Kenya Anglican Bishops Boycott Archbishop Sentamu’s Visit to Diocese of Butere
Exclusive Report By David W. Virtue
February 19, 2104
Anglican bishops in the Province of Kenya boycotted a visit by the Archbishop of York, the Rt. Rev. John Sentamu, when he travelled there recently to celebrate the 100-year centenary of the Diocese of Butere.
The Bishop of Butere, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Timothy Wambunya, who was ordained by Archbishop Sentamu when he was Bishop of Stepney, said: “We are delighted that Dr Sentamu will celebrate our Gospel centenary with us. His coming to Butere will be an inspiration to many of us who believe that social transformation is part of the Gospel message. We have much to learn from one whose ministry not only speaks of the Gospel but acts it as well.”
Unofficially, his appearance is viewed with dismay in Kenya because of the archbishop’s less than sterling stand on same-sex relationships in the Church of England. While the Archbishop of York has steadfastly opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage, he supports civil partnerships, which he says have addressed the injustices faced by same-sex couples. This is a distinction without a difference in the minds of African Anglican leaders like Archbishop Wabukala,
Apparently, Sentamu is not willing to say that all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is sin.
In an address to the Diocese of Butere, The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala, the Archbishop of Kenya, made no mention of Archbishop Sentamu’s 3-day visit but noted that transformation can never be separated from salvation. “We must always hold firmly to the cross and the need for personal conversion. So as we look forward to the next hundred years, let us make sure that we do not drift away from what we have heard. Jesus has indeed come to bring us abundant life, but that wonderful statement comes with a warning that ‘The thief comes only to kill and destroy’.”
The Kenyan archbishop observed that the world is connected today by technologies that those who first proclaimed the gospel could never have imagined. “This brings great opportunities, including the way in which our beloved Anglican Communion can become a reality in the experience of ordinary believers, people around the globe. But it also brings challenges because it opens the door wide to new temptations and false teachings.
“The gospel is a message to be prized. It is something of great beauty because it brings the grace of God into our lives, so we must be alert to the strategies of the evil one who comes to kill and destroy. Our bishops and pastors must be good shepherds who protect the flock from the wolves and equip the whole people of God to be strong, well-taught and discerning disciples who put their hope fully in Christ.”
Bishops Court, the official residence of the Archbishop Sentamu did not return an e-mail from VOL seeking a comment.
I’m not surprised that the author of this article, David Virtue, of VoL, did not receive a return email from the office of Dr. Sentamu, the Archbishop of York. Whatever the Archbishop’s office would have to say about his visit recently to the Diocese of Butere – invited by the Bishop of the Diocese (The Rt. Rev. Dr. Timothy Wambunya) to help in the celebration of the 100-year centenary of the Diocese of Butere – would probably not have harmonised with Mr. Virtue’s self-appointed role as a North American web-log spokes-person for ACNA and the GAFCON Primates.
The disrespect Mr. Virtue draws attention to here – offered by the likes of the Archbishop of Kenya, ++Eliud Wbukala – could probably be linked to the fact that he was not personally invited to preside at the One Hundred Years Celebration of the Diocese, rather than Archbishop Sentamu – who had ordained the Diocesan Bishop, Dr. Timothy, as a priest in the English Diocese of Stepney. No doubt, if ++Wabakula had been Archbishop of Kenya at the time of Dr. Timothy’s preferment to the Diocese of Butere, it is possible he may not have obtained the post – because of his link with the C.of E.
The fact that there is at least one diocese in the Anglican Church of Kenya that is not specifically linked with the Gafcon tendency to dismiss the leadership of the Church of England – on account of its tendency towards the acceptance of Gay people in the Church – must at least be a crumb of comfort to those of us who agree that Gafcon’s stance is not worthy of Christ’s outreach to the marginalised of society.
Whatever Mr, Virtue’s motivation in writing this article, it no doubt fits in with his own disrespect for the Church of England, and any other Anglican Province of the Anglican Communion that does not see eye to eye with the irruption of ACNA in the territory of the Episcopal Church of the U.S. (the result of a piratical move by the Gafcon Provinces, in an attempt to destabilise the integrity and mission of TEC).
The article itself says less about the Visitation of the Archbishop of York to the Province of Kenya, than it does about the determination of the Archbishop of Kenya to forward the Gafcon agenda of dissociation from the more liberal Provinces of the Anglican Communion, on the basis of differences on gender and sexuality.
So much for the Anglican tradition of Unity in Diversity, that hitherto was one of the trademarks of membership in the Anglican Communion.
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand