Monday, February 18, 2008

Did Uganda Secede from the Anglican Communion?

Readers know I don't usually comment too much on the goings-on of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, because there are lots of websites (including in All Sorts and Conditions of Sites, to the left) that do cover such news extensively. But occasionally I do enter into the fray. This is one of those times:

Thinking Anglicans have reported that the Province of Uganda has said through an official spokespoerson that it will withdraw from the Anglican Communion (here and here).

The quote is, "Anglicanism is just an identity and if they abuse it, we shall secede," he [The Rev. Canon Aaron Mwesigye, the provincial secretary of the Church of Uganda] said. "Yes, we shall remain Christians but not in the same [Anglican] Communion."

If verified, this is the first time an entire Province has dissociated itself with the Archbishop of Canterbury and with all others who claim the identity "Anglican."

I personally think this is huge news and can't really understand why TA has buried it in a post called "More reports from Uganda."

If "they abuse it"? How arrogant. Anglican identity has always been a "big tent" sort of thing, and to say that it is those who are claiming a big tent ideal who are abusing Anglican identity is simply hubris.

I truly believe that the Lord calls us to stay at the Table no matter what. That's what "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Father of all" means. St. Paul was very clear that we break One Bread because we are One Body. And that's forever. I hate to see anyone walk away because he or she cannot agree with something, especially if no one is insisting that that something be applied to everybody. No one is asking Uganda or any other Province to ordain openly gay bishops or allow same-sex blessings. We here in The Episcopal Church do believe this is within the freedom of the Gospel, but we have never ever said that everyone worldwide has to go along.

Pray for the Church.


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