Ugandan Archbishop walks out of Primates meeting

from the website of the Anglican Church of Uganda:

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali’s Update on the Primates Gathering in Canterbury

13th January 2016

Dear Bishops, Clergy, and Lay Leaders in the Church of Uganda,

Praise the Lord! Thank you so much for your prayers for me as I traveled to Canterbury, England, for the gathering of Primates called by the Archbishop of Canterbury to address the events that caused the fabric of the Anglican Communion to be torn at its deepest level. We traveled well, and I’m writing to give you a brief update.

On the second day of the gathering, I moved a resolution that asked the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada to voluntarily withdraw from the meeting and other Anglican Communion activities until they repented of their decisions that have torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion at its deepest level. They would not agree to this request nor did it appear that the Archbishop of Canterbury and his facilitators would ensure that this matter be substantively addressed in a timely manner.

Sadly, after two long days of discussions, I was concerned that the process set up for this meeting would not permit us to address the unfinished business from the 2007 Primates Meeting in Dar es Salaam.

In accordance with the resolution of our Provincial Assembly, it was, therefore, necessary for me to withdraw from the meeting, which I did at the end of the second day. It seemed that I was being manipulated into participating in a long meeting with the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada without the necessary discipline being upheld.  My conscience is at peace.

I have left the meeting in Canterbury, but I want to make it clear that we are not leaving the Anglican Communion. Together with our fellow GAFCON Provinces and others in the Global South, we are the Anglican Communion; the future is bright. The door is open for all those who seek communion on the basis of a common confession of our historic, Biblical faith for which the Ugandan Martyrs, Archbishop James Hannington, Archbishop Janani Luwum and many others around the world have died. We are part of a global movement of Anglicans who follow the God who “so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

I will share more with you in due course, but I wanted you to know directly from me what is happening in Canterbury. I have never been more happy and proud to be part of the Church of Uganda.

Yours, in Christ,

The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali


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  1. James Byron

    Gives some hope that the reported sanctions (or, as CoE Director of Communications Arun Arora would have it, “consequences”) imposed on TEC may not be as bad as they might’ve been.

    Still, looks like a grim outcome from Primates 2016.

  2. Jeremy Bates

    “At the end of the second day.”

    So did he leave on Tuesday night or Wednesday night?

  3. Ann Fontaine

    Left on Day 2 — sent out a press release on Day 4? Not leaving AC — just the meeting.

  4. Jeremy Bates

    Well, from the statement of the Church of Uganda’s website, it sounds as though he’s still determined to set up some sort of alternative Anglican structure. So Uganda can then be both in the Anglican Communion and in something else.

  5. Matthew Dutton-Gillett

    “I have left the meeting in Canterbury, but I want to make it clear that we are not leaving the Anglican Communion. Together with our fellow GAFCON Provinces and others in the Global South, we are the Anglican Communion;” — well, at least someone in GAFCON has publicly spoken the truth about their position. They consider themselves the true, authentic Anglican Communion. Perhaps now everybody can stop pretending……

  6. Kurt Hill

    Good riddance. One down, seven to go…

    Kurt Hill
    Brooklyn, NY

    • Jon White

      As much as I decry their bigotry and support of injustice; I cannot share your sentiment. Our LGBT brothers and sisters in those churches need our support and advocacy and their are important ministries that we do jointly in those places to bring God’s incarnation into the lives of so many who need it. God’s mission of justice and redemption isn’t furthered by washing our hands of those who are difficult or even hateful.

      • Gwen Palmer

        Good good points, Jon. I needed this reminder.

  7. Prof Christopher Seitz

    It had been indicated that one Primate had withdrawn and it stood to reason it was +Uganda.

    But for Sudan, Nigeria, Rwanda to remain together with the GS is to my mind the surprise of the meeting thus far. Four days into it.

  8. James Toy

    “Home is where the heart is”
    I trust that our brother in Christ is following his heart–

    Prayers for all!

  9. Brian Truncali

    “We are part of a global movement of Anglicans who follow the God who “so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)”

    I wonder if he believes this applies to LGBT folk?

  10. Br. Gregory Shy, CoS

    Professor Seitz has an interesting observation, but there may be reasons for “not leaving” all at once and keeping “some in and some out.”

    I am put in mind of the “drama” of former Bishop Duncan’s departure from TEC and the photos of the throne with the “lone miter” like the king’s crown after abdication. Having been made aware of the longterm scheming and plotting in advance for “getting a new Church” out of the “gay issue” where they had failed with female ordination issues, from former-Bishop Duncan and his confederates as well as watching the “drama” in South Carolina (where the “forced” action triggered a show for which all the props and costumes had been long prepared and the script carefully rehearsed far in advance), I think that we can conclude that a good bit of this is “staged for effect.” “Woe is me” poor last remnant of the faithful! “Woe unto you” corrupt and sinful Episcopal Church! The fires of hell await you! It’s just a little too predictable. The only surprise is that no one has yet blamed President Obama for it. Surely it’s his fault?

