

The withdrawal of the offer to provide canonical residency for AMiA clergy living in the U.S. was not unexpected, as Uganda was the first of the African provinces to offer ecclesial sanctuary to disaffected Episcopal clergy to relinquish its oversight to the Anglican Church in North America.

The General Secretary of the Church of the Province of West Africa, the Rev. Canon Anthony Eiwuley stated: “It is news to all of us that the Diocese of Dunkwa-on-Offin has some kind of association with AMiA.”

Canon Eiwuley said he would make further inquiries, but “nowhere in any of our meeting have we given approval to any relationship with AMiA.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

AMiA’s Uganda option closes: Anglican Ink, August 22, 2012 August 22, 2012

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Bishop Nathan Kyamanywa

The Anglican Mission in America (AMiA)’s Society for Mission and Apostolic has lost one of its two ecclesial sponsors.  In a 22 August 2012 statement given to Anglican Ink, the Church of Uganda said the canonical cover offered by one of its bishops to clergy who wish to affiliate with the society under the leadership of Bishop Chuck Murphy had been withdrawn.

Earlier this month clergy who had been affiliated with the AMiA received a letter from its headquarters in Pawleys Island, South Carolina asking that they choose one of two canonical jurisdictions.  Last month Bishop Murphy, accompanied by his assistant the Rev. Canon Kevin Donlan, traveled to Africa to arrange alternative provincial oversight in light of the severance of relations with the Anglican Province of Rwanda and the end to the temporary oversight provided by the Anglican Province of the Congo.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 48, August 18, 2012 August 18, 2012

Posted by geoconger in 77th General Convention, AMiA, Anglican Church of North America, Anglican.TV, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York, Canon Law, Church of England, Church of the Province of Uganda, Church of the Province of West Africa, South Carolina.
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Not a week goes by (even in August) when the Unscripted team can’t dig up some interesting news. Kevin and George discuss the “new thang” with AMiA and the turmoil at Pawley’s Island. They also reveal some Crown Commission secrets, Anglican Job Postings and Affinity Dioceses. Peter Ould talks about an Englishman trying to sell more books and Allan gives some interesting history about leaving and staying in TEC at the same time.

Sentamu is Uganda’s choice for Canterbury: The Church of England Newspaper, July 7, 2012. July 9, 2012

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John Sentamu is Uganda’s choice to be the Archbishop of Canterbury, Bishop Stanley Ntagali said on 25 June 2012 in his first interview with western reporters following his election as Archbishop of Uganda on 22 June 2012.

“Leadership comes from God,” Bishop Ntagali told The Church of England Newspaper, and adding that he prayed “God will give Canterbury a man filled with the Spirit” to lead the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.

The leaders of the Church of Uganda – the second largest province after the Church of Nigeria in terms of active members – have been estranged from the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury since 2008.  Archbishop Orombi and the Bishops of the Church of Uganda declined to accept Dr. Williams’ invitation to the 2008 Lambeth Conference and Archbishop Orombi also declined to attend the primates meeting.

The appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury is likely to prompt a return to pan-Anglican gatherings of the Church of Uganda.  Bishop Ntagali told CEN that he hoped the next Archbishop of Canterbury would be a “god-fearing” and “obedient” man who can “revive the spirit of a crumbling Anglican Communion.”

“John Sentamu would be our choice, but we are depending on God” to raise up the right man, he said.

The new archbishop said he would continue his predecessor’s support for the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) movement and would take an active role in future GAFCON meetings.  He added that Uganda would also continue to support the Anglican Church in North America.  “Bob Duncan is my friend,” he said. “We support them very much and remain in strong partnership with them.”

The Ugandan leader said his province would also continue to remain in fellowship with the faithful dioceses of the Episcopal Church.  “They are my friends too,” he said and we are in partnership, very strong partnership” with god-fearing Episcopalians Bishop Ntagali said.

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Stanley Ntagali elected Archbishop of Uganda: The Church of England Newspaper, July 1, 2012 p 5. July 3, 2012

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Arcbishop Henry Orombi (left) with the newly elected Archbishop of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali (right)

The Ugandan House of Bishops has elected Bishop Stanley Ntagali as the Archbishop and Primate of the second largest province of the Anglican Communion.

At a press conference following a meeting of the House of Bishops at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe on 22 June 2012 the Dean of the Church of Uganda Bishop Nicodemus Okille announced that Bishop Ntagali had received two-thirds of the votes cast in a secret ballot.

“I am sure that the prayer of many people of this province has been answered,” Archbishop Henry Orombi said after the election.  We can change our prayers, he said.  “This morning it was a prayer of asking.  Now it is a prayer for thanksgiving.”

The “temperature in our province is cool and nice”, Archbishop Henry said.  The problems of the past had ended and the Church of Uganda was about to enter “better times as God will be honoured in Uganda.”

“I will be a team leader and my brother bishops, all of you, will all be my team members,” the newly elected archbishop said after his election.

Born in Ndorwa County in Kabale District in 1955, on Christmas Eve 1974 he underwent a conversion experience and accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour and was “born again”.  The new archbishop worked as a teacher and then as a lay missionary in Karamoja Diocese before training for the ministry at Bishop Tucker Theological College in Uganda and St. Paul’s Theological College, Limuru, Kenya.  He later undertook graduate studies at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in the UK.

After ordination he served as a parish priest in Bunyoro-Kitara Diocese until 2002, when he was appointed Provincial Secretary for the Church of Uganda.  On 19 December 2004 he was consecrated Bishop of the Masindi-Kitara Diocese – and was the first bishop consecrated by the then newly elected Archbishop Henry Orombi.  Bishop Ntagali is married to Beatrice and they have five children.

Under Ugandan canon law, to be eligible to stand for election, a potential archbishop one must already be serving as a Bishop in the Church of Uganda, and must be at least 50 years old. Out of the 35 Bishops currently active in the Church of Uganda, 29 were eligible to become Archbishop, Bishop Okille said.

The installation of the new Archbishop is expected to take place on 16th December at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Anglican Unscripted Episode 44 (One Year Anniversary) : Anglican TV, June 29, 2012 June 29, 2012

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In this week’s Anglican Unscripted Kevin and George discuss the Arab Apocalypse and the effects on the Anglican Church in Egypt. Also, the two June Birthday boys discuss General Convention and the illogical musings of Rowan Williams. Alan Haley delves into the mess we call the Supreme Court and special guest Bishop Dan Martins gives us a sneak peak on GC2012. #AU44

Death threats for Kampala bishop: The Church of England Newspaper, April 22, 2012, p 5. April 26, 2012

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President Yoweri Museveni

Calls for presidential term limits have led to death threats against a Ugandan bishop.

In a sermon delivered on Easter Sunday at St Stephen’s Church in Kisugu, the Assistant Bishop of Kampala, Dr. Zac Niringiye said he was stepping down from office to campaign for the restoration of presidential term limits in Uganda’s constitution.  In 2005 the Uganda’s constitution was altered, removing the two term limit, effectively allowing President Yoweri Muzeveni to remain in office.

Dr. Niringiye stated his life had been threatened after he began campaigning for regime change. “I hear security forces are plotting against me but this is part of God’s ministry. Many people are asking whether I am not afraid of what I am going into but I don’t fear death,” the bishop said.

“I am saying restore term limits,” the bishop said, according to local press reports.  “We are also saying Mzee finish well and retire well.”

Dr. Niringiye’s call was echoed by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kampala, Dr. Cyprian Lwanga in an Easter Sunday sermon. “The biggest gift the President can give Ugandans is the smooth transfer of power when his term of office is over,” Dr Lwanga said at Rubaga Cathedral.

The president should begin the transition process now, Dr Lwanga said, allowing a peaceful handover of power.  The recent crackdown on opposition leaders did not bode well, the archbishop noted.  “How can [the police] mercilessly flog the very people who pay taxes that is then used to pay your salaries.”

Speaking to a 5 April 2012 press conference to deliver the Uganda Christian Council’s Easter message, Archbishop Henry Orombi was pressed to speak on the political situation in Uganda. Last month the government banned “Activists for Change” a pro-democracy group for sedition, threatening imprisonment for its members or for disseminating its literature.

Archbishop Orombi told reporters the confrontation between the government and the opposition was harming Uganda, and urged dialogue to resolve the disputes.  Asked if he supported Dr. Niringiye’s campaign, the archbishop declined to be drawn, saying “he doesn’t need permission from me.”

However, Archbishop Orombi added that “if a bishop’s conviction takes him that far” into political opposition to the government, “and I don’t want infringe upon his freedom if that is what God is wanting him to do.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

No more circumcision advertising, bishop cries: The Church of England Newspaper, April 22, 2012 p 6 April 26, 2012

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Promoting circumcision as a prophylactic against the spread of HIV/AIDs was a waste of government funds, a Ugandan bishop has warned.

Speaking to a 12 April 2012 gathering of the clergy of the Diocese of West Ankole, Bishop Yona Katoneene called upon the ministry of health to redirect funding from its campaign to encourage male circumcision to one that promotes abstinence.

The bishop did not oppose the government promotion of circumcision for reasons of hygiene and general health, but warned that its promotion to stop HIV/AIDS was ineffectual as it did not address the behaviors that led to the spread of the disease. And, he warned, it also encouraged people to engage in immoral behavior.

“After circumcision some people think that it is a ticket for one to engage in sex and this is likely to worsen the spread of HIV/AIDS in communities,” the bishop said, according to local press accounts of his speech.

