Friday, January 06, 2006

The Archbishop of Uganda puts the ECUSA Bishop of Virginia in his place.

Last night, I was delighted to read this open letter from the Archbishop of Uganda to –Peter Lee. Lee has had the presumption to treat a priest who has left his jurisdiction to move to the Anglican jurisdiction of Uganda as if he has left holy orders altogether. And he has twisted the canons to do so.

The Archbishop’s letter wonderfully puts –Lee in his place. It’s even a bit in-your-face. ++Orombi states “We have asked him to continue the good work of church planting he has been doing in the South Riding community in Virginia.” That’s in your diocese, isn’t it?

And this: “Even those of us for whom English is a second language understand his plain English to mean that he has resigned from the staff of the Diocese of Virginia, but not from his priestly orders.”

And this: “This kind of re-inventing of the plain meaning of a text is the same problem we are facing today throughout the Anglican Communion with regard to bishops and leaders in ECUSA reinventing the plain meaning of Scripture.”

But what I find most interesting is this paragraph:

Your refusal to recognize Rev. Ashey’s holy orders in the Church of Uganda has huge implications for your understanding of the interchangeability of holy orders and the nature of the Anglican Communion. Accordingly, we accept your written press release of 20th December 2005 as your notice that the Bishop and Diocese of Virginia have broken communion with the Church of Uganda.

Thus the Archbishop of Uganda makes clear that playing canonical games against clergy who move (flee) to jurisdictions of the Southern Primates will not be without cost and will be taken as playing games against the Southern Primates themselves. You don’t recognize our priests? Then you don’t recognize our jurisdiction either, and we will treat it as such.

I’m glad to see a Primate take action against canonical games against the orthodox and put an Episcopal practitioner of those games in his place. Archbishop Orombi’s letter is excellent, timely, and, yes, very well written and right dead on target!

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