THE PRIMATES’ SQUABBLES: Same sex tiff dividing the Anglican Communion

THE PRIMATES’ SQUABBLES: Same sex tiff dividing the Anglican Communion

By Canon Francis Omondi, PhD.[1]

Did the Archbishops have to squabble? Anglican primates are engaged in a public spar. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Archbishop of Uganda, Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, differ on the position of the Anglican Communion’s on same sex relations.  The primates’ tracasserie (Fr.), has been public, tense, and strains the bonds holding the Communion together.

In a public statement on May 29th, 2023, Archbishop Mugalu declared his, and the Church of Uganda’s (CoU) gratitude and unqualified support for Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023. The Act prohibits people from practicing same sex sexual relations. It sanctions promotion or recognition of same-sex relations and related matters, which, according to ++ Mugalu, are prohibited in both the scripture and Ugandan culture. But a dismayed Archbishop Welby, in a press release, urged ++ Mugalu to withdraw his public support for laws that criminalized the LGBTQ+ people. He wrote, “… there is no justification for any Province of the Anglican Communion to support such laws: not in our resolutions, not in our teachings, and not in the gospel we share.”

Was ++ Welby was returning a compliment? In February, ++ Mugalu rebuked Welby after the Church of England’s (CoE) General Synod approved blessing couples in same-sex unions. He condemned ++ Welby’s approval of a change in the Church’s marriage doctrine.  By allowing clergy to preside at Blessings of Same-sex Unions, for couples considered “married” by the British government. Further, CoE synod approved supplementary prayers and liturgies for such occasions.

The Archbishop Welby made a curious admission on the contentious issues of human sexuality, “… none of us get this right and I am only too conscious of the failing of the Church of England…” For this reason, he invited his fellow disciples across the Anglican Communion to a dialogue and urged them to desist from homophobia, racism and all other ‘othering’ of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

 I see this primates’ tiff as an acute case of culture clash, given the global texture of the Anglican Communion. The primates differed in their interpretation of the CoE Synodal Resolutions and the Ugandan Anti-homosexuality Act. Despite both having cultural advisers, the contradictions were bound to erupt, because they got mutually puzzled at each other’s behaviour, not according to expectations. The William Blake (in Everlasting Gospel p.231) captures this contradiction best: “Both read the Bible, day, and night. But thou read’st black where I read white.”

Each primate speaks to a different audience, both home and abroad.

The Primates’ Altercation

The Church of England Resolution in February 2023

During their 2023 General Synod, the CoE passed several resolutions to enable her clergy to perform public services of blessing for same sex civil partnerships and marriages. The resolutions removed legal impediments to “solemnisation of same-sex marriage in the Church of England.” They achieved this without abandoning the traditional view of marriage as legitimate and honourable (Croft 2022, p. 23-4) In making these accommodations in practice, the CoE welcomed the LGBTQ+ people and repented for the harm caused.

++ Welby and the CoE received these changes as a fitting response to their social milieu where Justice and fairness for LGBTQ+ peoples is enshrined in the anti-discrimination laws. Same sex civil partnerships and marriages are now permissible. ++ Mugalu saw the changes as a contradiction. He wondered how the CoE could maintain traditional marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman, and at the same time permit clergy to bless couples in same-sex relationships.

++ Welby claimed the CoE labored long on the need for change before arriving at the present position. They reached the conclusion having sought the mind of scripture and “not reject Christ and His authority”. So, to question these changes, argued ++ Welby, makes the CoE and Anglican Church abroad “a victim of derision, contempt, and even attack for being part of the perceived ‘homophobic church’.”

But ++ Mugalu and the CoU were worried. Rejecting the inherited teaching of marriage and the sin of homosexual practices would damage her witness. There was a reluctance to change, for any such shift might render the CoU and other Anglican churches as beingpart of what is called the ‘gay church’.

