AMiA's Ugandan option closes

 

AMiA's Ugandan option closes

Author: 

George Conger

The Anglican Mission in America (AMiA)’s Society for Mission and Apostolic Works has lost one of its two ecclesial sponsors.  In a 22 August 2012 statement given to Anglican Ink, the Church of Uganda said the canonical cover offered by one of its bishops to clergy who wish to affiliate with the society under the leadership of Bishop Chuck Murphy had been withdrawn.
Earlier this month clergy who had been affiliated with the AMiA received a letter from its headquarters in Pawleys Island, South Carolina asking that they choose one of two canonical jurisdictions.  Last month Bishop Murphy, accompanied by his assistant the Rev. Canon Kevin Donlon, traveled to Africa to arrange alternative provincial oversight in light of the severance of relations with the Anglican Province of Rwanda and the end to the temporary oversight provided by the Anglican Province of the Congo.
Following his return to the U.S., the AMiA leader wrote that clergy may choose to affiliate with the Diocese of Bunyoro-Kitara of the Church of the Province of Uganda under Bishop Nathan Kyamanywa, or the Diocese of Dunkwa-on-Offin of the Church of the Province of West Africa in Ghana under Bishop Edmund Dawson Ahmoah. 
Clergy were allowed to choose which jurisdiction they wanted to enter, or the office in Pawleys Island would assign a jurisdiction.  Clergy were asked to respond by 31 August.
However, on 22 August, the Provincial Office of the Church of the Province of Uganda in Kampala released a statement saying: "The Rt. Rev. Nathan Kyamanywa, Bishop of Bunyoro-Kitara Diocese, in consultation with the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, has withdrawn his offer, effective immediately, to provide canonical residency to clergy in the AMiA, the Society of Mission and Apostolic Works."
The withdrawal of the offer to provide canonical residency for AMiA clergy living in the U.S. was not unexpected, as Uganda was the first of the African provinces to offer ecclesial sanctuary to disaffected Episcopal clergy to relinquish its oversight to the Anglican Church in North America.
The Church of the Province of West Africa is currently without a primate following the retirement of Archbishop Justice Akrofi of Accra and the provincial office has not responded to queries about the proposed arrangement.