    I am not going to predict what will “happen next” but why settle for one departure en masse when you can have a designated “walker out” and then keep the others there to engage in some more drama?

    The theatricality of it all certainly does not impress me. You would have thought they could have got a GS Anglocatholic to show them how its done?

  11. Prof Christopher Seitz

    TEC news now arriving.

  12. Maybe +Uganda should follow Jesus rather than his own heart.

    • As should we all. What words of Jesus apply, you think?

      • Gregory Orlfof

        Luke 6:31 applies: “Treat others the same way you want to be treated.” Can’t go wrong with that…

  13. Jeremy Bates

    Looks as though Uganda left in order that there could be an actual Primates’ Meeting (was proper notice given?) at which a 2/3 vote could be taken on Communion membership. Of course (per Jim Naughton) there then has to be a majority vote by Standing Committee.

  14. They don’t want to eat with publicans and sinners.

  15. Prof Christopher Seitz

    +Hiltz seeking distance from TEC.

  16. I believe the ACC has its own constitution — in fact, it is the only legally constituted “instrument” of the whole Communion recognized by the members as such. As far as I know, the Primates have no authority to remove the representatives of TEC who were elected to that body, short of an action by that body itself through amending the Schedule of Membership. There was an earlier request for voluntary withdrawal, which was honored, but suspension by the Primates is ultra vires.

  17. Gwen Palmer

    Interesting that he says the decisions by TEC and ACC have torn the Anglican Communion at its, quote, “deepest level.” Then at the close of the statement he indicates that John 3:16 is the deepest level, in that it’s the foundation that unifies the true Anglican Communion (which, unless I am parsing it wrong, he defines as GAFCON, as though the historic AC did not hold John 3:16 anymore?). That seems to contradict his contention that gay issues are the deepest level. Curiouser and curiouser.

  18. Kurt Hill

    Fine, if they are going to “sanction” the Episcopal Church for three years, (and then expel us if our General Convention won’t “repent” in 2019), then I say that we Episcopalians decline to fund ANY Anglican Communion projects for that period of time. In fact, if our lame TEC “leadership” does not withhold such funds, I’m sure that many of us will review our contributions to TEC; I will reduce my pledges by the same percentage they give to the AC. Human rights violators in Africa and elsewhere should not get off free while human rights supporters are “sanctioned” by bigots! No money whatsoever for the Anglican Communion for the duration of the “sanctions”!

    Kurt Hill
    Brooklyn, NY

    • Jon White

      I think the problem with this is that the money the AC uses throughout the provinces is for particular projects and not support of the archbishops, per se. So, we should stop assisting in funding vital development projects and schools, etc? That will show we are different and more loving how again? It may be emotionally satisfying in the moment, but its lousy stewardship and contrary to our stated desire to spread love and grace for ALL God’s people.

      • Kurt Hill

        Who said anything about stopping the funding of worthwhile projects, Jon? Any projects should be funded only through TEC, and NOT through Anglican Communion “laundering.” If some people refuse our aid money because it is “tainted” by gays and women, then it will be clear to all that they are hurting their own people because they think that “purity” issues are more important. Giving ANY funding to the AC now can only embolden the bigots and conservative Evangelicals that now, apparently, control it. We should also now publicly begin to explore options to the AC (e.g., the Old Catholics) and encourage other liberal Anglican provinces to do likewise.

        Kurt Hill
        Brooklyn, NY

  19. Roger Mortimer

    Homosexuality is, of course, as Ugandan as Idi Amin – witness the country’s early colonial era history.

  20. Umm…are they still going to ask us to pay their travel and lodging bills?

  21. Margaret Sjoholm-Franks

    ECUSA should stop any funding of the Anglican Communion for the next three years…so their money will not taint the holiness of the church. No more students coming to the USA to get theological training, no more money going for missions in Africa, no more funds to keep the shop going at the Anglican Communion Office or to fund gatherings…no more homosexual funds going to fund anything, the ECUSA money is of the devil and should not be used by the righteous and God-fearing African bishps

    • Tom Riedmiller

      Amen, Margaret!

  22. Cynthia Katsarelis

    This is the most disturbing comment:
    “My conscience is at peace.”

    His is a powerful voice in supporting the “jail the gays” laws in Uganda. I believe the sentence is 14 years for simply being gay, let alone speaking in support of LGBTQ people. Can you imagine what a living hell those prisons must be for our brothers and sisters? Hate crimes against LGBTQ people abound, they are encouraged by local papers that “out” gay people (or personal enemies).

    But his conscience is at peace.

    • M. J. Wise

      Not to mention the wink and nod of support of such laws gives cover to lynchings, beatings, etc. Everything I have seen that documents events in Uganda is that you are literally outcast from society if you are thought to be gay. Very sad and totally inconsistent with the Gospel, but the reality is there is a long, sad, and established history of church structures and figureheads gladly being used to give an imprimatur to violent injustice that might be popular in a culture.

