Saturday 29 January 2011

Today I am ashamed to be an Anglican.

Today I am ashamed to be an Anglican.
The accounts of David Kato's funeral have shocked and depressed me as I think of his family and friends gathered there to mourn, but instead being subjected to a kind of pastoral rape.
Yesterday I wrote in hopeful terms that there was an opportunity for the Archbishop of Uganda to live up to the proud Christian history of his country, to bring peace in the midst of conflict.
His predecessors stood up for the Gospel and for justice, and some gave their lives for it - the church he leads now is doing neither.  The Gospel they have chosen to embrace appears more ready to condemn than to love, by its actions as well as by its words.  That is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The appalling way in which his funeral was handled has ensured that a new martyr has been born in Uganda  - and the role of martyrs has always been a powerful force in the spirituality of Uganda.
But unlike the martyrs which the Church of Uganda celebrates, David will be the kind of martyr who, like the prophets of the Old Testament, shines a light into the lives of those who profess to be God's people.  What will that light show?
It will show an Archbishop in Uganda who has remained silent, while other Archbishops speak out, and even Presidents express their deep sadness.  It will show a church which is content to Scapegoat a vulnerable minority, rather than face its own moral bankruptcy.  It has shown the world who the real 'violators' of Lambeth 1:10 are - those who refuse to listen to others - those who refuse to assure homosexuals  that they "are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ" - those who refuse "to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation".
Repentance is needed in Uganda - but it is not the repentance of the gay community - it the repentance of a church that has lost its way.
Today I am ashamed to be an Anglican.

(For an account of David's Funeral - follow this link)
... And if you have read this far, please go back and read yesterday's blog  'A Tale of Two Ugandans' which put this in context.


  1. I think Bishop Christopher is a very brave man.
    Perhaps you should organise a proper memorial service for David??

  2. Thank you for your thoughtful post. Hard to read and take in what it means, but I am glad to have found a truthful voice on the shocking state of the church in Uganda.

  3. Yes, thanks you for speaking up.


  4. Quite right: well said.


  5. Exactly-- Archbishop Orombi is fully revealed -- I hope the CAPA Bishops step back from his degrading leadership.

  6. The capitulation of Ugandan church leadership to this State-fostered witch hunt demonstrates a contemptible failure to accept the fundamental separation of Christian values from those of the world.

    However, rding roughshod over the Central and East Africa Resolution (which I happen to agree with) to Lambeth I.10 did nothing to resolve the current impasse over sexual orientation. It also alienated the Global South theologically (as if their historical economic and political subjugation by the North was not enough) by treating their moral reservations as backward and unenlightened (again).

    Christ didn't apply an automatic aggressive stance towards those who didn't agree with Him. He also didn't assume that those who challenged Him were simply being obstructive and obtuse. He did treat them as 'sheep without a shepherd'. So should those who claim superior insight into God's will.

  7. Thank you to everyone who has commetented.

    I have now added a link at the bottom of the post which directs viewers back to the previous day's post which I wrote before the funeral. This was not aggressive post but one which hoped that this would create the opportunity for Archbishop Orombi to respond in a compassionate way. Sadly he has not, and sadly, the events of the funeral expressed the very opposite.

    Richard - I do understand the point you are making, but my experience has not been that the Gobal south has been willing to engage in consturctive dialogue.

    When I attended an Anglican Mainstream meeting at General Synod in 2004, I tried to engage in discussion with a number of the African speakers after the meeting including an Archdeacon from Uganda. I did so in a situation where I was very much in the minority and where I was the vulnerable position, not a position of strength. Yet I did not find hearts or ears that were open to dialogue, and the conversation ended with me being told that unless I repented of my views, I was on the road to hell.

    I remeber being quite taken aback by this, especially as I had tried to engage in a non-threatening way, and from a place of weakness as a minority voice in the meeting.

    I wish things were different and I pray for a time when it will be...