The campaign to halt the spread of the disease by promoting abstinence education had worked, he said.  However, overseas aid agencies had different priorities and were more ready to provide funds for their pet projects.  The bishop said that if money spent on advertising circumcision were spent instead on purchasing bicycles to allow youth workers to travel between villages to educate young people about the dangers of HIV/AIDS and to promote abstinence, the disease could be contained.

Circumcision as a prophylactic against HIV/AIDs has a mixed record in Africa. In 2010, the chairman of Malawi’s National Aids Commission, Archbishop Bernard Malango said his group would not recommend the government adopt circumcision as a government policy.  He said that a comparison of the rates of infection in Muslim districts, where most men are circumcised, to that of Christian areas of Malawi, where circumcision is not practiced, showed no difference in the rate of infections.

“We have no scientific evidence that circumcision is a sure way of slowing down the spread of AIDS,” Dr. Mary Shaba, the government’s chief HIV/AIDS officer said at the press conference with Archbishop Malango.

However, a 2006 report from the U.S. government’s National Institute of Health found that male circumcision significantly halts the spread of the disease.

Church of Uganda questions accuracy of Kony 2012 video: The Church of England Newspaper, March 30, 2012, p 6. April 3, 2012

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Joseph Kony

The social media campaign to focus the world’s attention on Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army may be well meaning, but misrepresents the facts on the ground, the Church of Uganda said last week.

In a statement released on 15 March 2012, the Church of Uganda said the Kony 2012 video released by the California-based nonprofit Invisible Children paints an out dated picture of Uganda. Joseph Kony and the LRA “left Uganda in 2006 at the beginning of the Juba peace talks and haven’t been in Uganda for more than five years,” Canon Alison Barfoot said.

“Since then, the people of Northern Uganda have been returning to their homes and have begun the long and difficult process of healing and rebuilding their lives, their families, and their communities. The Church of Uganda has been deeply involved in that process at every level. While there are the normal challenges of any country, Uganda is a country at peace, working hard on development, and takes pride in its description as the ‘Pearl of Africa’.”

The situation was not as simple as described. The Church of Uganda “has consistently advocated for peaceful means of conflict resolution,” Canon Barfoot said, noting that in a January 2006 editorial in Christianity Today, Archbishop Henry Orombi wrote: “When you read reports of a certain number of LRA rebels killed by the Ugandan army, remember that these rebels are our abducted and brainwashed children. When reading about LRA ‘rebels,’ always substitute the word ‘children’ for rebels. The military solution has failed for 20 years; only genuine dialogue and negotiation has come closest to ending the war.”

With over 100 million hits on the internet, the Kony 2012 video appears to mark a new phase in on line advocacy. However, the enthusiasm the video and its marketing campaign have generated has not effectively impacted the supposed beneficiaries of its good will, the Church of Uganda argued.

Invisible Children has been a “good partner with the Church of Uganda,” Canon Barfoot said.

“We thank them for standing with us when we were working to keep the need for a peaceful resolution to the war before the government. We also thank them for standing with us in the long and still ongoing process of rebuilding families and communities in Northern Uganda. They have helped us rebuild schools, send children to school, and build capacity among our teachers through training and exchange trips. It is unfortunate, however, that there was not a wider consultation with the local community on how to portray the current challenges facing the people of Northern Uganda and to accurately let them speak in their own voice.”

She said the “successful use of social marketing to get out a message is commendable and we urge Invisible Children to empower Ugandans with these tools and skills to enable their voices to be heard and appreciated.

But Invisible Children is not the “only organization working in Northern Uganda. The Church of Uganda, through its dioceses working in the affected areas, has a number of programmes related to rebuilding educational infrastructure, improving health services, providing water and sanitation services, orphan care, and community development projects. The Church is in every village with schools and health centres, is in touch with needs at the grassroots, and has a solid accountability structure.”

Canon Barfoot urged those who wanted to help address the needs of Northern Uganda in the aftermath of the depredations of Joseph Kony and the LRA to work with established aid agencies such as the “US-based Anglican Relief and Development Fund.”

In a statement posted on its website, Invisible Children conceded that it had not been clear that Joseph Kony left Uganda in 2006, and that its video had received a mixed response from Ugandans. “We have found that many Ugandans welcome the film’s message of stopping Joseph Kony, but some take offense at how the message was delivered. Admittedly, KONY 2012 was geared towards young, western audiences in an effort to raise awareness of what began in Uganda, but is currently taking place in DR Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan,” the charity said.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Zac Niringiye to retire: Anglican Ink, January 30, 2012 January 30, 2012

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Dr. Zac Niringiye

Dr. Zac Niringiye, the Assistant Bishop of Kampala, has informed the Ugandan House of Bishops that he will step down from office this June. One of the most familiar faces of the Ugandan Church to American Anglicans from his frequent visits and mission trips to the U.S., Dr. Niringiye was consecrated Kampala’s assistant bishop in January 2005 at the age of 51.

He celebrates his 58th birthday in April, however the age of retirement for Ugandan bishops is 65. The announcement was made at the 8 January 2012 House of Bishops meeting in Mbarra, where Archbishop Henry Orombi, the Primate of Kampala and Bishop of Kampala announced that he was retiring this year, with a successor to be elected in June and the new archbishop installed in December.

Read the full story at Anglican Ink.

Ugandan archbishop sets retirement date: The Church of England Newspaper, January 13, 2012 p 6. January 13, 2012

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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Primate of Uganda, Archbishop Henry Orombi has announced that he will step down from office at year’s end, retiring after nine years as Archbishop of Kampala and leader of the second largest province of the Anglican Communion.

In an address to a meeting of the Ugandan House of Bishops on 7 January 2012, Archbishop Orombi issued a call for the election of a new archbishop to be held at the June bishops’ meeting.

In a statement given to The Church of England Newspaper by the Church of Uganda, Archbishop Orombi said he was leaving office a year before his mandatory retirement at age 65 in order to focus on mission and evangelism.

“I want to use my retirement to preach the Gospel single-heartedly. This has been my single passion and I want to fulfill the call while I can still do it,” the Archbishop said.

Archbishop Orombi confirmed the announcement in Ntungamo on 8 January, during the consecration and enthronement of the new Bishop of South Ankole Diocese, the Rt Rev Nathan Ahimbisibwe.

Educated at Bishop Tucker Theological College, the predecessor of Uganda Christian University, and St John’s College, Nottingham, Archbishop Orombi was ordained in 1978 and served as a diocesan youth minister from 1979 to 1986.  In 1987 he was appointed Archdeacon of Goli and in 1993 elected Bishop of Nebbi.

In 2003 he was elected to a 10-year term as Archbishop and Primate of Uganda and translated to the Diocese of Kampala, and was installed in office on 25 January 2004.  Under Ugandan canon law the primate serves for a 10-year term of office, or until his 65th birthday.

As Primate, Archbishop Orombi oversaw the rapid expansion of dioceses and communicants in the Church of Uganda, the building of a new cathedral for Kampala, and fostering a high profile role in the international councils of the Anglican Communion.  The Archbishop emerged as one of the principal leaders of the Global South group of primates and one of the founding primates of Gafcon movement.

A tentative consecration date has been set for December 2012.

Archbishop Orombi announces his retirement: Anglican Ink, January 8, 2012 January 8, 2012

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Archbishop Henry Orombi reading the Jerusalem Statement to the 2008 GAFCON meeting

Archbishop Henry Orombi has called for the election of a successor as primate of the Church of the Province of Uganda.

In an address to a meeting of the Ugandan House of Bishops on 7 Jan 2012, Archbishop Orombi said he would step down by year’s end, just short of year before his mandatory retirement at age 65.

In a statement given to the New Vision newspaper of Kampala, Archbishop Orombi said he was taken an early retirement to allow him to focus on pastoral ministry.  “I want to use my retirement to preach the Gospel single-heartedly. This has been my single passion and I want to fulfill the call while I can still do it,” he told reporters attending the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Nathan Ahimbisibwe of South Ankole Diocese in Ntungamo on 8 January.

Read it all in Anglican Ink.

East African archbishops’ New Year’s plea for integrity: The Church of England Newspaper, January 6, 2012 p 6. January 8, 2012

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Anglican leaders in East Africa have marked the start of the New Year with a call for the political and moral reformation of their countries.

In a sermon preached on New Year’s Day at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, the Archbishop of Kenya, the Most Rev. Eliud Wabukhala warned Kenyans not to heed the claims of those who say higher salaries would solve the country’s woes.  While a living wage was essential for all workers, the government should first address wide spread corruption and fraud.  If a strong and moral civil society existed that did not tolerate corruption, the economy would grow, new jobs would be created and society as a whole would benefit.

Archbishop Wabukhala also urged Kenyans to set aside tribalism and seek what was best for the commonweal.  “Let us learn from Ghana where the current President beat his rival by a mere 40,000 votes, the opponent accepted the results and today Ghana is peaceful and moving on as one united country,” the archbishop said.

“It is my hope that we have learnt from the past as portends election years and that this year will be different,” he said.  If not, the country could be pushed once more to the brink of anarchy, Archbishop Wabukhala said.

In his New Year’s Day address, the Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi said Uganda’s suffering was a consequence of its sin.

Speaking at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Namirembe, Archbishop Orombi said Ugandans were in need of spiritual regeneration. “Corruption and greed is embedded in us right from childhood,” he said, adding that even those who stole found it could not satisfy their base instincts.

“The heart is deceitful. The human heart is a liar, corrupt and greedy and it is beyond cure. Only God can heal it,” he said.