While ++Welby rejected ++ Mugalu’s statements and the tag of a ‘homophobic church’, ++Mugalu refused the association with ++Welby position for fear of being labeled the ‘gay church’.

The Church of Uganda Support for Anti-Homosexuality Act

The Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, prohibit any form of sexual relations between persons of same sex. It also prohibits the promotion or recognition of same-sex relations and for related matters. And imposes long prison sentence for homosexual offences and life imprisonment for aggravated homosexual offenses on underage or disabled. It also sanctioned those convicted under the act from working directly with children to aid the CoU’s mission to protect children.

++ Kaziimba Mugalu supported this ACT because in his view Ugandans consider sexual action between persons of the same sexes a social abrasion. The archbishop argued that the previous legislation, drawn from the colonial era, criminalized same -sex relations under the Penal Code Act of 1950. He was in favor of the ACT’s strong anti-grooming measures and restrictions on promoting the homosexual lifestyle.

But the Archbishop of Canterbury differed. He, and the CoE believe that homosexual attraction is a given, not a matter of choice (Croft 2022, 19). It is wrong for Uganda to criminalize people for who they are. So, if the Church supports laws forbidding partnerships for this group of people, their action ought to be unjust (Croft, 19) Since the CoE believes this is clear injustice, it should reflect in the rest of itsbeliefs. Thus, become a moral and ethical force in the 21st century. So, Welby called on CoU to reject such “criminal sanctions against same sex attracted people”. Instead, they should affirm them as humans, because God’s love is the same for every human being, irrespective of their sexuality.

The CoU refused to be tagged as condoning injustice and claimed that they were advancing human right protection laws. The CoU said they forced the government to replace the death sentence in the penal code and earlier bills with life imprisonment. In addition, it was pointed out that the Ugandan homosexual prohibitions were mild compared to laws in the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East.

The CoE noted a profound dislocation between the Church and the society we are called to serve. A dislocation, which is not about their position concerning partnership or sexual expression, but a fundamental disagreement about justice and fairness. The society sees theCoE to inhabit a different moral universe (Croft 2022, p. 20).

But ++ Mugalu would never affirm LGBTI people, nor allow the CoU to normalize or be purveyors of homosexuality. The defining mark of the CoU is the sacrificial blood of the Uganda Martyrs. Although their confession and baptism defined their faith, the young martyrs’ refusal to yield to the homosexual advances of their king and dying for it was legendary.[2] Now faced with a similar challenge, how can the CoU betray them, or abandon the Lord Jesus Christ?


Why The Primates Clash?

There are two explanations for the archbishops’ clash. One advanced by the anthropologists like Paul Hiebert (1997), ethnocentrism, and the psychological dynamics of culture clash as advanced by to Adams and Markus (2004).

Whenever we find differences in culture, Hiebert (1997, p. 53-9) concludes, ethnocentrism occurs “the tendency to judge other cultures by our own the values and assumptions of our culture.” So, it becomes a norm to view one’s own cultural position as the most suitablethan others. And this is mutual. For just as we judge other’s customs as crude, they feel the same about ours.

The divergence of the archbishops’ vision for human sexuality is unyielding. The tension stretched into their interpretation of the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10, the most cited Anglican authority on human sexuality. Where Archbishop Stephen harps on the resolution’s part (d), “homosexual practice as incompatible with scripture”. Therefore, the church (resolution part e) “cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same-sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions.” Archbishop Justin emphasizes the resolution part (c), “all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.” And therefore, “calls on all our people to minister pastorally and sensitively to all irrespective of sexual orientation and to condemn irrational fear of homosexuals.”

So, ++ Mugalu’s reading of the resolution supported the Uganda anti-homosexuality Act, to the dismay of ++Welby, who judged the Ugandan action from the UK point of view, as inhuman. ++ Welby reads the resolution consistent with the CoE’s position, embracing and welcoming to LGBTI, which ++ Mugalu judged from his cultural point of view as compromising and contradictory.

