Andrew Brown on the John Sentamu for Canterbury story

Posted by Kendall Harmon

None the less, when clergy who have worked with him criticise him for "African" style, they are making a point which is not racist. The slow schism in the Anglican communion has exposed many people to a style of church leadership which they find repugnant.

The style that people object to is autocratic, and prelatical. The idea that God blesses success, and that might therefore shows forth righteousness, is embedded in a lot of African religious culture. Sentamu's younger brother, for example, is a hugely successful "Prosperity gospel" preacher in Kampala, with a mansion, a Mercedes, and a church where journalists are searched on entry. Authority, in such a church, is fawned on sooner than questioned.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Archbishop of York John Sentamu

10 Comments
Posted April 24, 2012 at 7:00 am

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/42497/



1. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

None the less, when clergy who have worked with him criticise him for “African” style, they are making a point which is not racist. The slow schism in the Anglican communion has exposed many people to a style of church leadership which they find repugnant.

The style that people object to is autocratic, and prelatical.

Really?  I thought being ‘African’ was all about Indaba, and sitting round in a big circle talking late into the night, with candles on chairs and stuff.

Seems to me that there is quite a lot of racism in the English reporters writing on this subject.  Not good.

Some days I sit and think. Other days I just sit!!

April 24, 9:51 am | [comment link]
2. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Yes, PM, isn’t it interesting how the definition of what constitutes racism is so very plastic now of a sudden. 

In regard to the current incumbent it can be equally said, “The slow schism in the Anglican communion has exposed many people to a style of church leadership which they find repugnant.”  Broadswords cut both directions.

April 24, 10:29 am | [comment link]
3. David Keller wrote:

#1—When liberals use racist phrases they are not really racist because all liberals have pure motives.  Even when liberals are bad they are really good because liberals can never really be bad. However, if you or I had said that, we would be racists because conservatives are evil and always have bad motives. In fact if we said or did something good it would still be bad becasue our motives are always bad and doing or saying something good was an obvious accident. I’m not exactly sure how that plays out when I think a black/African would be a fine ABC and the liberals can not bear the thought of a black/African ABC. But I’m sure some really smart liberal can explain it to me.

April 24, 10:33 am | [comment link]
4. billqs wrote:

It’s weird… I had a sort of “ho hum” attitude about John Sentamu as the next ABC until he has been blasted so appallingly by the media. Not his personality- he is a man of great personal holiness, and orthodox in belief, but I never felt he had the traditionalists back much more than ++Rowan did.  Perhaps, I was wrong.  With the venom being heaped on him like it is, there must be more under the surface than we’ve seen.

(BTW, when did it become de facto racist to sing patriotic songs?)

April 24, 10:59 am | [comment link]
5. evan miller wrote:

I loathe the Guardian and its editorial bias, but I honestly see nothing racist about this piece.  Too many of us conservatives Anglicans take any criticism of orthodox Africans as racist, and that’s simply another form of racism - to see nothing but virtue in black African church leaders for no other reason than they are black Africans.  There is plenty to admire in the churches of Africa, but they have their fair share of weaknesses as well.  ++Sentamu has his good points and bad points, but his being a black African is neither.  For his spokesman to state that any opposition to his selection as ABC is evidence of racism is as racist a statement as can be made.

April 24, 1:19 pm | [comment link]
6. driver8 wrote:

The criticisms of the Archbishop, by anonymous English bishops and in print by Andrew Brown, play on offensive stereotypes of Africans. Such stereotyping is often thought to be what it is to be racist.

April 24, 6:57 pm | [comment link]
7. Brian from T19 wrote:

But what this thread is forgetting is that +Sentamu considers himself English and not African.

As for the article, I agree that this preliminary shot across the bow about racism by +Sentamu’s friends is tasteless and manipulative.

That being said, I do not see +Sentamu becoming the next ABC precisely because he is not English born and he is black.  It is an incredibly sad statement about the world, but unfortunately, it is the way it seems to work.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

April 24, 7:41 pm | [comment link]
8. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

#7 But surely Brian, you could make the same argument in your last comment about Sentamu becoming Archbishop of York.

No - Changing Attitude and Stinky Anglicans have had it in for Sentamu since his Jamaica comments - which if you read the context were nothing like as conservative as they have been made out to be.  They have been bleating to the liberal religious correspondents.  SA are upset because he put their [ambitious, embittered and thoroughly unpleasant and unsuitable theologically] dean back in his place as far as current preferment goes.

It is all very nasty, and yes, racist.

Some days I sit and think. Other days I just sit!!

April 24, 8:13 pm | [comment link]
9. Brian from T19 wrote:

Pageantmaster,

I think York is the glass ceiling, but it is possible that I am wrong.  I hope I am.  I like +Sentamu.

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

April 24, 10:54 pm | [comment link]
10. MichaelA wrote:

“The style that people object to is autocratic, and prelatical.”

Ummm, no the *substance* that people object to is autocratic and prelatical.  That is why ++Rowan Williams failed - his autocratic and prelatical attempts to run the Anglican Communion as though it were a department of the Lambeth Palace bureaucracy resulted in a quarter of the world’s bishops boycotting the last Lambeth Conference (and many others attending in order to protest), and the leaders of most of the world’s Anglicans boycotting the last Primates Meeting.

The orthodox Primates (who are not in fact all African) are not autocratic, that is the whole point that frightens the liberals.  Rather, the orthodox Primates are expressing what their bishops, clergy and laity believe.

“Autocratic and prelatical” are epithets that apply to people like Katherine Schori and Rowan Williams.

“Sentamu’s younger brother, for example, is a hugely successful “Prosperity gospel” preacher in Kampala ...”

Hello? How does this reflect on Sentamu? Imagine the howls of outrage if a journalist brought up the views of a brother of one of the liberal bishops! But in Sentamu’s case, it is okay.

John Sentamu left Uganda when he was aged 25, because his activities as a lawyer had made him a target for Idi Amin.  His brother has remained in Uganda and now heads a pentecostal mega-church, similar to many in the West. What does this have to do with John Sentamu?

I am not sure that Sentamum is the best choice for ABC.  But the nature of some of the opposition to him says more about the originators than it does about Sentamu.

April 24, 10:56 pm | [comment link]


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