RWANDA: Archbishop Kolini speaks out on Lambeth conference
BY JAMES TASAMBA AND GRACE MUGABE
July 21st, 2008
NYARUGENGE - The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, Emmanuel Kolini, has spoken out on their refusal to attend the Lambeth Conference, saying that they cannot sit to deliberate on wicked issues.
The Archbishop claimed that it was not a boycott since they had declined the invitation. He said that their stand was based on strong Biblical views yet Canterbury had ignored the Bible's teaching on homosexuality.
Talking to The New Times on phone last week, Kolini said, "It was not a boycott....we had declined their invitation."
The 2008 Lambeth Conference opened on July 16 at Canterbury, London, and ends on August 3. It was meant to attract about 650 senior members of the Anglican clergy from around the world.
The conference is pivotal in helping unify the 77 million protestant grouping in the world. But this year's event comes at a time of rifts over key issues affecting the Anglican Communion.
Asked whether by refusing to attend the meeting, the members were not deepening the rift in the church, Kolini said this year's conference could not be the platform for unifying them because they had always spoken against gay marriages but the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has always ignored their advice.
Asked whether there were still chances of a unified Anglican Communion, Kolini said, "My hope is in God."
On whether their hard stance was not a sign of discrimination among the flock, the Archbishop said the church welcomes whoever repents sins.
"I hope they will repent one day," he said, likening it to a patient seeking the doctor's help.
Kolini said this while addressing over 200 members of the Anglican Church from Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda who had come to celebrate the end of 40 days of Purpose Driven life at Presbyterian Church in Kiyovu, Kigali on Thursday.
He further explained that their refusal to attend the conference was a joint resolution of Anglican leaders from Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and other countries from South America, reached at the Global Anglican Future Conference held in Jerusalem, Israel earlier.
He repeated the early criticisms of the boycotting members against Canterbury for not taking immediate action against gay supporters.
"God can't accept this because it's against the Bible. The norms of the Bible have been breached and therefore as a Church of God we can't allow this," he said.
He told churches in the region to adhere to the original doctrines of the Bible.
He cited Mathew 28: 19- 20 and said: "Go then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age."
The conference that takes place once every 10 years is the only meeting of all the Archbishops and Bi shops of the Anglican Communion which is the family of churches around the world.
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