For ++ Welby, offering loving services and pastoral services to individuals made in the image of God is to affirm their value and identity. And supporting ++ Welby, the Archbishop of York (ABY), lamented existing laws that target people perceived to be different. UnlovingLaws that cause prejudice, violence, discrimination, and oppression, according to ABY, are not rooted in the Gospel call. The call to love our neighbors as Christ has for us. Homosexual orientation is now viewed as normal as being left-handed in most Western culture. It is nature. So, to discriminate on the grounds of sexuality, is unlawful and deeply wrong. The CoE refuses to inhabit a different moral universe. A further reason to re-examine our Scriptures and the tradition is to see if we can find a better way (Croft 2022, p. 20).

At the heart of the divide, in the Anglican Communion’s approach to pastoral care for the LGBTI people, in a mutual pervasive process of devaluing the non-dominant group in contact with the more dominant group. These differences either are cast as the result of negative shared tendencies, rather than as a matter of divergent life experiences (Graham et al., 2012).

The archbishop of Uganda held a different logic of loving and pastoral care for LGBTI. Such services, argued ++Mugalu, must be understood as guiding sinners back to God’s love through repentance. The CoU holds God condemns all sexual sins, such as fornication, adultery, polygamy, beastly acts, pedophile, and homosexuality. Repentant sinners can receive God’s love by confessing the wrong done and changing their lives. Their model of care and love is found in the example of Jesus’ treatment of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus said to her “Go, and sin no more.” Since God cannot bless what he calls sin, God wants to free those caught in sexual sin and lies from bondage. The CoU has therefore developed pastoral healing ministries and recovery centres, where LGBTI people canfind healing, forgiveness, freedom, and hope.

Culture reveals the psychological dynamics underlying the divide. When change comes, we are asked to examine cultural practices and institutions to foster a more inclusive, equal, and just multi-cultural society. The culture cycle offers insight into the primates’ clash.

Adams and Markus (2004, p. 341) observed, culture comprises explicit and implicit patterns of historically derived and selected ideas and their embodiment in institutions, practices, and artifacts. Hence, the culture cycle is conceived as a multilayered interacting, dynamic system of ideas, institutions, interactions, and individuals.

Conceptually, the culture cycle represents the dynamic process through which the cultural and the psychological interact and mutually make up one another. (See figure below)

The culture cycle adapted from Markus and Kitayama (2010).

Markus and Conner (2014) show culture as a system of four dynamically interacting and interdependent layers. Here, culture is composed of the ideas, institutions, and interactions that guide and reflect individuals, thoughts, feelings, and actions. The culture cyclecan either start from the left-hand or the right-hand. The two archbishops seem to start in the culture cycle from the opposite ends.

 Starting the culture cycle from the left, one begins with ideas, then institutions, and interactions that influence the individual. Consequently, cultures shape the self. For a person thinks, feels, and acts in ways that reflect and perpetuate these cultures. This appears to have been ++ Mugalu and the CoU starting point. Since the Ugandan culture frowns on homosexuality, this norm determines how individuals in the culture respond to the demands of the LGBTI people. So, the anti-homosexuality ACT, according to Anita Among’, speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, “captures the norms and aspirations of Ugandans, for the House legislates for the citizens.” How query’s ++ Mugalu, can the CoU embrace and normalize same-sex relations against their will, culture, and religious beliefs?

 Joining the culture cycle from the right is reflected by individuals participating in and creating (i.e., reinforce, resist, and/or change) cultures adopted by other people, in the present and the future. This is the point ++ Welby and the CoE, seems to have started from in the cycle. The CoE adopted an embracing posture, following the individual experience of the young generation who have grown up in a UK society where homosexual orientation is normal. These individuals were previously rejected by the Church. So, for most of their lives, members of this generation have endured deep hurt and distress, emanating from the sense of rejection and unworthiness at the hands of their own Church, while they found acceptance and affirmation in the wider society. The CoE perceives this dislocation as a fundamental disagreement over justice and fairness, thus transcending sexual expressions and partnerships.

