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JERUSALEM: Orombi attacks Obama over homosexuals

JERUSALEM: Orombi attacks Obama over homosexuals

By Henry Mukasa and Moses Mulondo
Sunday Vision
June 28, 2008

THE Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, His Grace Henry Luke Orombi, is angered by reports that US presidential hopeful Barack Obama will tolerate gay rights just as racial civil rights.

Orombi, currently in Israel, attending the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and pilgrimage to the holy land said "moral racial civil rights" are not comparable to "immoral homosexuality." Orombi's remarks follow recent statements by Obama's wife, Michelle, who said her husband would fight for gay rights just as he fought to help working-class families overcome poverty.

In a statement by his Media Adviser to GAFCON, David Sseppuuya, the archbishop urged Obama, who he described as a fellow African, not to disappoint the continent.

"It is distressing that Barack Obama a fellow African would promote racial civil rights as morally equivalent to immoral civil behaviour. We are Africans and know the difference between moral behaviour and responsibility as opposed to civil rights being compared to homosexuality. Will Barack Obama represent our interests in this matter?" Orombi asked.

The conference which concludes today in Jerusalem, was organised by anti-gay archbishops of Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South American and Sydney with evangelical Anglican bishops from the UK and US opposed to the consecration of gay priests.

The prelates boycotted the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference due to take place next month. The bishops cite tolerance of homosexuality by the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

Meanwhile, bishops attending the conference have resolved to start an Anglican Revival Movement, sparking off fears of an emerging split within the Anglican Church. They have also declared to form of a new global Anglican communion for "faithful" Anglicans living in liberal provinces.

"There is profound sadness about the current state of the Anglican Communion and a sense of betrayal and abandonment by the existing leadership and communion structures. There is a determination to build on the experience of GAFCON and see it become a movement and not simply a moment.

There is recognition that for this movement to continue to develop it will require an agreed theological framework and appropriate structures to sustain its growth," the bishops said in a statement. Organisers of the week-long conference claim it to be the most significant event in Anglicanism in their lifetimes and will herald a "new reformation". They also describe their sense of "betrayal and abandonment" of Christian truth.

Perceived to be evolving as a 'church within a church', GAFCON opposes the leadership of Canterbury for endorsing the consecration of gay priests and diversion from the Bible on a number of issues. Over 100 Uganda pilgrims (including 34 bishops) and 900 from the Anglican provinces are attending the conference to prepare for an Anglican future in which the gospel is uncompromised and undistorted.

The bishops are determined to see GAFCON become a long-term movement instead of a one-time conference, want permanent structures to be established for the faithful in Anglican provinces that have abandoned the traditional teachings of the biblical scripture.

In the recent past, a number of parishes in the United States have severed ties with The Episcopal Church of the US, over the issue of consecrating homosexual clergymen.

The parishes have often joined African dioceses for spiritual oversight. This has not pleased The Episcopal Church of US, which accuses African dioceses of invading their turf. But African bishops argue that they are offering refuge to believers at odds with liberal views. The new GAFCON Movement could see consecration arrangements become more official and widespread.

Details of this Anglican Revival Movement, which several international media channels have dubbed "church within a church", will be announced today.

The founders intend it to halt the slide of their Church towards Western secular values and to reform it from within.


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