Friday, April 09, 2010

Abp. Orombi (May Have) Resigned From the Joint Standing Committee

Abp. Henry Orombi has written a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury. He includes the following pronouncements:

1. The Primates are the only authority he recognizes within the Anglican Communuion (although he seems to have no problem with attempting to sneak his own irregular deputies into meetings of the other Instruments).

2. He will not attend any meetings at which representatives from the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada are present (well, we've heard this threat before, and in the end, it was all just we'll see).

3. Anglicanism is a church of bishops (perhaps revealing his real problem with the Anglican Consultative Council and the Standing Committee? Heaven forbid that God speak through someone not wearing a purple shirt).

4. He stands "with my brother Primate, Bishop Mouneer Anis, in his courageous decision to resign from the Standing Committee" (is this a resignation? Perhaps. Or perhaps he is keeping his options open?).

5. He demands an immediate meeting of the Primates, and insists that TEC and the ACC be excluded.

When I consider this letter in its entirety, I am struck by its self-righteous and arrogant tone. Abp. Orombi blames everyone else for "the Communion...moving away further and further into darkness" and ignores any role he has played in the creation of the current chaos.

Perhaps Abp. Orombi really is so vain, and has surrounded himself only with those who encourage such vanity, resulting in him being oblivious to the role he has played in causing the current unpleasantness. Perhaps we can assist him in regaining a bit of Christian humility.

We might start back in 2004 with the role of Uganda in one of the earliest attempted thefts of property belonging to the Episcopal Church. St. James, Newport Beach was one of these early "trial balloon" attempts to steal property. The choice of that congregation brought to light the involvement of extremist groups such as the American Anglican Council and the Institute on Religion and Democracy.

When asked about these attempted thefts by Uganda, Abp. Orombi made the following statement:

..."Look at it this way: If a child is running away from home, the first question that must be asked is, why is he running away?" said Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi of Uganda, a vocal critic of the Episcopal Church, in a telephone interview. "We didn't look for them or hunt for them. We are responding to a need."
Such attempts to look so innocent fall flat if you look just a few inches under the surface.

For instance, in 2004, a memo entitled Draft Proposal for Overseas AEO was written by Alison Barfoot to those planning an attempted coup (the efforts of a small group of extremists to take over the Episcopal Church). It spells out quite clearly the method by which a congregation can be hijacked and put under the authority of an offshore bishop. Here's part of it:

... The question then becomes: Which offshore diocese? And how is that diocese and bishop selected? The proposed governing principle would be that these connections follow the line of Pre-existing relationships. If a priest does not already have a pre-existing relationship with an offshore bishop who is willing to participate in this process, then a match needs to be made...
Barfoot, who authored this proposal, became Abp. Orombi's international relations assistant that same year.

So, the author of a proposal to use offshore bishops becomes the assistant to the Primate of Uganda. When a parish with such celebrities as David Anderson and Howard Ahmanson connected to it decides to try to jump ship, who scoops them up? The Anglican Church of Uganda. Imagine that.

The title of "international relations assistant" is unusual, and seems a bit extravagant for Uganda, a nation that faces so many other challenges. But, it makes more sense when you consider that the position is funded by American extremists:

A retired bishop in Uganda explained, "Americans send money to the archbishop's office, who later distributes [it] to dioceses." The Rev. Aaron Mwesigye, the provincial secretary in the Ugandan Archbishop Henry Orombi's office, confirmed this, saying that U.S. conservatives had been "contributing towards the renumeration and salaries of provincial staff since 1998." He added that "American conservatives provide money to Africans not as donors but as development partners in mission."
Of course the assesments from the more than 44 Episcopal congregations that Abp. Orombi has attempted to steal over the years has also added more than a bit to his treasury.

If pressed on this matter, no doubt Abp. Orombi will claim he has "handed over" those 44 congregations to ACNA (an entity that some, like myself, do not recognize as a valid institution). Sorry, Abp. Orombi, but handing over stolen goods to one of your accomplices does not absolve you of any responsibility for your crimes.

Besides these blatant thefts, which have been strongly condemned in every statement released by the Instruments, we also have the matter of Abp. Orombi's refusal to engage in any way in the "listening process" recommended by the Windsor Report and the Primates. Instead, he has chosen to fan the flames of homophobia, as can be seen in his most recent"position paper" in response to the proposed Ugandan Kill the Gays legislation. Apparently, although Abp. Orombi hesitates to support the death penalty, he affirms the "solution" of tossing all gays and lesbians into prison. Such Christian compassion, eh?

He continues to believe bizarre theories like this:

...I am appalled to learn that the rumours we have heard for a long time about homosexual recruiting in our schools and amongst our youth are true. I am even more concerned that the practice is more widespread than we originally thought...
Yet, when confronted by the violence against gays and lesbians in Uganda, fueled by his bigoted rhetoric, Abp. Orombi struggles to find a response:

...Orombi said he had never heard of people being tortured because of their homosexuality, that when he learned about incidents – from the western media – he was at a loss to understand why he had not heard of them. He refused to accept that persecuting and torturing gay people was done openly in Uganda...
So far, Orombi has not condemned those acts.

So, Archbishop, if you must resign from the Standing Committee, please say so clearly. And while you're at it, why don't you swallow a dose of humility, recognize that your own most unChristian behavior has contributed to this current chaos, and resign from some of your other lofty offices as well. I'm sure much of the world would sigh with relief.


No comments:

Post a Comment