Taking a position against homosexuality in the Ugandan society makes the CoU and therefore ++ Mugalu a moral voice. But taking a similar position would place the CoE in dissonance with the society it aims to serve.

If this divide is to be bridged, then the AC must examine the interconnected and the shifting dynamics that make up the culture cycle and afford certain ways of being while constraining others. We need to recognize that to foster more inclusive, equal, and effective institutions and practices, the deeper work will involve changing how cultures construct the meaning and nature of social group differences themselves.

We can exploit the power individuals have to shape their cultures through their actions, as we focus on how cultures shape people.

We Disagree, not Divided.


What is God saying to us, Anglicans now?

The Anglican Communion may not be divided for now, but it will wither on the vine and die, unless these fierce disagreements are attended. It is possible, in the words of E. Nader, the Anglican Communion is approaching a moment of its collapse, trailing dust of a British Empire whose robes are now tattered and thrown into history’s heap. Our generation is called to act for the sake of the “wider church” and world to maintain the communion.

Since the dissonance in human sexuality ruptured, the Anglican Communion has presented two divergent visions. One based on doctrinal unity defined by the traditional teaching of the faith received. The other on progressive reforms and anchored Anglican unity on providence of God, expressed in the Nicene Creed, the one holy, catholic, and apostolic.

Archbishop Stephen Mugalu, together with his brothers primates from what they have termed orthodox provinces, is persuaded that only doctrinal purity and safeguarding the traditional faith will unite the Anglican Communion. Their commitment to sever relationship with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the April 2023 Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) IV meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, should be understood as the shift dynamics observed by professor Andrew Walls (2002) of the church’s “serial” development.

Walls noted that as the Church moved away from its Mediterranean center, she experienced multiple and major demographic and character shifts that brought her to this present form. With every demographic shift, the dynamic centers moved alongside the energy and the informing cultural orientations.

Archbishop Mugalu, together with other archbishops from the Global South, claim to represent 85% of the Anglican Communion, which projects the demographic shift Walls mentioned. They are now asserting dynamism as they seek to shape the communion by infusing new energy with their cultural orientation.

The 2023 GAFCON IV commitment is a departure from their 2008 commitment not to leave the Anglican Communion. Then, they demanded repentance from that Archbishop Rowan Williams for not sanctioning Episcopal Church of the United States of America (ECUSA), which had violated the guidance of Lambeth resolution 1.10. by consecrating an openly gay bishop in 2003. The inaction of ++ Williams led to the Archbishops from the orthodox provinces boycott of Lambeth 2008, and the formation of GAFCON.

The Archbishops of the Orthodox Provinces see the CoE’s decision to bless couples in same sex unions as a betrayal of the historic faith and cannot in good conscience follow a leader whose fidelity to the faith they question. As a result, they have resolved not to recognise this Archbishop of Canterbury as their Primus inter Peres. It this threat is carried through the primates would have dismembered of one of the key instruments of Communion. ++ Mugalu and the team will remain in the Communion only if CoE repents for advancing false teachings. But they offered to pray for the Archbishop of Canterbury and Church of England to repent, in line with Revelation 2:5b: “If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” CoE are not willing to repent and are open to progress to advance their witness.

Anglican who sees unity as providence of God, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, sees God’s movement as one singular act. This is where God who gathers the Church and all creation to himself. This vision is embodied in the Anglican Communion Covenant part of which state: – “In the providence of God, which holds sway even over our divisions caused by sin, various families of churches have grown up within the universal Church in history. Among these families is the Anglican Communion, which provides a particular charism and identity among the many followers and servants of Jesus.” We can call the Church “one, holy and apostolic” only where the Church shows these realities as pertaining to God, describing how God works and moves to his unifying ends.