But if the nation turned to Christ there was hope. “It is this hope that will heal us and this hope can start by us blaming ourselves for all the wrong actions that have impacted on our nation.”

The Archbishop of Tanzania, the Most Rev. Valentino Mokiwa urged his countrymen to follow the path of righteous also.

“As we embark on the New Year, I would like to stress that the precondition for attaining a prosperous 2012 for every Tanzanian irrespective of their religious, tribal, political or any other affiliations, is to strive for integrity. Integrity is the ladder that will lead us to whatever our dreams are.”

“It is the best tool of achieving social, economic and cultural progress,” Archbishop Mokiwa said.

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Hoima cathedral rededicated in Uganda: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 2, 2011 September 6, 2011

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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of Uganda has rededicated St Peter’s Cathedral in Hoima in Western Uganda following six months of renovation.

Built in 1928, the church has been enlarged over the years and reached its current form in 1972 when it was named cathedral of the new Diocese of Bunyoro-Kitara and presently seats 700.  Following a fundraising campaign within the diocese that raised sh600m (£130,000), work began in March in replacing the roof, a new pulpit, rewiring the church and repairing the church tower.

“We wanted our church to look modern,” project co-ordinator Ronald Mwesigwa said, noting that a sound system, toilets, a full-immersion baptismal font and other modern conveniences were added to the church.

The Kampala newspaper, New Vision, reported Archbishop Henry Orombi led the Aug 28 dedication service and the government was represented by fisheries minister Ruth Nankabirwa.

Mrs. Nankabirwa read a letter of greetings from President Yoweri Museveni, which noted the cathedral’s place in the history of the Kingdom of Bunyoro and its record of service and accomplishment to the people of Western Uganda.

Corruption a cancer for Uganda, archbishop declares: The Church of England Newspaper, June 17, 2011 p 8. June 22, 2011

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Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Primate of the Church of Uganda has called upon President Yoweri Museveni to crack down on government corruption.

Speaking on June 5 at the consecration of the Rt. Rev. Patrick Tugume as bishop of North Kigezi at Emmanuel Cathedral in Rukungiri in southwest Uganda, Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi said the diversion of public money into the pockets of corrupt officials held the East African nation back in developing its full economic potential.

“Your Excellency, there is need for you to put stringent measures on supervising government money that is allocated for community development but end up being swindled on its way from Kampala. There is need for serious disciplinary action against the corrupt officials who swindle public funds,” the archbishop told President Museveni, who was guest of honour at the ceremony.

While Uganda’s economy has expanded at an average rate close to 9 per cent over the past five years, and has reduced tariff barriers and disincentives to foreign investment, corruption is perceived as widespread. Uganda ranks 130th out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2009.

In a report on the Ugandan business climate, the Heritage Foundation in Washington observed that the “will to combat corruption at the highest levels of government has been questioned, and bureaucratic apathy contributes to perceptions of corruption.”

Corruption was also the theme of Archbishop Orombi’s speech on June 1 to the Uganda Joint Christian Council, the country’s umbrella organization for Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

Elected chairman of the group in succession to Orthodox Church leader Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga, Archbishop Orombi expressed his hope that one day the change in governments would be as seamless and uncomplicated in Uganda as the change in leadership of the UJCC.  He also asked the assembled church leaders to redouble their efforts in tackling corruption at all levels in society, arguing it was a cancer that was eating away at the heart of society.

Court blocks Uganda episcopal election: The Church of England Newspaper, June 3, 2011 p 8. June 5, 2011

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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

A civil magistrate in Northern Uganda has issued an injunction blocking the election of a bishop for the Diocese of West Lango.  On May 24 Magistrate Everest Palodi of Lira granted a petition brought by lay members of the diocese seeking a halt to proceedings pending an explanation from the Church of Uganda’s House of Bishops as to why two previous nominees had been rejected by the church.

On May 19, 2010 the Diocese of West Lango held its first meeting of synod.  Carved out of the western half of the Diocese of Lango, the synod nominated two priests: Rev. Canon Milton Oto Olima and Rev. Alfred Acur, for election by the House of Bishops.

However, the House of Bishops declined to select either candidate and requested the diocesan synod submit two new names for consideration.

The magistrate ruled the request by the petitioners was reasonable, and issued an injunction blocking the synod for meeting to select to new nominees.  However, Mr. Palodi said he was uncomfortable adjudicating the dispute as the church should not bring its disputes before a civil magistrate.

“If you are bringing the church to court, it is reality disappointing. We go to church for spiritual redress, so for them to come here is political sickness, social sickness and spiritual sickness,” the magistrate said, urging the two sides to come to a quick accommodation.

Uganda’s anti-Homosexuality bill fails to clear Parliament: The Church of England Newspaper, May 27, 2011 June 1, 2011

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David Bahati MP

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill has failed to make it through the country’s parliament.

On May 13 the Ugandan Parliament adjourned without taking any action on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, introduced as a private members motion on Oct 14, 2009 by MP David Bahati of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).  The resolution had drawn widespread opprobrium from overseas and has been condemned by government and church leaders, including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

Church leaders in Uganda had also objected to the bill that sought to stiffen Uganda’s sodomy laws. Mr. Bahati’s bill sought to establish a legal definition of homosexual acts that would provide for their criminalization, require clergy and counselors to report cases of homosexual conduct confided to them, and impose harsh sanctions, up to the death penalty, for “crimes against nature.”

Shortly after the bill was introduced, the Ugandan Joint Christian Council voiced its opposition saying the “problem of homosexuality cannot be addressed by the law alone.”

Coercion was not the solution, they argued, in addressing the spiritual brokenness of the gay lifestyle.  Uganda’s Christian churches were “concerned about the spiritual wellbeing of all members of the human family, including those who find themselves trapped in questionable lifestyles such as gays and lesbians.”

Following a meeting of its House of Bishops in February 2010, the Church of Uganda voiced its opposition to the law.  While the country’s Anglican church endorsed the bill’s general aim of opposing the “promotion of homosexuality as normal or as an alternative lifestyle,” it rejected the legislation proposed to achieve this end.

It rejected the harsh penalties sought by the bill and asked that any law adopted by Parliament protect the “confidentiality of medical, pastoral and counseling relationships.”

During the last Parliament, the Committee of Parliamentary and Legal Affairs adopted a number of amendments to the bill, including the removal of provisions criminalizing “attempted” homosexuality and those requiring anyone who knows of homosexual conduct to report it to the police.  President Yoweri Museveni, whose assent would be required to enact the bill into law, last year said he would not support any bill that contained provisions for the death penalty or punishment for “aggravated homosexuality”.

Speaking to reporters last week, Mr. Bahati said he would re-introduce the bill in the next session of Parliament.   ”The closure of this parliament is just pressing on the pause button,” he said. “I’m committed to the fight against behaviour and promotion of behaviour that is going to destroy the future of our children.”

Faith, not fear, the key to Uganda’s future: The Church of England Newspaper, May 20, 2011 p 6. May 24, 2011

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Archbishop Henry Orombi

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

“Ugandans, your faith is under test,” Archbishop Henry Orombi has warned, as spiralling food and fuel prices have led to political and economic unrest in the East African nation.

Prices for basic foodstuffs and fuel have risen sharply over the past year in Africa. Following weeks of demonstrations, riots erupted in the centre of Kampala on April 29, the day after opposition leader Kizza Besigye was arrested by police for protesting the sharp increase in food and fuel prices.

The World Bank’s “Food Price Watch” for April 2011 reported the price of basic commodities had risen sharply due to a rise in fuel costs, poor harvests in key grain exporters and rising consumption.

The report found that over the past 12 months the cost of maize (corn) had risen 114 per cent in Uganda, 65 per cent in Somalia and 48 per cent in Rwanda. The price of rice had risen 26 per cent in Malawi, and wheat had risen by 87 per cent in the Sudan. In the past three months maize prices rose 27 per cent in Nairobi and 25 per cent in Kampala, at the same time as fuel costs rose 21 per cent.

Reports from Kampala state that between six and ten protestors were killed by the police during clashes with the security forces following Mr. Besigye’s April 28 arrest. Accompanied by approximately 100 supporters, police smashed the windscreen of the opposition leader’s car and sprayed him with tear gas when they arrested him.

In his Easter address, Archbishop Henry Orombi said Ugandans were right to be concerned “when food and fuel prices are soaring; when our young ones remain unemployed; and when our mothers, wives and sisters die during child birth.”

“It is true that at the moment, the cost of living in Uganda is very high. The levels of disgruntlement are manifested in the headlines of our papers and on the screen. The growing number of street children, high morbidity rates, poor nutrition and social abominations like child sacrifice rage on.”

However, faith not fear was the answer. “In the act of dying on the cross” Jesus “catered” for our needs. “At the cross we find freedom from the power of sin and death. Through Jesus we find much needed peace to carry us through the storms of life and only through Jesus do we actually get the wisdom to find solutions to our troubles,” Archbishop Orombi said.

The archbishop asked “all Ugandans to continually adopt peaceful, lawful, and unifying strategies to address their challenges.”

The government had its job to do as well, the archbishop said. In a sermon preached at the consecration of Bishop Rueben Kisembo of Ruwenzori before a congregation that included President Yoweri Museveni, Archbishop Orombi urged the appointment of a cabinet that would serve the people, not just politicians.

“I request you, Your Excellency to surround yourself and create space for new thinking, new blood, new brains, and new people who will contribute to your manifesto and strengthen your ability to deliver your mandate to the people of Uganda,” the archbishop said on May 7.

