The Archbishop of Uganda on Lambeth

kinnon —  July 31, 2008 — 3 Comments

ab-orombi-uganda.jpgAs Ruth Gledhill mentioned earlier today, The Times has a guest column in Friday’s paper from Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of Uganda, entitled The Church cannot heal this crisis of betrayal. His column ends with these paragraphs,


Anglicans may say there are four “Instruments of Communion,” (the Archbishop of Canterbury; the Lambeth Conference; the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates’ Meeting). But de facto, there is only one – the Archbishop of Canterbury.
  The peculiar thing is that this one man, who is at the centre of the communion’s structures, is not even elected by his peers. Even the Pope is elected by his peers, but what Anglicans have is a man appointed by a secular government. Over the past five years, we have come to see this as a remnant of British colonialism, and it is not serving us well. The spiritual leadership of a global communion of independent and autonomous provinces should not be reduced to one man appointed by a secular government.
  It is important that our decision not to attend this Lambeth Conference is not misunderstood as withdrawing from the Anglican Communion. On the contrary, our decision reflects the depth of our concern and the sober realisation that the present structures are not capable of addressing the crisis.
  How can we go to Holy Communion, sit in Bible study groups, and share meals together, pretending that everything is OK?, that we are still in fellowship with the persistent violators of biblical teaching and of Lambeth resolutions?
  The Bible says: “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked us to “wait for each other”. But how is it possible when we are not travelling in the same direction?
  The Church of Uganda takes its Anglican identity and the future hope of the global Anglican Communion very seriously. We love the Lord Jesus Christ, and we love the Anglican Communion. Lord, have mercy upon us.

If some of the TEC Bishops stay true to form, Orombi will be portrayed as a backwards individual who doesn’t understand either Jesus or the Scriptures – in fact, one of them might say he’s demonized.

UPDATE: Please make a point of reading the comment from my friend, Glenn Hatcher, who knows Archbishop Orombi.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

3 responses to The Archbishop of Uganda on Lambeth

  1. I think Orombi draws an unfortunate parallel between the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury when he complains about his undemocratic appointment. It’s important to realise that unlike the Pope, the ABC has no legislated authority outside of England, (really outside of the province of Canterbury.) In the global Anglican communion he is basically recognised as a) a voice worth listening to and b) the convener of the Lambeth conference.

    Having watched the current incumbent in action, I have nothing but the greatest respect for Rowan Williams as he attempts to bring grace and wisdom to the difficult path the Anglican church is currently going down. I’m not sure that much of the church recognises how lucky they are to have a man like him in the position.

  2. Trevor,
    At many levels I don’t disagree with you. The ABofC’s commitment and promotion of Fresh Expressions is profoundly impacting the wider church in England. He is a deep thinker and I would not question his commitment to Christ.

    That being said, one of the moves at Lambeth is to put more power into the hands of his office – and that is partially what I believe the ABofU is reacting to. As well, there is great frustration on the part of the Gafcon folk and the more biblically orthodox at Lambeth with his inability to recommend actual action in response to his commitment to the resolutions of Lambeth 1998, Dar es Salaam and the Windsor Report. He professes commitment to those things – but will not take the next logical step which is to suggest how we actually deal with them.

    One of the saddest things for me is the number of TEC Bishops who claim to be all about inclusivity who will write the ABofU off as being primitive- their racism is not remotely veiled. Many of the comments on the Times article are quite disgusting – and line up with things Bishop Chane has said – and probably will say.

  3. Henry Orombi is a personal friend of mine and one of the most articulate and passionate men I have known in the church in Africa. Regardless of denomination. And I know he thought long and hard, prayed a lot and sought counsel from others before he “put himself out there” in The Times article. I hate to see the way he will be defamed by TEC leaders after being so strong. But Henry is heart-broken by the whole division in the Anglican Communion.


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