Church of Uganda will uphold Road to Lambeth Statement

Posted by Kendall Harmon

(Church of Uganda)

In response to the recent announcement that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Rowan Williams, has sent out invitations to the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Bishops, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, made this statement:

On 9th December 2006, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda, meeting in Mbale, resolved unanimously to support the CAPA Road to Lambeth statement, which, among other things, states, “We will definitely not attend any Lambeth Conference to which the violators of the Lambeth Resolution are also invited as participants or observers.”

We note that all the American Bishops who consented to, participated in, and have continued to support the consecration as bishop of a man living in a homosexual relationship have been invited to the Lambeth Conference. These are Bishops who have violated the Lambeth Resolution 1.10, which rejects “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture” and “cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions.”

Accordingly, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda stands by its resolve to uphold the Road to Lambeth.

The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest News- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: PrimatesAnglican ProvincesChurch of UgandaGlobal South Churches & PrimatesLambeth 2008* International News & CommentaryAfrica

Posted May 30, 2007 at 4:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. naab00 wrote:

Let’s hope Rowan is listening….

May 30, 7:21 am | [comment link]
2. Br. Michael wrote:

Well, we will see what happens, but it looks like a train wreck is coming.  In trying to save everything the ABC may well save nothing.

May 30, 7:45 am | [comment link]
3. Pageantmaster ن wrote:

If they don’t, will it will make it easier for Kearon & crew (Capital? Sp.) to foist the ACC on us as a governing body?

May 30, 7:51 am | [comment link]
4. John B. Chilton wrote:

The good bishop is reiterating his stance. Rowan knew that stance when the invitations were made. Initial signs are the Global South isn’t coming and the Americans are keeping their powder dry for now. A train wreck is a long way away. And what would be so disastrous if some boycotted Lambeth?

Perhaps he’s happy for them to carry out the threat. Perhaps he’s anticipating they will back down later in exchange for something. And I’ve not forgotten that the invitations are revokable and could be withdrawn after September 30.

May 30, 8:03 am | [comment link]
5. azusa wrote:

If Nigeria and a couple of others pull out, Lambeth can revert to being a North Atlantic gabfest, overdominated by North American liberals. Meaningless, in other words.
But then the Rump parliament can vote to overturn 110.1!

May 30, 8:08 am | [comment link]
6. Brian from T19 wrote:

I am glad to see that ++Orombi continues to be a man of his word.  This is a nuch stronger statement than the one from Nigeria

May 30, 8:32 am | [comment link]
7. Doug Martin wrote:

If all of the “global south” does not refuse to attend, will it still be the “global south” or will the schism within have begun? 
If Christ dined with the tax collectors surely the Anglican conservative bishops can dine with their peers.

May 30, 8:57 am | [comment link]
8. Brian from T19 wrote:

If all of the “global south” does not refuse to attend, will it still be the “global south” or will the schism within have begun?

South Africa already differs from the GS.

If Christ dined with the tax collectors surely the Anglican conservative bishops can dine with their peers.

You are assuming that these Bishops have some intention of acting like Jesus.

May 30, 9:01 am | [comment link]
9. VaAnglican wrote:

I’m in the minority here apparently, but I think this is most regrettable news.  As the revisionists have no problem saying one thing and meaning another, or signing or assenting to a proposition they then deny ever agreeing with, I truly think they’ll find their way to attend Lambeth, with or without the Rt. Rev. Robinson.  And if they are there and Nigeria and Uganda and others are not, it means the end of the Communion, and unnecessarily so.  And it thus also means the end of any connection to Canterbury for those of us here who so hope to remain Anglicans.  It also means the fracturing of the Global South, as surely not all with follow Nigeria’s and Uganda’s lead.  This is a high-stakes poker game, and I’m not at all confident that our Global South friends appreciate the degree to which ++Rowan might be happy to see them go, or the lack of any moral consistency by the revisionists.  There may be a point, after September 30th, where this line in the sand should be drawn, but to draw it now seems precipitous and impatient.  Let the American church excommunicate itself, and then there would be no need for this.  This just encourages the revisionists to do anything and say anything they need to to come to Lambeth.  And remember—KJS has said all along that if she and her ilk just wait, time is on their side.  This would seem to vindicate her strategy.