Kampala Cathedral selling shares: The Church of England Newspaper, April 29, 2011 p 6. May 2, 2011

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An artist's drawing of All Saints Cathedral in Kampala.

The Church of Uganda is asking congregations across the country to purchase a share in All Saints Cathedral in Kampala, to help underwrite the costs of Africa’s newest and largest Anglican cathedral.

Speaking to reporters last week during a tour of the works, Archbishop Henry Orombi said “our target is to raise at least 50 per cent of the funds needed from the dioceses” to build the 4000 seat  £6.6 million All Saints Cathedral.   “In this way, the dioceses will enjoy a return on their investment once the project is complete.”

Construction has slowed on the cathedral, which will feature a two level underground parking garage, two galleries, two chapels, offices, two boardrooms and a 45-metre bell tower, due to a shortage of funds.  Construction costs of £127,000 must be raised each month until the project is completed.

Founded in 1912 as a chaplaincy to the city’s colonial hospital, All Saints catered to Kampala’s European population for its first 50 years.  Following independence in 1962 All Saints was incorporated as a parish church and its members changed from being exclusively European to include people of African and Asian origin. In 1972, the church was elevated to a Pro-Cathedral and later to a Cathedral for the newly created Kampala Diocese.

The present congregation of some 10,000 members, however, overflows the current 800 seat church.  For the past seven years, the cathedral has used tents to accommodate the crowds, holding three services each Sunday that each draws in excess of 1200 people.

Speaking to the Kampala Observer, Archbishop Orombi said he was hopeful the building would be completed on schedule in the next 18 months.  “I want to open this Church House before I retire in two years,” he said.

Bishop calls for decriminalisation of homosexuality: The Church of England Newspaper, April 14, 2011 April 14, 2011

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Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

A former Ugandan bishop has urged a UN panel in New York to press for the decriminalization of homosexuality to help fight the HIV/AIDs epidemic.

On April 8, Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo told the panel the “criminalisation of homosexuality remains the most significant barrier” to halting the spread of the disease.  “We need to ask if our laws or beliefs help or prevent the spread of HIV and hinder or support families caring for loved ones,” the bishop said according to press accounts of the gathering.

The one-time Church of Uganda bishop is not the sole African Anglican voice urging moderation of the continent’s sodomy laws, with bishops in Central, South, East and West African urging a rethink.  In March, Bishop Brighton Malasa of Upper Shire, Malawi urged caution over government calls to criminalize lesbian behavior, while the Church of Uganda and the Church of Burundi last year quietly lobbied their governments against introducing harsher regulations governing homosexual conduct.

A controversial figure within the African Church, Bishop Ssenyonjo has been a public advocate for reforming Uganda’s sodomy laws, and changing the Church of Uganda’s teachings on homosexuality.

Supporters of Bishop Ssenyonjo, who retired as the second Bishop of West Buganda in 1999, have often brought him to the US and UK to campaign for gay rights causes.  In 2010 the bishop participated in the consecration of the suffragan Bishop of Los Angeles, the Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool—the Episcopal Church’s second ‘gay’ bishop.

However, reports on the bishop’s background provided by his partisans have misstated his status, the Church of Uganda tells The Church of England Newspaper.  Claims the bishop was deposed in 2007 for his support for the gay community or his association with gay pressure groups are false, the church notes.

Bishop Ssenyonjo was deposed on Jan 17, 2007 by the Church of Uganda after he took part in the consecration as bishop of a former Anglican priest for the independent Charismatic Church of Uganda, the Ugandan provincial secretary told CEN.

“One of the co-consecrators was another deposed Uganda Bishop, the former bishop of North Mbale. He had been deposed because he took a second wife. So, Ssenyonjo was not deposed because of his association” with gay advocacy groups, the spokesman said, but for having conferred episcopal orders upon a priest in a church not in communion with the Church of Uganda.

Plans for an Anglican University for Eastern Uganda unveiled: The Church of England Newspaper, April 1, 2011 p 8. April 4, 2011

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Mrs. Margaret Sentamu

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The dioceses of eastern Uganda have begun talks with local government officials to build a church-affiliated university in the Mbale region.

However, Ugandan press reports that Mrs. Margaret Sentamu had been named chancellor of the new university were premature.  A spokesman for the Archbishop of York told The Church of England Newspaper that Mrs. Sentamu had not yet been approached by the university’s founders about the post.

Speaking to the Sunday Monitor of Kampala, the building committee chairman Mr. Charles Walimbwa Pekke, said “the university will be set up as a multi- disciplinary campus and will be located in various dioceses of eastern Uganda. Building will start soon.”

The first phase of construction will be centered at the church’s Bishop Usher Wilson Theological College in Buwalasi, he said.

Education remains a high priority for Anglicans in the developing world, with church affiliated universities and colleges under construction in Tanzania, Ghana and other African nations. From Feb 17-24 the steering committee of TEAC, Theological Education in the Anglican Communion, met in Harare at the invitation of committee member, Bishop Chad Gandiya.

The TEAC steering committee, under the chairmanship of Archbishop Colin Johnson of Toronto discussed plans for the May 2011 meeting of Anglican theological college principals in Canterbury, and also offered two days of theological education to approximately 80 Zimbabwe clergy.

In a statement released by TEAC last week, the steering committee noted the on-going harassment of Anglicans in Harare.   “Almost all the churches of the Diocese are not currently accessible to the priests and people, so congregations meet in a variety of locations, halls, schools, even a racing club.”

“But the harassment and persecution that has been experienced over recent years has, if anything, made the Church even stronger, with worship locations being packed out and over-spilling, and worship itself marked both with great dignity and great joy,” the TEAC report said.

Kampala cathedral foundation stone laid: The Church of England Newspaper, April 1, 2011 p 9. April 4, 2011

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An artist's rendition of the new All Saints Cathedral in Kampala

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of Uganda has laid the foundation stone for a new Anglican cathedral at a groundbreaking ceremony on Jan 27 in Kampala.

The first phase of the All Saints Cathedral £6.6 million construction project is scheduled to be completed by Christmas 2012, in time for the cathedral’s centenary.  On Feb 27 Mr. Shem Byakagaba, the building project committee chairman said the entire project would be completed within three to five years.

The design includes a two level underground parking garage, two galleries, two chapels, offices, two boardrooms and a 45-metre bell tower.

In his address to the congregation, the Archbishop Henry Orombi said God had “appointed this generation to build for him a house of worship because the spirit of construction of houses is ripe in this country.”

The 4000-seat cathedral will be funded by Ugandans for Ugandans, the archbishop said.  “People have money” to give towards the building, he said, and most of the materials will come from Uganda.  “If we want tiles, we shall get them, if we want cement, we shall get it, if we want iron sheets, we shall get them,” the archbishop said.

Not all of the funds are in hand, however, to complete construction £127,000 must be raised each month until the project is completed.

Founded in 1912 as a chaplaincy to the city’s colonial hospital, All Saints catered to Kampala’s European population for its first 50 years.  Following independence in 1962 All Saints was incorporated as a parish church and its members changed from being exclusively European to include people of African and Asian origin. In 1972, the church was elevated to a Pro-Cathedral and later to a Cathedral for the newly created Kampala Diocese.

The present church building was constructed around 1938 and has been enlarged over the years.  The present congregation of some 10,000 members, however, overflows the current 800 seat church.  For the past seven years, the cathedral has used tents to accommodate the crowds, holding three services each Sunday that each draws in excess of 1200 people.

Terrorist fears fail to stop Uganda church rally: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 15, 2010 p 8. October 20, 2010

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Evangelist Andrew Palau addressing the Love Kampala Festival on Sept 26

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Concerns over a possible Somali Islamist terrorist attack failed to deter over 82,000 Ugandans from attending the two-day Love Kampala Festival led by American evangelist Andrew Palau.

“God loves Uganda and He loves you,” the 44-year-old son of evangelist Luis Palau told the congregation gathered at the Kololo Airstrip outside the city on Sept 25-26.

“God wants you to know that you can experience true freedom through His son Jesus Christ,” Mr. Palau told the 55,000 Ugandans who attended the closing Sunday evening service amidst tight security.

The Primate of the Church of the Province of Uganda, Archbishop Henry Orombi praised the gathering, saying it was a “foretaste of heaven” as it united more than 1,000 churches across denominational lines behind the common goal of glorifying the name of Jesus.

On the evening of July 11, terrorists detonated bombs at restaurant and a rugby club, killing 76 people watching the World Cup Final on television.  The Somali Islamist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack, which analysts believe was launched in retaliation for Uganda’s support of the interim government in Mogadishu.  Somali Islamists are believed to have targeted soccer fans for assault, as they have denounced the sport as un-Islamic and forbidden by the Koran.

The week before the Palau service, Dutch police boarded a KLM flight bound for Entebbe and arrested a Somali national on suspicion of terrorism.  Seven members of the Palau team were on board the flight from Amsterdam.

Following the arrest the Ugandan police issued new security regulations governing all public gatherings in Kampala.  Those attending the Palau festival were required to pass through security checks and metal detectors before entering the airfield where the service was to be held.  The government also requested Mr. Palau end the service by sundown, even though most festivals run into the small hours of the morning, and soldiers patrolled the perimeter of the festival throughout the service.

Former Army Chief of Staff and Defence Minister, Maj. General Elly Tumwine praised the festival.  “Wherever there is light, darkness runs away. Wherever there is love, fear goes away. Wherever there is hope, hopelessness goes away,” he told the crowd.

