Church of the Province of Uganda
Statement by the Provincial Assembly Standing Committee on Lambeth Conference 2008
1. The Lambeth Conference is a gathering that brings together the Bishops of the Anglican Communion from all 38 Provinces of the Communion at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The conference is usually held every ten years. It provides Bishops with an opportunity for “worship, study, and conversation,” discussing and making resolutions that affect the Anglican Communion.
2. At the 1998 Lambeth Conference under Resolution 1.10 the Bishops overwhelmingly passed a resolution that rejects “homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture.” The conference also rejected the blessing of same-sex unions.
3. In 2003, in flagrant disregard of this resolution of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (TEC) elected as Bishop Gene Robinson, a divorced man living in an active homosexual relationship. The Primates, who are the Archbishops of all the 38 Provinces of the Anglican Communion, met shortly after that and warned the Episcopal Church not to proceed with the consecration of a practicing homosexual as a Bishop. They warned that, if they proceeded with the consecration, their action would “tear the fabric of the Anglican Communion at its deepest level.” Less than a month later, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church presided over the consecration of Gene Robinson. This action has divided the Anglican Communion in a profound way.
4. The Primates of the Communion have asked the American Church to halt further consecrations of practicing homosexuals and ceremonies for the blessing of same-sex unions. Regretfully, TEC has continued to bless same-sex unions, in ceremonies that were presided over, among others, by two Bishops.
5. The Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) produced a statement entitled The Road to Lambeth that calls for this crisis to be resolved before the next Lambeth Conference is convened. The House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda endorsed this position at their meeting in December 2006. Since this crisis has not yet been resolved, the Bishops of the Church of Uganda have resolved that they will not be participating in the Lambeth Conference to be held in July 2008 in Canterbury, England, a position that the Provincial Assembly Standing Committee strongly endorses. This decision has been made to protest the invitations extended by the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Rowan Williams, to TEC Bishops whose stand and unrepentant actions created the current crisis of identity and authority in the Anglican Communion.
6. The Church of Uganda, by this decision, wishes to reaffirm our commitment to the resolutions of the 2006 Provincial Assembly and Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, which, in substance, denounced homosexual practice and called upon the Church to remain faithful to the Holy Scriptures.
7. Consultations are going on at different levels on how to deal with this crisis, which, among others, include planning for a meeting of Biblically orthodox Anglican Bishops, clergy, and laity to be held in Jerusalem in June 2008. We request the Church to continue in prayer as efforts are being made to find a lasting solution to this crisis. Further developments regarding this matter will be communicated to the Christians in due course.
Issued in Kampala this 12th day of February 2008
The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi
ARCHBISHOP OF CHURCH OF UGANDA.