May 30, 9:22 am | [comment link]
10. carl wrote:

I fear the GS primates are going to have to do more than not attend Lambeth.  They are going to have to formally break with Canterbury, and begin to establish an alternate Communion.  How many primates are willing to go this far?

Rowan Williams will come forth with a compromise from his meeting with the HOB this fall.  It will be designed to split off enough primates to prevent any precipitate action against TEC.  At that point the invitations will be fixed, and the GS will be forced to decide how to respond.  Staying home simply surrenders the field.  But planting the flag on another hill would completely change the dynamic.  Once it starts it will be hard to stop.

Until the consequences move from words to deeds, nothing will change.  Paradoxically, the GS might have to destroy the Communion to save it.

May 30, 9:24 am | [comment link]
11. mathman wrote:

Let’s follow this through.
Lambeth takes place. The Primates and Bishops of the Global South are not present. The worldwide Anglican Communion breaks apart. Resolution 1.10 of Lambeth 1998 is overturned.
The Global South has their own version of Lambeth, in Alexandria or dar es Salaam or some other location.
A whole new world opens.
There would thereafter be NO barrier to church planting in the United States on behalf of CANA or any other missionary arm from the Global South. With no worldwide Anglican Communion, there could be no further objection to poaching. After all, TEc coexists with a number of other Protestant organizations in the United States. If TEc coexists with the Baptists and the Methodists, they would similarly have to coexist with CANA.
There might or might not be a development of an over-arching Anglican presence; in any event the apostolic succession would be guaranteed through the Anglican Churches in Africa, Asia, and South America.

May 30, 9:34 am | [comment link]
12. robroy wrote:

Br. Michael writes “In trying to save everything the ABC may well save nothing.” Amen, brother! ABp Akinola wrote in his letter of the crisis of Anglicanism in America and that his actions were trying to save it in some part. KJS, et al, are driving the TEC towards a cliff as evidenced by the plummeting attendance and mounting deficits. RW seems determined to steer the entire AC in the same direction.

May 30, 9:38 am | [comment link]
13. anglicanhopeful wrote:

Maybe it’s better to wait until after Sept 30th deadline to make these kinds of statements, or maybe not.  I don’t know.  I have to admire the plain speaking and meaning of the good Archbishop - something in short supply from Canterbury these days.  Praise God for his faithful leadership!

It would be heartening to hear of solidarity with Global South by our American bishops who also find themselves at odds with a non-compliant TEC - and by these I mean Wimberly, Howe, MacPherson, Duncan, Stanton, Iker, Beckwith, Schofield, etc.

May 30, 9:48 am | [comment link]
14. Brian from T19 wrote:

Carl points out the fundamental weakness in ++Rowan’s leadership-refusing to take a stand.  He seems to believe that by not taking a stand, he bears no responsibility - the argument being that Uganda is the one making the choice.

In the words of Niel Peart : “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

May 30, 9:51 am | [comment link]
15. seitz wrote:

I have written a brief comment on SF. I think we need to be careful about using the term ‘GS’—we have not heard from Burundi, Tanzania, Congo, C Africa, W Africa, et al—not to mention West Indies. I also agree with #15 that these are warning shots. Fine. But 30 September is to my mind a more crucial determiner of facts. I doubt Windsor Bishops inside TEC will want to see that deadline pass without some major Communion adjudication. Then it will be possible to know more about invitations to Lambeth, the fate of the Primatial Counsel, Pastoral Council, etc. Unless one just wants the Communion to collapse into a new configuration whose Instruments of Communion will evolve as things break apart.