Gen. Tumwine hailed the Love Kamapala Festival as a milestone for Uganda, as the emphasis on the love of Jesus Christ showed that Ugandans were excited about the future and would not allow fear to win, the Luis Palau Association reported.

Ugandan bishops on peace mission to Washington: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 1, 2010 p 8. October 4, 2010

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Archbishop Odama and Bishop Ochola speaking to the press in Washington

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Church leaders from Northern Uganda have urged the US government to back a non-military solution to the war with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Last week the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Gula John Odama and the retired Anglican Bishop of Kitgum Macleord Ochola met with US State Department officials to discuss ways in ending the insurgency.  The two leaders of the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative met with government officials to discuss ways of implementing the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009 signed into law by President Barack Obama on May 24.

The LRA act passed by Congress states that it will be US policy to “protect civilians from the Lord’s Resistance Army, to apprehend or remove Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield in the continued absence of a negotiated solution, and to disarm and demobilize the remaining LRA fighters.”

The law also requires President Obama to develop a comprehensive, multilateral strategy to protect civilians in central Africa from LRA attacks and take steps to permanently stop the rebel group’s violence and to increase humanitarian assistance to countries currently affected by LRA violence.

In a statement released after the law was enacted, President Obama said the LRA “preys on civilians – killing, raping, and mutilating the people of central Africa; stealing and brutalizing their children; and displacing hundreds of thousands of people.  Its leadership, indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, has no agenda and no purpose other than its own survival.  It fills its ranks of fighters with the young boys and girls it abducts.  By any measure, its actions are an affront to human dignity.”

The US State Department has been directed to provide policy recommendations to Congress and the White House by November to implement the LRA Act.

The Ugandan church leaders told the US government that a military solution alone would not end the 24 year old war.  In 2008 units of the Ugandan, Congolese and South Sudan armies fell upon the strongholds of the LRA in the Congo’s Garamba forest destroying 70 percent of the rebel group’s supplies.  However, the strike served to atomize the LRA, dispersing its forces.

“The issue is no longer the LRA and Uganda,” said Archbishop Odama told the Catholic News Service.  “The issue now is regional.”

LRA leader Joseph Kony’s forces now operate across South Sudan, the Central African Republic, the Congo and Northern Uganda the bishops said, and had the potential to destabilize the entire region.  Bishop Ochola noted that church brokered negotiations between the Ugandan government and the LRA collapsed after the 2008 military offensive.  It was now time for all parties to return to the negotiating table, to bring a lasting peace to Northern Uganda, Bishop Ochola said.

Islamists target soccer fans in terror attack in Uganda: The Church of England Newspaper, July 23, 2010 p 6. July 26, 2010

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Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Archbishop of Uganda has called for restraint in the wake of two suicide attacks launched by Islamist militants in Kampala, which killed 74 and has left dozens injured.

Archbishop Henry Orombi called upon Ugandans to “desist from anger and revenge; this will only perpetuate the pain we already feel. Revenge is not a solution and neither is a sectarian approach to this problem helpful.”

He urged Ugandans to “instead now focus our energies on being a part of the fight against terrorism in our country.”

On the evening of July 11, bombs were detonated at an Ethiopian Restaurant and at the Kyadondo Rugby Club in Kampala while the two were packed with revelers watching the World Cup Final.

The Somali Islamist group al-Shabab is believed to be behind the attack, which analysts say was launched in retaliation for Uganda’s support of the interim government in Mogadishu.  Somali Islamists have also denounced soccer as un-Islamic and forbidden by the Koran.

A fatwa banning soccer was issued in 2003 by the Saudi Wahhabist cleric Abdallah Al-Najadi.  His 40 page ruling, the MEMRI news service reported, held that Muslims may not play soccer unless the game is altered to eliminate fouls, penalties, short pants, and the use or red and yellow cards.  In June two Somalis were murdered as they watched a televised World Cup match for violating the ban.

However, the Muslim world is not united in its condemnation of soccer.  On June 21 the London-based Arab language newspaper al-Hayat published an editorial denouncing the ban.  Editor Jamil Al-Thiyabi stated that these fatwas reflected a crisis in the Islamic world, where the legitimate Islamic institutions do nothing about extremist groups that are forcing their will upon society.

On July 12, a government spokesman said arrests have been made, and an un-exploded suicide vest packed with detonators  and shrapnel was found in Kampala.

An Irish woman was among the dead at the restaurant reported Reuters, while the US embassy said a 25-year old American working for a California-based NGO, Invisible Children, which rehabilitates child soldiers, was among those killed at the rugby club.  The vice-chancellor of Uganda Christian University, Prof. Stephen Noll, said one alumnus was killed, as were three members of the family of one of the school’s staff members.

Archbishop Orombi said “this act of malice and hatred towards mankind is completely ungodly, especially towards innocent and unsuspecting persons. I condemn this act in the strongest terms possible and hope to see the perpetrators of this hideous crime brought to justice.”

“To the bereaved, I extend my sincere condolences. We share in your pain and wish you God’s comfort during this difficult time.”

“And to the entire nation, I ask you to fix your eyes on the cross of Jesus. The cross is a reminder of human cruelty to an innocent person; the agony of pain He went through enables Him to share in our pain as well. He had to pay a price for us to receive our freedom. The blood of the Ugandans spilled on Sunday will bring to Ugandans peace,” the archbishop said.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni condemned the attackers and said his country would not “run away” from its commitments in Mogadishu.

“People who are watching football are not people who should be targeted. If they want a fight, they should go and look for soldiers.”

Foreign Secretary William Hague offered Britain’s condolences, and denounced the bombing.  “These were cowardly attacks during an event that was widely seen as a celebration of African unity, and I condemn them in the strongest possible terms.  The UK will stand with Uganda in fighting such brutal acts of violence and terror.”

White House spokesman Tommy Vietor condemned the terrorist bombing. “The president is deeply saddened by the loss of life resulting from these deplorable and cowardly attacks, and sends his condolences to the people of Uganda and the loved ones of those who have been killed or injured,” he said.

DNA test clears bishop-elect of fathering two children out of wedlock: The Church of England Newspaper, June 18, 2010 p 5. June 23, 2010

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Bishop-elect Bernard Bagaba

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

A Ugandan bishop-elect accused of fathering two children out of wedlock has been cleared of misconduct following a DNA test.  The Church of Uganda reported on June 15 that the Rev. Canon Bernard Bagaba “is not the father of two children belonging to Annet Tugumisirize, as previously alleged.”

In December, the House of Bishops elected Canon Bagaba to succeed Bishop John Wilson Ntegyereize as Bishop of Kinkiizi, a rural diocese located along the southwest border with Rwanda.

However, on Feb 18 a complaint by two diocesan clergy was lodged with the Ugandan bishops charged the former diocesan secretary with bastardy and adultery with a former maid in his employee.  Canon Bagaba had admitted to employing the women as a servant, but denied any impropriety, stating “those people are trying to concoct things for their own benefit.”

The Easter meeting of the House of Bishops put the new bishop’s May consecration on hold, and took up Ms. Tugumisirize’s offer to have a paternity test taken of the children.    The results reported back to the church last week proved the bishop was not the father.

“The House of Bishops will discuss the implications of these test results at their next regularly scheduled meeting on 2nd July and will communicate the way forward at that time,” a provincial spokesman said.

Ugandan president denounces pro-gay lobbying by Europe in Africa: The Church of England Newspaper, June 11, 2010 p 6. June 21, 2010

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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The President of Uganda, Mr. Yoweri Museveni has dismissed Western claims that conservative American evangelicals are manipulating Africans into adopting an ‘anti-gay’ agenda, saying homosexuality was un-African and contrary to the continent’s moral scruples.

The Ugandan president was joined by the Bishop of Harare, Dr. Chad Gandiya at the Anglican Shrine to the Uganda Martyrs in Namugongo outside Kampala on June 3, in denouncing homosexuality as un-Christian and un-African.

The president denounced Western pressure on Uganda to conform to European views on morality.  “Europeans are putting pressure on us because of homosexuality. They say it is the religious groups which are against the practice but this is not true. Even before we got religion, our culture was against homosexuality just like it was against girls getting pregnant before marriage,” the president said on the feast day of the Anglican martyrs.

Upholding traditional moral standards was a “way of bringing discipline in our society. Bad things must be done away with and we only retain and improve the good ones. Uganda is one of the few countries standing against such decadence,” he said.

The president said that Europe was washed up.  “Europeans are falling, if we follow them, they will lead us to Sodom and Gomorrah. I salute the martyrs who stood against homosexuality. They stood for what they believed in with cleanliness on Christianity and our heritage,” President Museveni said.

A statement released by the president’s office said that the King of the Buganda, Kabaka Mwanga “had learned the practice of homosexuality from Arab traders and used it against his subjects. When the Christians refused he ordered their killings. The martyrs were killed between 1885 and 1887, many of them burnt to death at Namugongo.”

The Ugandan martyrs were beatified by Pope Benedict XV in 1920 and canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964.  Their feast day of June 3 is a major event for the Catholic and Anglican churches of Uganda with an estimated one million pilgrims from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Congo visiting the shrines.

Pro-gay pressure groups in the US, UK and Europe have claimed that conservative Americans are the driving force behind Africa’s repulsion of homosexuality, while a number of newspapers have editorialized against African laws on these issues.

The guest speaker at the ceremony, Bishop Gandiya of Harare bewailed the assertiveness of the gay movement.   “We are living in a world which is upside down. Some people talk about wicked things as if they are good. We need people to stand up for the truth and reject homosexuality,” Bishop Gandiya said, according to the Kampala Monitor.

