Monday, May 12, 2008

Presiding Bishop Writes to Archbishop of Uganda Regarding His Planned "Unwarranted Incursion"

Abp. Henry Luke Orombi of Uganda has for some time now stated publicly that he wants nothing to do with the Episcopal Church or our Presiding Bishop. Here is part of one of his statements from 2006:

...Finally, one of the most significant decisions we have made to support Biblically faithful Anglicans in America is to provide a diocesan home for American congregations who could no longer be submitted to a revisionist Bishop and the national church leadership of ECUSA. Ten of our dioceses in the Church of Uganda are now providing spiritual oversight to twenty congregations in America. These are congregations of Americans in America, but they are officially part of the Church of Uganda.

I have been in consultation with the other Primates and Archbishops of Africa and the Global South about this crisis in our beloved Anglican Communion. We have written to the Archbishop of Canterbury and informed him that we cannot sit together with Katharine Jefferts Schori at the upcoming Primates Meeting in February. We have also asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to invite an orthodox Bishop from the Anglican Communion Network in America to attend the Primates Meeting and represent the orthodox believers. We await his decision on these matters.

We are also praying about whether our House of Bishops should attend and participate in the Lambeth Conference of Bishops in 2008. Every ten years, the Archbishop of Canterbury invites all the bishops of the Anglican Communion together for prayer and mutual consultation on matters of mission and our common life together as Anglicans throughout the world. The next conference is planned for 2008. However, the Archbishops of Africa and the Global South have received a report and a recommendation that we not participate in the next Lambeth Conference if ECUSA, and especially their gay bishop, are also invited to the conference. The House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda has not yet made a decision about this, but I wanted you to know that we are praying and asking the Lord to give us the mind of Christ on this matter.

Since ECUSA officially approved of homosexual relationships in 2003 we have earnestly prayed they would repent and return to the Word of God. But, their General Convention in June 2006 made it clear that they are not intent on repentance. In fact, they seem even more committed to their erring ways and the revision of the Biblical and historic faith that brought life to us and that we gratefully proclaim.

Therefore, and in light of all these developments, the House of Bishops and the Provincial Assembly in its meeting in August reaffirmed our position of broken communion with ECUSA and our decision to support in practical ways those churches, dioceses, and leaders in America who uphold and promote the Biblical and historic faith of Anglicanism for which our own Ugandan martyrs died...
One of the congregations Abp. Orombi scooped up was Christ Church, Savannah. In their May newsletter, they announce that Abp. Orombi will be visting them on May 14.

Episcopal Life provides us with a letter from our Presiding Bishop to Abp. Orombi:

My dear brother,

I understand from advertising here that you plan to visit a congregation in the Diocese of Georgia on 14 May of this year. The diocesan, Bishop Henry Louttit, has not given any invitation for you to do so, nor received any information from you about your planned visit. I must protest this unwarranted incursion into The Episcopal Church. I am concerned that you seem to feel it appropriate to visit, preach, and exercise episcopal ministry within the territory of this Church, and I wonder how you would receive similar behavior in Uganda. These actions violate the spirit and letter of the work of the Windsor Report, and only lead to heightened tensions. We are more than willing to receive you for conversation, dialogue, and reconciliation, yet you continue to act without speaking with us. I hope and pray that you might respond to our invitation and meet with representatives of this Church.

I remain

Your servant in Christ,

Katharine Jefferts Schori
Other congregations claimed by Uganda include All Saints, Long Beach, California, St. James, Newport Beach, California, St. David's, North Hollywood, California, South Riding, Virginia, Holy Spirit, Ashburn, Virginia, All Souls, Jacksonville, Florida, Redeemer, Jacksonville, Florida and Christ Church, Overland Park, Kansas.

Christ Church, Savannah claims John Guernsey as their Bishop.

The faithful Episcopalians who are members of Christ Church gather at St. Michael and All Angels until the courts remove the Church of Uganda members who currently occupy their building.


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