May 30, 9:56 am | [comment link]
16. Brad Page wrote:

#11:  In some ways this is simply another marker in the continuing devolution, and ultimate end, of the Anglican Communion (at least as we have come to know it).  My view is that the end of the Anglican Communion has already happened, and may have arrived as early as three years ago with TEC’s ordination of Gene Robinson with the full knowledge that the action would “tear the Communion at its deepest level”.  (Uganda seems to be suggesting this as well, though not explicitly, in this decision).  In any event, this latest news from Uganda is simply another example of the present reality of the Communion’s end being expressed, yet again, to the sluggish (and, at times, uncomprehending)  institutions of the Communion.

May 30, 10:18 am | [comment link]
17. john scholasticus wrote:


I’m glad you at least are sad, Brother Michael. Does you credit. So am I.

May 30, 10:29 am | [comment link]
18. Jordan Hylden wrote:

Agreed with Prof. Seitz.  It’s much too premature to start talking about the “end of the Communion” or etc.  There are far too many things that we don’t know right now. 

I posted this over at StandFirm:

1) We honestly don’t know what +RDW intended by issuing the Lambeth invitations as he did.  Prof. Seitz can make a good case for one interpretation; Fr. Kennedy can make a good case for another.  But the truth is: We don’t know.  And whatever he thinks now, we don’t know how he’ll react to:
2) The upcoming Canadian synod and the ECUSA HoB meeting in September.  +RDW made a special trip to Canada in order to point out how crucial Canada’s decision on same-sex marriage is for the Communion.  He’s coming to the US to do the same.  What will he say to us?  What will Canada and the US decide?  We don’t know.  What will he view as the appropriate consequences?  We also don’t know, and it probably depends to a great extent on something else we don’t know, namely:
3) The reaction of the primates to ECUSA’s response to the Dar requests.  Will they ignore it with a wink and a nod?  Probably not. Will they call an emergency meeting and demand that the non-Windsor-compliant bishops excuse themselves from Lambeth?  Possibly.  Or something in-between?  Maybe.  We just don’t know.
And that all has bearing on:
4) Who eventually will wind up at Lambeth.  +RDW has left himself the opportunity to “take counsel,” to “withdraw” the “first round” of invitations, and spoke about the necessary “trust” that is a pre-condition of a successful Lambeth Conference.  What do these things mean?  Do they mean that those who reject Dar es Salaam (e.g., probably a large portion of the ECUSA HoB after Sept. 30) won’t get to go to Lambeth?  Or does +RDW intend his invitations to stand as they are, even though he doubtless knew it would mean losing a large portion of the Global South?  We don’t know.

All in all… there are SO many things we don’t know as of right now that I don’t see how we could possibly give a definitive pre-judgment on “Rowan Williams” or “a Canterbury-based communion” or “old ways of doing church” or “the primates” or a lot of the other things I’ve heard talked about.

May 30, 11:43 am | [comment link]
19. alfonsoq wrote:

Come September 30, will this affect the TEC Bishops’ decision? Even though they are not inclined now, will they be more likely to confirm “no more SS Blessing or gay consecrations, sort-of, or just for a while” if Nigeria & Uganda aren’t going to Lambeth and such “affirmation” would assure no revocations for themselves? I can see it both ways, but in the end, I don’t think it matters at this point what the TEC bishops say, one way or the other. The crucial questions are, will the Primates collectively be serious about holding TEC accountable for its decision (either by discipline if TEC (likely) says “no” or by requiring clarity if TEC says “sort-of-yes”? And whose side will the AbC take (either by active or passive choice)?

May 30, 11:49 am | [comment link]
20. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

The Christian Post says that ++Akinola may lead the boycott of Lambeth. I’m afraid that he’ll have to gen in line behind ++Orombi.

May 30, 12:20 pm | [comment link]
21. KAR wrote:

#22 Nigeria seems to be sending two messages that conflict with each-other. The fact that +Minns was not invited and keeping with CAPA “Road to Lambeth” (in which case it would not matter). I think ++Orombi has KISS it - Kept it Simple and Stupid enough that even TEC could understand.