The confusion of “right with wrong” has “destroyed the morals in the young population,” Bishop Gandiya said.

The Primate of Uganda, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Kampala applauded President Museveni’s stance of placing principle before political expediency, and urged Anglicans to model their behavior on the Uganda Martyrs and commit themselves to service to God, their family and Uganda.

Church leaders call for war crimes investigations of Ugandan army: The Church of England Newspaper, June 11, 2010 p 6. June 21, 2010

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Joseph Kony

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has announced an investigation of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces for war crimes committed in its 20-year long campaign against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).

Ugandan opposition leaders and the former Bishop of Kitgum, the Rt. Rev. Baker Ochola had urged the ICC to investigate atrocities allegedly committed by the UPDF during an ICC review conference held in Kampala.

Mr. Moreno-Ocampo told reporters that there were “complaints” and the ICC was “analyzing them. There are cases of torture and mass displacement though some are outside our mandate that started in 2002.”

The ICC would investigate all complaints committed after July 2002—the date the ICC statute came in force—brought to its attention, he said.  However, the vast majority of complaints before the ICC were against the LRA and its leader, Joseph Kony.  The ICC has indicted Kony and four of his lieutenants for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The leader of the opposition Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party, Mr. Olara Otunnu, asked the ICC to investigate the UPDF and indict President Yoweri Museveni.

The UPC would provided “tonnes and tonnes” of “information regarding genocide and crimes against humanity” committed by the UPDF, he said.

Bishop Ochola said an ICC investigation of the UPDF was necessary as the Ugandan judiciary had so far failed to respond to request for action.

Ugandan Deputy Attorney General, Fred Ruhindi, told reporters Mr. Otunnu was playing politics with the court.  He urged the UPC leader to use “proper procedures” under Ugandan law to prove his claims.

Ugandan archbishop calls for action from Canterbury: The Church of England Newspaper, April 16, 2010 p 1. April 21, 2010

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Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The Primate of the Church of Uganda has given the Archbishop of Canterbury a vote of no confidence in his management of the American crisis that stands ready to fracture the Anglican Communion.

On April 9, Archbishop Henry Orombi wrote to Dr. Rowan Williams voicing his objections to the structural changes implemented by Dr. Williams that have marginalized the primates and the bishops of the Anglican Communion in favor of the London-based Anglican Consultative Council and its staff.

He urged Dr. Williams to convene an emergency primates meeting to address the divisions within the Communion. However at this meeting he asked that the agenda be distributed before hand, and the US and Canadian primates—whose churches would be the subject of discussion—not be invited.

Within minutes of the announcement the US church’s 2003 General Convention had affirmed the election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, Dr. Williams faxed a letter to the then US Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and the primates, calling an emergency meeting at Lambeth Palace to discuss the Robinson consecration. While Dr. Williams has warned the US church would face “consequences” for violating the Communion’s call for “restraint” on electing a second “gay” bishop, no action has thus far materialized.

Nor has Dr. Williams’ warning perturbed the US church. In response to a question from The Church of England Newspaper at the close of last month’s House of Bishops’ meeting in Texas, a spokesman for the bishops said there had been no discussion of the consequences of the Glasspool election. It was “not on the agenda” and did not “come-up” in discussion, Bishop Kenneth Price told CEN.

“We cannot carry on with business as usual until order is brought out of this chaos,” Archbishop Orombi said.

A spokesman for Lambeth Palace told CEN that Dr. Williams was “out of the office” when the letter was received, and as of our going to press no formal response had been made. However, Archbishop Orombi’s concerns will not come as a surprise to Dr. Williams, as the Ugandan archbishop raised them in private correspondence and conversation with Dr. Williams, as well as in a letter to the Times, published during the 2008 Lambeth Conference—which the Ugandan bishops boycotted, as did a majority of African bishops, due to the presence of the US bishops.

In his letter, Archbishop Orombi commended the President Bishop of the Middle East and Jerusalem’s decision to quit the Joint Standing Committee. The Ugandan leader said he stood in solidarity with Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt “in his courageous decision,” noting that many primates were in a “state of resignation as we see how the Communion is moving away further and further into darkness.”

He stated that he was perturbed by the “shift in the balance of powers among the Instruments of Communion” that had taken place under Dr. Williams’ watch.

It had been the primates who commissioned and received the Windsor Report, and it was the primates who presented the “appropriate ‘hermeneutic’ through which to read the Windsor Report. That “hermeneutic,” however, has been obscured by the leadership at St. Andrew’s House who somehow created something we never envisioned called the ‘Windsor Process’,” he said.

The Windsor Report was not a “process” but a “report” which contained “specific and clear requests” of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. However, in the aftermath of the 2007 Primates Meeting, the primates found they had been cut out of the “very process they had begun.”

“The process was mysteriously transferred to the Anglican Consultative Council and, more particularly, to the Joint Standing Committee,” Archbishop Orombi said. The Joint Standing Committee had this past year evolved into the “Standing Committee” which by year’s end had taken to calling itself the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion.

This was an illegitimate usurpation of authority, Archbishop Orombi said, as there is no Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion. Such an entity had “never been approved in its present form by the Primates Meeting or the Lambeth Conference. Rather, it was adopted by itself, with your approval and the approval of the ACC.”

This rogue entity had been given “enhanced responsibility” and the Primates “diminished responsibility” over the life of the Communion, he said, adding that he could not lend legitimacy to an entity “that has taken upon itself authority it has not been given,” and in his capacity as the African representative to the primates standing committee, would boycott the meetings of the new standing committee.

The way forward was clear, Archbishop Orombi said. “There is an urgent need for a meeting of the Primates to continue sorting out the crisis that is before us, especially given the upcoming consecration of a Lesbian as Bishop in America. The Primates Meeting is the only Instrument that has been given authority to act, and it can act if you will call us together” he said.

Immorality charges leveled against new bishop: The Church of England Newspaper, April 1, 2010 p 8. April 13, 2010

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Canon Bernard Bagaba

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Allegations of gross immorality have been leveled against a bishop-elect in Uganda. The Kampala Observer reports that five clergy and 23 lay members of the Diocese of Kinkiizi have accused Bishop-elect Bernard Bagaba of fathering two children out of wedlock and refusing to provide for their care.

Canon Bagaba, the diocesan secretary of Kinkiizi at the time of his election, has denied the charges, and the matter is expected to be taken up after Easter by Archbishop Henry Orombi and the Ugandan House of Bishops.

In December, the House of Bishops elected Canon Bagaba to succeed Bishop John Wilson Ntegyereize, who retires on May 9. The rural diocese located in the Southwest of Uganda along the border of Rwanda has tripled in size in the past 15 years, and an ambitious programme to enlarge the cathedral to accommodate a thousand worshippers has been launched, as have other projects to harness the growth of the church in the region.

However, on Feb 18 a complaint against Canon Bagaba was handed to the Ugandan bishops alleging that the former diocesan secretary had fathered two illegitimate children with a former maid in his employee. The former maid told the Observer she was prepared to submit to a DNA test to confirm the children were fathered by Canon Bagaba.

Canon Bagaba has admitted to employing the women as a servant, but has denied any impropriety, stating “those people are trying to concoct things for their own benefit.”

A spokesman for the Church of Uganda stated the allegations would be investigated.

Ugandan Church questions anti-gay bill: CEN 2.26.10 p 8. March 6, 2010

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David Bahati, MP

The Church of Uganda has urged a revision of that country’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, objecting to calls for the death penalty for those who have homosexual relations with minors, the disabled, or while being HIV-positive.

The controversial bill has gained widespread opprobrium overseas, and has been condemned by government and church leaders, including the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

On Feb 9, the Church of Uganda voiced its opposition to the bill. It asked that any law protect the “confidentiality of medical, pastoral and counseling relationships, including those that disclose homosexual practice in accordance with the relevant professional codes of ethics.”

On 14 Oct MP David Bahati of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) tabled a private-members bill before parliament entitled the ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ that would stiffen Uganda’s sodomy laws. Bahati’s bill seeks to establish a legal definition of homosexual acts that would provide for their criminalization, and impose harsh sanctions, up to the death penalty, for “crimes against nature.”

The church endorsed the Bahati’s general aims of proscribing the “promotion of homosexuality as normal or as an alternative lifestyle,” and urged that homosexual practice not be “adopted as a human right,” but rejected the proposed harsh penalties.

The church further asked that sex education and gender identity programmes sponsored by the government be “in compliance with the values and the laws of Uganda,” and that laws be adopted defining marriage as being between a man and a women.

The recommendations follow the December statement of the Ugandan Joint Christian Council which said the “problem of homosexuality cannot be addressed by the law alone.”

Uganda’s Christian churches were “concerned about the spiritual wellbeing of all members of the human family, including those who find themselves trapped in questionable lifestyles such as gays and lesbians.”

Coercion was not the solution, the churches concluded, appealing to “all parties to seek sustainable solutions to this problem. This would, among other things, involve teaching, mentoring, counseling and rehabilitation of all victims who are within reach,” it said.

On Feb 15, the South African bishops released a statement condemning the Bahati bill. “Though there are a breadth of theological views among us on matters of human sexuality, we see this Bill as a gross violation of human rights and we therefore strongly condemn such attitudes and behaviour towards other human beings,” the said.

The South African bishops voiced their concern about the “violent language used against the gay community across Sub-Saharan Africa,” and urged governments to defend the “rights of minorities.”

