Mere Anglicanism

Uganda archbishop explains details of his departure from the primates meeting

It grieves me to say that the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was chairing the meeting, did not take my resolution [to expell TEC] seriously and simply moved on to another matter without ever allowing any discussion on it.

16th January 2016, Entebbe Airport

Thank you so much for welcoming me and receiving me here at the airport. It is a great blessing to see the support from the people of Uganda for what I have been doing in the UK.

We traveled last week for a gathering of all the Archbishops, called Primates, of the Anglican Communion. As you know, there has been a problem in the Anglican Communion since 2003 when the Episcopal Church USA consecrated as a bishop a divorced father of two children then living in a same-sex relationship. This was a violation of the Bible and our Anglican tradition.

The Church of Uganda broke communion with the Episcopal Church USA at that time, along with many other Global South Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

Unfortunately, neither the Archbishop of Canterbury nor any of the other structures of the Anglican Communion were able to discipline the Episcopal Church USA. That meant that the Anglican Communion had become like the time in the Book of Judges when God’s judgment was upon the people of God because it says, “Everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” Even the Anglican Church of Canada has allowed the blessing of same-sex unions in their church.

We had hoped that the meeting this past week would restore godly order to the Anglican Communion and re-establish the Bible as the authority for our faith and morals.

On the second day of the meeting, I moved a resolution to ask the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada to voluntarily withdraw from all Anglican Communion groups. It grieves me to say that the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was chairing the meeting, did not take my resolution seriously and simply moved on to another matter without ever allowing any discussion on it.

At that point in the meeting, I realized that the process that had been set up would not allow us to accomplish the purpose for which we had come.

Our commitment as the Church of Uganda is that we would not participate in any meetings of the Anglican Communion until godly order has been restored. Therefore, I felt it necessary to withdraw from the meeting and stand firm for the convictions of the Church of Uganda and the people of Uganda.

My fellow GAFCON and Global South Primates stayed in the meeting and by Thursday lunchtime they had passed a resolution suspending TEC from representing the Anglican Communion in interfaith and ecumenical dialogues and not allowing them to vote in meetings where issues of doctrine and polity were being discussed. This would be for a period of three years.

This is a very important, symbolic vote. The mind of the Primates is to uphold the Bible’s understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman, and to declare that is the position of the Anglican Communion.

From our perspective, however, the vote did not go far enough to re-establish godly order in the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church USA will still attend meetings and continue to influence many others in their unbiblical positions. We need to wait and see if they demonstrate true repentance and whether or not the leadership of the Anglican Communion has the strength of convictions to uphold the decision of the Primates. Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I want to assure you and all Ugandans that the Church of Uganda is still a member of the Anglican Communion. I withdrew from the meeting, but we have not withdrawn from the Anglican Communion. We are the Anglican Communion.

I also want to assure you that the Church of Uganda is committed to living under the authority of the Word of God and proclaiming the God “who so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that all you believe in him may not perish but have everlasting life.”

The Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali


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