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From Uganda's Primate Henry Luke Orombi

3/3/2005

ACNS
The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop of Church of Uganda   (ACNS)

 
[Episcopal News Service]  Members of the Press, I welcome you to the Residence of the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda. The most important information I want to communicate to our people in Church of Uganda, all Christian bodies, citizens of Uganda and the rest of the world concerns our position on homosexuality.

Primates Meeting In Dromantine, Northern Ireland 25 February 2005

This meeting of the primates was specifically called to receive the “Windsor Report”. This is a document that came as a result of the threatened breakage of the Anglican Communion following the consecration of Gene Robinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire in November 2003.

Church of Uganda did not agree with the line of action taken by the Episcopal Church of America. We have disagreed with the consecration of a practicing homosexual as a leading Church leader in the Church of God. The scriptures require that anybody who takes to this office should be properly married - “A man married to one wife”.

Since September 2003, the House of Bishops took a strong stand to break our fellowship with the Episcopal Church and the Church of Canada. We refused any funding from these churches. The same decision was endorsed by the Provincial assembly in August 2004.

We see homosexual practices as unbiblical and against the teaching of the Church. Only Jesus who makes a difference to people can transform them not debates.

In our Ireland meeting the Primates suspended the Episcopal Church of America and the Canadian Church until they repent. We are committed to other members of the Episcopal Church who are orthodox in their interpretation of the scriptures and adore Jesus Christ as their savior and Lord. We continue to provide support for them because they share with us in the same mission.

I will state again our position in clear terms as follows;

  • The Church of Uganda upholds the biblical position on sexuality, namely that sexual intimacy is reserved for a husband and wife in a lifelong, heterosexual, monogamous marriage. For us in Uganda we teach this without fear. For our own good the bible teaches abstinence before marriage and faithfulness in marriage. And marriage is defined as between one man and one woman.

  • The Church of Uganda also supports the “1998 Lambeth Resolution” which states that, “Homosexual practice is incompatible with scripture”.

  • We continue in a state of broken Communion with EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF AMERICA and CANADA because they have not repented of their actions and decisions in approving and consecrating as Bishop a man actively involved in a same-sex relationship.

  • The Church of Uganda is committed to offering the gospel to those struggling with homosexuality. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more”, not “go and sin some more”. For the North Americans Pastoral care means providing services for the blessing of same-sex unions. For us in Uganda pastoral care means leading people into the fully transformed life that Jesus promises to those who call upon his name.

  • Contrary to reports coming out of North American that say, “we have more in common that we do than what divides us”, I am not convinced of that. We have a lot that divides us and we are praying that ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada will repent and rejoin Biblical Anglicanism.

We remain committed that Church of Uganda will continue to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ zealously. I am prepared to remain a preacher of this Gospel as the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda until we see Jesus changing the hearts of those who believe his word.

Thank you again for coming and may God bless you in your very important work to inform the nation and the world.

The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi
Archbishop of Church of Uganda