“As Bishops we believe that it is immoral to permit or support oppression of, or discrimination against, people on the grounds of their sexual orientation, they said.

Bishop killed in Ugandan road accident: CEN 2.19.10 p 8. March 2, 2010

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Road accidents in Uganda have taken the life of the Bishop of Rwenzori, and have led to the hospitalization of two of his colleagues.

On Feb 11, the Rt. Rev. Patrick Kyaligonza died in an accident on the Kampala Fort Portal Highway. Police report the rear tyre of the bishop’s land cruiser burst, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Bishop Kyaligonza was killed instantly and his wife remains in critical condition at the Buhinga hospital in Fort Portal.

At 45, Bishop Kyaligonza was one of the youngest bishops of the Church of Uganda, and had assumed office less than a year ago.

While driving to Bishop Kyaligonza’s funeral on Feb 16, the Bishops of North Mbale and Sebei were injured in car crash and are reported to be in critical condition at the Buhinga hospital.

The wife of the Bishop Daniel Gimadu of North Mbale was killed in the crash, which took place 20 kilometers from Fort Portal on the Kampala Highway. Bishop Gimadu, Bishop Augustine Salimo of Sebie and their driver are in intensive care, the Church of Uganda reports.

African bishops head to Uganda for summit: CEN 1.29.10 p 7. February 9, 2010

Posted by geoconger in CAPA, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda.
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Uganda will play host to the second All-Africa Bishops Conference this year, the conference organizing committee announced last week.

Over 500 bishops from Cape Town to Cairo as well as observers from Lambeth Palace and non-African churches are expected to attend the Aug 23-28 meeting at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe, organizing committee chairman Edward Gaamuwa said.

The focus of the meeting will be on building Africa’s civil social infrastructure: supporting good government, anti-corruption drives, poverty alleviation, and building peace and forging reconciliation across the continent, Mr. Gaamuwa said. The theme of the conference will be “Securing our future; Unlocking our potential.”

The first All-Africa bishops’ conference was held in Lagos in 2004 with the theme “Africa has come of age.” The intervening six years have seen major shifts in the African church. One speaker from the 2004 conference, Dr. Nolbert Kunonga of Harare, will not be invited to this year’s gathering, while key leaders have since retired—including the host of the 2004 conference Archbishop Peter Akinola.

The meeting also comes at a low point in relations between Dr. Rowan Williams and the African churches. At Lambeth 2008 a majority of African bishops boycotted the Conference with 209 of the continent’s 324 diocesan bishops staying away.

Bishops from every African province but Uganda registered for Lambeth including the Church of Nigeria. The Rt. Rev. Cyril Okorocha of Owerri, however, pulled out of the meeting at the last minute after having faxed in a confirmation of his attendance on July 19. The only Nigerian actually at Lambeth was a Roman Catholic archbishop, part of the 7 man team from the Vatican.

One Rwandan bishop was present, and Kenya had 17 bishops registered for Lambeth. However, only five of the Kenyan bishops were present for Lambeth and one left after the bishops’ retreat.

While the meeting is not expected to focus on pan-Anglican politics, a leading African bishop told The Church of England Newspaper the divisions that led to the boycott of Lambeth 2008 have not been resolved.

Uganda backs down on anti-gay bill: CEN 1.22.10 p 8. January 14, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has acceded to the private entreaties of church and world leaders and will block the proposed ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ before his country’s Parliament.

Uganda backs down on anti-gay bill

Speaking to members of the National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) legislative caucus on Jan 13, the Ugandan leader rejected the controversial bill that would have toughened the East African nation’s sodomy laws.

“I told them that this bill was brought up by a private member and I have not even had time to discuss it with him. It is neither the government nor the NRM Party’s” bill, he told legislators, according to Ugandan press reports.

“This is a foreign policy issue and we have to discuss it in a manner that does not compromise our principles but also takes care of our foreign policy interests,” the president said.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Canadian Prime Minister Alan Harper and other world leaders had pressed President Museveni to block the bill, introduced on Oct 14 by MP David Bahati of the NRM. In their annual joint Christmas statement, Uganda’s Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox churches voiced their public disapproval of a coercive approach to the issue of homosexuality, while top church leaders are understood to have pressed their views upon the president in private meetings.

Bahati’s bill sought to re-write British colonial era vice laws, establishing a legal definition of homosexual acts and provide for their criminalization. Consensual homosexual acts between adults would be subject to penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment, while “aggravated homosexuality”—homosexual relations with a minor or homosexual acts committed by an HIV-positive individual—would be a capital crime or merit life imprisonment.

On Nov 15 President Museveni indicated he was sympathetic to Bahati’s concerns, but signaled he would not endorse the bill as written, telling a youth awards banquet that Uganda “used to have very few homosexuals traditionally. They were not persecuted but were not encouraged either because it was clear that is not how God arranged things to be.”

In November church leaders the Uganda and Britain came under sharp criticism from gay activists for inaction. The Rev. Sharon Ferguson, Chief Executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) said the bill was “unjust, cruel and can only strike terror in the hearts of LGBT people, their families, friends and supporters”

She added she was “particularly distressed that many Christian groups including Churches in the Anglican Communion in Uganda appear to be supporting the proposals.” The Archbishops of Canterbury and York also came under sharp attack from activists in Britain for not publicly denouncing the bill.

On Nov 6 the Church of Uganda said it was studying the bill and had no official comment, but reiterated its long-standing opposition to the death penalty. Senior Ugandan church leaders told The Church of England Newspaper that their views on the bill would be communicated privately to the president and government leaders.

Ugandan church leaders took umbrage at the suggestion that the only moral way to proceed in response to the legislation was to mount a Western-style publicity campaign, warning that an aggressive campaign of censure and ridicule would be counterproductive in Uganda.

One senior cleric told CEN “the Church of Uganda is not passive about current issues, but we have chosen not to be publicly confrontational. People will work behind the scenes to influence current events and discuss issues with the players rather than go to the newspapers. For example, you will never know when the Archbishop meets with the President. This is the way we Ugandans do things, which is different from the West.”

In the wake of the president’s comments, Bahati told the local media he hoped to redraft the bill to accommodate the president’s concerns while being faithful to Uganda’s social and religious heritage.

Churches join criticism of Uganda’s ‘anti-gay’ bill: CEN 1.08.10 p 6. January 13, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue.
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The draconian penalties in Uganda’s proposed ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ have come under sharp criticism from the Christian Churches of Uganda.

In its December 17 Christmas message, the Uganda Joint Christian Council, a coalition of the country’s Anglican, Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, said that while its individual member churches had not yet issued formal statements on the proposed bill, all were opposed to the harsh penalties proposed for the suppression of vice.

On 14 Oct MP David Bahati of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) tabled a private-members bill before parliament entitled the ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ that would stiffen Uganda’s sodomy laws. The proposed law has come in part in response to concerns over growing child-sex tourism in East Africa and the highly publicized arrests of two NGO workers, as well as with the perception that Uganda’s culture is under siege by the West.

Bahati’s bill seeks to establish a legal definition of homosexual acts that would provide for their criminalization. Consensual homosexual acts between adults would be subject to penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment, while “aggravated homosexuality”—homosexual relations with a minor or homosexual acts committed by an HIV-positive individual—would be a capital crime or merit life imprisonment.

Article 13 of the bill imposes a seven year term of imprisonment or fine for promoting homosexuality, while organizations found guilty under the law would be closed down. Failure to inform would be an offence under the act punishable by imprisonment.

The proposed bill has drawn sharp criticism from overseas governments, NGOs and church groups. On Dec 24, the Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu told Radio 4’s Today Programme that he was “opposed totally to the death penalty” and was “not happy when you describe people with the kind of language you find in this Private Member’s Bill, which seems also not only victimizing but diminishment of individuals.”

On Dec. 14 Dr. Rowan Williams told the Telegraph the proposed penalties were of “of shocking severity” and “makes pastoral care impossible. It seeks to turn pastors into informers.”

In its Christmas message, released under the signature of the Uganda Joint Christian Council’s chairman, Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga of the Uganda Orthodox Church, the churches said they were “particularly concerned” about “ritual murders, corruption, homosexuality, road accidents and reckless life styles.”

All three churches were agreed that “homosexuality is a detestable act.” While the social mores of some societies now viewed it as a “fashionable way of life” this did not change the fact that it was a “biblically unacceptable practice.”

The churches had been “following the ongoing debate on the current bill on homosexuality that is being considered by Parliament,” noting that “we ourselves are currently studying the Bill and have not yet adopted a common position on all the issues.”

However, the churches were agreed upon the need to suppress vice and supported laws prohibiting “homosexual practices including same-sex marriage.”

The proposed penalties were unacceptable, as “we do not, as matter of principle, support the death penalty or other forms of extreme punishment such as life imprisonment as proposed in the Bill,” the said.

The “problem of homosexuality cannot be addressed by the law alone,” the churches noted, adding that Uganda’s Christian Churches were “concerned about the spiritual wellbeing of all members of the human family, including those who find themselves trapped in questionable lifestyles such as gays and lesbians.”

Coercion was not the solution, the churches concluded, appealing to “all parties to seek sustainable solutions to this problem. This would, among other things, involve teaching, mentoring, counseling and rehabilitation of all victims who are within reach,” the Uganda Joint Christian Council said.

Ugandan church mulls new law: CEN 11.27.09 p 18. November 27, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue, Politics.
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The Church of Uganda has come under fire from gay activists in the UK for failing to speak out against a proposed law that would toughen the East African nation’s sodomy laws.