May 30, 12:28 pm | [comment link]
22. badman wrote:

We must not overlook the fact that “The Road to Lambeth” goes beyond stating that Lambeth should be boycotted if TEC bishops attend.

It also stingingly criticises the Archbishop of Canterbury personally for “failing to oppose” civil partnerships among laity as well as clergy, and whether or not they are celibate.  It also says that Williams “hence cannot speak clearly to and for the whole Communion.” 

The Road to Lambeth was received by the Kigali Communique only as a draft for study and response, but Uganda here endorses it unequivocally.  There doesn’t seem much room for backtracking.

However, the Kigali Communique also said that “At the next meeting of the Primates in February 2007 some of us will not be able to recognize Katharine Jefferts Schori as a Primate at the table with us.”  In the result, not a single Primate refused to recognise Dr Schori “as a Primate at the table with us”.

May 30, 12:53 pm | [comment link]
23. Chip Johnson, cj wrote:


How about breaking Br_er Rabbit’s link (#22)?  It forces my lo-res screen to do funny things with text.

It’s okay with mine.   Elf Lady

May 30, 12:58 pm | [comment link]
24. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Sorry about that, Chip. Someday I may figure out how to do all this stuff.

May 30, 1:01 pm | [comment link]
25. Cennydd wrote:

It comes down to this:  Who’s going to blink first; Rowan Cantuar, or Henry Luke Orombi?

May 30, 1:32 pm | [comment link]
26. Irenaeus wrote:

The Church of Uganda’s decision is big news—-and in the finest tradition of Christianity in Uganda. It is good for all sorts of reasons:

+ It is timely and unequivocal.

+ Coming from Uganda, it is (rightly or wrongly) likely to garner broader support than if it came from Nigeria.

+ Lambeth 2008 is not a legislative meeting, so absenting oneself does not entail the same costs as it would if the assembled bishops were taking important votes.

+ Courteous firmness is evidently the only reliable way for the Global South to influence either Apb. Williams’ conduct or the content of any Anglican Covenant. Asking nicely doesn’t suffice. Nor does patience, which the Global South has show in abundance. No do cogent theological statements. Remember how the Epistle of James speaks of “those who look at themselves in a mirror…and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.” Abp. Williams seems to understand and appreciate orthodox leaders’ case when he meets with them—-but to lose sight of it when he goes back to the rich-country Latitudinarians around him in Britain. The Ugandan announcement will help him remember.

+ This announcement sets the stage for a much more productive primates’ meeting this October. It will concentrate Abp. Williams’ mind—-and make meaningful discipline of ECUSA more likely.

I still believe the Anglican Communion can work through the issues posed by North American apostasy. But that will take firmness from the Global South—-the sort of firmness evident here.

May 30, 1:32 pm | [comment link]
27. NancyNH wrote:

Cennydd, I don’t think Henry Luke Orombi will blink. The day Abp. Orombi blinks is the day I stop paying any attention to anything “Anglican.”

May 30, 1:54 pm | [comment link]
28. Brian from T19 wrote:


It comes down to this:  Who’s going to blink first; Rowan Cantuar, or Henry Luke Orombi?

++Rowan doesn’t need to blink since his eyes are closed;-)

May 30, 2:08 pm | [comment link]
29. rogph7 wrote:

The situation grows increasingly hopeless. It’s like dying a thousand deaths. If we are waiting for Abp.Williams to do the “right thing”, right by whose standards? So far Orombi is the man of the hour. But it gets increasingly difficult to be optomistic.

May 30, 3:13 pm | [comment link]
30. young joe from old oc wrote:

I deeply appreciate the clarity of this statement, and the way in which it affirms that the catholic nature of the Anglican Communion means that Resolution 1.10 is the standard for faith and practice for the entire Communion. 

However, to then with the same breath deny any real authority to the ABC, the Primates and the voice of the Communion as a whole, and weaken the potential for the Communion to demonstrate its faithful orthodoxy and apostolic catholicity through the Lambeth Conference, is to undermine the power of any future Lambeth resolution or Primates communique.  We must let the Primates disciplinary process run its course.

