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[HoB/D] Re: Ugandan Bishops and Integrity Response

Five of us on The Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace
with Justice ConcernsI will leave for Uganda tomorrow, returning on the
26th.  We are meeting with all Sudanese bishops gathered in Kampala, to
try to address their jeopardy--the persecution and enslavement of
children; refugees; poverty; AIDS...

Please keep our hosts in your prayers.  The need is very great.



I will be offline for the next eight days.  Please be patient with any
delays.  I am swamped with email already.  

During my absence, send urgent listser requests to Brian Reid

> Integrity Responds to Ugandan Bishops
> For Immediate Release
> February 15, 2001
> We are in receipt today of a press release from the Bishops of the (Anglican)
> Church of the Province of Uganda regarding the formation of a chapter of
> Integrity in Kampala, Uganda.  This release is appended below.  We had
> announced this formation during the General Convention of the Episcopal
> Church in Denver, July 2000.
> We want to make clear that this effort in Uganda is entirely indigenous.
> Indeed it's very formation was indigenous, even in its motivation.  We will
> support our brothers and sisters in Uganda as they seek to claim their voice
> in the Church, but only with their leadership in that place.
> The Bishops in the Church in Uganda must know that their press release sends
> a message of fear and demoralization among lesbian and gay Anglicans in
> Uganda.  The organization itself would not be necessary if these fellow
> Christians felt in any way supported in their struggle to exercise their
> Christian faith within the fellowship of the Church.  The only message they
> have received from the Church is one of rejection and fear.
> The message of the press release worsens this rejection.  The use of the term
> "inhuman" to describe their organization is beyond regrettable.  We cannot
> comprehend how Christian people can make such an accusation against fellow
> Christians, even with whom they strongly disagree.  We call on the Bishops of
> the Church of Uganda to examine their statement in all humility and Christian
> conscience and find a better way to state their disagreement, one which does
> not question the fundamental humanity and dignity of members of their own
> Church.
> We ask, as we have repeatedly asked, for the opportunity to sit at table with
> our brothers and sisters throughout the Anglican Communion to seek to
> discover our common faith.  Our goal is not to persuade but simply to witness
> to our faith and listen to our sisters' and brothers' faith, allowing the
> Holy Spirit to lead us together into all truth, as our Lord promised.  Short
> of this sacred conversation, we beg our fellow Anglicans throughout the world
> to treat lesbian and gay people‚^ņ^”who exist as fellow Church members in every
> Province‚^ņ^”with the dignity they deserve as human beings made in the image of
> God.
> Contact:    the Rev. Michael W. Hopkins
>         301-262-3285 (voice), 301-262-0666 (fax)
>         Stgeogd@aol.com
> Press release
> A letter of understanding and stand of the Bishops of the Church of the
> Province of  Uganda.
> To: The Public and citizens of Uganda
> Dear Citizens,
> The House of Bishops of the Church of the Province of Uganda sitting at Lweza
> Training and Conference center for the Bishops colloquium dated 20th -24th
> November 2000; noted with concern the Human Sexuality in the ECUSA which is
> intending to open up a center here in Uganda for what they call Integrity
> Uganda Chapter.
> This organization is a move by gays and lesbians from the United States which
> wants to establish their root on the continent of Africa to be headquartered
> in our own country, Uganda. We categorically condemn the practice of
> Homosexuality. According to the documents available, it is now evident that
> the organization has
> already been formed and elected a president whose identity has not been
> revealed publicly in Uganda. We therefore, strongly advise our public or
> citizens not to let this kind of un-biblical and inhuman movement to be
> established in our country.
> WE further advise the Department of our Government which registers religious
> organizations and non-governmental organizations to be reminded of the evils
> of such units and leave these organizations out of the system. We shall abide
> by the resolution of the provincial Assembly of the Church of Uganda and of
> the Lambeth Conference which was passed by the Anglican Communion throughout
> the World at their meeting in Lambeth in 1998. The  Episcopal Church of USA
> at their meeting in Denver, Colorado did not approve the ordination of gays
> and lesbians and their wedding as couple in their Church. Why then should we
> invite amongst us something we are not familiar within our country?
> WE believe we have a mission to preach the love of Christ to all sinners for
> repentance. We do care for those who are still outside of our flock. But not
> to the extent of accepting an organization,  which will mislead people even
> our weak Christians to be established among us.
> WE shall abide by our motto, "FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY". We should not allow
> anything that we believe to be ungodly and inhuman to be practiced while we
> are seeing and not challenging it. We therefore conclude that we as Ugandan
> Anglican Christians do not accept this move to be started here in the name of
> the
> Episcopal Church or Anglican Church of which we are part and body in the
> world wide Anglican Communion.
> We the undersigned,

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