However the furore in church circles over the “Anti-Homosexuality Bill” speaks more to the rift between the African and Western Anglicans than to the politics of the proposed legislation. The campaign mounted in the West to defeat the bill will likely change few minds in Uganda, while the Church of Uganda’s response will likely been seen in Britain as moral cowardice in the face of injustice.

One senior Ugandan cleric told The Church of England Newspaper, “The Church of Uganda is not passive about current issues, but we have chosen not to be publicly confrontational. People will work behind the scenes to influence current events and discuss issues with the players rather than go to the newspapers. For example, you will never know when the Archbishop meets with the President. This is the way we Ugandans do things, which is different from the West.”

“There’s very little influence to stop the legislation of a law, an institute, in practice by the church,” Archbishop Henry Orombi explained on June 22, 2008. “The church’s practice is to preach, to proclaim, so that people who find themselves in a position where they go away from the word of God, the same word of God can bring them back to life.”

The Church of Uganda is unlikely to address publicly the merits of the Anti-Homosexuality bill before parliament senior church leaders tell CEN, but will seek to educate and instruct the country’s leaders on the moral issues raised by the debates. During the reign of Idi Amin, the Church of Uganda spoke out against the injustices and abuses of his regime, yet the manner in which it confronted the government was very different than that favored by the Church of England and its governments. Archbishop Janani Luwum’s confrontation with Idi Amin, which ultimately led to his martyrdom, was behind closed doors in a private meeting with the President.

On 14 Oct MP David Bahati of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) tabled a private-members bill before parliament entitled the ‘Anti-Homosexuality Bill’ that would stiffen Uganda’s sodomy laws.

British colonial era laws prohibiting “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” remain on the statute books of Uganda as do similar laws in Tanzania and Kenya. Bahati’s bill seeks to establish a legal definition of homosexual acts and provide for their criminalization. Consensual homosexual acts between adults would be subject to penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment, while “aggravated homosexuality”—homosexual relations with a minor or homosexual acts committed by an HIV-positive individual—would be a capital crime or merit life imprisonment.

Article 13 of the bill imposes a seven year term of imprisonment or fine for promoting homosexuality, while organizations found guilty under the law would be closed down. Failure to inform would be an offence under the act punishable by imprisonment.

If enacted, the proposed law would follow a trend of increased state sanctions against same-sex conduct in East Africa. On April 22, 2009 President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi approved that country’s first sodomy law, which states that “whoever has sexual relations with a person of the same sex is punished by a prison sentence of 3 months to 2 years and a fine.”

In Rwanda political leaders have also called for the criminalization of homosexual relations. While homosexual acts are punishable if one participant is under the age of 18 under the 1977 Penal Code, legislators aligned with President Paul Kagame have called for the introduction of sodomy laws punishing all homosexual acts.

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other civil liberties groups as well as the British and French governments denounced the Bahati bill saying it violates human rights and would stigmatize people live with HIV/AIDs in Uganda.

The Rev. Sharon Ferguson, Chief Executive of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) in Britain said the bill was “unjust, cruel and can only strike terror in the hearts of LGBT people, their families, friends and supporters”

She added she was “particularly distressed that many Christian groups including Churches in the Anglican Communion in Uganda appear to be supporting the proposals.”

On Nov 6 the Church of Uganda released a statement saying it was “studying the proposed ‘Anti-Homosexuality bill’ and, therefore, does not yet have an official position on the bill.”

It did, however, restate its official position opposing the death penalty and affirming the Church is a safe place for those struggling with sexual brokenness to receive pastoral care. It also restated its traditional views on marriage and human sexuality and its opposition to the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals to the ministry.

On Nov 7 the Ugandan Provincial Secretary, Canon Aaron Mwesigye, told CEN the church was “still studying” the bill.

He added that they stood “behind our previous statements” condemning homophobic violence articulated by Archbishop Henry Orombi at Gafcon.

“Violence by one individual against another is wrong, whether it is homosexual assault of children in schools or violence against homosexuals. We uphold the sanctity of all life,” Canon Mwesigye said.

On Nov 13 the LGCM reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury’s office declined to respond to a request for comments on the law, while the Archbishop of York’s office said Dr Sentamu “will not be making a statement on this issue.”

“If ever there was a time for the Archbishops to speak out to protect human rights, is this not it?” the LGCM asked. Comments on Anglican-blogs also turned sharply against the Church of Uganda for its perceived inaction on the bill.

However, the Anti-Homosexual Bill is a private-members bill, not a government bill, sources note. While Bahati is a member of the ruling coalition, he is not a government minister. Bahati’s reasons for introducing the bill are unclear, though he was linked in May to power struggle in the top echelons of the NRM.

However, the decision whether to back the bill rests with President Yoweri Museveni. As party leader President Museveni controls the NRM and the NRM fields over 300 members of Parliament to the opposition’s 50. NRM MPs are subject to “party discipline” with voting decisions being determined directly under the president’s control during the monthly NRM caucus meetings.

On Nov 15 President Museveni indicated he was sympathetic to Bahati’s concerns, but signaled he would not endorse the bill as written. “I hear European homosexuals are recruiting in Africa,” he said, in an address to a youth awards banquet, warning against ‘foreign’ corrupt practices.

However, he added “We used to have very few homosexuals traditionally. They were not persecuted but were not encouraged either because it was clear that is not how God arranged things to be.”

While Museveni is President of Uganda and leader of the NRM, his power is not absolute, analysts note, as he cannot go beyond the consensus of the country’s political, military, traditional and religious leaders.

The church’s role in lobbying the government, one senior Ugandan cleric explained, was to avoid partisan politics but preach the practical lessons of the Bible. Public political lobbying demanded by activists in the UK is not how the Church of Uganda operates. “The church will tend to make statements to guide moral thinking rather than interfere in ‘word-smithing’ proposed legislation,” the Kampala cleric said.

He cited the Nov 12 funeral oration given by the Assistant Bishop of Kampala Zac Niringiye at the funeral of Major General Kazini as an example.

Preaching to the president and senior army leaders, Bishop Niringiye warned the government that it must address its failings and internal rivalries. “I do not have to be a prophet of doom to predict NRM’s collapse if you don’t deal with these weaknesses,” the bishop said.

It was too late for the dead general to mend his ways, but “you Generals, if you do not respond to this wake-up call, you are doomed,” he said.

New Cathedral planned for Uganda church: CEN 11.13.09 p 6. November 24, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda.
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The Church of Uganda will hold a groundbreaking ceremony next week for the construction of a new cathedral for the Diocese of Kampala. On Nov 15 Archbishop Henry Orombi will lead services marking the start of a three year project to build a 5000-seat church to replace All Saints Cathedral.

Originally built in 1912 as a chapel to Kampala’s European hospital, at independence in 1962 the chapel was reconstituted as a parish church. In 1972 the church was named a pro-Cathedral and presently serves as the seat of the Bishop of Kampala, who serves as Archbishop of Uganda.

The rapid growth of the Anglican Church in Uganda has led to severe overcrowding in the church. For the past ten years overflow from the 9:30 congregation has led to the use of three tents pitched outside the church to accommodate the crowd.

The £3 million project will double the worship space for the colonial church, the church reports and will be funded by the contributions of the congregation. Between 1999 and 2006 the congregations acquired three adjacent lots for the new church. The completed cathedral complex will be seven-times the size of the present structure and included office and meeting space, as well as commercial space to provide income to the church, a spokesman reported.

Uganda’s future depends on addressing unrest, says Archbishop: CEN 10.09.09 p 6. October 8, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda, Politics.
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First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Unless Uganda begins to address the poverty, ethnic divisions and social unrest in its midst, the country’s future will be blighted, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda has warned.

Police report that 24 people died in two days of rioting in and around Kampala that began on Sept 10 after the government forbade King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, the leader of Uganda’s largest ethnic group, the Baganda, from touring the Kayunga region near Kampala.

Uganda’s future depends on addressing unrest, says Archbishop

Kayunga is a part of the Baganda kingdom, however, only a minority of its residents are Baganda. The government forbade the king from visiting the region after it said he declined to meet with separatist groups.

The government ban angered militant Baganda leaders who launched two days of rioting directed against the government.

In a statement released last week by Archbishop Orombi, who was outside of the capital and unable to return while the violence raged, the Ugandan church leader said: “The events of last week when riots broke out in different parts of the central region, when lives were lost, property destroyed and civic life paralysed all call on us to reflect deeply on how we as a nation came to this point and how we shall move forward.

“As a people, we are not united. We are divided along the lines of tribal, regional, district, political ideology and social status,” he said, and “these divisions are culminating into visible and audible hatred.”

Poverty and unemployment lay behind the violence as well. “We have made strides in economic development, but how widespread is this prosperity?”, he asked. “The gap between the poor and rich seems to be growing by the day. This gap cannot be ignored because sooner or later, it could become fertile ground for instability,” Archbishop Orombi said.

Priest awarded peace prize: CEN 5.14.09 p 6. May 18, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda, Health/HIV-AIDS.
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A Ugandan Anglican priest who in 1992 became the first African Christian leader to announce that he was HIV positive, was awarded the 26th annual Niwano Peace Prize in Tokyo.

The Rev Canon Gideon Byamugisha was honoured by the Niwano Peace Foundation for his work in promoting Aids awareness in Africa. The Primate of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai, Archbishop Makoto Uematsu accepted the award on behalf of Canon Byamugisha, who was advised against travel to Japan due to the H1N1 flu alert.

Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.

Priest awarded peace prize
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