How well this common vision of the Anglican Communion matches God’s actual identity — the “it is finished” identity of Jesus Christ by which God orders the history of creation is subject of our interpretation. “We are not divided, but we disagree, and that is very painful.”Archbishop Welby conceded to the CoE’s General Synod.



[1] About the author: The author is a Priest of All Saints Cathedral Diocese of the ACK, a Canon of the All-Saints Kampala Cathedral of the Church of Uganda. He is Adjunct Lecturer at St. Paul’s University Limuru, Research tutor at Oxford Center for Religion and Public life and Part-time Lecturer at South African Theological Seminary. Dr. Omondi is a Member of Society for Practical Theologian South Africa (SPTSA)

[2] APPENDIX: Resolutions of Sections and Regions referred to in Subsection (f) of Resolution I.10 (Human Sexuality) Resolution V.35 from the West Africa Region (a) (iv)

Also published In The Elephant:


Cited works:

Adams, G., and Markus, H. R. (2004). “Toward a conception of culture suitable for a social psychology of culture” in The psychological foundations of culture. eds. M. Schaller and C. S. Crandall (Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum), 335–360.

Andrew Walls, 2002. The Cross-Cultural Process in Christian History. Maryknoll, NY:  Orbis.

Archbishop of Canterbury’s Statement on the Church of Uganda.

Archbishop of Uganda Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu 2023: Statement on “Church of  Uganda Responds to Church of England’s decision to Bless Same- Sex Unions”. 10th February 2023.

_____________________. “Church of Uganda Grateful for Anti-Homosexuality Act 2o23”.

______________. “Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Responds to Archbishop of Canterbury on Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023.”

Collier Gerald 1989. Culture Clashes, Value Conflicts and Professional Education, Higher Education Research and Development, 8:1, 59-68, DOI: 10.1080/0729436890080106.

Croft, Steven, 2022. Together in Love and Faith the Bishop of Oxford.

Hiebert. Paul G.,1997 Cultural Anthropology Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, (53-59)

GAFCON IV Global Anglicans. April 2023 Kigali Rwanda.

Graham, J., Nosek, B. A., and Haidt, J. (2012). The moral stereotypes of liberals and conservatives: exaggeration of differences across the political spectrum. PLoS One 7:e50092. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050092.

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Lambeth Call: Human Dignity, Affirmation 2.3, 2022: wp- content/uploads/2022/08/LC_Human-Dignity_ENG.pdf

Living in Love & Faith: Christian teaching and learning about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage), a five-session course guide for small groups, and a series of videos and podcasts. All of the resources are available at

Markus, H. R., and Kitayama, S. (2010). Cultures and selves: a cycle of mutual constitution. Perspect. Psychol. Sci. 5, 420–430. doi: 10.1177/1745691610375557.

Markus, H. R., and Conner, A. C. (2014). Clash!: How to thrive in a multicultural world. (New York, NY: Penguin (Hudson Street Press)).

Radner,  Ephraim, 2017. The mission Dei of communion: the Anglicanism change and solidarity.

Towards an Anglican Covenant 2006:





GAFCON IV – The Kigali Commitment 2023


Micere Mugo Framed in the Image of Miriam, the Prophet:


  1. Mark Odhiambo Rebattle


    Thank you for opining your views on this matter. From reading your review and from what I have know, learn and researched, my opining is heavily biased in favor of the ++Welby. Same Sex attraction is something that is intrinsically human and cannot be coached just as heterosexuality is intrinsically human and cannot be coached.

    Though this issue of sexuality is always and wrongly attributed to culture, especially in Africa. My observation is that same sex attraction is more culturally identified in Africa and specifically in Uganda that in Western cultures, and this situation England. Uganda has had king that ware known to practice homosexuality. And this was long before colonization. Though we also acknowledge that it was not a so much encouraged kind of relationship.