  23. This is beginning to sound like a Donald Trump “no more Muslims of Mexicans” approach. Uganda is not all of Africa anymore than the United States is all of the Americas or all of the world, as it sometimes seem to think it is. Maybe less anger and vindictiveness and more nuance and charity?

  24. What cannot be discussed nor be brought up here are the actual causes and effects of the breakdown of families and bloodlines in different areas of the world. Only opinions labeled as “progressive” can be stated, or else one’s words are culled.

    Never mind, public health. Never mind, Seed of Abraham prophecies with respect to leadership. Never mind, any Kingdom Covenant with a Holy Law, edited and developed to suit diverse populations in different regions of the Earth. Yes, differences depending on circumstances; not unyielding top-down dictatorship.

    It’s always all or nothing here. I don’t think that’s what Jesus was teaching us, not one bit.

    Emily E

    • Cynthia Katsarelis

      Emily, I think the result of this meeting proves that in the Anglican Communion, it is the voices of hate and actual repression that are leading.

      I’m sorry that you think gay people are a “problem.” Why you feel justified to make that call is beyond me. Do you boycott Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Bernstein, Michelangelo, and all the contributions made by gay people? Clearly you aren’t boycotting computers…

      Some of these primates are human rights abusers. Thus far, I have yet to see a conservative come out compassionately on the side of “don’t jail them, and try not to encourage them to be killed.” As far as conservatives are concerned, these hateful abusers are your standard bearers.

      This is not respectable, Emily. A lot of LGBTQ have been murdered, beaten, jailed, humiliated, bullied into suicide, etc. Here in the US and abroad. As far as I can see, that is just fine with the conservative crowd of people who make themselves judges and encourage executioners.

      The conservatives more than had their say. And yet the rainbow moral arc of the universe keeps bending towards justice.

    • Leslie Marshall

      I think it’s way more loving of Christians to be concerned about potential health risks that same-genital relations may bring than to ignore it.

      Don’t link to spurious and false reports. -ed

      • M. J. Wise

        You are confusing homosexuality and promiscuity. Furthermore, every activity listed as a same-sex activity is as much a heterosexual activity as it a homosexual activity. I agree that promiscuity is to be avoided. From that perspective, a call to marriage within TEC is very much countercultural.

      • Gregory Orloff

        Leslie, I seriously doubt you lose sleep at night lying awake out of loving concern over the potential health risks that same-gender (not “genital”) relations may bring, but if you read the link you decided to share, you’ll find that those same potential health risks are part and parcel of heterosexual relations, too.

      • Cynthia Katsarelis

        As others have said, heterosexuals are equally at risk. Note that in Africa, AIDS is most commonly spread by heterosexual activities. But again, not letting actual facts get in the way of personal bias…

  25. Jay Croft

    Why is this man smiling?

  26. Therese Trujillo

    I think that we need to be better and more loving than they are. I think we need to keep reaching out and showing that our love is stronger than the hate of people’s “differences.”
    The LGBT community has turned the other cheek over and over and shown that Love is always better. Stopping the funding of projects that help people is not the way. Let us help them get over their fears. Let us help them get over their hate. Let us reach out and keep reaching out until they recognize that our hands are filled with love.

  27. Rick Knuth

    Uganda has an annual per capita income of just $1613, the life expectancy is 58.5 years (almost 20 years shorter than in the U.S.), and one in three Ugandans under the age of 5 is mal-nourished. And this issue is where the primate of Uganda chooses to direct energies, his resources, and his prophetic voice. Wow.

    • John Chilton

      Impotency to solve real problems breeds diversion to phony problems.

      • Jeremy Bates

        Yes. And fear of the Other. And a need to establish one’s own righteousness.

        If you think disease is a moral judgment by God, then you cure AIDS by passing Primates’ resolutions.

  28. Anne Bay

    As a lifelong Episcopalian and thankful to be such, I think the time has come to divide up the Anglican Communion. The American church is trying to keep up with modern scientific and cultural findings, whereas there are several branches of the Anglican world communion who have their own agenda, like Uganda. The bottom line is countries like Uganda have a multiplicity of issues to deal with-ie. former colonies of England and trying to establish their own autonomy at the expense of being open to modern findings in biology, science, physiology, and cultural norms. I would bid them farewell and be content that they wouldn’t be intimidating the poor Archbishop of Canterbury and the English church with their diatribe of condemnations and going home because they don’t get their way. I’m proud of the American church’s move forward-as Anglicans we are encouraged to use our brains to think through modern knowledge, not to dig our feet into the sand and stand still. I hope the American church has the “balls” so to speak to stick up for themselves. People’s lives are at stake, especially the LGBT community, women’s rights to have the determining factor in their health, legislation to protect each person’s life, no matter what their gender/beliefs/ethnic makeup/etc. When the Prime Minister of Canda, Trudeau, was asked why he appointed people who are of the LGBTcommunity to his cabinet, he simply responded, “It’s 2015”!! So, it’s now 2016, and it’s time to take a stand for modernity in the church as well as politically. Quoting from “Peanuts”- Good grief Charlie Brown!

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