ENI: New Kenyan archbishop will ‘keep stand’ against same-sex unions

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Eliud Wabukala of Bungoma, who becomes the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya in July, will not likely reverse his predecessor’s opposition to same-sex unions.

This is the view of bishops and church leaders who spoke to Ecumenical News International after Wabukala was on April 24 elected to replace Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, who retires on June 30.

Read the whole article.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of KenyaSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings

Posted April 28, 2009 at 11:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Grant LeMarquand wrote:

It is amazing to me that this article about a humble, godly and learned man should immediately be made into an evaluation of his stance on homosexuality….And conservatives are accused of being obsessed with sexuality. Sigh

April 28, 12:53 pm | [comment link]
2. Mad Padre wrote:

I’m delighted to see that the new Primate is a fellow alumnus of my seminary, Wycliffe College in Toronto, Canada.

April 28, 2:17 pm | [comment link]
3. Grant LeMarquand wrote:

Yes - twice over - an M.Rel and an honourary doc

April 28, 4:05 pm | [comment link]
4. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Notice too how this poorly-done article erroneously states that the Anglican Church of Kenya is “at loggerheads within the 77-million member Worldwide Anglican Communion” over same sex relationships, as if the Kenyans were the minority group.  Also, note the blatant statistical error, where the ACK is said of have a mere 2.5 million members.  Professor LeMarquand can correct me if I’m wrong, but the number should be roughly twice that high.  The lowest estimate I’ve seen for the number of Anglicans in Kenya is 4.5 million, and some would say it’s between 5 and 6 million. 

Finally, it looks like the reporter misquoted +Bill Atwood, whose command of English is much better than this African reporter’s seems to be.  According to this report, the communication savvy +Atwood said,

“The new archbishop is faithful to [sic, the] word of God.  I am sure he will continue to be faithful to the world [sic, word] of God.”

But despite those glaring flaws, there was one priceless quote buried in this sloppy article that made reading it worthwhile.  The Bishop of Mombasa, Julius Kalu, offered this glowig tribute to the new archbishop elect,

“We are quite sure, he is going to make great strides in evangelising the poeple of Kenya and the world.”

Not just Kenya, mind you, but the whole world.  Including maybe some parts of the USA, through the efforts of the churches under the oversight of that dynamic duo, +Bill Atwood and +Bill Murdoch.

Could anyone ever say that about ANY of the archbishops in the Global North?  Could anybody ever have reasonable confidence in making a statement like that about the primates of Canada, Australia, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, or New Zealand, not to mention the universalist who is the PB of TEC?  Could any fellow bishop in ANY of those countries be so sure that their new primate was going to make great strides in evangelizing the people of their nation and the world??

No, I don’t think so either.

David Handy+

April 28, 11:30 pm | [comment link]
5. Grant LeMarquand wrote:

thanks David,
5 million is a very conservative estimate of regular worshippers in the ACK. There are parishes that are larger than numerous Nortth American dioceses

April 29, 9:49 am | [comment link]
6. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Thanks, Dr. LeMarquand.  But although this is slightly off-topic, perhaps you could clarify one thing for me, and perhaps for many T19 readers.  Since you are familiar with the Anglican Church in both Kenya and Sudan (and BTW, I’m so glad you published missionary Marc Nikkel’s revealing and inspiring letters), maybe you can tell us all: Which do you think may be larger these days, the Anglican Church in Kenya or the Episcopal Church of Sudan?  They seem to be close in the race for the bronze medal, so to speak, for being the third largest province in the Anglican Communion.  Just curious.

David Handy+

April 29, 10:30 am | [comment link]
7. Grant LeMarquand wrote:

David - you are correct that the race is for the bronze - Nigeria and Uganda clearly have the gold and the silver rapped up for now. I’m that Kenya is still larger than the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. The population of Sudan is approx 20-25 million, 3/4s of which is Muslim. Of the remaining quarter of the total population, it used to be said that 3/4 was ‘animist’ (a misnomer - most African do not believe that spirits live in streams and trees, most traditional Africans are monotheists, who also believe that the universe is well poulated with spiritual being, mostly ancestors - but ‘animist’ is inaccurate - and to many Africans offensive, although the term is used all the time by westerners - but I digress) and that 1/4 was Christian. It is more likely the reverse now - 1/4 African traditional religion, 3/4 Christian. Of that group, the Roman Catholic Church is very large, the Anglicans may be second. Other groups (Prebyterians, Methodists, African Inland Church) have been in Sudan for many years. In recent years, howver, a large number of denominations have also entered - especially Pentecostals. The Jieng (Dinka) people, numbering a couple of million at least were probably 10% Christian 25 years ago, now virtually all are baptized - mostly RC and Anglican.
Most of this is sophisticated guesswork, however, (see David Barret’s World Christian Encyclopedia for more details, but it’s already out of date for Sudan, being almost a decade old) since there is no accurate census data - and gathering that data is difficult for both political and logistical reasons.
Long story short - Kenya is #3 in the Anglican world.

April 29, 4:42 pm | [comment link]
8. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Thanks, Grant.  And keep up the good work as Academic Dean at TSM.

David Handy+

April 29, 6:29 pm | [comment link]
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