    Though we may want to attribute the differences between the COU and that of COE to cultural differences, we also know that the church of Uganda is pro establishment and has not and cannot go, say or do anything against the government. But this is not surprising. From the time immemorial, the church has been the last to board the just wagon. Be it Human right wagon, social wagon, or scientific wagon.

    On the resolution of based on the 1998 Lambeth conference Resolution 1.10. that Homosexuality was incompatible with scripture. My concern is what other resolution was shut down citing incomparability with scripture. Let’s remember it is in this coreference that women ordination also was not accepted. But we now have women as clergy because we found out that even though they were sidelined. They were still a bigger part of the church, and we could not turn a blind eye to their service. This is what the church in the west has been grappling with.

    Dr. Masiiwa Ragies Gunda in his book “ON THE PUBLIC ROLE OF THE BIBLE IN ZIMBABWE Unpacking Banana’s “re-writing “call for a socially and contextually relevant biblical Studies” argues for the need to re-examine our scriptures and tradition. For the ++Mugalu to compare homosexuals to fornicators and pedophiles is an open demonstration that he doesn’t understand who homosexual people are.

    Your are right to note that the two archbishops starts their entry into culture from the opposite ends. My question therefore is where would be the right point? If culture is people’s way of life, and people are made of individuals and these individuals are a conglomeration of thoughts, feelings and Idea. All with their embedded and learned characters. Then it doesn’t matter where your starting point is. If the individual doesn’t, then the culture or tradition is failing it’s purpose and should be redefined.

    Disagreement will not lead to division.

    As some provinces already declared that that they have separated from the worldwide Anglican church because of this progressive approach of the lead by the COE. Let’s note that this walk out was long coming even before the LGBTIQ+ issues ware upfront. They also have Issues unresolved with the ordination of women. In their traditional interpretation of the scripture, they fail to contend that the interpretation is for the contemporary world.
    Those churches that belong to GAFCION are in themselves so much disjointed that one wonders if they are Anglicans anymore. In other places they are more southern Baptists than Anglicans (USA). The argument that there is need to safeguard tradition is in itself faulty. Tradition is dynamic and not static. So the idea to want to preserve a tradition handed down two thousand years ago is so impossible impracticable.

    In conclusion. Let is acknowledge that God still speaks even beyond his written scriptures while we also interrogate the interpretations of the scriptures that we hold as word of God.

    I submit to you that if we. That is me and you. Did not interrogate the scriptures and just remained contented with that which was handed down to us. Then we couldn’t be priests.

    • Yes. May I also point by that ++Mugilu predecessor had tried to ‘rehabilitate’ some boy who was identified as gay. I met the boy and also asked him what become of the boy. He lamented that he thought the boy could change. But instead found a community wishing the archbishop’s inner house. They realize a little too late and had to let the boy go. Furthermore, I’m nite sure if it is possible to effectively critique anyone position when from the onset you detect that they may not really have a full grasp of the what they are giving themselves to address.

  2. Daniel Odhiambo

    Thank you for engaging with this matter, CFO. Always fascinating to read you.

    Your presentation of the squabble is fairly accurate, and I was personally so disheartened by it. ++Welby’s statement was just as unnecessary as the response from Uganda. Virtue signaling at its best!

    I wonder though if you are being a bit simplistic in your analysis. Cultural standpoint plays a big part in this quibble to be sure. But is that really it? Is this just a case of one person reading the Bible black and the other white? I’m not convinced.

    As someone who has now been in the European world for almost 9yrs, I am increasingly persuaded that our cultural differences are often exaggerated. And I’m speaking as someone who grew up in rural Migori and only watched The Lion King here in Europe. My contention has been that our cultural differences, which I don’t intend to downplay btw, must not be emphasized at the expense of the transcultural truths and norms which all humans share. And they are a lot!

