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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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda.
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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

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Church of Tanzania, Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda.
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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.