I do expect that this is far from Uganda’s last word on this matter, however.  And if it is intended as a warning shot, I can accept it as tactically sound, but lacking an understanding of the fullness of wisdom, grace and authority that the Holy Spirit gives the Church when all of the orthodox faithful are able to experience the life and grace of God in each other.  And this fullness of the Spirit’s wisdom and grace can occur even when an abundance of “tares” are present.

May 30, 3:16 pm | [comment link]
31. Baruch wrote:

Irenaeus #28 mentions “concentrating Abp Williams Mind” I believe another Englishman once remarked knowing you will be hung in a few weeks will concentrate your mind. Same idea???

May 30, 6:25 pm | [comment link]
32. Ross wrote:

No matter what the Lambeth design committee says Lambeth ‘08 will or will not be like, the Primates at DES clearly expected that it would, if nothing else, deal with the matter of the Covenant:

The proposal is that a revised draft will be discussed at the Lambeth Conference, so that the bishops may offer further reflections and contributions. Following a further round of consultation, a final text will be presented to ACC-14, and then, if adopted as definitive, offered to the Provinces for ratification. The covenant process will conclude when any definitive text is adopted or rejected finally through the synodical processes of the Provinces.

By absenting themselves from Lambeth ‘08, the Ugandan (and Nigerian?) bishops are forfeiting a crucial chance to have input on the Covenant.  The same could be said of any TEC bishops who decline to go as a matter of solidarity with +Robinson.

I’m not entirely thrilled with the Covenant idea, but if it ends up being adopted without the input of major factions of the Communion it is intended to serve it will be a farce.

May 30, 7:05 pm | [comment link]
33. Sarah1 wrote:

Hi Ross,

I assume, on the part of the reasserting Primates, that if the “Windsor Process” is not upheld, why would the “Covenant Process” be upheld.

If the Windsor Process is a farce, then I would think they would not wish to waste more time on a second farce.

May 30, 7:34 pm | [comment link]
34. Ross wrote:

#35 Sarah:

You may well be right.  But it seems that the “Covenant Process” is the way towards what some reasserters seem to be hoping for: a Canterbury-centered Communion without TEC (and maybe without Canada) but with most everyone else.  +++Rowan seems to be saying that as far as Canterbury is concerned, if anyone is going to be expelled from the Communion then the Covenant is how that will happen.

If Nigeria and Uganda simply give up on the Covenant Process as a waste of time, then that seems to lead more or less inevitably to a different future: a Canterbury-centered Communion containing (broadly) the reappraising Global North, and a Nigeria-centered Communion containing (broadly) the reasserting Global South… and never the twain shall meet again.

Personally, I’ve thought for some time that the latter is where we’ll end up sooner or later… but if Uganda and Nigeria boycott Lambeth, and especially if they decide to hold an “alternate Lambeth” as they once suggested, then it seems like it might be sooner rather than later.

May 30, 9:21 pm | [comment link]
35. Dr. Priscilla Turner wrote:

“... when a man knows that he is to be hanged in the morning, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” It’s the weeks and months that do the damage.

May 31, 12:35 am | [comment link]
36. Baruch wrote:

#37 Thank you for the precise quote.

May 31, 2:17 pm | [comment link]
37. John Wilkins wrote:

Not surprising.  If I were a primate, I wouldn’t send my bishops. 
Its too expensive.  TEC can’t be guaranteed to pay. 

I imagine up to eight might boycott.  Will the others? 

Rowan has been handed a golden opportunity to demonstrate how uncharitable Orombi and Akinola are.  He invites someone as an observer, and they still balk, implicitly yelling “crucify him.” 

It would make for a far more generous Lambeth conference. 

Let Orombi and Akinola throw their own party, inviting the conservative fellow travellers.  Then they can ask them for development money.

May 31, 3:19 pm | [comment link]
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