    ++Welby and the bishops are clearly not serving their culture by their actions. Just over 50% of GS voted for their proposals and several people said they only voted for the proposals because of the amendment requiring the revised proposals not to contradict the traditional doctrine of marriage. That amendment was overwhelmingly passed. ++Welby and his bishops are therefore in their own world, which does not represent the wider church. indeed, ++Welby looks like a very conflicted man just observing his consistent doublespeak. He clearly knows the right thing, but doesn’t have the courage to do it.

    Moreover. several statistics have shown that conservative churches have more young people. 19 out of 20 biggest CoE churches are evangelical and traditional on this issue, and the one is St Pauls’s cathedral because of the choir. And it’s not just CoE, all other denominations that have taken this route have been hemorrhaging.

    And so the pressure Welby and the bishops are facing, in my outsider perspective, is not coming from the UK Christian culture per se, but from the few loud and aggressive activists. And sadly, they just don’t have the courage to stand to these bullies.

    ++Stephen on the other hand might look like he has the courage, but he is simply preaching to the choir as you have implied. The gospel challenges all of us to be counter-cultural; which means ++Stephen needs to be countercultural too (Kigali Commitment). And there are things to be countercultural on, for example his response to Welby.

    About the state of the Anglican Communion, I think there is a false dichotomy between unity based “doctrinal purity’ and “safeguarding the faith handed down” vs unity based on “providence of God” in Anglican identity and “Nicene creed- one holy Catholic Church.”

    Isn’t the faith handed down that one group is trying to safeguard the “providence of God, Anglican identity, Nicene Creed?
    I think the options the Anglican Communion have are two: either unity based on nothing or unity based on something. That something will be our Anglican heritage, the faith as we Anglicans have received it—at the heart of which is the authority of Scripture.

    But what I think a lot of people in your second group are calling for, is unity based on nothing. Unity for unity’s sake. Hence, “we disagree but not divided.”

    • ⁨Odhiambo,⁩ you are making amazing observations. By it you have made me think hard. Thank you for taking time to read and secondly to write out a reaction.
      May I react to just one of the points you raise.
      That I my analysis may be simplistic based on my reducing the issue to cultural squabble.
      1. ++Mugalu and the speaker of Ugandan parliament defends their actions on the account of culture ( see para 2 )
      While the CoE, also cites the cultural changes in their society which now widely accepts same sex Union for which the church must align …(explained in section …why the primates clash?)

      2. So as I investigated, I learnt that how these claims were justified by two theories explaining cultural dynamics… one anthropological and the other psychological…( see the beginning of the section why primates clash?)
      I will invite you to read again Adams and Markus (2004) concept of culture cycles…it illustrated what you just said.

      Having said that I am so enriched with your analysis and take of the situation. I will invite you to share these thoughts as is …in the blog for wider readership… perhaps someone may pick up a bias am unable to see.
      Many thanks indeed .

  3. Mark Odbiambo

    The current happenings in the religious and more specifically in the Christian religion is directing all faith actors to re-read the scripture. In this re-reading one is called to equip themselves with the law of the land and how those laws may or may not influence their own interpretation of the scripture. over the last one century our scripture has changed significantly for the purposes of speaking to the heat and mind of the readers in a contextual manner.

    As a bible student, I do get interested to understand where, when and why some words were first used in the scripture. Because Homosexuality is in the centre of this squabble. I would be interested to know when it first appear in the Bible. what word was used before and why was the need to change it?.

  4. Quite an interesting article. I agree with the concept of the clash of cultures. Both parties seem to be trapped within the ambit of the powers of those who loudly defend and propagate their cultural norms that the ability to patiently and prayerfully converse and listen to each other is lost.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury made reference to the cultural clash at the Lambeth Conference. Perhaps not in these words but that’s what I understood from his presentation.

    The aim indeed is to encourage conversation so there may be a better understanding of the cultural challenges and a commitment to walk together in spite of our differences not Divisions.

    The wrestling goes on until……………….

    Blessings and peace!

    The Rt. Rev’d C. Leopold Friday
    Bishop of the WIndward Islands

  5. Christopher Okidi

    Dear Canon this piece first of all is cogently argued and semantically on point. The Achilles heel however in my opinion is the moral ambiguity, borne out of what I suspect the calculations of political correctness or steering safe from the fault lines created. In the end there was no proposal on how the deadlock within the Anglican communion can be addressed. It is now left for the victors to emerge and impose their will: and this victor will likely be determined by demographics.

    This is not discount the valid arguments you make supported by the times. You captured well the cultural clash and the demographic portrait of the church and the ramifications. The truth is geopolitical shifts are making Africa bolder, even politically we have seen presidents have been speaking bolder in the international spaces, it is not surprising that even in religion especially the Anglican communion we are seeing bolders step from the churches in the periphery taking stronger stances against their metropole, even in economics the BRICS is balancing power from traditional hegemonies. This also has implications, it emboldens Africa or the Global South making them more confident and in a comfortable place to push their doctrines/cultural values and like you rightly assert because of numbers/demographics plus the geopolitical shifts they will overrun the church and impose their values and culture.

    Traditionally development was used for such policing of norms, but even development aid now has options. There are authoritarian donors who don’t care so much about rights and democracy: China and Russia, then the pragmatic ones like Qatar, Turkey etc, then the west, that multipolar development aid landscape may negative the effectiveness of development aid in this case like Uganda, because there are other available options on the landscape

    There is a narrative that development aid is also the cause of this doctrinal divide, it is not true that there were no homosexuals in Africa, they were there but society had ways of dealing with sexual minorities, but when it became an industry run on foreign financing, overzealous activists intending to impress donors and cash in started promoting it and generating a backlash. I find this narrative appealing because personally I think sex whether homosexual or heterosexual should not be promoted in public should be enjoyed in private

    • Chris, You are spot on though you miss my point. I intended to shed light into the extent of the disagreement. I wanted also to perpetual cause of the disagreement. I will welcome a new reflecting into solving the problem now that we have diagnosed it well.

  6. Robert Wanga

    Thank you for the article. The chasm in the Anglican Communion isn’t new, it’s a contemporary issue based on emerging cultural issues and how the conservative/traditional church is either burying its head in sands of time and wishing away the emerging issues. Every church with a western origin will have to grapple with this matter. Unfortunately the world is addressing this matter faster than the church can deal with it. Liberal and open dialogue in the modern connectivity scenario means that the church cannot assume to prefect the spread of liberal thought. In this same vein, it’s preposterous for conservative governments to presume that throwing more legislation to such a fast growing issue will be the solution. We must agree that modernity is setting the agenda with the church and government merely acting in a reactionary way. Pretty soon churches will find themselves losing relevance and becoming obsolete.

    • This is true battle engulfing the church. Our challenge will be to embrace liberalism and guard against its draw backs. Quite a task that will be. I wonder what you can recommend!

  7. Rev'd Enoch Opuka

    Where does this leave the ordinary Christian? I see the debate is being held at the top (between bishops, archbishops and synods). What happened to the Indaba that was being promoted earlier on. Can we have caucuses attended by ordinary men and women, boys and girls?

    • The point of this article is to invite Anglican to listen to each other that at each other. We should be very sensitive to our contexts and discern our calling to be counter culture upholding the virtues of our faith. So far there is great interest to build platforms driven from the grassroots than we had the Indaba. Hope you will join in.

      • Rev'd Enoch Opuka

        I will join in. I am a gender scholar and I believe my contribution will help in understanding the context of different “cultures” for lack of a better word. I also believe when we come to the table we should be able to listen to each other and understand the context of each of the speakers. Dismissal of opinion just because it does not agree with mine is not the way to go. We understand each other even if we disagree. Let us not forget that Galileo lost his life because he had a different opinion from what majority held. Unfortunately, by the time they realized he was right it was too late. For example, when is gender determined – at conception or at birth?

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